The Ullet Road Unitarian Chapel is known as the English ‘cathedral of Unitarianism’. It was built between 1896 and 1898 to a design by the Unitarian architect Thomas Worthington and his son Percy.
Although founded as a non-conformist Christian faith, Unitarianism has historically been characterised by a rationalist and individualist approach to spirituality, which encompasses diverse religious views. In its anti-dogmatism, it has come to include atheist views, particularly under the banner of Unitarian Universalism in the twentieth century.
Built to accommodate the growing congregation of the Renshaw Street Chapel in central Liverpool, the Ullet Road Chapel is in the Neo-Gothic style, and also incorporates a number of decorative elements in the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles.
The vestry ceiling features four painted roundels by the English mural painter Gerald Moira, representing the virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Charity, while the library features a mural, also by Moira, depicting ‘The Pursuit of Truth’.
The adjoining church hall was built in 1901 and contains monuments to some of the Chapel’s former attendees. These include a bust of the historian and patron of the arts William Roscoe, and memorials to the merchant and philanthropist William Rathbone and to Unitarian minister and scholar Charles Beard.
Now Grade I listed, the Chapel is still operating as a Unitarian centre where ideas of faith and spirituality are actively explored.
- Ullet Road Unitarian Chapel on English Heritage’s ‘Images of England’
- Ullet Road Unitarian Chapel on Wikipedia
- Unitarians in Britain