The Old Chapel is one of the oldest buildings in Upminster dating back to 1800, before the construction of Upminster Windmill but still with connections to James Nokes who funded both the building of the Windmill and the Old Chapel and was a member of the Chapel congregation. The Abrahams family who worked the Mil were also members of the Chapel congregation It was built as a ‘Protestant Dissenters’ chapel and was used up until 1912 by the Congregational Church who moved into new and biger premises in Station Road just before the start of World War 1. A Plymouth Brethren congregation took over the premises in 1912 and occupied and used the building until 1988.

The Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School acquired the Old Chapel in 2005 when it was in a state of dilapidation and on the English Heritage ‘At Risk’ Register. From the date of acquisition up until 2011 when renovation works began, the Project Manager appointed from the Senior Leadership Team at the School, Stuart Beck, worked with personnel at the London Office of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and with professional consultants to put together a bid for an HLF grant of almost £700k and to raise a further £400k from other sources. Renovation work started in 2011 and the building was officially opened in March 2013 as a chapel for the School as a worshipping community as well as a historical resource and venue for local community activity.

Further information about the history and pictures of the Chapel is given in the final section below

Hire of the Premises

The Chapel can be hired  for use by community groups and enquiries should be addressed to Mrs Linda Austin at the School by telephone (01708 222660 – Finance – Option 5) or by emaiI [email protected].

Friends of the Old Chapel

The Friends of Upminster Old Chapel (the Friends) was formed just before renovation work started in the early 2010s as part of the Activity Plan approved and supported by HLF. The Friends have a committee that organises various events in support of the Chapel, its heritage as well as the general promotion of topics of local, historical interest. The main work of the committee is focused on raising funds for the upkeep of the Old Chapel. Newsletters are produced as and when needed and a monthly ‘tea and talk’ programme is organised. The Friends also administer the membership list and membership currently costs £10 a year.

To contact the Friends, please use the following e-mail address [email protected]

The latest newsletter produced by the Friends is provided here:


Membership Fees 2024/2025

Annual membership fee £10 is now due and can be paid at the Teas & Talks meetings (cash or cheque) or direct to our bank account:

Account name:            Friends of the Old Chapel

Sort Code:                   30-14-24

Account number:        22636468

Amount:                      £10

Reference                   Please quote your surname and postcode

Many thanks to members who renew annually by standing order – this is appreciated.


This year’s AGM will be held on Wednesday 12th June at 10.30am followed by our usual Teas & Talks.

Nominations for the committee are welcome – Chairman, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Programme Secretary & Membership secretary as well as general committee members.

The Financial Statement for year ended 31st March 2024 and other documents will be forwarded next month.

Teas & Talks

Wednesday 12th June AGM  – Layers of History at Rainham Hall with Jude Merritt, House and Gardens Manager and Dave Weaver, Hall Volunteer

Wednesday 10th July – Hopes and dreams. Glimpses of Upminster before, during and after World War I. Tony Benton’s talk is based on the autograph books of Lily and Nellie Aggiss.

The Old Chapel

No news yet on when we can return on a permanent basis so for the time being we will continue to meet at Roope Hall, Trinity Church.

However, we are focused on supporting the Old Chapel and have recently released funds to cover the costs of cleaning the gutters on the building.

Thank you to all members and visitors for your support of the Teas & Talks programme – the surplus funds generated go towards the refurbishment of the Old Chapel.


The Committee

Email: [email protected]