Taunton Unitarians The present chapel was built in 1721 and still has the original interior including Flemish oak pillars in the Corinthian style; the pews and pulpit are also in oak.

There is also a fine early 18th century chandelier, donated by Taunton MP Nathaniel Webb who was noted for having sat in The House for 7 years and never once said a word.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge preached here
Known associations include the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Whilst Coleridge was living at Nether Stowey (16 miles away) he came to the chapel to preach on several occasions. The minister at the time was Dr Joshua Toulmin who was unable to take services because he was grieving for the loss of his daughter who had been drowned. It is believed that Wesley also preached in the chapel on two or three occasions when wet weather drove him and his followers indoors.

One notable member of the Taunton congregation, lay preacher and Trustee of the chapel was Dr. Malachi Blake, who founded the first Taunton & Somerset Hospital. Relatives of Dr. Blake still worship at the chapel and at our sister chapel in Dampiet Street in Bridgwater, close to The Blake Museum.

At the height of the Protestant revolution, the great and the good of Taunton worshiped at the Mary Street chapel, including the Goodland and Kinglake families, and it is said that the pews and galleries were so full that children had to sit on the stairs.

Unitarians are known for education and free thinking - the Taunton congregation was at the forefront of giving the children of poor families a free education, and the first in the town to give girls the same opportunity as boys. A small school next to the chapel was replaced in 1846 by a splendid new, larger school, paid for by Reverend Odgers. This building is now the home of the Open Door charity, that helps and supports homeless people.

Behind the chapel is the Memorial Garden, an oasis of calm and colour in the centre of town. The garden has recently been re-opened for burials and the interment of ashes.

People of all faiths, or none, are welcome in our chapel. Our membership ranges from Liberal Christians to Atheists. Please come and sample a service - you will find a warm reception.