Newington Green's Meeting House to stream concert series for Mary Wollstonecraft's 262nd Birthday

British travel writer, author and essayist Mary Wollstonecraft.

The "mother of feminism" Mary Wollstonecraft. - Credit: Topham Picturepoint/Press Associ

With restoration work on the historic Newington Green Meeting House complete, it will now play host to a series of streamed concerts named after the buildings most famous attendee, Mary Wollstonecraft. 

The Mary Wollstonecraft Music Café Concert Series will launch during Wollstonecraft's 262nd birthday week from April 25 to May 2. 

Short teaser concerts are to be streamed as part of celebrations as well as talks by Nobel prize-winning economist Prof. Amartya Sen, Bee Rowlatt of the Wollstonecraft Society and Dr. Alpa Shah of the London School of Economics.

Mary's Music Cafe will then continue as a monthly music event featuring an eclectic range of music by women from around the world and through the ages, reflecting the building's history of radical thought.   

Amy Todd, Programme Manager at the Meeting House heritage project, said: 
“It is especially important to celebrate feminist and radical icons from history, and to learn and grow from them today.

"Mary Wollstonecraft is no exception."

The Newington Green Meeting House, also known as The Newington Green Unitarian Church, recently had a much needed £1.7 million restoration, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which took place from 2019 until early 2020. 


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The works mean the building now has full, state of the art audio visual equipment for events and concerts. 

Built in 1708, the building was frequented by “the mother of feminism” Mary Wollstonecraft and Rev Richard Price, who was frequently visited by the Founding Fathers of the USA.

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It also housed a group known as the Dissenters, who campaigned for religious freedom and the abolition of slavery and in 2008, it became Britain’s first religious establishment to refuse to take weddings until same-sex couples had equal marriage rights.

Tour guide Rob Smith at some locations in Newington Green associated with Mary Wollstonecraft

The historic Newington Green Meeting House and Unitarian Church. - Credit: Archant

The Mary Wollstonecraft birthday week has been organised by the Newington Green Meeting House heritage project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Wollstonecraft Society, London School of Economics, Fragments and Monuments, Scary Little Girls and more.

The monthly event series will also celebrate the works of women throughout history like German Benedictine Abbess, who was also a writer, composer, philosopher and Christian mystic visionary and polymath of the High Middle Ages. 

Other women celebrated in the series will include Barbara Strozzi, an Italian singer and composer of the Baroque Period, contemporary American classical composer Libby Larson, the "Dean" of Black women composers Undine Moore Smith, Sapho "the Poetess" and Calamity Jane. 

To book tickets visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mary-wollstonecrafts-birthday-a-week-of-celebration-tickets-146828673515

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