Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Universal Spiritualist Church, St Paul, Bristol
Universal Spiritualist Church   [no longer registered]
Bishop Street / Prince's Street, BS2 9JA,
St Paul, Bristol, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Church did NOT have a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded by 1930, though it is now closed, but we don't yet know when, and the premises are now in secular use.

This former place of worship, now in private ownership, is an isolated survivor of the former Bishop Street, a busy residential district, and thoroughfare, running eastwards from the north-east corner of Portland Square, and terminating at a 'T' junction with St Nicholas Road. Today the western end of Bishop Street ends in a cul de sac, cut off from its eastern end, which has been renamed Halston Drive, and the "Old Chapel" (as it is now known) lies sandwiched between, accessible only via Prince's Street. Only a handful of the original buildings now remain in Bishop Street itself.

The Chapel first came to my attention in Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010), recorded as the "Universal Spiritualist Church", with an address of simply "Bishop Street". The following notice in The London Gazette of 8th July 1930 (p.4305) recorded its registration for marriages:

A Separate Building, duly certified for religious worship, named UNIVERSAL SPIRITUALIST CHURCH, situated at Bishop-street, in the civil parish of Bristol, in the county borough of Bristol, in Bristol registration district, was, on the 1st July, 1930, registered for solemnizing marriages therein, pursuant to 6 and 7 Wm. IV., c.85. Dated the 4th July, 1930.

The building is of red brick, with stone dressings, having 2 lancet windows on either side of a central round-arched doorway. Set into the gable above it is an unusual datestone in the shape of a triangle with curved sides, which reads "1888". Kelly's Directory of Bristol of 1902 reveals that it was then a "Christian Gospel Room", at #19 Bishop Street, which was also recorded as the residence of William Coulthard. In Kelly's Directory of 1914, #19 is recorded as the residence of John Campbell, a draper, so evidently it spent some years in the early 20th century in secular use - as it is once again today (as of May 2012), although no notice of cancellation of its registration for marriages has been found. Perhaps it was closed before 1951, when the "Bristol First Spiritualist Church" was registered, in nearby Surrey Street, as is suggested by its name?


Now or formerly Spiritualist.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church was located at OS grid reference ST5960373855. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for St Paul, Bristol, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 17 Jun 2014 at 15:10.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that the former Universal Spiritualist Church is understood to be in secular use, so care should be taken to preserve the privacy of its occupants.

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This Report was created 17 Aug 2022 - 18:02:17 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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