Fugitive Slave Chapel restoration project gets $5K boost

Steering Committee Members Christina Lord, Carl Cadogan, Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, Bishop of London, and Fanshawe Pioneer Village Board ChairTom Peace, May 12, 2022. Photo courtesy of Fanshawe Pioneer Village.

Fanshawe Pioneer Village is another step closer to its $300,000 fundraising goal to relocate and restore London’s Fugitive Slave Chapel.

The Diocese of London donated $5,000 to the Chapel Project on Thursday.

“We appreciate that our support will enable future generations to learn about this important part of Canadian history, and the role that chapels like this one played to help those fleeing enslavement settle, after finding freedom in the north,” said Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, bishop of the London diocese.

The fundraising campaign to move the chapel from its current location on Grey Street to the pioneer village was launched at the start of February. The money will also go toward fully refurbishing and repurposing the chapel to teach about slavery, the Underground Railroad, and the area’s Black history.

Pioneer Village Board Chair Tom Peace said the campaign is “progressing well” toward its fundraising goal.

“We are excited to see the community supporting this project, and hope to have more good news to share as the campaign progresses,” said Peace.

The chapel was built in 1848 and is the oldest surviving structure that relates to London’s historic Black community, according to pioneer village officials. The work to preserve is being done with support from the London Black History Coordinating Committee, the Chapel Committee, Congress of Black Women of Canada, Black Lives Matter London, the British Methodist Episcopal Church and the London & Middlesex Heritage Museum which operates Fanshawe Pioneer Village.

To donate to the Chapel Project click here.