Father of the chapel (FoC) or mother of the chapel (MoC) are the titles in the United Kingdom and Australasia referring to a shop steward representing members of a trade union in a printing office or in journalism. The FoC or MoC is assisted by the clerk of the chapel or by a deputy FoC/MoC.
In the printing trade, a chapel is the traditional name given to a meeting of compositors. The name originates in the early history of printing in Great Britain, though the National Union of Journalists states that the precise origins of the terms are unclear [www.nuj.org.uk] .
The name also honours the origins of British trade unionism, where non-conformist churches often acted as covers for trade union activity, which was illegal at the time.
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