Unitarian History

Elizabeth GaskellThroughout our history Unitarians have stood for inclusivity, reason and social justice including gender equality (we’ve had women ministers for more than 100 years), gay rights (we’ve performed same-sex blessings for more than 30 years) and the abolition of slavery.

The earliest organised Unitarian movements were founded in the 16th century in Poland and Transylvania following a move away from the traditional ‘trinitarian’ doctrine of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit towards favouring the unity of one God.

In Britain, Unitarianism was damned as heresy and the death penalty imposed on anyone who denied the trinity. Several early radical reformers professed Unitarian beliefs in the 16th and 17th centuries, some suffering imprisonment and martyrdom. The first Unitarian church in the UK was opened in London in 1774 and there are now more than 170 congregations throughout the country.

Prominent Unitarians include Joseph PriestleyElizabeth Gaskell (pictured right), Charles DickensThomas Jefferson,Louisa May AlcottPaul NewmanKurt VonnegutSarah AdamsFrank Lloyd Wright and Tim Berners-Lee.   

Upcoming Events

  • Upper Chapel Sunday services are currently cancelled: This is due to lockdown 5th Nov - 2nd Dec. [When services resume they will be 11am most Sundays but 6.30pm on the third Sunday] More events
  • Upper Chapel Groups, Services and Events: Upper Chapel activities that involve physical meeting are cancelled/postponed during the 5th Nov - 2nd Dec national lockdown More events
  • Wednesday lunchtime Chapel openings (with 1215 reflection): Weds 4th Nov 1130-1300 then locked down for 4 weeks More events
  • Alternative Gathering currently on Zoom: Second and fourth Sundays at 5pm Contact the Minister (see below) for Zoom joining instructions More events
  • Wednesday Lunchtime Social on Zoom: 1100-1200 approx. Contact the Minister (see below) for details. More events
  • Alternative Gathering (currently on Zoom) 'The Search for Meaning' : Sunday 8th November 5pm Contact the Minister (see below) for Zoom joining instructions More events
  • Evening Worship on Zoom (second Tuesday of the month): Tuesday 10th November 8pm Contact the Minister (see below) for Zoom joining instructions More events