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

  • Lunchtime Opening: Weds 2nd October 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Upper Chapel Strollers: Sat 5th October Beauchief Abbey walk: 10.15 am Upper Chapel or 11.00 am at start More events
  • Service: Sun 6th October 11am only 'Harvest Celebration' More events
  • Alternative Gathering: Sun 6th October 5pm 'Title TBA' More events
  • Women's League (all welcome!): Mon 7th October 11am for 11.30am 'Mindful Ageing' talk by John Darwin of Mindfulness Sheffield More events
  • Lunchtime Opening: Weds 9th October 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Games Evening (NEW!): Weds 9th October 7pm More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation: Fri 11th October 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events
  • Service: Sun 13th October 11am and 6.30pm 'Animal Service' More events