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 14th August 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Games Evening (NEW!): Weds 14th August 7pm More events
  • Service: Sun 18th August 11am ONLY 'Do you hear them cry? Reflections on Empathy'' More events
  • Lunchtime Opening/Organ Recital (by Madge Woollard): Weds 21st August 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Discussion Group: Weds 21st August 7pm 'When should we prophesy?' More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation: Fri 23rd August 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events
  • Service: Sun 25th August 6.30pm ONLY 'When it all comes down' More events
  • Music Together: Weds 28th August 7pm for 7.15pm 'Music for a Time of Day' More events