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

  • All Upper Chapel Events: All Upper Chapel Events are AT RISK OF CANCELLATION during the current Coronavirus situation. Please contact the Minister or the Chapel Manager (details below) More events
  • Service CANCELLED: Sun 29th March 11am & 6.30pm CANCELLED More events
  • Alternative Gathering CANCELLED: Sun 5th April 5pm More events
  • Lunchtime Opening with Organ Recital by Phil Croft: Weds 18th March 11.30am-1pm WHOLE EVENT CANCELLED More events
  • Discussion Group CANCELLED: Weds 18th March 7pm 'Is there a middle ground between pacifism and militarism?' CANCELLED More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation CANCELLED: Fri 20th March 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events
  • Services CANCELLED: Sun 22nd March 11am ONLY 'Mothering Sunday' CANCELLED More events
  • Lunchtime Opening CANCELLED: Weds 25th March 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Music Together CANCELLED: Weds 25th March 7pm for 7.15pm 'Bridges, Ferries and Water Crossings' - please bring a track CANCELLED More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation CANCELLED: Fri 27th March 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events