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 Strollers: Sat 7th December Christmas Meal, Whitley Hall Hotel, Grenoside More events
  • Services: Sun 8th December 11am & 6.30pm 'Blue Christmas' More events
  • Lunchtime Opening: Weds 11th December 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Music Together: Weds 11th December 7pm for 7.15pm 'Christmas Party/A Nightmare Before Christmas' More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation: Fri 13th December 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events
  • Coffee and Cake Day: Sat 14th December 11am - 3pm 'Cakes, Tea, Coffee and a little music' [In aid of Rinchen Zangpo Society for Spiti Development] More events
  • Service: Sun 15th December 6pm ONLY Brass and Carols with Stannington Brass Band' More events
  • Lunchtime Opening: Weds 18th December 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Carol Singing on Courtyard: Thurs 19th December 4pm for 4.30pm [Collecting in aid of HARC] More events
  • Service: Sun 22nd December 11am ONLY 'The Anatomy of a Snowflake' More events
  • Christmas Day Service: Weds 25th December 11am ONLY More events