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

  • Service: Sun 16th February 11am & 6.30pm 'Letting Go' More events
  • Alternative Gathering (Enter from Surrey Street): Sun 16th February 5pm 'Humour' More events
  • Lunchtime Opening : Weds 19th February 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Discussion Group: Weds 19th February 7pm 'Juding the past by the standards of the present' More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation: Fri 21st February 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events
  • Services: Sun 23rd February 11am 'Places' & 6.30pm 'Keeping it Simple' More events
  • Lunchtime Opening: Weds 26th February 11.30am-1pm More events
  • Music Together: Weds 26th February 7pm for 7.15pm 'Indian Musical Instruments' More events
  • Lunchtime Silent Meditation: Fri 28th February 12noon for 12.10pm prompt (30 mins) More events
  • Upper Chapel Strollers (Walkley linear walk): Sat 7th March 10am UC or 11am start More events
  • Games Evening : Weds 11th March 7pm More events