United Church of Canada


United Church of Canada
n.
a Protestant denomination formed in Canada in 1924-25 by union of the Methodist and Congregational churches and two-thirds of the Presbyterian churches

* * *

      church established June 10, 1925, in Toronto, Ont., by the union of the Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches of Canada. The three churches were each the result of mergers that had taken place within each denomination in Canada in the 19th and early 20th century. In 1968 the Canada Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged with the United Church.

      Before the end of the 19th century, the three denominational groups began cooperating in order to avoid duplication of ministries and interconfessional competition and to serve an expanding and developing country more effectively. In 1904 the three churches began official negotiations for organic unity, and by 1908 the Basis of Union was prepared. It stated the principles of doctrine, church government, the ministry, administration, and law that would apply to the new church. The Methodists and Congregationalists soon approved the basis and declared their readiness to unite. A strong minority among the Presbyterians, however, were not in favour of the basis or of the union itself on any terms. Although the Presbyterian General Assembly voted several times by a large majority to enter the union, unwillingness to split the denomination prevented its doing so for several years.

      In many western settlements, however, many local Presbyterian and Methodist congregations united, using the principles of the Basis of Union. By 1923 there were more than 3,000 union congregations, and these congregations put pressure on the three denominations to merge officially. The Presbyterian General Assembly finally decided to proceed with the union, even if a minority of its churches stayed out. The final result was that 784 Presbyterian congregations out of a total of 4,512 voted to remain out of the union and continued as the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Only eight Congregational churches refused to join, but all of the 4,797 Methodist congregations entered the union. The new United Church had about 600,000 members, and in the period after the union it grew faster than the general Canadian population.

      The system of church government accepted by the United Church is presbyterian. Its doctrine, as stated in the Basis of Union, is conservative in nature and attempts to do justice to the basic beliefs of the three denominations. While this remains the official statement of the church's doctrine, with which ministers must be “in essential agreement,” the Statement of Faith (1940) and the Catechism (1944), approved by the General Council, are contemporary in style and liberal in content. The United Church endeavours to be tolerant of all shades of doctrinal opinion consistent with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord.

      In attempting to be not only a united but also a uniting church, the United Church of Canada is ecumenical in spirit, open in discussion, and cooperative in action. It is a member of the World Methodist Council, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian and Congregational), the Canadian Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • United Church of Canada — n. a Protestant denomination formed in Canada in 1924 25 by union of the Methodist and Congregational churches and two thirds of the Presbyterian churches …   English World dictionary

  • United Church of Canada — For Unitarian churches in Canada, see Canadian Unitarian Council. United Church of Canada Église unie du Canada Classification Protestant Orientation Mainline/Calvinist …   Wikipedia

  • United Church of Canada — Die United Church of Canada (frz.: l Église Unie du Canada) ist die zweitgrößte Kirche in Kanada nach der Römisch Katholischen Kirche und die größte protestantische Konfession. Die United Church wurde 1925 als Zusammenschluss von vier Kirchen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • United Church of Canada —    The United Church of Canada (UCC) continues the traditions of the Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists in Canada. It was formed in 1925 by the merger of the Methodist Church (Canada, Newfoundland, and Bermuda), the Congregational… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • United Church of Canada — Église unie du Canada L Église unie du Canada (United Church of Canada) est la seconde Église en importance au Canada, après l Église catholique. Elle comporte la plus grande population protestante. Selon le recensement de 2001, il y a 2,8… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • United Church of Canada — Unit′ed Church′ of Can′ada n. can. a Protestant denomination formed in 1924–25 from the merging of the Canadian Methodist and Congregational churches and most Presbyterians …   From formal English to slang

  • Clergy of the United Church of Canada — The clergy of The United Church of Canada are called ministers . There are two streams , ordered ministry and lay ministry. Ordered ministry includes ordained ministers and diaconal ministers. Lay ministry refers to licensed lay ministers,… …   Wikipedia

  • Moderator of the United Church of Canada — The Moderator of the United Church of Canada is the presiding leader of the United Church of Canada, Canada s largest Protestant denomination. The church is highly decentralized and non dogmatic and the moderator has only limited power. The… …   Wikipedia

  • United Church Observer — Editor David Wilson Categories Christian denominational Frequency 11/year Circulation unknown First issue 1829 Country …   Wikipedia

  • United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands — The United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands is a merged denomination dating from 1968 consisting of the former London Missionary Society (operating exclusively in Papua), the relatively marginal Presbyterian church (largely… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.