What began as the Unitarian Fellowship in Niagara in 1954, became the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara (UCN) ten years later. Since 1964 we have been at our downtown location in St.Catharines, Ontario. We serve all of Niagara region in Ontario.
The Unitarian faith tradition spans 400 years beginning in 16th century Europe. It was a response to strict orthodox boundaries set by Protestants and Catholics back then. Dissenting Italians yearning for more independent, open-minded liberal thought, sought refuge in a more tolerant Poland and Transylvania and developed what would become a Unitarian spiritual following. It included liberal thinking, the acceptance of science and a wish for a less constrained formal church dogma. Writings would soon circulate throughout Europe, England and Ireland. By the 18th century, congregations formed in New England in North America. Canada had its first Unitarian congregation in Montreal in 1842.
The Universalist faith tradition aligned now with Unitarians, had its own storied history in Canada and the US beginning in the 19th century. A merger with Unitarians took place in 1961 and with it the formation of a Unitarian Universalist Association of America. Both traditions saw a natural fit with liberal religious tradition, common purpose pursuing peace and harmony, inclusiveness and a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning.”
In the 21st century, 46 UU congregations span Canada from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver Island.
Famous poets, writers, politicians and scientists have been adherents including John Locke, Sir Issac Newton, John Milton, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Dickens.