THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA
The United Church of Canada officially began in 1925 with the amalgamation of three denominations: The Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists. These Churches came together through an act of Parliament. The United Church declared on its 10th birthday, in 1935, that it was not merely "a united, but a uniting church."
The United Church crest designed by Dr. V. T. Mooney, treasurer of the United Church of Canada, is the official signature of the church. Each church in the union is represented in the insignia. The open Bible represents the Congregational churches with their emphasis on God's truth that makes me free. The Dove is emblematic of the Holy Spirit whose transforming power has been a distinctive mark of Methodism. The burning husk is the symbol of Presbyterianism. It refers to the bush that burned and was not consumed and symbolizes the indestructibility of the church.
As of January 1, 2019, The United Church of Canada replaced its former system of Conferences and Presbyteries with a new governance model. A three-council structure has been adopted consisting of communities of faith, regional councils and a denominational council. Our Regional Council, Shining Waters, is one of 16 new regional councils in the United Church of Canada.
BRADFORD UNITED CHURCH
The history of Bradford United Church begins with the first missionaries of Upper Canada who brought the message of the Methodist Church to the early pioneers. These missionary men, known as "circuit riders", carried the Gospel to remote regions of the land now known as Ontario. Their dedication and courage was the foundation of the Methodist Church.
The first Church building, known as the Methodist Chapel, was erected in Bradford in 1834, and was situated at the corner of John Street West and Moore Street. The trustees of the Methodist Church received the property of the present Church in 1836; the Wesleyan Methodist Church was built and officially opened on August 3, 1851. The current Sanctuary was built in 1864 and the original building is now known as the Margaret Irene Turner Hall. The foundation stone for the Sanctuary was laid on July 27, 1864 and the new Church was formally opened and dedicated on January 25, 1865.
We became Bradford United Church on June 10, 1925 when the United Church of Canada came into being with the amalgamation of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches.
The church building has undergone several additions and renovations over the years. In 1988 the Narthex was constructed. Since 1925, twenty United Church ministers/lay ministers have served our congregation.
Our mission statement:
We joyfully embrace all as we learn and live the way of Jesus Christ through inspiring worship, faith exploration and social justice. We live out our mission as an inclusive, progressive, life affirming faith community in The United Church of Canada welcoming people of all ages, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical and mental ability, economic circumstance and marital status. All who join us in this faith journey are invited to take part in every aspect of our church life.