Who is the United Church…


Our Crest

Our History

The United Church of Canada is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada. We minister to over 2 million people in about 3,000 congregations across the country. Ours is a rich history closely entwined with the development of Canada itself.

The United Church was inaugurated on June 10, 1925 in Toronto, Ontario, when the Methodist Church, Canada, the Congregational Union of Canada, and 70 per cent of the Presbyterian Church of Canada entered into an organic union. Joining as well was the small General Council of Union Churches, centred largely in Western Canada. It was the first union of churches in the world to cross historical denominational lines and hence received international acclaim. Impetus for the union arose out of the concerns for serving the vast Canadian northwest and in the desire for better overseas mission. Each of the uniting churches, however, had a long history prior to 1925. For further information on the Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational and Council of Union Churches ‘streams’ follow this link.

A Historical Timeline may be found here.

Our Articles of Faith

A New Creed
We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus,
crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.

Further Statements of Faith, including the founding Basis of Union, can be found here on the website of the National Church.

Our Governance & Organisational Structure
Congregations and Preaching Places

Over 2 million members and adherents worship in about 3,000 congregations or preaching places across the country. Pastoral care is provided to nearly 390,000 known households.

Pastoral Charge

Pastoral charges may include one or more congregations under the spiritual leadership of a minister. There are approximately 2,000 pastoral charges, each of which has a governing body.


An administrative grouping of pastoral charges in a local area. Lay and ministerial delegates from the charges meet regularly to oversee the work of the charges. There are 86 presbyteries within the church.


An administrative grouping of presbyteries in a regional area. Lay and ministerial delegates from the presbyteries meet annually. Full-time staff in Conference offices work with presbyteries and local pastoral charges. There are 13 Conferences within the church.

General Council

The church’s highest legislative court. Ordained, commissioned, and lay commissioners are elected by the Conferences and meet every three years to set church policy. An Executive and Sub-Executive govern between meetings of the council.

Policy Process

Policy is implemented through four permanent committees of the General Council and a staff group organized into 7 working units.

There are also about 50 committees and task groups, composed of voting members from across the country and General Council staff as corresponding members. A fuller explanation of the structure, policy processes can be found here.

Our Crest

The United Church Crest
(on the left of your screen)

The crest is the official signature of The United Church of Canada, placed on legal documents, ordination and commissioning certificates, and licences to perform the sacraments. Designed by the Rev. Dr. Victor T. Mooney (a treasurer of the United Church), it was officially adopted in 1944 by the 11th General Council.

The Latin words “ut omnes unum sint” that surround the symbols on the crest mean “That all may be one” and are taken from John 17:21. They are a reminder that we are both a “united” and “uniting” church. In 1980, a French translation of The United Church of Canada—L’Église Unie du Canada—was authorized by General Council to be added to the crest. In August of 2012, at the 41st General Council, The United Church of Canada acknowledged the presence and spirituality of Aboriginal peoples in the United Church by revising the church’s crest.

The crest changes include incorporating the four colours of the Aboriginal medicine wheel (yellow as a symbol of life and Asian people, black as a symbol of the south and dark-skinned people of the world, red as a symbol of the west and Aboriginal peoples, and white as the colour of the north and white-skinned people) and adding the Mohawk phrase “Akwe Nia’Tetewá:neren” [aw gway– nyah day day waw– nay renh], which means “All my relations.”

You can find a full description of the Crest and its symbols here.

Our Understanding of Social Justice

The founders of this church believed that ours is a living faith, a faith that is expressed not only in ministry, but also in mission in and with the world.

For further information on the United Church’s positions or discussions on such topics as Human Rights, Social & Economic Justice, Gender Justice & Sexual Diversity, Aboriginal Peoples, Resource Extraction, Climate Change, and more can be found here.

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We're a United Church of Canada Affirming Ministry striving to embrace diversity.

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