Sydenham Street United Church - Kingston, Ontario
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member mTn_biKer65
N 44° 13.790 W 076° 29.290
18T E 381149 N 4898476
Quick Description: Located at 82 Sydenham Street, Kingston, Ontario at the corner of Sydenham Street and William Street.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 1/7/2015 7:07:21 AM
Waymark Code: WMN6XN
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 3

Long Description:
Sydenham Street United Church is an historic downtown congregation affiliated with The United Church of Canada. Parts of the church date back to 1852.

"Sydenham Street United Church has a rich heritage. It has been called “The Cathedral of Methodism in Upper Canada”.

Methodism came to Kingston in 1791 with an itinerant American preacher, William Losee, and, by 1811, Methodist services were held with some regularity in the schoolroom of William Moon. After the War of 1812, the Kingston Methodists, under Moon’s leadership, invited Methodist preachers from Britain to come to Kingston. In due course, a chapel was built on Bay Street.

In 1847, the two branches of Methodism in Canada united, the Wesleyan Methodists (formerly British) and the Methodist Episcopalians (formerly American). The formal union of the two Kingston congregations led to the decision to build a new church. The cornerstone of Sydenham Street Methodist Church was laid in April of 1851, and the building was completed in 1852 to the design of William Coverdale, a noted Kingston architect. The building with its distinctive steeple added in 1854, has been a graceful part of the city skyline since then, with extensive changes and
additions, inside and out.

In 1878 the old box pews were removed, and in 1887 the side wings and a Sunday School were added. The pulpit and choir area were rebuilt in 1929 to their present form, to accommodate a new pipe organ donated by Mrs. Henry Richardson. The Chapel was installed in 1961 and the annex was completely rebuilt with the old walls being retained.
As Kingston grew, the Congregation of Sydenham Street assisted in establishing new missions and churches in the area: in Portsmouth (1855); on Wolfe Island (1857); Queen Street (1858); and on outer Montreal Street near the old railway station (1861). For a time in the 1860s a congregation met in what is now the Council Chamber in City Hall.

Nineteenth century congregational groups included: the Ladies Aid So
ciety, later the Women's Association; the Epworth League of Christian Endeavour; the Women's Missionary Society; and the King's Daughters. The Sunday School reached its peak at over 400 pupils. The Congregation filled the building each Sunday, morning and evening.
In 1925 the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches in Canada joined to form the United Church of Canada, and Sydenham Street became a United Church. The growth of Kingston in the 1950s and 1960s, with the erection of suburban churches and changing social attitudes, saw a decline in the Congregation, which was still 400 to 600 in the 1960s. But the role of Sydenham Street increasingly became that of an inner city church devoted especially to outreach through such activities as support of community social projects and groups, making its facilities available for meetings, direct assistance to the poor through its Benevolent Fund, and involvement of the Minister
with hospitals, theological students, and people new to the congregation.

In 1993, the Congregation committed to restore the limestone exterior and roof. A few years later, the interior restoration of the sanctuary was carried out.

In 1999, after a year of prayerful discernment and discussion, the people of Sydenham Street United Church voted to become an Affirming Congregation, and to intentionally welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people, and fully include them in the life and ministry of the congregation. AT the present time, Sydenham Street United Church is the only Affirming Ministry in the Bay of Quinte
Conference from Toronto to Ottawa to Montreal.

More recently, our sanctuary has become an important concert venue, and the primary home of Kingston’s Cantabile Choirs. We are the fourth largest venue in Kingston, and we offer raked seating with
good views and excellent acoustics. In 2008 year we received over $45 000 in income from the use of our building." (visit link)


Minister: Rev. Elizabeth Macdonald
Organist & Music Director: Audrey Robinson
Office Administrator: Ruth Ranson
Operations Manager: Donald Mitchell
Custodian: Justin Sowik


Chair of the Congregation: Rob Vanderheyden
Chair of Engaging the Spirit: Vicki Ruthven
Chair of Art and Soul: Barb Carr
Chair of Social Justice and Outreach: Jim Leake
Reformed or Congregational Denomination: United Church of Canada

Associated Website: [Web Link]

Status: Active House of Worship

82 Sydenham Street
Kingston, Ontario Canada
K7L 3H4

Date of Construction or Event Occurrence: Not listed

Architect: Not listed

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