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History

Church Timelines

Timelines of Plymouth-Trinity's rich history have been divided into three sections. Many thanks to the Rev. Jane Aikman and Michael Eby for compiling this information.

1835

Christmas Day, 1835, at the home of Mrs. Samuel Brooks, the decision was made to form the Sherbrooke Congregational Church.  Twenty-seven people covenanted together on Sunday, December 29, 1835.

The first deacons were Alba Brown, David Mitchell and Samuel L. Norriss.  They met together in a schoolhouse on Wellington Street.

1838

A church was built on Factory Street in 1838 (Now Frontenac Street, site of the former St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church).

1855

The Sherbrooke Congregational Church moved to their second church building, at the present site, 380 Dufferin.  Architect William Footner designed the building in Greek Revival neo-classical style; it is the best current example of this style in Canada.

Plymouth Exterior

Plymouth bell

1865

Their name was changed to Plymouth Congregational Church in honour of the Pilgrim Fathers who landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachussets on December 21, 1620.

During this time, Plymouth Hall was added to the first church building.

1871

Sunday school rooms were added.

1875

The Sherbrooke YMCA was organized by members of Plymouth Church.

1893

The present pews replaced older-style colonial pews.  The original center aisle was replaced by two aisles.  (The photo below also shows more recent modifications, such as the Casavant organ from 1908).

Plyouth Interior

1908

The Casavant organ was installed on February 08, 1908 with 3 manuals, 28 stops and 1,200 pipes, at a cost of $3,685.

1916

Plymouth Congregational Church obtained an Act of Incorporation from the Provincial Legislature.  The old Union Cemetery on Belvedere South was sold and 895 bodies were reinterred at Elmwood Cemetery.

1917

$3000 was raised in a single offering for a motor ambulance in the First World War.

1919

The Sherbrooke Rotary Club was organized with Dr. Read as charter president.

June 10, 1925

Formation, Nationwide, of the United Church of Canada
Plymouth Congregational Church unanimously voted to become Plymouth United Church.

1846

The Reverend John Douglas of Melbourne organized the Wesleyan Methodist Society in Sherbrooke and remained as its first pastor.  They met in a building at the corner of Commercial (now Dufferin) and Court streets

1849

They moved to a larger building on Chapel Street

1859

Their name was changed to Sherbrooke Methodist Church when they built a new church at the corner of King and Gordon streets (The current location of St. Patrick's United Church).  Note the strong architectural similarity with the current Plymouth-Trinity building, which was built four years earlier.  This building was destroyed by fire in 1912.

1859 Trinity building

1875

An Estey Cabinet organ was installed in the King Street church between 1875 and 1878.

1886

A new church was built on the corner of Court and William streets with a seating capacity of 600, at a cost of $23,000.

1886 Trinity building

1911

The horse sheds were demolished and Wesley Hall was built, with Sunday School rooms, a meeting hall and a state.  It was dedicated in 1912.

1914

A 3-manual Canadian pipe organ from St. Hyacinthe was installed on May 19, 1914.

June 10, 1925

Formation, Nationwide, of the United Church of Canada
Sherbrooke Methodist Church became Trinity United Church.

June 10, 1925

Plymouth Congregational Church unanimously voted to become Plymouth United Church.

1925

The Casavant Organ was electrified.

1934

Plymouth United Church was threatened with demolition in order to build the St. Francois bridge.  After public outcry, the construction of this bridge was postponed until the 1960s.

1942

Morning services were broadcast free of charge on CHLT from Plymouth, Trinity, and other protestant churches in Sherbrooke from 1942-1967.

1947

The Carillon bells in the tower were dedicated on November 16, 1947, as a memorial to those who served in the Second World War.

1952

The church was damaged by a fire which began in the lower hall on March 07, 1952.  Members worshipped at Trinity United until the building was cleaned and repaired; it reopened for worship on June 15, 1952.

1954

The brakes on a Sherbrooke-St. Denis bus failed and it smashed into the Plymouth building on May 05, 1954, destroying the steps and breaking one of the wooden pillars.

Plymouth bus accident

1962

The Women's Association, the Women's Missionary and the Ladies Guild became the United Church Women (U.C.W.) with a charter membership of 93.

From the U.C.W, the first woman was appointed to the Board of Stewards.

1965

The Pont St. Francois (Terrill Street) bridge was built, and a parking lot was added behind the church.

1971

Plymouth United Church and Trinity United Church came together to form Plymouth-Trinity United Church.

June 10, 1925

Sherbrooke Methodist Church became Trinity United Church.

1938

The Rev. Fred Williams conducted a series of Sunday evening services on Portland Square in 1938 and 1939, with music provided by the Sherbrooke Regiment band.

Square

1946

100th anniversary of the Methodist Church in Sherbrooke.  The Centennial Victory Fund raised $12,000 and the church auditorium was redecorated.

1957

In the Trinity United building, a new heating system was installed, the roof was repaired, the parsonage renovated, the sanctuary redecorated and the organ overhauled.

Trinity

1962

The Women's Association, the Women's Missionary and the Florence Fuller Mission Circle became the United Church Women (U.C.W.)

1971

Plymouth United Church and Trinity United Church came together to form Plymouth-Trinity United Church.

1971

Plymouth United Church and Trinity United Church came together to form Plymouth-Trinity United Church, after each congregation voted and Presbytery approval was received.

The Plymouth congregation, as a former Congregationalist church, relinquished its rights as to property and accepted the regulations as laid down by the United Church of Canada in the Model Deed of 1925.

The Trinity buildings were sold and demolished, after bringing to the Plymouth building the rose window and War Memorial tablet.  Two back-lit frames containing the dedication inscriptions from all the memorial windows were also made and hung on either side of the main door.  The Trinity memorial chimes became part of the Plymouth organ.

The first service of the combined congregation was held on September 12, 1971.  The Rev. J. Cedric Arnold and Dr. R. Graham Barr served together for one year until Dr. Barr retired on June 30, 1972.  This is the bulletin of the first service (click for full-size image).

1971 service bulletin

1974

In June 1974, Trinity Memorial Chapel was dedicated, with sections of windows from the Trinity building as well as the pulpit, communion table and baptismal font.

1975

Church Council and Commissions replaced the session, stewards and Official Board.

The quarterly publication P-T News was started by Charles Rublee.

1980

Regular issues of Update replaced P-T News.

1985

150th Anniversary Celebrations took place on October 19-20, 1985.  An Anniversary supper followed by entertainment and a special service of Sunday worship were held.  The Trinity Bell on the lawn outside the church building was dedicated.

anniversary

1987

The church's 1907 Casavant organ was restored, electrified and modernised. The Sherbrooke Record newspaper printed an article describing the restoration.

organ

1989

The exterior of the Plymouth-Trinity building was classed as a Historical Monument by the Quebec Government.

1990

The front pillars outside the church were restored.

1993

Plymouth-Trinity welcomed its first woman minister, the Rev. Jane Aikman.

1996

An elevator was installed linking the main hall and the sanctuary, and was dedicated on March 24, 1996.

2002

The main halls of the church were renovated and repainted; the old stage curtains and wallpaper were removed.

Church hall renovations

2003

The Memorial Chimes were restored and rededicated, and exterior speakers soundedthe chimes for the first time in over thirty years.

2006-2007

The kitchen was gradually completely renovated, bringing it up to modern standards.

2008

After roughly two years of discussion, the congregation of Plymouth-Trinity voted to approve same-gender marriage.

2010-2014

The congregation of St. Peter's Anglican Church, which had been worshipping in the building directly across the street from Plymouth-Trinity, worshipped in the Plymouth-Trinity chapel.

2011-2016

The church building received many upgrades in response to greatly increased use of the building. The parking lot received line markings; all available storage areas were cleared or upgraded; and new storage areas were built in previously unused corners of the building. The main hall and basement were significantly altered to meet fire codes.

2013

The previous system of Church Council and Commissions was replaced by the Mission Board and Teams, no longer requiring fixed two-year elections of members.

2015

As part of the 2015 celebrations of the 180th anniversary of the congregation and 160th anniversary of the church building, small anecdotes about the history of the building or the congregation were shared during weekly worship, titled "Walking down Memory Lane". Read one of the Memory Lane messages reflecting back on Church Union on June 10, 1925.

 

Next Sunday

April 28, 2019

2nd of Easter

Worship:
10:30 AM

Worship Leader: Shanna Bernier

News & Events

Statement on Quebec’s Bill 21

Statement by La Table des ministères en français of the United Church of Canada on Quebec’s Bill 21:

Since its creation in 1925 The United Church of Canada has developed from an inclusive perspective. We are also aware that our Quebec society lived through a period in which it sought to detach itself from significant religious control. Throughout the 1960s, the Quiet Revolution recognized the importance of a secular state and government, as well as public services and institutions that serve civil society. The separation between state and religion (whatever religion it may be), is essential for us all and we support it unconditionally. After more than 50 years as a clearly secular state, we wonder why the Quebec government now fears the personal religious expression of individuals who represent the state.

Why would someone receiving services from our public institutions consider an employee wearing a religious symbol to be promoting their religion and therefore unable to carry out their duties in a professional manner? We do not believe that the people of Quebec will suddenly adopt new religious views after seeing someone wearing religious symbols. We trust that Quebeckers can make their own decisions when it comes to their personal beliefs. In today’s open and democratic world, the sources of our inspiration and influence are diverse. It is precisely this open and democratic culture that we must maintain and nourish.

Exclusion takes many forms. We believe that a prohibition on wearing religious symbols for some employees of public institutions sows division instead of weaving a stronger social fabric. Some religious symbols are deeply rooted in the faith of a person and cannot simply be abandoned for eight hours of the day. Who leaves their values and principles at the door of their workplace each morning? As a people of faith, we do not, and we should not be asking others to do so. We must all carry out our duties with due respect, equally and to all.

Rather than excluding professionals who wear religious symbols, we should evaluate those who serve our public institutions on the basis of their ability to effectively carry out their duties. After all, who is to say that such an employee does not find inspiration for the work they do for others at the root of their faith? Our defensive actions prevent us from deepening this expression of our humanity.

Mutual enrichment through diversity, which we all share in and work towards, is a key commitment that is lived out within the United Church as well. The subtleties of our own statement on Bill 21 reflect the ongoing conversations amongst our members and in our communities.

The United Church of Canada has Francophone roots in Quebec that go back to 1860; the oldest francoprotestant church in Quebec is a United Church situated in Belle-Rivière. It is as francophones, as Quebeckers and as protestants that we invite the Quebec government to celebrate its diversity within its common francophone culture. We ask the government to trust the people of Quebec to know the difference between a person living out their faith and the secular service provided by the state. The lessons from the Quiet Revolution have helped Quebec become a progressive society that is open to the world. Let us not adopt measures exclusion that impoverish this openness.

- Rosemary Lambie, Executive Minister, Nakonha:ka Region of the United Church of Canada

Éric Hébert-Daly, Responsible for Ministries in French, on behalf of La Table des ministères en français

Let's go camping!

United Spirit Camp is a one week volunteer-led camp for children and youth and it is one of the ministries of Nakonha:ka Regional Council.

The United Spirit Camp is looking for campers and youth over 16 to be counselors at this one-week-long sleepaway camp.
br>Our theme this summer is “Radical Welcome” and we cannot wait to meet you!

There are limited spots, so register soon! Camp costs 375$ for the week and we have funding available for “camperships.”

Check out our website

Or here on Facebook

Call for nominations

The General Council Nominations Committee has launched a call for nominations for several vacancies.

People across the church are invited to express their interest, or nominate others who have the gifts to serve well in these leadership roles. The Nominations Committee welcomes hearing from anyone, and particularly encourages those from groups which have been traditionally marginalized in our church, including (but not limited to) youth and young adults, Indigenous and racialized members, those active in francophone ministry, and people who identify as disabled.

You can find United Church job and volunteer opportunities here. Check back regularly!

Children at P-T

Join us at Plymouth-Trinity for a family-friendly worship experience. We have a children's corner in the sanctuary with craft supplies and helpful volunteers. Some Sundays there is also a 30-minute children's programme during worship-time for kids of all ages.

© Plymouth-Trinity United Church 2019