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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.


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.


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


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


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.


Sunday school rooms were added.


The Sherbrooke YMCA was organized by members of Plymouth Church.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


They moved to a larger building on Chapel Street


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


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


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


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.


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.


The Casavant Organ was electrified.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.



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


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.



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


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


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


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.


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

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


Regular issues of Update replaced P-T News.


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.



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



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


The front pillars outside the church were restored.


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


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


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

Church hall renovations


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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

December 15, 2019

3rd Sunday of Advent

10:30 AM

Sunday, 15 December, 10:30 a.m.: Advent 3 service, walking a path of Joy: White Gift Sunday! An intergenerational service led by the children’s ministry team. Following our tradition of many years, we will collect non-perishable food – and cash –for Sherbrooke Elementary School’s Christmas baskets.

News & Events

Advent at Plymouth-Trinity

Join us through the month of December, as we celebrate Advent!

Sunday, 15 December, 10:30 a.m.: Advent 3 service, walking a path of Joy: White Gift Sunday! An intergenerational service led by the children’s ministry team. Following our tradition of many years, we will collect non-perishable food – and cash –for Sherbrooke Elementary School’s Christmas baskets.

-- Notre culte de 10h30 sera le dimanche du « White Gift », les dons pour l’école Sherbrooke Elementary. Le culte sera dirigé par l’équipe du ministère des enfants.

Sunday, 15 December, 7 p.m.: Ecumenical Advent carol and candlelight service at P-T at 7 p.m. Mulled cider to follow.

-- Joignez-vous à nous ici à P-T à 19h pour un culte œcuménique de l’Avent avec chants et bougies.

Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m.: Blue Christmas service, a time of prayer, comfort and solace for those for whom Christmas is a complicated time.

-- Service de prière et reconfort.

Sunday, 22 December, 10:30 a.m.: Advent 4 service, walking a path of Love. With children’s church.

-- Culte à 10h30 pour le 4e dimanche de l’Avent, avec culte des enfants.

Tuesday, December 24, 7:30 p.m.: Candlelight Christmas Eve service; there will be colouring books for the younger children!>br>
-- Culte à 19h30 pour la veille de Noël, avec bougies; il y aura du coloriage pour les jeunes enfants!


Poinsettias: If you would like to donate a poinsettia to decorate the sanctuary for the Advent/Christmas season, please contact KristiRoht at gmail.com by December 18th. Please let Kristi know if you wish to have your name printed in the bulletin, along with the person or people in whose memory the flowers are given.

Christmas baking: Janet McBurney is once again taking orders for Christmas puddings. Large pudding $15, small (syrup can size) $7. Please contact JanetJammcb at gmail.com by December 13th, for delivery December 15th. Proceeds to the UCW.

Perfect Gift cards: Looking for a gift for someone who has everything, or a gift with meaning? Consider giving a perfect gift this Christmas, by making a donation to the United Church’s Mission and Service or the local food bank, Moisson Estrie, in the name of a family member or friend. Hand-made cards by Janet McBurney are available in English and French on the tables at the front and back of the sanctuary.

Gifts with Vision: The new 2019/20 catalogue is here – to help us celebrate special occasions throughout the year – no wrapping paper necessary! More than 68 million people worldwide are currently fleeing danger, persecution or starvation. There are gifts of food for people near and far, solar power gifts, gifts for beekeepers, gifts for reconciliation, and more at giftswithvision.ca . There are copies of the new catalog on the tables at the back of the sanctuary and opposite the coffee table.

Bulletin covers 2020: Would you like to sponsor one, or more? Inge Lunkenbein is collecting donations for the 2020 bulletin covers: $10 a Sunday in memory of a loved one. Several people can be sponsors on the same Sunday. A signup sheets is on the table at the back of the sanctuary. Contact the secretary’s office for more info.

Children's church and the role of our community

Plymouth-Trinity United Church
October 8, 2019

Dear parents, grandparents and friends of kids at P-T,

Last May, our Education and Outreach Team helped organise (almost) weekly Children’s church activities at Plymouth-Trinity. Our goal is to provide a safe, educational, worshipful space for kids to be kids and also to experience church. Georgia Barratt-Lamey has been engaged as Children’s church/Sunday school leader, to be accompanied by a parent or other adult volunteer.

Each week children’s church is offered, we will spend the majority of time downstairs engaging in music, stories, prayer, crafting, games and free play with the children, and usually provide a healthy snack. We will join the congregation upstairs during the celebration of Holy Communion which the children are encouraged, but not required, to participate in. The programme materials come largely from the curriculum The Whole People of God.

Children’s church is geared to children aged 3 and up and we will adapt as best we can to the ages in the group. We hope to be able to lead worship upstairs a few times during the year, as well as hold a few special events, like the Saturday Advent gathering (November 30th this year) and a spring Picnic!

For our programme to continue we need help: Georgia, plus coordinator Shanna, cannot do this alone. We need other adults (parents, grandparents…) to help with the supervision and ensure the safety of all participants. There is a sign-up sheet on the table at the back of the sanctuary. You will all be contacted personally and we would like each family to designate an adult helper every couple of months.

For little ones under 3, or on Sundays when Georgia is not available, Hazel Innes and Sarah Stratton Ashby are usually present at the colouring table in the sanctuary. We deeply appreciate their ongoing support and care for our children. They will hand out clipboards for the older children who can sit with their parents, grandparents or other family members.

Fall schedule for Children’s church:
October: each Sunday except October 13 (Thanksgiving)
November: 10th, 17th, 24th
December: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd

For the children’s ministry:
Shanna Bernier, coordinator
Georgia Barratt-Lamey, part-time teacher
Samuel Vauvert Dansokho, pastor

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. Many Sundays feature a carefully planned children's church program, intended for those 3 and up. We also have a children's corner in the sanctuary with craft supplies and helpful volunteers for younger children, and for all kids on the Sundays when there is no children's church. Check the calendar elsewhere on this website to find out the schedule!

© Plymouth-Trinity United Church 2019