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A long tradition

Founded in 1909, our congregation is part of a progressive, liberal religious tradition called Unitarianism that began in the 16th century. We promote a non-dogmatic exploration of spiritual, intellectual, and ethical growth. Our community has served the greater Vancouver area through advocacy for peace, social justice, civil rights, environmental stewardship, education, interfaith dialogue and diversity, and through commitment and support for women’s issues and the LGBTQ+ community.

How we've grown

The first Unitarian service was held at the Maple Leaf Theatre downtown on Granville Street in early 1909. The service was conducted by Dr. Wilbur, Principal of the Unitarian Pacific School for the Ministry at Berkeley, California.

A little later a small group of enthusiastic people decided to organize a congregation. The first regular service was held December 19, 1909, in the Lester Court building at the corner of Davie and Granville. 

The congregation built its first building, completed in 1913 at Granville and West 10th Avenue which was then on the outskirts of the city. The building was the congregation’s home for the next fifty years.

The American Unitarian Association, now the Unitarian Universalist Association, in Boston, and the General Assembly of Unitarian Churches in London assisted the church financially. They continued to provide financial assistance until the congregation became self-supporting in the 1960s during the ministry of Reverend Phillip Hewett.

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A unique campus and heritage venue in the heart of Vancouver

A Designated Heritage Building

Designed by architect Wolfgang Gerson, our award-winning 1964 buildings, the sanctuary, Hewett Centre, and the office building, are noted for their “simplicity and serenity.” Our campus buildings are sought after event rental spaces and have been voted among the “most beautiful” in Vancouver by a panel of architectural experts.

What's next at VanU