Trinity United Church
was originally a Wesleyan Methodist Church. From about
1790, traveling Methodist preachers held services in
homes or small chapels throughout this areas. They
traveled on foot and by horseback, covering large areas
called "circuits" and became known as "circuit riders"
or "saddle-bag preachers." The first church on this
property was a small frame chapel, 30' by 40', built in
1824 and dedicated November 28th. The building cost 300
pounds. At that time, the population of Cobourg was
about 100 people.
1852, the frame chapel was replaced by a larger brick
church simple Gothic design with tower and spire,seating
390 people. The architect was William G.
Storm of Kingston. The west half of our present church,
including the main entrance and the north and south
porch entrances date from this time. The interior at
that time had exposed beams across the ceiling, and pews
closed by partitions with small doors. The gallery
stairs at the back date from 1860. The church was
enlarged to accommodate the growing population of both
town and Victoria College.
was built on the north side of Chapel Street in 1872.
Sold in 1992, it is now used for commercial purposes. A
Sunday School Hall was built beside the parsonage in
1881. Used as a Sunday School until 1959, it became the
Cobourg Public Library until 1995.
The Present Building
and expansion of the church was undertaken in 1900-1901
to accommodate an increased membership due to the union
of the several branches of Methodism in this area.
Renamed the Cobourg Methodist Church, the building was
enlarged by the addition of the transepts and a new
chancel and organ loft. The interior was redesigned with
arches, stained glass windows, and new semi-circular
pews of oak and ash Trinity United 1900 purchased from
Waterloo, Ontario. The oak railing and woodwork in the
chancel were purchased from Messrs. Henderson Bros.,
local contractors, and members of the congregation. The
sanctuary seats approximately 800 people.
2023 Trinity installed a pipe organ that was formally
housed at Blenheim United Church in Chatham/Kent. The
1910 Warren Church Organ Co./1951 Woodstock / 1978
Principal Pipe Organ was rebuilt and installed by
Dossenbach Organ Services. The organ has 1201 pipes
played by 2 manuals and pedal. The installation included
activating the 12 speaking facade pipes and zimblestern
from the Trinity United 1901 Karn organ. The organ is
placed in memory of the Troope family.
June 10, 1925, the United Church of Canada was born. The
union of the Methodist, Congregationalist and some of
the Presbyterian churches brought into being the largest
Protestant denomination in Canada. The name, Trinity,
was chosen by ballot in 1926.
years of planning, working and praying brought to
completion the addition to the church property known as
the Christian Education Centre. Dedicated on June 25,
1960, the building cost approximately $200,000. It
contains an auditorium, library, offices, Sunday School
rooms, ladies' parlour, kitchen and basement play area.
restoration of Trinity United Church was begun in May,
1989 and completed in time for the rededication service
on June 10, 1990. The project entailed replacing and
repairing brick work, installing a new cedar roof,
rebuilding the minarets and steeple on the bell tower,
and installing a new floor in the basement of the
sanctuary. New lighting for the exterior of the
sanctuary was added, and the north and south porches
The "Hand of Man"
goal of the restoration was to replace the finial on
top of the steeple, which represents a hand pointing
to heaven, and serves as a weather vane. There are
only four examples of this hand in North America, all
located on churches built in the 1850's.
Prepared by the
Archives committee of Trinity United Church. For more
information, you can obtain a copy of the
congregation's history A Journey of Faith, from the
Church Office, or contact the church Archivist.