The beginning of Methodism, now included in the United Church of Canada, in the Newcastle neighbourhood goes back to 1824. The first faith gathering was conducted by a Circuit Rider preacher and held at the Jose home on King Street (highway #2). In June, 2007 the home was officially recognized as an historical site. Today, members of the Jose family worship and faithfully serve at Newcastle United Church.
There was no official church building until 1846, when it was decided to build a frame church on the corner of Church and Emily streets. Dedicated on March 16, 1851, it became the first church to be constructed in Newcastle. It had no pews in the beginning; blocks and planks were used for seats!
The present church was built in 1867 with the cornerstone being laid on May 24th. A large deep-toned bell (which is still in use) and a pipe organ were installed. In 1877 the congregation had outgrown the capacity of the church. The building was enlarged by extending it to the west. The organ was moved, a vestry was furnished and a choir loft was built behind the pulpit. A new brick Sunday School at the west end was opened in 1893. Several months later, the old frame church was destroyed by fire.
In 1909, the Massey family made proposals to repair the church that surpassed the highest expectations of the congregation. The interior of the church was renovated. A new ceiling was put in, a new porch added to the main entrance on Mill St. South, the old pews were replaced, an altar, pulpit and choir loft were furnished to match. A new pipe organ was also installed. The Sunday School hall was extended twenty-five feet and was suitably equipped. The congregation subscribed $1,660. The Massey family not only covered the remainder of the cost, but they also donated a new parsonage, in memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hart Massey. (This building still stands at the north east corner of Mill St. South and Caroline St.)
June 1964 brought major renovations to the exterior as well as interior of the building, which updated and resorted the church.
Between 1965 and 1976 the original windows were replaced by memorial windows. You can view these beautiful stained glass windows in our photo gallery.
In 1999, donations in the form of in memoriam gifts were used to purchase a new 3 manual Allan organ. The original pipes remain in their position.
In 2011, donations from the Special Gifts Fund and the congregation helped to restore the front façade and bell tower.
In 2014, Newcastle United Church celebrated it’s 190th anniversary!