Collection FG 09 - Church Union collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Church Union collection

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Title notes

  • Variations in title: Previously identified as Church Union Materials series (A.381.IX).

Level of description


Reference code

FG 09

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

77.5 cm of textual records
4 maps
1 poster

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Joint Committee officially convened in April 1904, in Toronto, bringing together appointed representatives from the Congregationalist, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, to negotiate church union. Meetings continued through to 1908, when the terms written in the Basis of Union were agreed upon and sent to the negotiating churches, for discussion and approval. By 1912, both the Congregationalists and the Methodists had agreed to the terms. The decision was more contentious for the Presbyterian Church, though in 1916, their General Assembly decided to go ahead with the union.
Between 1916 and 1925, the Joint Committee worked to complete the union and defeat those opposing it, including the newly formed Presbyterian Church Association.

Custodial history

Records in the collection were likely transferred to the archives between 1925 and 1986. Their original provenance is unclear but the finding aid (written ca.1986) notes that they may have come to the archives at different times and/or from different sources, as suggested by the names noted on some documents – including E.H. Oliver, D.S. Dix, and Walter C. Murray. At some point, Conference archivists brought together the various items, under Church Union Material, though it could have been filed alongside other records in the Archive Collections.

Scope and content

The collection consists of primarily textual materials relating to the Church Union movement and the organizations involved, including the Joint Committee on Church Union. There appears to be a mix of original documents and various published and copied items.

Contents include: Basis of Union documents from the Presbyterian Church (1905-1908) and Methodist Church (1909); records of proceedings, minutes, and publications by and relating to the Joint Committee on Church Union and its Subcommittees; documents relating to proposed legislation (1922-1924), the Act Incorporating the United Church of Canada, House of Commons debates on the topic, and associated Saskatchewan legislation (1924); publications and articles relating to the anti-union movement and the legal issues resulting from the division of the Presbyterian Church; copies of information regarding the voting returns on Union from across Canada (1925-1926); maps showing communities with local union churches; and a poster published by the Union Committee of the Presbyterian Church (1924).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Original order for many of these records is unclear. Items listed under A.381.IX were arranged sometime before 1990 and described as part of this collection in 2016. In 2023, records of the Provincial Church Union Committee and those by/regarding the Commission Pursuant to the United Church Act were re-described as fonds (see Related Materials).

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication, and/or reproduction of records are subject to the conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult archivist for assistance.

Finding aids

GS-168 includes original file and series listings, in section A.381.IX.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Box numbers (pink label): 4174, 4175, 4176, 4177
Box numbers (green label): 255

Alpha-numeric designations

Textual records: A.381.IX.B.1 to B.21, B.23, B.24, B.26; A.381.IX.D; A.381.IX.E;
Graphic materials: A.381.IX.B.25;
Maps: A.381.IX.B.22

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