Our History


Westminster United Church began as a call to develop a Christian community which would nurture and support the many children in the residential corridor between Oshawa and Whitby.

In March 1958, Oshawa Presbytery supported the decision to form a new congregation. On November 16, 1958 the congregation was officially constituted with 41 charter members. During 1959, the building site on Manning Road in Whitby was purchased and on April 3, 1960 the first building was opened and dedicated. In 1963, the church called the Revered John Porter to be its first full-time minister. Prior to that time, Westminster had been part of a two-point charge with Westmount United Church with Reverend William Gibb and Reverend J. Ward as ministers.

In 1980, Westminster developed a senior citizens non-profit housing complex adjacent to the church. Managed by church members, Manning Mews provides twenty units, half of which have rents scaled to income.

In 1992, The Manning Road building was expanded by 50% as existing space was inadequate for the church school and for all the other demands on the building. This project was completed in the spring of 1992.

In 1995, Parish Nursing was introduced and welcomed by the Westminster community through the services of a part-time Parish Nurse. A focus on health and wellness has been an integral strength for our church for the past 15 years. We are recognized as one of the pioneers of Parish Nursing in Canada. Gail Brimbecom was our pioneer Parish Nurse, retiring in December 2005. She was succeeded by Marian Leek, who moved onto a full-time nursing position in mid 2009. Since then the Parish Nurse position has not been re-staffed.

Palm Sunday walk to the new Westminster United Church building, 2003.

In 2001, the Westminster congregation determined that they had finally outgrown the church building on Manning Road and a decision was made to build a new church at our current location at 1850 Rossland Road. The church was completed in time for Palm Sunday in 2003.

The history of Westminster is one of community spirit and sharing. Together its members have built a centre of worship, christian education and outreach. There have always been dedicated volunteers, choir members, church school leaders and committed ministers and members to continue the work first begun in 1958.