We are a congregation of The United Church of Canada and hold to the expression of faith as expressed in the Basis of Union and subsequent United Church doctrinal statements.
The history of our church began when a Presbyterian church was built in Kensington in 1886 on a piece of donated land and a Methodist church was built two years later in 1888, also on donated land.
Following Church Union (when the United Church was formed as an Act of Parliament) in 1925 all of the Methodists and the majority of the Presbyterians joined and became the Kensington United Church. The former Presbyterian Church continued to be a Presbyterian Church while the former Methodist building was extensively renovated in 1928 to accommodate the needs of the larger congregation.
The Murray Christian Education Centre was added in 1965 to accommodate a growing need for outreach facilities and continues in this role today.
Summerfield United Church
It was largely through the efforts of Rev. Hugh Dunbar, a Presbyterian minister who also taught school in Norboro, that a church building was first started in Summerfield in 1855. Land for the building and an adjoining cemetery was donated by Mr. Peter Sinclair.
Two years later Mr. Dunbar died suddenly while traveling from his home to the school and was the first person to be buried in the Summerfield cemetery.
Although the interior of the church was not finished immediately, it was fitted with rough seats and used for services until 1888 when the congregation decided that a larger church was necessary. The old building was moved and converted into a public hall.
The second church was opened on January 13, 1889. In 1909 an organ was first used in the church with Miss Annie MacDonald (later Mrs. Hugh MacKay) as organist.
Following Church Union discussions between the Methodist, Congregationalist and Presbyterian Churches in Canada, in March of 1925 the congregation voted, by a slim margin, to enter The United Church of Canada - but the building would not be around for the June 10, 1925 date of Union because on April 29, 1925 the spire was struck by lightning and the building burned to the ground, but the church pews and the furnishings were saved.
Undeterred, the congregation held services in the hall, which had formally been their church building and it was outfitted with the pews and furnishing saved from the fire. A new church was constructed and officially opened in morning, afternoon and evening services held on November 7, 1926. At this time in our history the Rev. Dr. J. R. Saint was the minister and the congregation was part of the Kensington Pastoral Charge of The United Church of Canada.
On April 27, 2008 with a dwindling membership the congregation of Summerfield held its final services with regular morning worship and an evening service of decommissioning. On May 1, 2008 the congregations of Summerfield and Kensington were amalgamated by the Presbytery and now form one congregation worshipping in the Kensington United Church.
The history of our church continues as we live each day as we continue to reach out to the local community and the world. We invite you to be a part of that history as we continue to faithfully serve the Kensington area.
Ministers since church union (1925)
Rev. Dr. J. R. Saint: 1926-1931
Rev. W. S. Loring: 1931-1935
Rev. B. C. Salter: 1935-1940
Rev. A. D. Sterling: 1940-1944
Rev. Lewis M. Murray: 1944-1965
Rev. Gordon MacBeth: 1965-1969
Rev. Boyce Elliott: 1969-1974
Rev. Donald C. Boothroyd: 1974-1979
Rev. Jack R. Spencer: 1979 - 2012
Rev. Robert McCarthy: 2012 - present