Friday, November 19, 2010

Metropolitan United Church

According to The London Public Library, the Metropolitan United Church was built in the Romanesque Revival style with a bell tower rising 170 feet. It could seat nearly 1,400 worshipers, though the congregation was then half that size. The cost of the site, the building, the furnishings and the organ came to just over $97,000, a substantial sum even for what was then the wealthiest Methodist church in London. At the laying of the cornerstone in 1895 the Free Press called it “Methodism’s Magnificent Temple.”

The new church was originally known as First Methodist Church until the congregation became part of the new United Church of Canada. This new denomination brought together Congregationalists, Methodists, and Presbyterians on June 10, 1925. The first service under the name Metropolitan United Church was on June 14, only four days after the union of churches had taken place.

Today, Metropolitan United in London Ontario may well have the largest congregation in the United Church of Canada and the oldest congregation in London.

This church is worth a second look and more than a second picture.

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