Westminster United Church
St. Catharines ON

L2R 2Z7

Who we are


For those who are seeking a church home, we extend a warm invitation to our congregation on behalf of Westminster United Church.

As a congregation, Westminster seeks to be inclusive of all those who come in good will. We recognize that people will be at different places in their faith journeys and that we will perhaps suit some people better than others, yet we encourage you to visit our congregation. We have been blessed by the presence of many talented and faithful people, and take much joy in the growth and shaping of our family of faith.

Westminster United Church is a 139 year old United Church set in the heart of the Queenston Neighbourhood of St Catharines. We are an active part of our community - there's always something happening at Westminster!

We offer church services on Sunday, with a flourishing Sunday School, and an enthusiastic church choir; always followed by coffee and goodies in the Fellowship Hall. We are a beautiful, traditional venue for Weddings and other events and receptions.

But the heart of the church is downstairs where community events of all types are held! We hosted the Harvest Festival - with over 400 attendees, Beef on a Bun and Pig Roast fundraisers for the church, AA Dinners & Dances and a Volunteer Appreciation Night for Out of the Cold!

We are truly a community haven as host to Out of the Cold on Sunday nights, Elves Emporium Craft Sale, Boy Scouts, Scicon Self Defense Classes, Avanti Chamber Singers, and so many more! Westminster United looks like your grandparent's church, but it's filled to the brim with people just like you!

Church Address

Westminster United Church
180 Queenston St
St. Catharines, ON L2R 2Z7
Phone: 905-682-8140
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Church Pastor

Rev. Elliston Bridger
Rev. Elliston Bridger
180 Queenston St
St. Catharines, ON L2R 2Z7
Phone: 905-682-8140
Download Minister Rev. Elliston Bridger vCard   Edit

Quote of the Day
Psalms 27:7

Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.




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Rev. Elliston Bridger   Edit
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Bruce Lilleyc   Edit
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180 Queenston St, St. Catharines, ON
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Service Times

Worship Service Sunday 10:00am

Westminster's doors are open to EVERYONE! Our weekly Sunday worship service is led by the Rev. Elliston Bridger. During the months of September to June, the music ministry is led by our choir. The children spend the first part of the service in the sanctuary, have a special time with Pastor Bridger and then go to their classrooms for Sunday School.

After the service, everyone is invited for a time of fellowship and refreshments in Elmer Ashley Hall.

The following special services are held throughout the year:

Palm Sunday

Good Friday

Easter Sunday

Remembrance Day

Christmas Eve (December 24, 7:00PM)

As per the directive of the General Council of the United Church of Canada,Worship Services at Westminster have been suspended in light of COVID-19 until further notice.

Service Times last updated on the 9th of April, 2020
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Weddings at Westminster

Westminster has been a site of choice for weddings for generations. One step into the sanctuary of the church and you will see why. The first step is to contact the church office at 905-682-8140 or send email to [email protected] to book your date. Please note, a deposit is required within 10 days of booking the church.

You will be required to meet with the minister at least twice before the rehearsal date   Edit

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History of Westminster United Church St. Catharines

Historical Sketch

1876 John McCalla, a member of Knox Presbyterian Church erected at his own expense of $1,000.00 a wooden building on Haynes Avenue, on farmland donated by Mr. D.C. Haynes. Haynes Avenue Presbyterian was built on the west side of Haynes Ave., in the area of Seneca St. The population of St. Catharines at the time was 11,000 people. It is a tribute to Mr. McCalla's faith in the future of this city and of the east end area that he built a church, confident that the years ahead would provide the people to occupy it and support it. The congregation numbered 29 at the start. This church served for 21 years, then under the leadership of Rev. W.H. Geddes another step forward was taken in the erection of a brick building on the comer of Queenston St. and Oakdale Avenue. The cornerstone was laid by Mrs. Mary McCalla on Aug.6,1895 and here the congregation worshipped for 20 years.

1922 The name of the church was changed from Haynes Avenue to Westminster Presbyterian Church.

1925 The church became part of the United Church of Canada. The need for further expansion was apparent if the needs of the ever increasing congregation were to be met.

1927 Today our beautiful Westminster Church stands as a monument to the vision and foresight of Rev. Alfred A.Thomson, under whose direction this church was built and dedicated Oct. 27,1927. During the depression the Church faced a time of anxiety and distress. In these trying years Westminster was encouraged by the spirit of Christian fellowship and understanding revealed by the churches of Niagara Presbytery. With the perseverance of a committed and faithful congregation this Church slowly moved forward.

1947 Rev. Elmer Ashley began his ministry in Westminster.

1951 The Church had a membership of approximately 750, and a Sunday School of more than 400, and many organizations serving the interests of a growing community.

1953 A long standing mortgage was liquidated.

1954 A sod turning ceremony was held for the construction of a large hall, a new kitchen and boiler room at a cost of $84,450.00.

1955 The new and remodeled Church hall facilities were opened and dedicated.

1967 The Rogers Organ was installed and dedicated.

1970 Additional parking space was purchased. We are reaping the fruits of foresight by those who built our church on a spacious lot. The new property is our investment in the future and its possible assets and requirements.

1971 The Rodgers Organ debt liquidated. Remodeling and refurnishing Church Parlor.

1972 Ordination of Donald H. Maclean.

1975 Developed new parking area. Work continued at a high level in preparation for our Centennial.

1976 A new sanctuary piano made possible largely by a gift from Mrs. Jean Noble of Edmonton, in memory of her husband and augmented by a contribution from the Emma Petrie Fund.

Installation of three new stained glass windows. The Centennial window made possible by a fund initiated by Miss Ellen McPherson and her Sunday School class quite awhile ago and added to through the years by the gifts of many individuals in memory of loved ones. A second window donated by Phyllis and Murray Corbin in memory of Mr. And Mrs. Walter Eckford; by the Fishleigh family in memory of Mrs. Dorothea Fishleigh and by Mr. Fred Barley, in memory of Marion Barley. The third window was given in memory of Mrs. Clara McKay, by her daughters Joan and Helen.

1977 Rev. Gordon Geiger begins his ministry at Westminster. The Manse was renovated and modernized. The Vestry was built.

1979 A new gym floor and a new stove. First edition of Chimes was printed in November.

1980 Church roof repaired and stacking chairs bought.

1981 Church exterior given a facelift and restoration. This project was completed in 1983

1982 David Chotka received as a candidate for the ministry.

1983 Two trees in front of the church removed and replaced by the Japanese Flowering Cherry trees.

1987 Rev. Norman Hair begins his ministry at Westminster. The Manse received a facelift and a new roof. A new heating system installed in the church.

1988 Window storm glazing begun and completed in the following year.

1989 Manse sold.

1990 New roof over kitchen and boiler area. New phone system installed. Painting and rejuvenation of the Sanctuary. Constructed a fireproof room for the Church Archives.

1991 Won Trillium Award for flower beds, presented by the City of St. Catharines. Coffee hour was started. New sound system installed.

1992 New gym roof. Thirteen windows removed from south side of gym and wall remodeled. Dedicated window in memory of Lawrence Jane, donated by Mrs. Ruth Jane; Ben Southam, donated by the Southam family; Richard Wyatt, donated by the Wyatt family and friends.

1994 Established two new evergreen planting beds.

1995 Rev. Stephen Shantz begins his ministry in Westminster.

1998 Jude Kudera is appointed as organist/choir director.

2000 An accessible washroom built. Infant nursery redecorated and furnished. Ground breaking ceremony was held September 27 for the installation of the Otis elevator.

2001 Our 125th Anniversary. Dedication of elevator February 18. Westminster is now fully accessible!

2004 Rev. Ron Pocklington - interim minister

2005 Rev. Debbie Shanks begins her ministry in Westminster   Edit

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The power of Christian prayer May your light illuminate our hearts
Eternal God, this holy night is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem this night fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as he humbled himself to share our humanity. Amen.
This page was last updated on the 9th of April, 2020
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