Robinson United Church,1061 Richmond St, London, Ontario, history
Robinson United History 1891 – 2010
The New North-End Mission was started in the summer of 1890 by Queen’s Avenue Methodist Church as open-air worship services for the developing north London. With a growing congregation and through the generosity of George Robinson and Thomas Whiskard, a wooden church was built at the corner of Richmond and Sherwood in 1891 on land donated by Thomas McCormick.
In 1912, a much larger brick church named Robinson Memorial Methodist Church, was opened on the original site. The new building enabled the congregation to provide activities for all ages including Sunday school, youth groups, sports teams, choirs, musical groups, men’s and women’s groups. At the Church union in 1925, the name was changed to Robinson Memorial United Church.
Bible Study groups have studied the scriptures throughout the entire history of Robinson in many forms, including programs led by the Minister, the use of the Kerygma and Bethel Bible study programs and, for several years, the UCW combined Bible Study and yoga.
Robinson also provided facilities for neighbourhood groups including Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, Girls’ Groups, Explorers and CGIT. Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups were provided meeting facilities at nominal or no cost.
Robinson began as a mission church and actively lived that mission through its 119 years. During the late eighties, Robinson tried to get approval to build seniors’ apartments on land purchased beside the Church. After this proposal was turned down by the City, the houses were refitted for use as Student housing with Church support for the students via a Young Persons and Careers group. In 1996, Joanne Hamilton and Scott Woolford approached the Board asking for support for Out-of-the-Cold and Hospitality Meal programs. They were immediately supported and the Hospitality meal has continued and was transferred to Rowntree. The Out-of-the-Cold program was taken on by other organizations.
In 2010, Robinson members voted to close the church and officially amalgamated with Colborne Street United Church. While the majority of the members transferred to Colborne Street United, 44% of the Robinson congregation transferred to Rowntree Memorial United Church. Proceeds from the sale of Robinson were shared between the two receiving Churches
Robinson’s history in point form
1890 Reverend Boyd of Queens Avenue Methodist Church, now Metropolitan United Church, determined there was a need for a new church in North London.
1890 Open air services were held in the summer months on our present site.
1890 Work began on a wooden building on land donated by Thomas McCormick.
1891 The new North London Mission church held its first service. The building was contributed by Mr. George Robinson and Mr. Whiskard.
1912 A new, larger building which could seat 700 was opened for service.
1916 The new Casavant organ was installed.
1925 The Methodist, Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches joined to form the United Church of Canada.
1952 The Church Sanctuary was renovated and a new Sunday School wing added thanks to the generous donation of Mr. & Mrs. H.T.N. Reynolds.
1989 The Coffee Room was transformed into the Wallace Room.
1991 Robinson Memorial United celebrated its centennial.
1999 Reverend Tracy Crick joined Robinson.
One-World Talent Show, May 2010, raised funds for a well, Washrooms, and health & hygiene training in Cooper Town, Liberia.
Jan 1, 2011- Amalgamation with Colborne St United, ( 47 members went to Colborne, 37 to Rowntree )