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South Side United Church Municipal Heritage Building

Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/11/15

View of South Side United Church from main road though Twillingate. ; HFNL 2007
South Side United Church, Twillingate
View of South Side United Church showing original scalloped false front.; F.R. Hayward/ HFNL 2007
South Side United Church, Twillingate
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/04/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

South Side United Church is located on Church Lane in the community of Twillingate, NL. Vernacular in design, the church was built in 1868, following a fire that destroyed an earlier church on the same site. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

South Side United Church has been designated a municipal heritage building by the Town of Twillingate because of its historic, aesthetic and cultural value.

South Side United Church has historic value as it is a physical reminder of the growth of Methodism both in the community of Twillingate and the greater Notre Dame Bay region. Methodism first came to Twillingate in the early 1800s and quickly found many followers. A church was built on this site in 1841 to meet the needs of the growing Methodist congregation, serving as the Mother Church for Notre Dame Bay. The name of the church reflects the amalgamation of Methodism with other protestant faiths to form the United Church. South Side United Church is also a testament to a former way of life once common in many small communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. When the Methodist community of Twillingate needed a new church following a fire in 1868, members of the congregation quickly answered the call to cut timber for a new church. Such community efforts to erect public buildings were once a very common practice in small communities. These projects speak to an earlier way of life which is waning in the face of centralized religious governance and regional concentration of places of worship.

South Side United Church has further historical value as it was the site of a blessing and service each spring for sealers heading to the seal hunt. Sealing is very much a way of life in Twillingate and along the Northeast Coast. South Side United Church was one of many outport churches that held services to ask for the protection of sealers as they took part in an activity vital to the traditional, subsistence way of life in rural communities.

South Side United Church has aesthetic value as an example of a large, vernacular church in a large outport and for the quality of craftsmanship. Designed by Reverends John Goodison and H.L. Cranford and constructed with local wood, it was built with the help of the congregation to replace a former building destroyed by fire in February of 1868. The present condition of the church is a testament to the quality of craftsmanship during this period. South Side United Church has further aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. It is clearly visible from many vantage points throughout the community of Twillingate and its bell tower has long been used as a marine navigational marker by fishermen in the community.

South Side United Church has cultural value for current Twillingate residents who continue to aid in the maintenance of the church property. Its sentimental value is evidenced through efforts by the NorthEast Church Heritage Association Incorporated to maintain the church as a museum. These efforts harken back to a time and place when religion played an important role in outport communities.

Source: Town of Twillingate Regular Council Meeting Motion #06-244 November 15, 2006

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements which represent the historic, aesthetic and cultural value of the site, including:
- mid-pitched gable roof;
- number of storeys;
- narrow wooden clapboard;
- corner boards;
- window size, style, trim and placement;
- 12/12 paned windows;
- size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
- location of entrances;
- location, size and style of bell tower;
- general massing of the structure.
- dimensions, location and orientation of building, and;
- unobstructed view from Church Lane, Main Street and from ocean approaches.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type




Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

Rev. John Goodison



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street St. John's, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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