Upcoming Events

Service Times

Sunday Services
10:00 am 


Church School

10:00 am - 11:15 am
Age 4 through High School
Childcare available

Worship Schedule 
Recent Sermons


Our Mission Statement

The mission of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford is to be a welcoming, inclusive and nurturing environment for worship and spiritual growth. The church community promotes and encourages respect for each individual in his/her search for truth and development of personal values; learning through an open-minded exchange of ideas; and compassion for and commitment to each other and the world.
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What kind of church is First Parish?

First Parish is a liberal religious communityin the Unitarial Universalist tradition. We do not hold one another to any creed or doctrine. All develop their own beliefs and are encouraged to spiritual growth. We honor the truths in all the world’s religions. We respect Jesus as he is found in the Gospels, and other great teachers. We strive for a world community founded on ideals of human kinship, justice and peace. We encourage cooperation among people of goodwill in every land, and we encourage respectful relationship with our natural environment.
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The First Parish Covenant

Covenant is at the heart of Unitarian Universalism. Our Principles and Purposes are the covenant that binds all of our individual Unitarian Universalist congregations together. In our tradition, we do not gather around a creed, or a set of stated right beliefs that one must adhere to in order to be accepted into membership of the congregation or church. Rather, we gather around covenant or the promises we make, after discussion, about how we wish to walk together in religious and spiritual community. Individuals make the choice to freely enter into covenant with one another and the congregation as a whole, to make and receive the commitments offered therein. The creation of our own covenant was a year long process, involing the entire First Parish community.
We, the members of First Parish of Chelmsford, covenant together to sustain and strengthen our beloved community by:
  • Honoring and celebrating the Spirit of Life
  • Nurturing all souls in our search for truth and the sacred
  • Caring and being present to one another in our joys and sorrows
  • Bearing witness through service to justice and peace
  • And being good stewards of our congregation, our heritage, our Unitarian Universalist Principles, and our earth.
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How are we governed?

First Parish is a democratic society. The church members determine the budget, call the minister and elect officers, including the church’s governing board which guides the business affairs, administration and policy of the church. The society is funded by pledged contributions and fund-raising activities by the congregants.
Membership is open to those in general agreement with the aims and principles of the society. While we hope that friends of the church will want to join us by signing the Book of Membership, they are welcome to participate in all activities as friends except voting in a parish meeting.
For further details, see the Church Bylaws.
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Activities

  • Introductions to UUism and the church are held periodically for newcomers.
  • Social activities include dinners and programs, Christmas caroling, Passover Seder, picnics and outings.
  • Adult Education is offered on a variety of topics by the minister, staff and laypeople, on Sunday mornings before church and some week nights.
  • Choirs for adults and children enhance our worship and provide a chance to sing.
  • A Women’s Discussion Group meets monthly in members’ homes, dealing with topics of interest to women.
  • The Caring Connection connects people to people in temporary emergency situations, and in service exchanges.
  • The Women’s Alliance holds monthly social and educational programs and performs many service projects.
  • Annual fundraising events include the Holiday Fair in December, Spring Auction, May Breakfast and July Fourth celebration.
  • We participate in interfaith and social/civic actions in the community and beyond.
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Religious Education at First Parish

Our cooperative church school encourages all parents to contribute by teaching, speaking or playing music for children’s chapel services, serving on the R.E. Committee, or helping plan and carry out special activities.
Church school for children from age four through high school is held at the same time as the church service. The children begin the hour with 15 minutes of worship, either in the chapel or with the adults in the sanctuary. A nursery is provided for children under four years of age.
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Community and World Outreach

We participate in local interfaith services and activities. The church building is used by several community groups, including Girl Scouts,12-step recovery groups and a group of Muslims who worship and hold education classes here. Groups and individuals support and work with several organizations providing services to others:
  • Open Pantry of Greater Lowell: monthly collection of dry and canned goods in the sanctuary.
  • Community Table: monthly meals provided in a ‘soup kitchen’ at the local Y.M.C.A.
  • Table of Plenty: weekly meal every Tuesday evening at First Parish. First Parish cooks for TOP once every 6 weeks.
  • Mitten Tree: Christmas service project run by the Junior Youth Group. Donations go to The Middlesex Shelter, House of Hope and Alternative House, (shelters for battered women and homeless persons).
  • Lowell Wish Project: Fall service project run by the Senior Youth Group. The Lowell Wish Project collects household goods and clothing for people in need.
  • New Orleans (NOLA) service trip: A week ling trip to New Orleans to work on restoring the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
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Building Use

First Parish is available for weddings, child dedications and memorial services. You do not have to be a member of our church to have your function at First Parish. Any group interested in making use of the building should contact our sexton, Leila Pelosi
Building Use Rules & Procedures
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Our History

This religious society began as the Church of Christ in Wenham in 1644. In 1655, at the request of the early settlers in Chelmsford, the minister, Rev. John Fiske, with most of his church, moved to Chelmsford to establish the First Parish. As the first, and for many years the only, church in Chelmsford, its history is inextricably connected with that of the town. For nearly 200 years, the Chelmsford town meeting and the First Parish meeting were one and the same, and it was not until 1831 that the church elected its own officers distinct from town officials.
The present building is the fourth on the same site. In the first meeting house people were seated according to age, rank and estate, by a committee of citizens. In 1712 the second meeting house was erected, and privately owned pews began to supersede benches. The third, built in 1792, burned down on the evening of February 13, 1842, and was replaced by the present structure. At that time the Universalist Society joined the Unitarian Society to form the United Parish - more than a century before the continental merger resulting in the Unitarian Universalist Association. By the 1870s the church had evolved into a primarily Unitarian Society.
The town built the brick basement, which was used as a town hall until 1880. The present Sunday School and office area and the Chapel, were added at the rear of the building in 1956.
For more historical information, see First Parish Facts. For information about our building maintained by the Chelmsford Historical Society.
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Welcoming Congregation
Proud to be a

Welcoming Congregation

First Parish Covenant

We, the members of First Parish of Chelmsford, covenant together to sustain and strengthen our beloved community by:
Honoring and celebrating the Spirit of Life
Nurturing all souls in our search for truth and the sacred
Caring and being present to one another in our joys and sorrows
Bearing witness through service to justice and peace
And being good stewards of our congregation, our heritage, our Unitarian Universalist Principles, and our earth.

Worshipping

Worship Schedule

Welcome Newcomers

Newcomers

Sermons

Sermons

Assisted Hearing Devices availableWheelchair AccessibleUUA Welcoming Congregation

Contact Info

First Parish Church
2 Westford St
Chelmsford MA 01824

978-256-5133