Newcomer FAQs

Welcome to First Parish!

Whether you are just passing through, or seeking a new religious home, we hope you will visit us. Below are some frequently asked questions about First Parish.  Please feel free to contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (978-256-5555), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,  or the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (978-256-5133) with questions also.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you located?

We are the big white church in the center of Chelmsford. Our address is 2 Westford St.
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What times are your services?

During the regular church year (September to June) we hold 2 services, a morning service at 10:45 am, and an evening service at 5:30 pm. Our summer services are held at 9:00 am in the Chapel. The first regular morning service for 2013 is on September 8th, and the first evening service is on September 15th.
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What time should I arrive?

For the 10:45 service, we suggest you aim to arrive at the parking lot by 10:30. If this is the first time for your children, we suggest you arrive at 10:20 so that you can meet the RE staff. They will ensure your children are placed in the right class.
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Where should I park?

 We have a very small parking lot next to the church.  We try to keep the limited spaces in our own small lot behind the church avaliable for newcomers, visitors, families with young children and those who need to use our handicapped parking spaces. So, if you are new to us please feel free to use this lot.  Addidtional places for parking are behind the Fiske House/ Santander Bank (entrance on Rt 129 just past the intersection) and Eastern Bank (entrance beside the Fire department, exit across from St. Mary's). There is some additional on-street parking on Westford St, and in the center of town.

Where do I go for the service?

You can enter the church through the front of the building, facing the town center, or you can use either door on Westford St. You will find coat-racks on the lower floor of the RE wing.  Our accessible entrance is the door on Westford St closest to the front of the church.
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What do people wear to this church

You may dress up or dress casually. People wear whatever makes them feel comfortable for the occasion. Adults wear everything from suits to jeans. Children are encouraged to wear clothes appropriate to the activities in which they will be engaged.
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What do children do during the services?

Children ages 4 through Grade 12 are invited to attend Sunday School during the morning service. Nursery care is provided for children aged 1 - 3 at the morning service. See the Religious Education pages for more information.
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May my child stay with me during the service?

Certainly, children are always welcome in the sanctuary.   If your child becomes restless and you need to leave the service with your child, you are welcome to sit in the narthex at the back of the church and listen to the service over loud speakers there.
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Is First Parish accessible?

Yes. We have handicapped accessible parking available in our parking lot,  an elevator and an accessible bathroom. Our accessible entrance is on Westford St, the door closest to the front of the church. We also provide assistive hearing devices and have Braille hymnals for the service. These are available from the ushers at the back of the church.
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How do the morning and evening services differ?

Our morning service is the more traditional service. This service typically consists of a For All ages story, readings related to the day's sermon and the sermon. We have a number of choirs that perform music during the service. Children and youth attend the service until after the For All Ages story, and then go to their Religious Education Classes. Once a month, our service is an intergenerational service where the children and youth stay for the entire service. After the service we all join together for coffee and fellowship in the lower level Vestry.

The evening service is held in the Chapel and is a more contemplative service. The sermon is typically the same as the morning service, but delivered in a smaller more intimate setting. There is no RE or childcare provided for the evening service, but children are welcome to attend.
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Where do you post snow cancellations?

Snow cancellation notices will be on the WBZ storm center (TV Channel 4,WBZ AM radio 1030, and on the web).There will be also notice of a closure on the church's main answering machine (978-256-5133). We will also try to get the word out via email (the Events list), Facebook, Twitter and the website, but we cannot guarantee this.
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What kind of church is First Parish?

First Parish Church is Unitarian Universalist church, and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)
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What kind of religion is Unitarian Universalism?

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion with Judeo-Christian roots. It has no creed, but we do share a core set of principles based on the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and the freedom of belief and search for advancing truth. For more information of Unitarian Universalism, visit the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) website.
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How big is First Parish

We are considered a small to medium size congregation of approximately 200 adults and 120 young adults and children.
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Is everyone welcomed?

Yes, we welcome all who visit our services. We invite and encourage you to join with us celebrating the diversity of life among our fellowship and in our communities.
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What do you mean by "Welcoming Congregation"?

As of July, 2007, First Parish Chelmsford became officially recognized by the UUA as a Welcoming Congregation.
A “Welcoming Congregation” is defined by our Unitarian Universalist Association as open, tolerant, and welcoming of Gay, Bi-Sexual, Lesbian, and Transgender (GBLT) persons.
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How do I get more information about First Parish?

Please feel free to contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,  or the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions about our church. For more general information, and to sign up for our newlsetters, visit our contact information page.  We are also of Facebook and Twitter (@uuchelmsford).  Most importantly, come visit us!
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What are the Church Office hours

The office is open weekdays from 8:00am to 12:00pm. A call ahead is advisable to check to see if the office is attended.

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. : 978-256-5133
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. : 978-256-5555
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. : 978-256-5133

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