As seen in the November 25, 2021, Sudbury Crier and the Sudbury Patch.
First Parish of Sudbury is excited to announce the award of a grant of $25,000 from the Sudbury Foundation. This generous grant will support consultation with the Partners for Sacred Places, a nonsectarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to the stewardship and active community use of historic sacred places across America.
First Parish traces its roots to 1640, with the Meetinghouse being constructed in 1797. As First Parish prepares to celebrate its 225th year in 2022, the grant will allow it to explore options for further ways the Meetinghouse building can be used by the entire Sudbury community.
During the initial Discovery Phase, which will take place over the next few weeks, Partners for Sacred Places will identify and interview potential community stakeholders who may want to become collaborators and partners in the future of the Meetinghouse. This will include Sudbury community members, business owners, civic leaders, and foundation boards to analyze how the historic building may best serve the entire community.
The Meetinghouse, the second on the present site, has a long history in Sudbury, and the First Parish of Sudbury has been the building’s consistent and dedicated caretaker for 224 years. When it was constructed by the people of Sudbury, the church and town were one, and thus the Meetinghouse served two purposes. It functioned as a Town Hall and was also the place to gather for Sunday worship, elections, and lectures—until church functions and town government were separated in 1836.
In addition to its use as First Parish’s church, the Meetinghouse continues to open its doors to town organizations including Sudbury Extended Day, exercise and meditation groups, Tai Chi lessons, French language and culture classes, as well as AA, and music groups.