who we are
Welcome to First Parish in Hingham, Unitarian Universalist, known as Old Ship Church.
We are a liberal Unitarian Universalist community of about 250 members of all ages. More than 100 children and youth participate in our religious education programming. We worship in an historic Meeting House and we hold religious education classes and gather after services in our Parish House across the street. Our minister, Rev. Kenneth H. Read-Brown, has been with us for more than 25 years.
Our Meeting House, a National Historic Landmark, has stood on Hingham’s Main Street since 1681. It is the only remaining 17th-century Puritan meeting house in the U.S.
Our community encourages personal spiritual growth through worship, engagement and service to others.
We do not require adherence to a specific creed. We affirm the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Principles and Sources, and we support each individual's unique search for truth and meaning. We are proud that our community is both a "Welcoming Congregation" and a "Green Sanctuary," both official designations from the Unitarian Universalist Association. We cherish diversity of religious backgrounds, racial and cultural identities or backgrounds, ethnicities, national origins, ages, ranges of ability, sexual orientations, gender expressions, financial means, educations, and political perspectives. We welcome all to share in congregational life.
What are Unitarian Universalists? click here.
Copyright and Text—Unitarian Universalist Association
tours of Old Ship Meeting House
We love to give tours of Old Ship Church!
Have family in for the holidays? We are giving a tour on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 2pm. Join us!
From September 1 - June, we are happy to give tours, but kindly request two days notice in order to arrange a volunteer tour guide. Please call 781-749-1679 or email the office to schedule a tour. Please note: Old Ship Church is not open unless there is a tour scheduled.
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MINISTER'S BLOG: Musings etc.
SERMON ARCHIVES: read Ken's sermons here
Click here for directions
Curious about the early history of Old Ship and of Hingham?
Purchase this excellent DVD, televised in 1998 on The History Channel®. Details here…
We are very pleased to welcome you to Old Ship. We want you to feel comfortable among us. For a glimpse into our congregation, please watch this introduction to Old Ship Church, a video put together by our student minister intern, Dave Egan. Enjoy!
From September through mid June, our worship service, held in the Meeting House at 90 Main St., begins promptly at 10:25 am and lasts about an hour. You can park along Main Street on either side of the street, or along the circular driveway in front of the Parish House. A few handicapped-accessible spaces are located at the top of the circular drive in front of the Meeting House. Childcare, located in the Parish House, is available before and during Sunday services.
Our Parish House, where we hold religious education classes, child care, fellowship hour,
meetings, the office, etc. is across Main Street from the Meeting House at 107 Main St.
Click here for more information about what to expect on Sunday morning.
upcoming worship services
Sunday, January 21
Ken’s sermon will be “The ‘Useless’ Tree” – based on a story from the Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu. Is anything or anyone actually useless? Maybe it just takes deeper discernment.
At noon in the Parish House parlor, Old Ship member Rev. Shuma Chakravarty will be speaking about and reading from her book “Glimpses of Anne of Cleves”. What can we learn from the life and character of Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII?
Sunday, January 28
This will be the annual pulpit exchange with Second Parish in Hingham. Ken will be preaching at Second Parish, and Rev. Stephanie Shute Kelsch will be preaching here at Old Ship. Stephanie’s sermon will be: “The Uses of ‘Groundhog Day’”. She writes: “This 25-year-old Bill Murray comedy has been used as everything from the basis of a recent musical to an instructional tool for religious education. How can a story focused an on old tradition continue to have such relevance? This sermon will explore the implication of the holiday’s spiritual, secular, commercial, and comedic questions.
At noon there will be a forum discussion in the Parish House Parlor sponsored by our Anti-Racism Group. All are invited to attend.
Coffeehouse off the Square presents Fellswater on Saturday, January 20 at 8 pm
This vibrant, varied Celtic group plays music from all the Celtic nations and periods. They draw on traditional music especially from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Canada, and across all time periods from the truly traditional to
contemporary compositions. They play the Irish flute, whistle, guitar, octave mandolin, violin, scottish smallpipes, border pipes, and varied forms of percussion. Fellswater has played for audiences from 20 to 8,000 at settings as varied as Highland games, the Boston Celtic Music fest, and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tatoo, and they have two albums out, “Fellswater”, and ”Thursday Night”. Now hear them indoors in our intimate Fellowship Hall. Admission is $15 at the door.
Support Old Ship
Old Ship is proud that the Meeting House Restoration Project completed in 2014 received a significant award: The 2015 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award, given for Restoration and for Stewardship. Click here to donate to helping preserve the historic Old Ship Church, including the current major project: restoring its steeple.
Support Old Ship Church through Amazon Smiles!
Using this link below, shop on Amazon and a portion of the sales are donated back to Old Ship!
How? Start here: https://smile.amazon.com/ and designate Old Ship Church as your charity of choice.
Celebrating Ken's 30th anniversary
Hear the choir sing "The Mild-Mannered Preacher"