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!
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.
To receive weekly e-updates, sign up here.
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.
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
Wednesday, November 22, 7pm
The annual Interfatih Community Thanksgiving Service is sponsored by the Hingham Hull Religious Leaders Association and hosted at our Old Ship Meeting House. Representatives of UU, Christian, and Jewish congregations in Hingham and Hull will participate in the service; and the music will be led by our own Chris Hossfeld. In these times of political and social rancor and division, this service represents the beauty and power of unity in diversity. A reception will follow, kindly hosted by our friends across the street at First Baptist Church.
Sunday, November 26, 10:25am
This will be our annual pulpit exchange with First Parish (UU) in Cohasset. Rev. Bob McKetchnie from First Parish in Cohasset will be preaching on"The Gifts of Hannah Adams (1755-1831)". Bob's sermon will examine the life and legacy of the remarkable Hannah Adams. Hannah was the first American woman to make a living as an author. As a Unitarian she left behind a message of inclusiveness that has yet to be fully understood and internalized in the modern day.
Ken will be preaching at First Parish Cohasset. As some of you know, the town of Cohasset was a long time ago part of Hingham, and what is now First Parish in Cohasset was originally (1721) Second Parish in Hingham, gathered when enough people from that neck of the woods decided they had had enough of trekking all the way to the not so old at the time meeting house here in Hingham Square. So our two congregations have what might be considered a familial connection.
Merrie Market: Catch the Spirit!!
Save the Date - Saturday, Dec. 2 9:00 - 2:30 pm for Old Ship's annual festive fundraising fair! Bring your friends to shop for Treasures, handmade Crafts and Baked Goods, unique Gift Baskets, Books & Toys, Silent Auction experiences & one-of-a kind items, plus of course our most gorgeous decorated Wreaths. Relax at the Jingle Bell Cafe, and launch your holiday season with good old-fashioned, top-quality fun!
Elves always welcome: There are lots of ways to help! See the complete list here. If you would like to donate gently-used Treasures, books or toys, please contact Diane Elliott or leave them marked "Merrie Market" in the Parish House vestibule. Thank you!
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"