Greeting from Rev. Jeff MacDonald
Welcome to our site! We’re a Congregational Christian church with a  380-year history in Newbury and core ministries in worship, Bible study, fellowship and outreach. We believe loving God involves both serving neighbors and caring for the earth. Please have a look around and visit us on a Sunday morning. We’re glad you’re here.


a Lenten rose

a Lenten rose

The Season of Lent:

The First Parish of Newbury Ministry Team is offering an opportunity for congregants to participate in two available programs that enable the practicing of daily disciplines during lent.  They are::

Growing a rule of life at,  a daily dispatch from the Episcopal monks of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA.  You can sign up for a daily email  and will be provided with a workbook that contains readings & excercises.  If you scroll down, you’ll find everything you need each day of lent; usually a short video, reading, or exercise.  The idea is to take a step each day& evolve a rule of life or structure that helps you grow and flourish by the end of the season.

Carbon fast at is sponsored by our Mass Conference UCC.  Upon receiving your email, they will be send a daily dispatch intended to raise awareness of ones environmental footprints, thus helping you to hone more earth-friendly habits each day.  Some are fun, some are challenging, some are both. 

We hope to create forums over the next 6 weeks for sharing experiences with these practice opportunities


The First Parish of Newbury Food Pantry is available to anyone needing food assistance every Friday (except major holidays) from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. The entry door on 20 high Road in Newbury is handicapped accessible.

Contributions of non-perishable food, toiletries, and/or pet food can be left at the First Parish of Newbury on 20 High Road any Sunday between 9:30 and 11:00 AM.

More details are included in a recent article released by the Newburyport Daily News at:

Communion Service and Pot Luck Brunch is the first of every month.  Come break bread with us March 6th.

The next Bible Discussion with Rev. MacDonald is February 14th.  All are welcome every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 8:30 AM.

fall scene

Sunday School  and Nursery care are provided from 9:45 to 11:00 AM. Sundays.

Students in grades K through 8 meet at the Adventure Table to begin with a prayer. Grades K through 3 join together as a class using hands-on lessons from Genesis. Grades 4 through 8 will learn how to use the Bible to find God’s truths for their lives.

Bert & Sayre Noyes. 978-462-4250. are available to answer questions you may have.

Lobster Dowsers meet at the First Parish the Second Saturday of each month.

Upcoming meetings:

Saturday, February 13th:  Walter Ness and Linda Clave will talk about Inner Exporation

Darlene Chadbourne

Darlene Chadbourne

Saturday, March 12th: Darlene Chadbourne is a Master Numerologist  

Saturday, April 9th: Linda Clave and Laura Degregorio will talk about Ton Ren Heali

For more information about the Lobster Coat Dowsers contact either Carolyn Bartlett, 978-949-7606 or Isabell VanMerlin, 978-409-2516

First Parish Cemetery Restoration Project fundraiser: Paint Night At the Farm

Spend a fun evening finding your inner artist in a truly inspiring place! You will be guided by a professional artist and host, who will provide instruction, inspiration, and supplies.  Your donation ($45 to $50), includes local craft beer, wine, snacks, desserts, and your art work..

Proceeds support:  The preservation of the First Parish Burying Ground and Historic New England.

Where: Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm, 5 Littles Lane, Newbury

When: February 25th, doors open at 6:30 PM

Who::Melanie Rogers, Local artist, born and raised in Byfield

Registration: call 978-462-263

More information about the restoration project can be found at:

Upcoming Concerts:

Friday, March 18, 7:30 PM

The Soggy Po Boys 

soggy po boys Much in the spirit of the great residency that exists at New Orleans’ own Spotted Cat Music Club where the legendary Vipers have thrown down on every Monday for the past god-knows-how-long, the Po’ Boys are steeped in tradition while in search of creating tradition all their own. With a repertoire of New Orleans standards, spirituals, contemporary music, and swing tunes, the Po’ Boys offer a lively blend of fun and insanity.

Advance tickets can be purchased at for $19.00 or at the door for $20.00

Friday, April 29, 7:30 PM

Don White 

Don WhiteIf you laugh and cry within the same ten minutes, you either need a vacation or are sitting in the audience at a Don White show.  This working class family man from Lynn, Massachusetts has emerged as the thoughtful song writer of the decade whose relevance to our lives is evidenced by the powerful reaction he evokes at every concert.  Radio audiences, too, are not safe from the Don White experience.  Valerie Adams of WNCS Radio, Vermont said, “I’ve never seen anything like it.  Everytime I play I Know What Love Is the phones light up like a Christmas tree.  Stereo Review Magazine called it, “a candidate for song of the year….”

 Advance tickets can be purchased at for $19.00 or at the door for $20.00

Paul waving from the boom

Steeple Repair Questions and Answers What’s happening with the FPC steeple?   Phase 1 raised funds to repair  the top part of the steeple to protect its structural integrity, which was at risk. Repairs included cross bracing to deter leaning, replacement of rotted boards, repair of historical millwork, rebuilding of louvers, replacement of flashing, sealing of areas that were enabling birds and water to enter, scraping, caulking, and repainting. Phase 2 has begun and the entire steeple and clock face has been repaired. Money was raised and allocated for painting the front of the church in the fall, including any windows on that side of the church.  Painting and restoring windows on the sides of the church will complete the project. How long to complete? Once funds are raised to paint and restore windows on the two sides of the church, the project will be completed.  Projected costs for this are $28,00. Many thanks to:  Paul Bastaanse and his crew from Steeple Restoration for their skillful work repairing the steeple and clock. Jim Dennis for cleaning and oiling, the clock so that it is running and ringing again. Friends of the church, Members, greater Newbury community residents, grants, and a bank loan that helped fund this project.  . Donations are always welcome and can be made by sending a contribution to The First Parish Church of Newbury, 20 High Road, Route 1A, Newbury,MA

What happens at First Parish Church?

Here’s a quick introduction:

*Worship. We praise, proclaim, petition and encounter the living God together every Sunday  morning in our historic 1869 sanctuary.

*Education. Our Biblically knowledgeable teachers help elementary & middle school kids learn and grow spiritually during worship hour (9:45 am – 11 am Sundays) from mid-September through mid-June.

*Formation. We explore scriptures in depth together in our discipleship & Bible study group, which meets twice a month before worship. Here we consider what it means for us, both as unique individuals and as a faith community, to live in light of the Gospel. Open to ages 14 on up.

*Outreach. We serve a meal for and with our neighbors at the Salvation Army (40 Water St., Newburyport). We do this from 4 to 6 pm on the first Thursday of each month. It’s among the most profound and moving experiences we have together as a church.

*Fellowship. We have social time with refreshments weekly after worship & monthly over a community meal.




Q: Do I have to be a member of the church to, say, attend Bible study or volunteer at the Salvation Army?

A: No! Newcomers are welcome to hop in anywhere and anytime. That’s how spiritual experiences happen and how authentic relationships grow.

Q: Am I supposed to dress up for church?

A: You may if you would like, but it’s not required. Some wear ties and dresses; others come in t-shirts and jeans. Whatever is comfortable for you is OK.

Q: Do I need to believe something in particular?

A: We teach the scriptures and doctrines of Christianity. We regard them as true and trustworthy. However, we don’t expect everyone to arrive as experts or anything close to it. We’re all curious to learn more. We strive to see our life experiences anew through lenses of Christian teachings and to live in relationship with the living God of the Bible. First Parish provides a safe space to ask questions, learn and grow. And we equip individuals and families with resources for making progress from week to week.

Stay up-to-date. Sign up for our email newsletter here:  

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