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.

Greeting from Rev. Jeff MacDonald

Upcoming events at the First Parish Church:

Summer Worship Services: The First Parish Church of Newbury and the Belleville Congregational Church of Newburyport will be combining for Summer worship again during the summer months.

communionReverend Jeffrey MacDonald will lead services for both congregations throughout the month of August at the First Parish.

Coffee, refreshments, and fellowship that typically follow the service will not take place Sunday, August 2nd due to the closing of High Street for the Yankee Homecoming parade at 11:00.   


Bible study will continue the First and Fourth Sunday,  August 9th and August 23rd at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join these informal, engaging, and informative meetings in the downstairs Parish Hall with Reverend MacDonald.


piA Pizza Oven Party to celebrate the restoration of the Earth Oven is open to Church Members, Friends of the First Parish, and New Eden Gardeners August 4th at 6:30pm.  Meet at the earth ovenwhich is located behind the church building, near the New Eden organic gardens. The Wood Fired Oven  is working well and can cook pizza directly on the fire brick.

All are welcome to bring pizza dough with whatever you want to put on top (including items from your garden).  Feel free to bring beer, wine or other beverages.

Special Thanks to Chuck Mead and his fellow gardeners for the hard work and ingenuity that has made this possible!          pizza
Many Thanks to ”Newbury resident, Don Jarvis, who  is leading an effort to clean up the First Parish Cemetery on High Road in Newbury, which has become very overgrown with weeds and bushes.” An article featuring this enormous undertaking was published in the Newburyport Daily News July 1, 2015  at

Jarvis leads cleanup effort at First Parish Cemetery

published photo of Brian Jarvis working in the First Parish Cemetery pictured below

Old burying ground








Summer Bible discussions will be happening  the 2nd and 4th Sunday of August at the First Parish church at 8:00 AM, prior to the 9:30 AM worship study 1







New Eden Organic Community Garden information is available on their face book page at;  https://wwwnew eden  e-mails can be sent to:




Paul waving from the boom


Steeple Repair Questions and Answers

What’s happening with the FPC steeple?  Phase 1 included repair of 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 will include scraping, painting and restoring the bottom portion of the steeple and church, repairing gutters, and restoring windows. All windows need to have rotted sashes replaced, weights and pullys repaired, and to be re-caulked, re-glazed, and sealed.

How long to complete? The top portion of the steeple has been beautifully and skillfully restored and is almost complete. Winter weather delayed  painting one of a clock faces and the area just below the clocks.  Thanks to Jim Dennis’s generous assistance, the clock has been cleaned, oiled, re-wound and is now running and ringing automatically.

Many thanks to Paul Bastiaanse and his crew from Steeple Restoration for accomplishing so much in spite of  challenging fall weather events.  They will return in the spring to complete the painting.

Phase 2 will be scheduled once funds are raised..

Funding? Phase 1 cost $50,000. Many thanks to Friends of the church, Members, greater Newbury community members, grants, and a bank loan that helped fund this project.  We raised enough to cover the costs of a portion of phase 1 repairs. Additional fundraising and donations will enable us to more fully cover the costs of Phase I and begin planning phase 2, projected to cost $40,000.

Donations are welcome and can be made by sending a contribution to The First Parish Church of Newbury, 20 High Street, 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.

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