20151101OOS All SaintsLancaster’s town green is the home of one of America’s great architectural gems - the Charles Bulfinch designed Fifth Meeting House, which also serves today as the home of the First Church of Christ Unitarian. Built in 1816 in only 157 days, the building is one of only a few Bulfinch churches.

Beginning on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, the Church’s Bulfinch 200 committee along with the Bulfinch Fund (separate, not church affiliated) are kicking off a year-long celebration of the iconic building and its rich history in the town of Lancaster. After the town’s annual Memorial Day ceremony on the town green (9am to 10am) and the main street parade (10am to 11:30am), the First Church/Meeting house will host free ice cream for the kids beginning at 11:30, and offer tours as well as information on the building and its interesting past. There will also be hot dogs, soda and chips available for visitors.

There will be several events held in celebration of the 200th anniversary during the year, including lectures, special musical performances, an organ concert, and an art contest and show in the spring of 2017.

Keep an eye on the schedule below for upcoming events!

 

"Celebrating 200 Years of Lancaster's Bulfinch Meeting House"
Re-dedication Ceremony, January 8, 2017

Read the article from the Sentinel & Enterprise.
See pictures from The Item.

"A piece of town heritage: Lancaster pays homage to the
First Church of Christ Unitarian with rededication ceremony"

Read the article from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

"Bulfinch Church Clock Winding and Maintenance"
Watch the video.

"Bulfinch Church Marks Two Centuries"
Read the article from the Item.

"Lancaster Church Marks 200th Year"
Read the article from the Sentinel & Enterprise.

 

Upcoming Community & Cultural Events

Sun Jun 25 @ 4:00PM - 07:00PM
Strawberry Festival

Our annual Strawberry Festival will be held on the lawn of the historic First Church. Come enjoy homemade chicken salad, ice cream, strawberry shortcake and more.

The festival has been a tradition in Lancaster for nearly 100 years!

Homemade Chicken Salad
Homemade Strawberry Shortcakes
And More!!!
Come join us for a day of good eats, good friends and family fun!
Rain or shine!

See the event flyer

Sat Sep 30 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Horseshed Fair!

42nd Annual Horseshed Fair!

Come one! Come all!

Enjoy food, crafters, raffles, pumpkins and more in an old-fashioned New England fall fair!


Read More....

 

Additional Background Information

Lancaster’s town green is the home of one of America’s great architectural gems - the Charles Bulfinch designed Fifth Meeting House, which also serves today as the home of the First Church of Christ Unitarian. Built in 1816 in only 157 days, the building is one of only a few Bulfinch churches.

Designed in 1816 by America’s first native architect Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844), our building helped accommodate Lancaster’s growing need for space to worship and conduct town government, functions that 200 years ago were commonly combined in one building. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the meeting house is admired for its beauty and grandeur, and is widely recognized as one of the crown gems of American architecture. One of the few remaining churches designed by Bulfinch, Lancaster’s Fifth Meeting House is one of the finest examples of federal style, showing a distinctive use of classical arches, columns, lintels and porticos that dominated early 19th century architecture.

The original Church and Meeting House were founded with the town in 1653. As the oldest town in Central Massachusetts, Lancaster has an incredibly rich history, and the 200 year old Church & Meeting House is an architectural treasure that serves as an anchor to the Town Green. Stepping inside the sanctuary is like stepping back in time. Lit primarily by natural light and still heated in the winter with wood stoves, its simple beauty creates a timeless aura.

First Church of Christ, Unitarian
Today, the building is occupied and owned by First Church of Christ, Unitarian. First Church is much more than a historic building. It is a lively community of families and individuals from Lancaster and surrounding towns who gather for worship, religious education, spiritual enrichment, fellowship, good times, and service to the community and the world. The Church offers religious education for children and spiritual enrichment programs for adults, including a weekly mindfulness meditation group as well as workshops and retreats exploring a range of spiritual topics and practices. We also support, sponsor and encourage community and cultural events within our walls and on our grounds. All of the programs at the Church are open to the greater Lancaster community.

The Bulfinch Fund
The Bulfinch Fund is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of this “American Masterpiece”. By 2008 the Fifth Meeting House had become in need of significant repairs, yet the Church did not have the funds to undergo any of the needed renovations. That concern led to the formation of the Bulfinch Fund, a separate, non-profit organization with the explicit mission of raising funds for the restoration of the historic structure and the ongoing educating of the public about the importance of the building in Lancaster’s rich history.