Save the First Parish Meetinghouse

Towering over Town Square in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the site where a meetinghouse has existed since 1622, stands a historic treasure, a symbol of our country's origin, a tribute to the Pilgrim's journey to America, and a cornerstone of our history. Today, it's in desperate need of repair.

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Courtesy sdowen on Flickr

Unveiling of National Register Plaque

First Parish Church in Plymouth recently received a great honor - listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

We are excited and honored to have received this designation. However, it does not belong to First Parish alone. It belongs to the entire Plymouth community. Therefore, we would be honored if you would join us at our brief "unveiling of the plaque" celebration on Thursday, June 18, 2015, at 3:30 p.m. in front of First Parish.

Parking at the church is limited, but space usually is available at Plimoth Grist Mill, which is just a short walk from First Parish.

We hope you will join us!

First Parish Recognized on National Historic Register

The Restoration Committee is pleased to announce that as of December, 2014, First Parish Meetinghouse has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.

Achieving placement on the Register is a lengthy and involved process. The Department of the Interior sets the following criteria for evaluation and listing:

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

First Parish & the Arts and Crafts Movement

By Donna Curtin

Arts & Crafts authority David Berman, owner of Trustworth Studio, presented an illuminating lecture on the movement and its influence on the design of First Parish Church to a rapt audience in early September. To understand the church’s architecture and interior decoration, Berman looked back to the origins of Arts & Crafts in Victorian Britain.

The English Arts & Crafts Movement & its Relevance to First Parish Church

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 @ 10:00 a.m. – doors open @ 9:45 a.m.

First Parish Meetinghouse

19 Town Square

Plymouth, MA 02360

Join David Berman, owner of Trustworth Studios, designer of textiles and wallpaper, and authority on the Arts and Crafts Period of Design, as he explains the significance of the interior of First Parish Church as an authentic representation of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

Lecture is free; refreshments to follow; donations gratefully accepted.


Visitors Encourage First Parish Tours!

Here are just a few reviews provided to TripAdvisor from satisfied tour-goers who visited First Parish. Join the club; take a tour today.

“Ask for a tour”
Reviewed July 31, 2014
Even if it's just a quick tour, you will appreciate the church much more if you have someone to explain to you the symbols in the wood carvings, the stories represented in the Tiffany windows, and the beliefs and controversies of some of the founders. Definitely worth the short walk (two blocks?) up the hill from Plymouth Rock. ($5 for the tour)
Visited July 2014 - Tulsa, Oklahoma

One Step Closer to National Recognition

First Parish Church located at the top of Town Square has received notification from the Massachusetts Historical Commission that their application for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places will be considered at a meeting of the Commission on Wednesday, September 10 at 1:00 P.M. at the Massachusetts State Archives in Dorchester, MA.

The National Register of Historic Places is the Federal government's official list of historic properties worthy of preservation. Listing of a property provides recognition of the community's important historic resources. In Massachusetts, properties nominated to the National Register are automatically listed in the State Register of Historic Places.

First Parish, also known as The National Memorial Pilgrim Church, was built in the late 1890's as a monument to the Pilgrims. It stands just below the pilgrims' first fort, and dates it's records to 1606 in Scrooby England. The Tiffany stained glass windows, which tell the Pilgrim story are currently undergoing restoration thanks to a grant from the Community Preservation Commission in the Town of Plymouth.

Challenges of the Art of Stained Glass Restoration and Conservation - 6/15

You are cordially invited to an informative early evening lecture entitled:

Challenges of the Art of Stained Glass Restoration and Conservation
by Roberta Rosa

Sunday, June 15 at 4:30 p.m.
Doors Open at 4:15

Lecture to be held at First Parish Meetinghouse, 19 Town Square, Plymouth, MA

Roberto is a nationally recognized and award winning stained glass restoration specialist. He has been Vice President of Serpentino Stained Glass of Needham since 1988, and his firm was awarded the contract to restore First Parish’s historically significant and unique stained glass windows. Rosa studied art at the “Liceo Artistico Massini” in Rome, Italy, from 1983-1986.

Join us to hear a basic, brief introduction on stained glass in general, then briefly about Tiffany and his studio.

He will then move on to challenges they find in restoration and conservation of stained glass and discuss proper conservation methods. He also will be showing some images of the windows from First Parish Plymouth Meetinghouse, what they encountered and how they are repairing them.

Painting the Town of Plymouth with Eric Dowdle!

Eric Dowdle is a folk artist who travels the world, spends time in various towns and cities getting to know the people and what’s important to them, and then paints a picture of the town from which he creates posters and puzzles. Eric visited Plymouth in the fall, spending two weeks here with another purpose besides creating a canvas. He also had a film crew with him to create the first episode of a PBS series called (what else?) Painting the Town.

On Friday, May 31st Eric set up in Memorial Hall to unveil his painting of Plymouth and give those of us who attended a chance to preview the half-hour program featuring Plymouth. Those of you who missed it will have to wait until Fall when it’s aired nationally. But you don’t have to wait to purchase a puzzle or poster. These are on sale at First Parish Plymouth tours in Town Square on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10-3.

All sales benefit the restoration of First Parish Meetinghouse.

Tours Resume at First Parish! - 5/22

May 22, 2014 is the opening day for tours of historic First Parish Meetinghouse. Our tour days are every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until the end of October. For a donation of $5.00 (children under 16 are free), you will receive a customized tour of First Parish and all of its riches.

Come and see some of our best kept secrets such as: a stone plaque, sent from the Delftshaven church, as a gift to acknowledge the building of “The National Memorial Pilgrim Church.” This threshold piece is from the church’s entryway, and the Pilgrims would have stepped over or on it on their way out of Holland en route to Plymouth.