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Westwood church breaks ground for new extension

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On May 21, parishioners of First Parish Church on Nahatan Street gathered for a Groundbreaking Ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on a new addition to the church meetinghouse.

This event also included a chance for the congregation to meet the project architects, Holmes and Edwards of Quincy, and the builders, Curtis Construction Company of Stoughton.

Extending off the back of the historic Meeting House, the addition will have a gathering hall, offices and multipurpose meeting rooms. Having the Meetinghouse, where the sanctuary is located, directly connected to all these spaces has been part of a broader conversation about the future mission and purpose of First Parish.

Following conversations beginning in earnest in 2010, the congregation made the decision to relinquish buildings two of its four buildings and to sell parts of the church land on Nahatan Street bordering Westwood High School to the Town of Westwood. The purchase of the land by the town was approved at a town meeting held last year.

The new addition will recreate some of what was left behind when buildings across the Nahatan Street were sold, but with an eye toward modern, inviting, fully accessible, highly energy efficient multipurpose spaces.

The spaces will serve some of the traditional needs of the church including spiritual nurture, administration, education, fellowship.

The congregation is also excited about the prospect of new, undiscovered ways the building might nurture and serve members, friends and the wider community. As with its former buildings, First Parish has opened its space for use by the community and we expect that to continue.

Whether used by the church family or by the community, a goal for this new space is to ground people, connect people and nurture hope.

With construction getting underway in June and in order to help the project get out of the ground, First Parish will vacate the site for the summer and worship together with the First Baptist Church of Westwood for 9:30 a.m. Summer Union Services. The First Parish Church is very grateful for their invitation to join together for this summer.

Currently the project is expected to take around nine months to complete. However, with access restored as of September 11, worship services and special events will resume at the Meeting House.

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