Early History

The Town of Bedford was created in 1729 because the residents of this area found that the journey to church in Concord or Billerica was too long and arduous. Their petition requesting permission to form their own church included this lament, “In the extreme difficult seasons of heat and cold we were ready to say of the Sabbath, ‘Behold, what a weariness is it.'” Thus, the First Parish in Bedford was established. The original meetinghouse, badly damaged in the “great gale” of Sept. 1815, was replaced by the present building in 1817.

In 1830, the differences between the Trinitarians and the Unitarians in the Parish led to a split into two separate churches. The Trinitarians moved a short distance down The Great Road and build the present First Church of Christ Congregational on land given by a member of the Unitarian majority.

The Bedford Parish has maintained the Unitarian Universalist heritage of creativity and innovation. We were one of the first parishes in the Association to give our minister a paid sabbatical, and also among the first to offer a course in sexuality to our teenagers. Many of our worship services are created by parishioners. Lay leadership is a strong and vital tradition in the life of the church.