The First Parish of Bolton has worked to make God’s love visible and real in the communities it serves since 1741. We cherish diversity and offer a progressive Christian perspective even as we honor important traditions and maintain a sense of continuity with the past. We are committed to the care of one another and the world we share.

About Us

We are:

Progressive Christians

Our worship life is centered on Judeo-Christian teachings, but we view scripture through the prism of human understanding and experience as well as valuing wisdom drawn from other faith traditions.


We do not adhere to a particular statement of faith or belief. We believe in “soul freedom,” and encourage each individual to shape his or her own faith and spiritual practice.


We are in relationship with our constituent denominations, but are self-governing.


Since 1931, The First Parish of Bolton has brought together people from many different religious traditions.


Our doors are open to children and parents, to single men and women and , to seniors, to the physically challenged, to members of the GLBT community, to those who have economic advantages, and to those who do not.


Church members support the life and work of our community by sharing their time and gifts and through generous and sustained giving.
Committed to community.

Set among towns that are growing rapidly, we nurture the connections between people that create community.


Volunteer Opportunities

Almost everything that happens at The First Parish of Bolton happens because of the commitment of our members. The following are some ways in which you can contribute:

  • RE workshop leader, contact Bea Manning at: 978-779-6427
  • Worship Service lay reader, contact Shirley Sefton at: 978-779-2216
  • Donate flowers for worship services, contact the church office at: 978-779-6427
  • Provide refreshments at coffee hour, contact Shirley Sefton at: 978-779-2216
  • Serve on a board or committee, contact the church office at: 978-779-6427
  • Assist in office work, contact the church office at: 978-779-6427


Meet The Ministers

The Rev. Richard F. Jones, M.Div.
One of the things I like best about The First Parish of Bolton is the sense that I don’t have to leave any part of myself at the door.

I’ve been able to put to good use everything else I have done in my life — counseling, music, education, public programming, managing an historic building, supervising staff and interns, working with children, writing, running meetings, and, yes, raising money. But that’s only part of the story. I can also make use of all of the experiences of faith and religion that I brought with me.

The Rev. Bea Manning, Ph.D.
Associate Minister Bea combines her commitment to justice with her love of learning and her joyful self-renewing search for understandings and truths. These loves inform her strong involvement in small group ministry, book, film and topical discussions, and religious education activities with our youth. Bea is also committed to play, which she considers holy, whether it be croquet or folf or improvisations. She is a writer of poetry as well as academic articles. For Bea all spiritual searching has an action component that involves both service and understanding that can lead to the creation of societies that enhance justice and kindness. She takes these commitments beyond the borders of our church including activities such as being a trained facilitator for the UCC racial justice ministries. She is committed to our church both providing a place of solace for exploring and deepening our spirituality through reflection and study, and confronting the world with its good news as we attempt to walk as Jesus so often did with those at the margins of society.

Meet The Music Director

Alexander Lane

We have selected Alexander Lane of Acton as our new director of music. A native of Hobe Sound, Florida, Alexander is completing his Ph.D. in musicology at Brandeis University. In 2008, he graduated cum laude with BA in organ performance from Westminster Choir College, where he also studied choral conducting. Alexander received his MFA from Brandeis in 2010. An enormously gifted musician, Alexander is skilled in many musical genres, and is at home with jazz as he is with Bach. He begins his work in Bolton on 4 October. It is interesting to note that Alexander is a direct descendant of Robert E. Lee!


Shirley Sefton

The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is charged with decision-making for the church as a whole. In addition, they are responsible for staffing and oversight of the various operational teams who perform the work of the church. Members of the Executive Committee are elected at the annual meeting in January. The ministers are ex-officio, non-voting members of the Executive Committee.

Chairman: Lou Colon
Treasurer: Mary Nichols
Secretary/Clerk: Roxanne Palmatier
Members At Large:
Mike Drabik
Duane Henry
Shirley Sefton

Additional Working Committees

275 for 275
Open and Affirming
Property and Maintenance
Social Media

Contact Us

The First Parish of Bolton

“The church as old as Bolton is, and as young as Bolton is.”

673 Main Street
Post Office Box 250
Bolton, Massachusetts 01740

Church Office: 978-779-6427
Office Hours: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

Fax: 978-779-6427

email: admin@firstparishofbolton.org