First Parish in Needham Logo

23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

Rentals at First Parish

Overview of Our Facilities & Rental Policies

  • All events must be in keeping with the policies and principles of First Parish.
  • Our beautifully renovated and rebuilt space opened in the fall of 2008 to rave reviews
  • The Sanctuary and Parish Hall offer an ideal pairing for your wedding and reception
  • Our facilities offer:
    • A variety of rooms and configurations to fit the needs of your event
    • One of the best dance floors in MetroWest
    • A clean, new pantry for staging meals supplied by either you or your caterer
    • Childcare facilities
  • You are welcome to enjoy champagne, wine, and beer in moderation, as long as appealing alternatives are also available
  • Conveniently located just off the square in Needham with easy access from I-95/128
  • Abundant weekend and evening parking

Available Spaces for Rent

In keeping with our goal to be part of the larger community, we gladly make our building available for appropriate private functions and public events. The rooms available for rent include:

The Sanctuary

sanctuaryThe historic sanctuary of  First Parish is a wonderful space for weddings, concerts, public meetings, and other events which are in keeping with the room’s intended role as a place of worship and public meetinghouse.

The Sanctuary seats about 230, and is handicap accessible with space for five wheelchairs.

The grand piano and the organ are also available for rent.

Parish Hall

Parish-HallThis beautiful air-conditioned space is ideally suited for receptions and parties, artistic performances, art shows, and meetings.

The hall has excellent acoustics, and the solid maple floor is perfect for dancing. Sun-drenched by day, intimate at night, Parish Hall is just over 1,800 square feet.

Maximum capacity is 250, but practical capacity depends on use and is generally less. There are 160 stacking chairs available at no additional cost, as well as numerous folding tables. A grand piano, a portable stage, and a portable sound system may also be available for an additional fee.

Pantry

The Pantry was designed to facilitate the final preparation of food and beverages to be served in Parish Hall.

The Pantry is equipped with two 1.5-gallon coffee-makers, a standard household refrigerator, a standard microwave oven, a heavy-duty dishwasher, and a heavy-duty gas stove/oven.

The Pantry is a serving kitchen only, meaning that any food requiring significant cooking, handling, or other preparation must be prepared off-site.

Parlor

The Parlor is a comfortable space for medium sized groups. It has a sofa, club chairs, a conference table seating 8, and additional seating.

Maximum capacity is 49. Food may be served with prior approval.

Conference Room

The Conference Room has a conference table which seats eight; peripheral seating allows groups of up to 12 to comfortably use the room.

The room is air-conditioned.

Youth Room

The Youth room is basically a small lounge. It contains a sofa and large matching chairs, as well as a table and assorted other chairs.

A TV with VCR/DVD is available for use in this or any other room. Maximum capacity is 16.

Music Room

The Music Room is a classroom with seating for 23 and a grand piano.

Nursery

The Nursery is air-conditioned and filled with items necessary for the care of infants and young children. Capacity is 11.

Rental Rates

Members of First Parish may qualify for discounts. Public events benefiting the community may also receive a discount.

Weddings

First Parish is a Welcoming Congregation, which is happy to host the marriage of committed couples of any gender.

Contact Susanna Whitman, Parish Administrator 781-444-0823 x221, to secure space and a date for a wedding. If a suitable date is available at the church, contact the minister, Rev. Catie Scudera to discuss the wedding, and either her availability or if it is possible for another officiant to conduct the ceremony.

Weddings have a special set of considerations including how to arrange for an officiant to perform the ceremony, whether the reception will be held at First Parish, arranging for a musician and so on. Please call as much in advance as possible to see if space is available. All rules of building use apply.

When a date is found and a conversation has taken place with Rev. Catie, the Parish Minister, Susanna Whitman the Parish Administrator will send a rental form which serves as a contract. Space and date will only be booked by payment of a deposit, which is 50% of the rental fee.

Call the Parish Office at 781-444-0823 to inquire about availability and obtain a copy of First Parish’s Policy Governing External Rentals and a reservation form. Reservations are not secure until the completed, signed Rental Form, 50% of the total rental fee, and the security deposit have been received and acknowledged by the First Parish Administrator.

Members of First Parish may qualify for discounts. Public events benefiting the community may also receive a discount.

Key terms and conditions

All events must be in keeping with the policies and principles of First Parish. All Renters must read and agree to comply with First Parish’s Policy Governing External Rentals. All one-time rental events must be supervised by a First Parish-appointed Event Facilitator.

Rental and Fees

Memorial Service

First Parish in Needham, Unitarian Universalist is a congregation open to holding memorial services for family and friends of Unitarian Universalists, and also those of mixed faith, multifaith, and no particular faith.

Contact Susanna Whitman, Parish Administrator 781-444-0823 x221, to secure space and a date for a service. If a suitable date is available at the church, contact the minister, Rev. Catie Scudera to discuss the service, and either her availability or if it is possible for another officiant to lead the service.

Memorial services, or services of remembrance, have a special set of considerations including how to arrange for an officiant, whether a reception will be held at First Parish, arranging for a musician and so on. Please call the church office to see if space is available. All rules of building use apply.

When a date is found and a conversation has taken place with Rev. Catie, the Parish Minister, Susanna Whitman the Parish Administrator will send a rental form which serves as a contract. Space and date will only be booked by payment of a deposit, which is 50% of the rental fee.

Child Dedication

Child dedications or naming ceremonies are Unitarian Universalist services, led by our minister and occasionally assisted by a minister or other cleric who is a friend or family member.  We make our best effort to accommodate the wishes of couples and families.

People interested in holding a child dedication at First Parish should consult with the Parish Administrator and then with the Minister to determine an agreed-upon date and to plan the ceremony.  

If you would like to schedule a child dedication  for your child or children, please contact our minister, Rev. Catie Scudera, at minister@uuneedham.org to discuss the ceremony and schedule a date.  Note: These services are free to members.

Contact Info, Policies & Forms

Contact Info

Call the Parish Office at 781-444-0823 to inquire about availability.  

Reservations are not secure until:

  • The Rental Form has been completed and signed;
  • 50% of the total rental fee has been paid; and
  • The security deposit have been received and acknowledged by the First Parish Administrator.

Key Terms & Conditions

  • All events must be in keeping with the policies and principles of First Parish.
  • All Renters must read and agree to comply with First Parish’s Policy Governing External Rentals.
  • All one-time rental events must be supervised by a First Parish-appointed Event Facilitator.

Forms / Downloads