Submitted by First Parish in Bedford, Unitarian Universalist
First Parish in Bedford’s statement to the press
On June 27, 2016, First Parish in Bedford reluctantly filed a complaint in Middlesex Superior Court, appealing the Historic District Commission’s denial of a certificate of appropriateness for the proposed installation of Solar Panels on portions of the First Parish Meetinghouse roof. First Parish has also filed an Open Meeting Law complaint with the HDC. Both complaints were filed to comply with the applicable statutory deadlines.
The Solar Panel project was designed so as to preserve the iconic view of the First Parish Meetinghouse.
First Parish regrets that it was necessary to file both complaints, and values its relationship with the Town of Bedford. Its goal is merely to install solar panels to reduce its carbon footprint in furtherance of its commitment to the Seventh Principle of Unitarian Universalist belief – respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. First Parish is committed to pursuing all of its legal rights to achieve this goal.
Reverend John Gibbons, Senior Minister of First Parish, explained his support for the appeal: “Although First Parish is Bedford’s oldest house of worship, we are a living institution that must remain relevant to the present and be accountable to the unprecedented environmental demands of the future. Solar panels are an essential expression of our faith, to honor ‘the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.’ With solar panels, our cherished 200-year old Meetinghouse will live in harmony with nature and history.”
The Boston-based law firm of Sherin and Lodgen and First Parish member Rebecca Green Neale are representing First Parish.
Additional inquiries can be made to First Parish in Bedford spokesperson, Dan Bostwick at [email protected]
Editor’s Note: To learn more about this issue, read the following articles: