Brief History of Hancock Church 

Lexington Common, 1794 (cropped) Lantern slide from Edwin B. Worthen Collection, Cary Memorial Library

In early colonial times, families were required to attend worship services at their official parish church. For residents of Cambridge Farms (now Lexington), this was the church on Cambridge Common.

In 1692, the Massachusetts Great and General Court granted a petition to establish our own Parish, and the first Meeting House was built at the fork of the road just behind the current Minuteman statue on the Lexington Green.

In 1713 Lexington incorporated as a town, which meant that parish and church were now a single self-governing entity.

In the 1800’s, the parish voted to become Unitarian (although the church was still called the First Congregational Society or the Lexington Congregational Society.) Families who did not want to be Unitarian began worshipping in Woburn.

Masonic Building in 1868, Painting by Donald Plummer

In 1866, the Woburn Conference of Churches discussed looking for grounds and building for a new Congregational church in Lexington. They identified the Masonic Building at the corner of Hancock Street, Harrington Road, and Bedford Street and assessed member churches to renovate it.

On May 20, 1868 a meeting was held to organize what today is Hancock Church and dedicate the sanctuary in the current Masonic Hall.

On July 26, 1892 cornerstone laid for a new building in our current location. Initial services were held in September 1893, and the church building was dedicated in 1899.

In 1920 a new corporation organized the Hancock Congregational Church. A 1924 addition included the dining room, kitchen, and Clark Hall. The congregation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1943.

An addition including the memorial chapel was dedicated in 1950. The education wing was added in 1959. Hancock celebrated its centennial in 1968.

Hancock Church building in 1893
Painting by Donald Plummer

In 2012 the Growing for Good capital campaign raised funds to renovate the building to make it more welcoming, accessible, and functional for today’s needs. We’re now celebrating 150 years, and look forward to the coming years and future generations of the Hancock UCC community.