Rector Search Information

We are in Search for a New Rector

We have prepared this page for prospective rectors to learn about our parish and what we are looking for in a new rector. See also a printable brochure here.  The application process closed December 2013.


Our Parish

Christ Church in Needham is one of the larger and more active parishes in the diocese. Located 15 miles west of Boston, we are in a suburban community with a top school system and a church and rectory in walking distance to the charming town center.

Our church is in excellent shape on every front. We have more than 30 active ministries including our vibrant church school and strong local, national, and international outreach programs. Financially, we came within 1% of balancing our budget in 2012, and exceeded projected pledge income. We have a strong and cohesive staff that oversees the day-to-day operations of the parish.


Welcoming describes Christ Church, beginning with our weekly coffee hours and year round social activities. Our membership includes singles and couples, straight and gay, elderly and children, and we welcome everyone.

We are proud to say that we have had five parishioners who have taken steps to enter the priesthood in the last two decades. We are an open table parish.




  • Local: Community concerns, Pastoral Response Ministry, Monday Lunch program at Cathedral, Ecclesia ministries, B-Safe program, Needham Community Council food contributions, Circle of Hope donations and service, Knitting Ministry, donations to shelters, Care of Memorial Garden, Shelter cooking and Holiday gift shop
  • National: Youth group mission trips
  • International: Haiti Medical mission/support to the community of Lazil


Our Community

Incorporated in 1711, the town of Needham recently celebrated its 300th anniversary with a year-long series of events centered on its recently renovated Town Hall. Needham sits on the banks of the Charles River, which surrounds the town on three sides. Its proximity to nearby Boston and its links to both commuter rail and Interstate Route 95 make it a central location to all areas of Greater Boston. Needham is a pleasant, suburban Boston community, with a strong real estate base, superior public schools, and a variety of benefits that makes it one of Boston’s Most Desirable Communities to live in, according to Boston magazine in 2013.

With a population of about 30,000, Needham retains a small-town like feeling, and its strong sense of community fosters an ideal place to raise children. Among its annual family-friendly events are First Night Needham, a New Year’s Eve festival of music, dance, and ice sculpture held throughout the town; weekly Farmers Markets in the summer and fall; and the traditional Fourth of July parade (which ends in front of our church) and fireworks which draw attendees from all over the western suburbs. Needham is also the home of Olin College of Engineering, nationally regarded as one of the best new places of higher education.


Fellowship and Education

      • Women’s group
      • Men’s group/retreat
      • Bowling
      • Bible study and adult forums
      • Church School and Youth Group
      • Advent wreath making
      • Christmas caroling
      • Cookouts
      • Holiday parties
      • Christ Church dinner out
      • Seniors Spring tea


Quick Facts

    • We have 2 priests and 1 deacon
    • Average Sunday attendance is 190
    • About 180 parishioners pledge
    • Our 2013 budget is $558,000
    • Endowment is $950,500


Our History and Facilities

Christ Church, Needham has evolved from an 1890’s poolroom and paint shop in the Highlandville section of town to a thriving parish that has adapted to changes in the community and the world, while maintaining its mission to do God’s work. The church has been the home of eight ministers, all of whom have served for a decade or more. Rev Roy (Bud) Cederholm (1989 -2001) was elected Suffragen Bishop of Massachusetts and was replaced by Rev Robert (Skip) Windsor until his retirement in 2013.

The present Chapel celebrates its centennial in 2014. It is primarily used for 8:15 AM and summer services. The main church building was opened in 1958 to serve an expanding congregation, reflecting the mid 20th century growth of Needham itself. As part of that expansion, a single-family house next door to the church was purchased. It now houses the Circle of Hope. Also shortly thereafter, a nearby house on Homestead Park was purchased as a new rectory.

More on History


Our Goals for the Future

Together with our new rector and with God’s guidance, we commit to:

    • Maintain our welcoming, inclusive and active parish community
    • Deepen our spirituality and our connection to God and one another
    • Increase the participation of the children, youth, young adults and young families in our church community
    • Improve our parish finances and create a long-term plan to maintain our physical property and bolster our endowment
    • Nurture and develop our parish leadership at all levels: clergy, lay, staff and volunteers
    • Enrich our worship with more diverse music and liturgy
    • Continue to build our outreach programs


The Rector We Hope For

Christ Church seeks a person of deep faith and commitment to guide our church community. The ideal candidate will respect our traditions, but challenge us to stretch our boundaries beyond what has been, to what could be.

Some qualities we hope our new rector will possess include:

    • Ability to engage parishioners of all ages, especially the younger members of the parish family
    • Outstanding communication skills, including the ability to deliver compelling, relevant sermons, and particularly, a good “ear” for parish concerns and questions
    • Readiness to meet parishioners where they are in their faith journey
    • Ability to bring his/her pastoral skills to the numerous ministries offered by Christ Church
    • Good management skills, including the ability to mentor clergy and other staff
    • Passion for service, a sense of humor and a spirit of inclusiveness


About the Diocese

The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts is home to 68,000 people in 185 congregations in cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the islands. Our congregations make up our diocese, and our diocese is part of the wider Episcopal Church, which in turn is part of a larger, global community of the Anglican Communion.


Diocesan Mission Strategy

  • Inviting: We will bear witness to God’s reconciling love across boundaries of race and class, generation and language.
  • Forming: We will work, study, pray and give for our lifelong conversation in Christ.
  • Sending: We will send one another the power of the Spirit into the ministries of our daily lives.
  • Serving: We will show forth the just reign of God in advocacy and action.