Boston Society of the New Jerusalem, Inc. (Church on the Hill)

This profile was last updated in 2014

Activities and Schedule

Sunday: Worship Service: 11:00 A.M., Bible Study 10:00 A.M. Contact the office regarding Sunday school, educational programs and workshops, special and seasonal functions, and the coffee house.

History

This society’s history can be traced to 1784 when admirers of Swedenborg’s philosophy gathered at the Green Dragon Tavern in a theosophical group that eventually organized the church in 1818. Chartered in 1823, the church met in several locations before finally settling in its present location atop Beacon Hill in 1845. As the first Swedenborgian church in Massachusetts, it was considered a “mother church” by the other nascent Swedenborgian congregations in the area. The church has included among its members Timothy Harrington Carter, founder of the Old Corner Book Store; Sampson Reed, mentor of Ralph Waldo Emerson; Lydia Maria Child, abolitionist; Clarence Barron, financier and editor of the Wall Street Journal; George James Webb, hymnologist; and The Honorable M. Nichols, mayor of Boston.

Description

The church met in a beautiful gothic structure until the mid-1960s when it was replaced with an eighteen-story high rise apartment. The Bowdoin Street entrance opens to the main sanctuary. The church is open to people of all faiths and sponsors the monthly gatherings of the Boston Clergy and Religious Leaders Group for Interfaith Dialogue. It has served as a place of worship and gathering for Boston Muslims and other faith communities. Monthly senior luncheons, operas, plays, musicals, and concerts are also offered. Use of its facilities is also extended to several human service and outreach organizations.