Friends Meeting at Cambridge

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 24 June 2014.

Phone: 617-876-6883
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The Religious Society of Friends (also called Quakers) has been a presence in Boston since the first Quaker arrived in 1656. The first Cambridge congregation of the Religious Society of Friends gathered in 1914 at Phillips Brooks House in Harvard Yard. In 1937, the Meeting (congregation) purchased Alice Longfellow’s house, which is now used as the Friends Center. A Meeting House for worship was subsequently built on the same site, which is situated on Longfellow Park, a quiet strip of green on Brattle Street near Harvard Square.


The Friends Center houses meeting rooms, classrooms, a library, a social room, a kitchen, and offices. The Meeting House is a simple, unadorned room with several rows of benches facing the center, as well as balcony seating. It seats about 225 people. The Friends Center and Meeting House are connected by an underground tunnel that provides access to the “Clothing Room”, a material aid distribution center run by the American Friends Service Committee. Donated clothing is stored here before being distributed to people in need. An elevator and ramps provide handicap access to facilities.

Activities and Schedule

Meeting for Worship at Cambridge is unprogrammed and there is no set leader. Worship is based in a silent waiting, during which worshipers seek to open themselves to the Divine Presence. When worshipers feel moved by that Divine presence, they rise to offer “vocal ministry.” Meeting for Worship takes place twice every Sunday and once on Wednesday. On Sunday mornings before worship, there is an informal discussion for adults called Forum. There is also a Sunday School for children, pre-kindergarten through high school. Members of the community participate in committee meetings and educational programs, and they are involved in a number of outside concerns, such as peace, anti-racism work, environmentalism, and other social justice causes. Every Good Friday, the Meeting holds a peace vigil in Boston Common. All pastoral, administrative, and ethical concerns work is based in worship and the belief in the sacredness of each individual.


The Cambridge Meeting has ties to the American Friends Service Committee and supports the Friends Committee on National Legislation. It founded and sponsors the Cambridge Friends School, an independent elementary school established in the 1960s to foster Quaker values. Representatives from Cambridge also attend meetings of Friends in the larger Boston area, as well as the Yearly Meeting Sessions of Friends in New England and national and international Friends gatherings.