Swedenborgian Church of Lancaster // 1881

This beautiful old building was constructed in 1881 in Lancaster, MA as a Swedenborgian Church. The congregation in The United States has always been much smaller than other prominent religions, but Lancaster had a sizable group of believers. Some wealthier residents bankrolled for a new church building, which would and could not compete with the Unitarian Church designed by Charles Bulfinch. Architect Francis Ward Chandler from the Boston firm of Cabot & Chandler designed the modest, yet beautiful building in the Queen Anne style. The congregation died off and in 1923, the building was purchased by members of the Current Topics Club, seemingly a debate and social club in town. The old church sold in 2020 as a residence.

Swedenborgian Church in Brookline // 1862

The only church in the Pill Hill neighborhood of Brookline, the former Swedenborgian Church, while fairly small, makes a large architectural statement. This Gothic Revival church, designed by William Ware (of Ware and Van Brunt) and Edward Philbrick, is one of the few non-residential buildings in this area. The simple rectangular chapel and 3-sided apse are constructed in Roxbury pudding stone and trimmed with limestone. The Stick style bracketed porch and porte-cochere were added in the 1870s. The Swedenborg faith ‘followed a rational approach to love, wisdom, and order, and a belief that salvation was not possible through faith alone but must also be based on good works. Swedenborg also believed that Africans were particularly attuned to the Deity — thus part of the appeal of Swedenborgianism for Abolitionists’. The church is now occupied by the Latvian Lutheran Church of Boston.