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Arch Street Friends Meeting House

Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2018

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Arch Street Friends Meeting House

Built in 1804 on land that William Penn gave to the Quakers in 1693, the Arch Street Friends Meeting House is the oldest Friends Meeting House still in use in Philadelphia, and it is the largest in the world. The Society of Friends grew out of the teachings of George Fox in 17th Century England. Penn, a disciple of Fox, founded Philadelphia as a haven for his persecuted co-religionists. Penn's "Holy Experiment" was to build a society according to Quaker ideals: the absolute right of conscience, the equality of man and nonviolence.

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One of the interesting and unique aspects about a Quaker Meeting for Worship is that unlike many other organized religions where there is a designated religious leader of the service such as a priest, minister, rabbi or imam, Quakers do not have such a religious ceremony leader. Instead, the Quakers sit in a room facing one another, and when someone feels called upon by God to speak, that person rises and speaks to the congregation, and then sits down when finished.

Additional Information

Arch Street Friends Meeting House
320 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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