Meeting house
A meeting house describes a building where a public meeting takes place. This includes secular
Secularity is the state of being separate from religion.For instance, eating and bathing may be regarded as examples of secular activities, because there may not be anything inherently religious about them...

 buildings which function like a town or city hall
City hall
In local government, a city hall, town hall or a municipal building or civic centre, is the chief administrative building of a city...

, and buildings used for religious meetings, particularly of some non-conformist Christian denominations.

Secular meeting houses

In New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 towns in the United States, there are meeting houses which serve as a sort of town or city hall, and are used for public meetings, voting, and town offices.

A meeting house may have a dual purpose as a place of worship and public discourse, as in early American Puritan congregations.

Religious meeting houses

Many non-conformist Christian denominations distinguish between a
  • Church, which is used to refer to a body of people who believe in Christ
  • Meeting house or chapel
    A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

    , which refers to the building where the church meets

Christian denominations which use the term "meeting house" to refer to the building in which they hold their worship include:
  • Congregational churches
    Congregationalist polity
    Congregationalist polity, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or "autonomous"...

     with their congregation-based system of church governance. They also use the term "mouth-house
    Mouth-house is an English translation of the German Mundhaus, a term used by Martin Luther for a Protestant Christian church, emphasizing that God's word and God's salvation is an acoustical affair....

    s" to emphasize their use as a place for discourse and discussion.
  • Religious Society of Friends
    Religious Society of Friends
    The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

     (Quakers), see Friends meeting house
    Friends meeting house
    A Friends meeting house is a meeting house of the Religious Society of Friends , where meeting for worship may be held.-History:Quakers do not believe that meeting for worship should take place in any special place. They believe that "where two or three meet together in my name, I am there among...

  • Mennonite
    The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

  • Amish
    The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons
    The Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, a religion started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening. A vast majority of Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while a minority are members of other independent churches....

    ) uses the term "meetinghouse" for the building where congregations meet for weekly worship services
    Worship services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    In Mormonism, worship services include weekly services, held on Sundays , in neighborhood based religious units...

    , recreational events, and social gatherings. A meetinghouse differs from an LDS temple
    Temple (LDS Church)
    In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , a temple is a building dedicated to be a House of the Lord, and they are considered by Church members to be the most sacred structures on earth. Upon completion, temples are usually open to the public for a short period of time...

    , which is a building dedicated to be a House of The Lord and is reserved for special forms of worship.
  • Some Unitarian congregations
    General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
    The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches is the umbrella organisation for Unitarian, Free Christian and other liberal religious congregations in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1928, with denominational roots going back to the Great Ejection of 1662...

    , although some prefer the term "chapel" or "church".
  • The Unification Church
    Unification Church
    The Unification Church is a new religious movement founded by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon. In 1954, the Unification Church was formally and legally established in Seoul, South Korea, as The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity . In 1994, Moon gave the church...

  • Christadelphians
    Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

  • Provisional Movement

External links

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