Church of St. John the Evangelist

Church of St. John the Evangelist
Church of St. John the Evangelist

Who We Are

Welcoming all to share in God's inclusive Love

We are an urban, liturgically ceremonial, socially progressive church. We hope that whether you’ve been part of us in the past, currently claim us in the present, or may try us soon, you know that you, wherever you may be on life’s journey, are truly welcome at Bowdoin Street.

This sincere welcome has been a proud part of our heritage from our inception. The parish was founded to minister to freed African slaves after the Civil War. We have welcomed categories of people made unwelcome in some churches and in some societies: the poor, the hungry, gay and lesbians, those with AIDS, women seeking ordination, and the homeless. We are proud of this welcome and we continue to be a hospitable place for all of these peoples. We welcome a variety of other Christians who have found with us a place of beauty, both liturgically and musically, and who are in search of a truly open church. We also offer an urban oasis for those who seek a holy place to be in, quietly or in the presence of music. All are welcome.


Our Services

Service Times

  • 10:30am - Service

What to Expect

What are services like?
The musical range runs the gamut of early church music to contemporary pieces, to American shape note music and grand anthems. Building on this ministry, and utilizing the glorious acoustics of our church, we also offer a free concert every Wednesday at 5:30 pm. The free concerts offer a ministry of respite and companionship freely to all who come. Our church building, made of stone in a Gothic style, was erected in 1831 by Congregationalist Christians. From 1863-1883, it was occupied by the Church of the Advent (which afterwards moved to its current location on Brimmer Street). In 1883, the building became the Mission Church of St. John the Evangelist under the auspices of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, a monastic order. After building a new monastery on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, the SSJE brothers continued their mission work at St. John's. In 1985, almost a century after the brothers established the mission church here, St. John's became a Parish Church in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. We are blessed by the historical and continuing connection to the SSJE through prayer and material support.

What is the community like?
Eclectic and welcoming


Katharine Black

Katharine Black

What Members Say

Add your voice

Go here? Tell us why you love Church of St. John the Evangelist. Visited? Tell us what a newcomer can expect.