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Dover Friends Meetinghouse - National Fund For Sacred Places
2022 Cohort

Dover Friends Meetinghouse

(Quaker Religious Society of Friends)

Dover, New Hampshire

Dover Friends Meetinghouse is believed to be the only surviving 18th-century Quaker meetinghouse in New Hampshire.

Dover Friends Meetinghouse by Jean Schnell

Dover Friends Meetinghouse by Jean Schnell

2022 Cohort

Dover Friends Meetinghouse

(Quaker Religious Society of Friends)

Dover, New Hampshire

Dover Friends Meetinghouse is believed to be the only surviving 18th-century Quaker meetinghouse in New Hampshire.

Over 150 local men and boys built the large meetinghouse using post and beam construction in a single day in 1768, with an equal number of women and girls preparing food for the workers. Since its inception, Dover Friends has worked to establish religious freedom and advance women’s equality. Women conducted their own Meetings for Business, and Quaker women at large became empowered for leadership in the suffrage movement, including at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.

Today, Dover Friends is a small but growing congregation which, per the Quaker tradition, is led by a volunteer presiding clerk and other members. Community outreach is extensive and includes serving meals to under-resourced community members; holding a weekly vigil for racial justice; leading a green burial program; and running a prison visit ministry. With other area congregations, Dover Friends formed the Seacoast Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition to provide shelter, fellowship, and financial support to immigrants and refugees facing deportation.

Since 2017, Dover Friends has housed immigrant and refugee families in an apartment above the meeting room; however, a 2020 change in municipal building codes prohibits the continued use of this space as a sanctuary apartment until a fire suppression system is installed. A National Fund grant of $50,000 with $50,000 in matching funds raised by the congregation will contribute to the installation of sprinklers in the sanctuary apartment and the addition of a second form of egress from the meeting room. This work will allow Dover Friends to continue welcoming immigrants, refugees, and friends from near and far into the meetinghouse.

Dover Friends Meetinghouse by Jean Schnell

Dover Friends Meetinghouse by Beth Collea

Stories and Media Coverage

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