Frequently asked questions

About branch churches, societies, and informal groups

What is a branch of The Mother Church?

The Church of Christ, Scientist, includes branch Churches of Christ, Scientist, as well as smaller organizations called Christian Science Societies. They’re all branches of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and can be found in about 80 countries worldwide. You’re welcome at any of them.

What will I find if I visit a branch?

You’ll find people—people who study and practice Christian Science and who'll welcome you to their services, meetings, and Reading Rooms. They'd love to talk with you about Christian Science. Locate a church near you.

What else will you find at a branch church?

  • A branch church holds public, weekly Sunday church services and Wednesday testimony meetings, as well as Sunday School, maintains a Christian Science Reading Room, and holds one or more Christian Science lectures yearly.
  • The Church Manual provides the basis for all activities of a church, including requirements such as maintaining a foundation of spiritual healing, democratic church government, and services that follow the present order of services given in the Manual.

What is a Christian Science society?

  • A Christian Science Society holds public, weekly Sunday church services. In addition, societies may choose to have Wednesday meetings, a Sunday School, a lecture, or a Reading Room.
  • The Church Manual provides the basis for all activities of a society, including requirements such as maintaining a foundation of spiritual healing, democratic church government, and services that follow the present order of services given in the Manual.

What is an informal group?

  • An informal group consists of students of Christian Science who meet together to read the Lesson-Sermon or hold informal services. Some groups meet in public places which allows them to advertise their services in newspapers or on community bulletin boards.
  • To find an informal group near you, please inquire by writing to Clerk@christianscience.com.

What is membership in a branch like? 

  • Branch churches and societies have members. Non-members are certainly welcomed to attend services as well as many other activities.
  • Each branch determines its own member application process. Please contact the branch you are interested in joining to find out more.
  • A member of a branch can also be a member of The Mother Church.

What is the difference between The Mother Church and branch churches? 

  • The Mother Church located in Boston, Massachusetts where you'll find the main church offices and the Christian Science Publishing Society. It is governed by the by-laws given in the Church Manual. Its business is transacted by the Christian Science Board of Directors.
  • The Mother Church also has branch churches, societies, and groups around the world.
    • The branches are democratically governed by their own members under branch by-laws as well as by the by-laws given in the Church Manual.
    • Branch churches also have Sunday services, testimonial meetings, and Sunday Schools. Societies have Sunday services and sometimes testimonial meetings and Sunday Schools.

Does your country require a statement of baptism? 

  • In some countries, citizens are required to provide evidence of baptism in order to participate in certain public activities like voting or school attendance. Is your country one of these?
  • In order to meet the need, the Clerk of The Mother Church offers this example of a statement of baptism for use of Christian Science branches in those areas.