Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> The adult class of Newtown Quaker Meeting will get an update via Zoom on activities of the historic Philadelphia Arch Street Meetinghouse from new Executive Director Sean Connolly at 9:45 a.m. on First Day (Sunday), March 21, 2021.

Sean Connolly will discuss how Arch Street Meeting House has weathered the pandemic, the exciting updates and improvements made while the building has been closed, and Meetinghouse programs and activities planned for the future.

Arch Street Meeting House at Fourth and Arch Streets in Old City is one of the largest Quaker Meetinghouses in the world. It hosts over 30,000 visits from school students and tourists each year and has been central to Quakerism and key events in American history for over 200 years.

Pennsylvania founder and Quaker William Penn deeded land to the Society of Friends in 1701 to be used as a burial ground, though burials had been taking place there since 1683. Among those buried there is James Logan (1674–1751), secretary to William Penn.

Another buried there is Samuel Nicholas (1744–1790), founder and first commandant of the United States Marine Corps. Each November 10, Marines mark his grave with a wreath at dawn, though the Honor Guard leaves its traditional rifles at home out of respect for the Quakers.

The Arch Street Meetinghouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 2011.

Sean Connolly is Executive Director of the Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust. His previous work experience includes positions with Pennsbury Manor, Historic Philadelphia Inc.’s Once Upon A Nation program and the Manayunk Theatre Company. He has also taught History at Drexel University. Sean has a MA in Theatre and Non-Profit Management from Villanova University and a BA in History from York College of Pennsylvania. He lives in the East Falls section of Philadelphia with his partner Meredith and dog Aurora.

Newtown Friends Meeting, co-founded by "Peaceable Kingdom" painter and Quaker minister, Edward Hicks, in 1815, is currently open only for virtual sessions. Regular First Day Education classes (Sunday School) for all ages begin at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship begins at 11 a.m. – all on Zoom.

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