Places of worship appearing in this layer are those overseen by the governing councils in Massachusetts for the three major religions. Those that are not overseen by the organizations listed below do not appear in this layer.
The layer is stored in ArcSDE and distributed as PLACES_OF_WORSHIP_PT.
MassGIS generated this dataset by address-matching (geocoding) lists of places of worship data to MassGIS Master Address Database (MAD) points. In cases where addresses did not immediately match to the MAD, development locations were manually refined using the most current Google imagery and other web sources.
The dataset is compiled from these sources:
Churches in this layer belong to a governing body that consolidates the information for all of their congregations.
Many of the churches in this layer were obtained from the Massachusetts Council of Churches for their 14 member denominations:
- African Methodist Episcopal
- American Baptist
- Armenian Orthodox
- Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
- Evangelical Covenant
- Greek Orthodox
- Presbyterian U.S.A.
- Religious Society of Friends
- Salvation Army
- Swedenborgian Church
- United Church of Christ
- United Methodist Church
- Unitarian Universalist
The council does not oversee Roman Catholic churches. For these, data was gathered from the websites of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Eparchy of Newton, the Diocese of Fall River, the Diocese of Springfield, and the Diocese of Worcester.
The Mosques in this layer were obtained from the website of the Islamic Council of New England.
The Synagogues in this layer were obtained from the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts.
The Places of Worship datalayer's point attribute table has the following fields:
|NAME||Name of the place of worship|
|ADDRESS||Place of worship's physical address|
|CITY||Place of worship's city or town (postal)|
|GEOG_CITY||Place of worship's city or town (geographical, based on MassGIS' TOWNS_POLY layer)|
|ZIPCODE||Place of worship's zip code|
|TELEPHONE||Place of worship's phone number|
|Place of worship's email address|
|WEBSITE||Place of worship's website URL|
|MAIL_ADDR||Place of worship's mailing address|
|LEADERSHIP||Name of place of worship's religious leader|
|YEAR_EST||Year that the place of worship was established|
|DENOM||Denomination; for churches, the sect of Christianity|
|ORG||Local or regional organization for the denomination|
|TYPE||Place of worship type
|SOURCE||Source that provided the place of worship's data|
|MAD_ID||Master Address ID from table MAD.MAD_MASTER_ADDRESS for linking to MassGIS' Master Address Database. (Not applicable to data in Boston.)|
MassGIS maintains this datalayer and will make periodic updates based on information from the Councils.
In 2022, Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran churches were added, as well as one independent church (South Congregational Church - Church by the Lake in Braintree). One Synagogue was also moved, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in West Newton.
|Date published:||July 1, 2022|