The term ‘Christian Science’ refers to the practical system of prayer-based healing set out in Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The Bible and  Science and Health are considered the Pastor of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, and its branches worldwide, which have no ordained clergy.  There are branch churches in 80 countries and two of these are in Suffolk - in Ipswich and in Framlingham.  Both have public Christian Science Reading Rooms and hold Sunday services and Wednesday meetings. At the latter you can hear people share how, through prayer, they have experienced Christian healing.

Mary Baker Eddy broke through barriers of  illness, poverty and social conservatism through her understanding of the Bible and the power of prayer, and established a “church designed to commemorate the word and works of [Christ Jesus], which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing” (Church Manual).

The teachings of Christian Science include the following basic concepts:

God is divine Love, Father-Mother, supreme

The true nature of each individual as a child of God, is spiritual.

God’s infinite goodness, realised in prayer, heals.

For more detailed information on Christian Science, go to and for Christian Science activities in Suffolk, email or phone Shirley Smith on 01502 722096

Faith: Christian Science

Local Group: Christian Science Society,  Ipswich and Christian Science Society, Framlingham

Meeting Place 1: Christian Science Society

Address Line 1: 54 St. Matthews Street 23 fore Street,

Town / City: Ipswich

County: Suffolk

Post Code: IP1 3EP

Direct line: 01473 225005


The heart of Christian Science is Love. It's about feeling God's goodness.  It’s based on the scriptures and fully explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy and in her other writings. It addresses major points about God, Christ Jesus, good and evil, life and death, sacrament, salvation, and more. The first Tenet (of six) states, “As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired word of The Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal life.” A key conviction of Christian Scientists is that a spiritual understanding of God can bring healing today as it did in Jesus’ time.

History of Christian Science Society, Ipswich

In 1907 four students of Christian Science met to study together. Fourteen years later the group became “Christian Science Society, Ipswich”.  A year later the Society purchased 21 Silent Street, which had been a printing works.  In 1926 the Society had grown large enough to be designated as a church and remained so until 1988.  In 2005 the members sold 21 Silent Street and moved to 54 St. Matthew’s Street, where they maintain services and a Reading Room open to the public.

History of Christian Science Society, Framlingham

In October 1956 the Henry family, newly arrived in Framlingham and having previously been members of a Christian Science Society in Essex, started a Sunday School in their own home for their three children. Through the postman delivering Christian Science literature, they were put in touch with a few others holding services fortnightly in Bruisyard.  

In December 1956 the Informal Group of Christian Scientists, Framlingham, was formed with five founding members, meeting in the Henrys’ home and later in rented accommodation in the town centre.  It was well supported with people coming from Bruisyard, Saxmundham, Southwold and around and a goodly flow of holiday visitors.

In April 1971, The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, recognised the members as “Christian Science Society, Framlingham”. In April 1973 the freehold of a large one-room studio in Fore Street, Framlingham was purchased and converted into the present church, including a Sunday School. The first service was held on Sunday 26th October 1975. Six months later,  21B Fore Street was bought and equipped as a street-level Reading Room.  The Society held a dedication service on Sunday 26th April 1981.

Framlingham church is quite a small community, so its official designation is a Christian Science Society, but that is just the official term for a small branch that doesn’t operate all the functions of larger churches.  We hold a service and a Sunday School on Sunday morning and we have a less formal meeting on some Wednesday evenings, during which people can share their experiences of healing and ideas.  We have a Reading Room, which is a specialist bookshop and study area, another point of contact for people to find out what Christian Science is all about and discuss their spiritual needs and aspirations.

We don’t have an ordained clergy.  Each branch church is a democratic entity and appoints from its members people to serve as Readers, who conduct the services, and an executive board who deal with the business of the church.


The Sunday Service includes hymns and prayers but there is no personal sermon.   Instead of that, the Readers read selections from the Bible and from the Christian Science textbook on one of the themes which were drawn up by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy.  These citations are studied daily by Christian Scientists during the week before and form the basis of their daily prayer and preparation for the Sunday service.


Mary Baker Eddy.  The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. born in 1821, lived through to the first decade of the 20th century. Raised in New England from a devout background of a farming community, she had a love of learning and an enquiring mind.  She suffered quite a bit from ill-health and investigated various methods of healing, without much relief.  In mid-life she had a fall which left her in a critical condition from which the doctors said she would not recover.  However, while apparently on her death-bed she opened her Bible and happened upon the story of how Jesus healed a paralysed man.  In a moment of insight she found herself suddenly restored to health, much to everyone’s amazement.  She wanted to find out how this had happened, because she felt that if it had happened to her it could happen to others, and she spent the next years of her life studying and trying to work out how Jesus healed.  Finally she wrote down her findings in a book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. This is the textbook which Christian Scientists study.  She also practised the method she had discovered by healing others through prayer and held classes in which she taught others to heal.

In addition, the Society holds occasional public lectures on Christian Science. These give an indication of its potential for healing and highlight the life and accomplishments of its founder, Mary Baker Eddy.

We involve ourselves with our local community by sending representatives to the Framlingham Annual Parish Meeting and responding to local concerns, by opening our premises at the annual sponsored cycle race and by praying for the community’s wellbeing.

Today, the Society’s membership and attendees continue to come from a wide area, including Woodbridge, Martlesham, Southwold, Halesworth and Great Yarmouth.  There is also a church in Ipswich.