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Boston backstory: A day in the life of the Old North Church

Boston backstory: A day in the life of the Old North Church

The Rev Stephen T. Ayres of Christ Church, Boston, otherwise known as the Old North Church writes of his experiences yesterday:

After a couple of hours of construction planning at church, I walked home to take a nap, only to be summoned by a parishioner who was near the finish line when the bombs went off. Shortly thereafter the National Park Service asked Old North to close down early as a security precaution, which we did.

Into the evening I was contacting family and friends to let them know our family was fine. At the same time I was reaching out to other clergy in the Boston Harbor Deanery to offer prayers and support. A priest from Trinity, Copley Square, adjacent to the finish line, assured me their church was fine as was the Trinity team of fundraising runners in the marathon. One of our hospital chaplains reported on the stress in the emergency room of her hospital and the deep appreciation of all involved for the outpouring of prayer.

We opened the church as usual for tours on Tuesday and a greeting visitors who are more interested in prayer than in the story of Paul Revere. As they enter, they will see a makeshift memorial and prayer for the victims of the tragedy.

Meanwhile, outside the church, we are beginning to erect scaffolding so we can paint our steeple. The steeple where two lanterns were courageously hung two hundred and thirty eight years ago. The steeple that gave birth to Patriot’s Day and the tradition of the Boston Marathon. Assaults on our freedom cut deeply here at Old North Church. We will be keeping our lanterns lit and facing the Boston Marathon finish line to honor the innocent victims.

What other reflections have you encountered in the media or on social media that you can share with us in the comments?


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Ann Fontaine
Jeffrey Neal

As a resident of Boston and member of Trinity Copley Square, I am encouraged by the wonderful response of the city’s faith communities. We have some of the most committed, diverse faith communities in the nation, and during times like these we really pull together.


I work two blocks from the bombings. These were my reflections after I got home from work yesterday.

[Thanks Joy. please sign your last name too next time.]

Ann Fontaine

Adam Thomas reflects at Day 1

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