Two if by Sea - Preparing for Old North's 300th Birthday

Rev. Stephen T. Ayres

Tuesday, October 10 - November 14 1:00-3:00 p.m. 6 sessions
Old North Church, 193 Salem Street

This unique class examines preparations to restore the Old North Church and Historic Site in time for her 300th birthday in 2023. Students will explore Old North from different perspectives, from her basic history and place in American myth and folklore to lesser-known stories. The implications of these viewpoints  will be applied to the challenge of preserving and interpreting the Old North to  an eager but ever-changing public. 

Participants will experience Old North and its full campus through exclusive tours and programs, including timely discussions with professionals involved in planning the restoration. This class invites participants to join a larger conversation about the current state and future of this national landmark and make an impact  on preparations for her 300th birthday!

The enduring fame of the Old North Church began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when church sexton Robert Newman and vestryman Captain John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British regulars were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River, and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution. Today, this national treasure receives half a million visitors from all over the country and the world who want to experience this stirring monument to liberty. Old North Church and Historic Site faces a number of unique challenges in terms of preservation and interpretation for the next few centuries.  Teaching Style:

Lecture with discussion     Weekly Preparation: 1 hour


    Rev. Stephen T. Ayres

    The Rev. Stephen T. Ayres has served as vicar of the Old North Church since 1997 and as executive director of the Old North Foundation since 2012. Vicar Ayres was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1980 and has served parishes in Missouri, New York, and Massachusetts. He has an undergraduate degree in comparative religion from Hamilton College, a master of divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School, and an M.A. degree in urban policy from Tufts University. At Old North, Vicar Ayres is responsible for the management and preservation of the historic site. He lives near the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown with his  wife Lisa and son Matthew.