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Last updated: 4/30/18

Occupational Hazards: 20 Years as Old North’s Leader

Speaker: The Rev. Stephen T. Ayres

The Vicar of the Old North Church has two occupations, as spiritual leader of a North End congregation and as director of one of the most famous historical sites in the nation.  Have you ever thought about the occupational hazards involved in leading two distinct, but intertwined institutions? The Rev. Stephen Ayres is both the vicar of the Old North Church and the Executive Director of the Old North Foundation. Vicar Ayres has led thousands of worship services, preached over one thousand sermons, married nearly a hundred couples, baptized over a hundred babies, and presided over dozens of funerals.  At the same time, Vicar Ayres has helped transform the Old North Church from a brief stop on the Freedom Trail into a respected and professional historic site that teaches history and civic values to hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Questions to be addressed in the lecture include:  What is a vicar and what does that occupation entail?  How do the values inherent in a spiritual calling impact the practice of managing a historic site?  And, given the American tradition of separation of church and state, how can one person occupy a sacred and secular calling at the same time without going crazy or at least driving his spouse crazy?

Afterwards, please join us for an outdoor reception in the Washington Courtyard while hearing about Old North’s upcoming projects.