Dear North End Friends and Neighbors,
As you may have read in the Boston Globe, the Old North Church and Historic Site will begin charging admission to most visitors ($8) beginning on May 1, 2018. Our goal is to raise additional funds to preserve the nearly 300 year old church and to provide a living wage to our forty plus staff members who welcome half a million visitors each year.
We wish to assure our friends that this change will have minimal impact on the residents of the North End.
- All North End residents will continue to be welcomed to the Old North campus, including the chocolate shop, free of charge. Just show your driver’s license at one of the new ticket booths for admission.
- All worship services (except weddings and funerals) at the church are open to the public free of charge.
- Neighbors just passing through the campus from Unity Street to Salem Street may do so without stopping at a ticket booth.
- We will continue to offer use of the church to neighborhood institutions like the Eliot School, the North Bennett Street School and NEMPAC, free of charge.
- We do not anticipate the admission fees will substantially reduce the number of visitors coming to the Old North and patronizing North End businesses.
- We do anticipate that the additional resources will enable Old North to better serve the visiting public as well as the neighborhood by adding new interpretive programs.
- We do anticipate that additional resources will enable us to take better care of the church and campus. The next major preservation project begins in 2019, when we will restore the crypt beneath the church and make it more accessible to the visiting public.
The Old North Church, founded in 1723, is likely the oldest institution in the North End. Our members are your neighbors and friends. Our visitors are your patrons. Our goal is to be hospitable to all who visit the Old North campus, whether from two blocks or two thousand miles away. We welcome all who come for spiritual direction or civic education and promise that we will continually strive to be good neighbors in a community we deeply love.
Steve Ayres, Vicar, Old North Church and Executive Director, Old North Foundation