After twenty-two years of celebrating mass at the Old North Church in Boston’s North End, Vicar Rev. Stephen Ayres has retired from his position as Vicar of Old North Church as well as Executive Director of the Old North Foundation.

Rev. Ayres preached his final sermon at Old North on Sunday, December 22, with Bishop Gayle Harris presiding and friends both old and new in attendance.

Rev. Ayres has served as Vicar of Old North since 1997. During this time, he preached more than one thousand sermons; celebrated over one thousand Eucharists; and baptized and married over one hundred people.

Through his leadership of the Old North Foundation, Rev. Ayres expanded the Old North Church’s historic site operations including the interpretive, educational, development and preservation programs. He also oversaw the acquisition of the Salem Street property, and subsequently led the expansion and renovation to what is now the Parish House and offices.

Rev. Ayres’ wife, Lisa, is a cherished and beloved member and supporter of the Old North congregation. She taught many children in various educational programs over the years.

In recognition of their 22 years of service, Old North has dedicated and renamed the Coffee Hour Room of the Parish House to the Rev. Stephen and Lisa Ayres Room.

Following Rev. Ayres’ final mass, parishioners gathered to celebrate at a festive luncheon at Ristorante Lucia. Gifts of appreciation were presented to the Ayres and a donation will be made by the congregation in Steve’s honor toward the renovation and restoration of the Washington Memorial Garden.

Photos courtesy of Old North.

Read more NorthEndWatefront.com coverage of Old North news and campus updates by searching our tags Old North, Old North Church, and Old North Foundation.

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