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With much affection and gratitude for his service, Old North Church & Historic Site shares the news that The Rev. Stephen Ayres will retire as Vicar and Executive Director at the end of 2019.

Vicar Ayres has served Old North Church for over twenty years, first answering the call to lead the church as Vicar in 1997 and then stepping into the role of Executive Director of the Old North Foundation, which serves as the governing organization of the historic site, in 2012.

Under Ayres’ leadership Old North Church has grown as a congregation, historic site, and museum, serving nearly a half million visitors each year. During his tenure at Old North, Ayres shepherded the organization through economic downturn, built the staff of the congregation and the foundation, and initiated two major restoration projects in the church’s crypt and Washington garden and courtyard (both breaking ground later this year). Over the past seven years the organization has also developed a dynamic and engaging public education program that includes historic interpretation, lectures and community conversations, and the transformation of the historic Clough House, which houses a colonial chocolate shop teaching about the Triangle Trade and economy of 18th century boston and cultural exhibition space aptly named Patriots Corner.

Read more about how Old North has grown during Rev. Ayres tenure in this interview with Matt Conti from the North End Waterfront and see his call to action for increased investment in historic preservation in the Boston Globe .