Farewell, St. John the Evangelist

September 25, 2015
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St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church held a farewell liturgy on Sunday morning,
Sept. 13, as the diocese prepares to close the church and relocate to a renovated
St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral on Tremont Street on Sept. 27.
The St. John building was built in 1831 for the Bowdoin Street Congregational Society, which was led by the Rev. Dr. Lyman Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s father. Notable parishioners have included poet T.S. Eliot and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the church was also recently honored when Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu visited and preached there.
The building’s notable artistic and architectural features include the large hanging crucifix and four large statues and underlying wooden screens, designed by Gothic Revival architect and parishioner Henry Vaughn. The large pedestal candelabra (Italian, c. 16th century) near the altar are believed to have been a gift from Isabella Stewart Gardner, who occasionally worshipped at the church and was a major patron of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist.
The St. John building is slated to be converted into a condominium complex, sources said.

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