The spare but beautiful interior of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is empty and shuttered now, the victim of declining attendance in a sparsely populated dot of Western Massachusetts.
But above its worn pews Monday morning hung a five-candle chandelier that Paul Revere would have seen when he walked into the Old North Church, a chandelier that would have been suspended there on the night of his famous ride to Lexington.
St. Paul’s was opened as a mission by an Old North Church official.
On Monday, the chandelier was packed up and shipped home, nearly three centuries since a Boston privateer, a pillar of the Old North congregation, seized it from a French ship bound for Quebec and presented it to his church.
Old North later donated the chandelier to St. Paul’s, and there it had remained since 1830 as a glittering object of beauty and fascination until Episcopal officials decided to close the country chapel this summer.
St. Paul’s loss will become a plus for the Old North, officially called Christ Church, which is planning for a major restoration to coincide with its 300th anniversary in 2023. The chandelier will be reinstalled somewhere on the North End campus.
“This is a nice part of our history,” the Reverend Stephen T. Ayres, vicar of Old North, said as he watched the chandelier being dismantled, piece by glimmering piece, and packed for the 120-mile trek along the Massachusetts Turnpike to Boston.
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