WBUR

Old South Church Votes Yes On Selling Church Artifacts

BOSTON — Members of one of the country’s oldest churches voted overwhelming to sell off historic artifacts valued at more than $25 million.

The sanctuary of the Old South Church was packed on Sunday when the majority of its members voted to sell 19 pieces of colonial silver and a rare Bay Psalm book that is estimated to sell for $20 million.

Eleanor Jensen has been a member of the church since 1961. She voted in favor of the sale because she believes the church could use the money.

“I think the time has come for the church to make a decision on whether they want to sit on a pile of silver or go out into the community and do the work of the church,” Jensen said.

But opponents say these artifacts are a vital part the church’s history. Longtime church member Paul Dutton voted against the sale.

“We’re losing some of our forefathers’ history by giving up something that really I don’t think they intended for us to give away,” Dutton said.

Dutton and others question whether the church actually legally owns all the valuable historic artifacts it intends to sell.

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