Photos & Stories

Old South Church Displays Memorial, Community Art Project for Homeless Dead

November 26, 2018

On January 27, 2016, a homeless man was found lying dead on the steps of Old South Church covered in a sheet and blanket. That same blanket and sheet have been transformed into a memorial and community art project, on display in the church's entryway, a testament to those who lost their lives on Boston's streets.

Read Copley Square church displays memorial quilt for homeless dead via Spare Change News (8/20/16)

Associate Minister Rev. John Edgerton said of the man's death, “Every human life is precious in God’s eyes. Whether they are rich or poor, housed or unhoused makes no difference. The church is called to mourn the dead and lead the community in embracing the sacredness of life. We knew we had to do something to memorialize the tragic loss of life playing out every day on Boston’s streets. It was literally on our doorstep." Back in March 2016, Kathleen Simone, an artist and member of Old South Church, envisioned creating a memorial quilt for all the homeless people who have died in Boston. The quilt is made from the blanket and sheet that the man had been covered in when he died. It was decorated as a community art project by artists from Old South Church and artists from common art, a ministry of common cathedral, Boston’s outdoor church.

The memorial installation will hang in Old South Church through the fall.