After an absence of over 30 years, stars have returned to the ceiling of the sanctuary of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown. The gilded stars on a blue background realize the style of gothic design in which the church was built in 1874. William Weckesser, father of Peter Sipperley, the current organist and president of the board of trustees of the church, painted the original starry ceiling in 1921. That sky was covered over in 1986 when insulation work was completed.
Cynthia Moyer, Conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a parishioner, accomplished thie current historical restoration. “It occurred to me to write the family names of people in the church cemetery under many of the stars,” said Cynthia. Bruce Chilton, current rector of St. John’s, commented that this was in keeping with the lines from the Book of Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Evie Chanler, wife of the late Bronson Chanler, a Trustee of St. John’s who bequeathed funds for the restoration, was on hand for the dedication on the Feast of the Epiphany.