For nearly two decades, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Southampton had never once locked its doors, keeping them open for rest, prayer, solace and peace 24 hours a day, seven days a week — with no exceptions.
It was a tradition born from the devastation of September 11, 2001, a time when religious, spiritual and agnostic individuals alike needed guidance, or simply a place to go, following the terrorist attack on New York City that day, just 90 miles away.
Weighed down by uncertainty and fear, parishioners sought a similar degree of comfort when the COVID-19 outbreak reached the East End this past March. Some turned to their houses of worship as beacons of hope — and, in the case of St. John’s, knew the doors would always be open.
Until they weren’t.Read More