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Historic lectern is returned to Stony Brook church

This historic lectern at All Souls Episcopal Church

This historic lectern at All Souls Episcopal Church in Stony Brook, which went missing on Sunday, is back home after its return Wednesday. Credit: Handout

Daniel Kerr is filled with joy: The historic lectern from All Souls Episcopal Church that went missing Sunday has been returned.

“I feel relieved. I feel joyful,” Kerr, a volunteer for the Stony Brook church, said Thursday. “I do believe every once in a while God intervenes and things work out.”

The oak lectern was returned on Wednesday, Kerr said, after an article appeared in Newsday and on about how it had vanished.

That day, a man who did not want to be identified contacted the church and said he had the lectern, Kerr said. He brought it back to the church, but was vague about what had happened.

The man “was happy,” Kerr said. “He just had a smile on his face. I suspect he was a person of deep faith.”

Kerr had brought the lectern out of the 120-year-old church and down a hill to Main Street on Sunday morning so he could address a larger-than-expected crowd of participants in the church’s annual run/walk benefit, called “SOLES for All Souls.”

Amid the commotion of the race and an awards ceremony and raffle afterwards, church volunteers forgot about the lectern and left it by the street. When they went to get it, it was gone.

Kerr had offered a $100 reward for its return.

The man who brought back the lectern refused to take the money, he said. Kerr later mailed him a check because he wanted to stand by his offer.

An Episcopal bishop gave the church the lectern not long after it opened in 1896. The church was designed by renowned architect Stanford White, who spent summers in St. James at Box Hill Estate, another of his creations.

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