Newburyport Church Parking Lot Transforms Into Blacksmith Shop

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NEWBURYPORT, Mass (WBZ NewsRadio) — The bells won't be the only thing clanging at Newburyport's St. Paul's Episcopal Church after Sunday's service, the sound of hammers on anvils may be heard joining the chorus. In a Facebook post from the church, it was announced that a blacksmithing event at St. Paul's parking lot will be held by "Swords to Plowshares," an organization that re-purposes surrendered guns from buy-back programs into gardening tools.

The event was scheduled to be held on November 14, in the afternoon.

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Attendees were offered the chance to learn and even practice their own blacksmithing skills. Father Jarred Mercer of St. Paul's said the event had more meaning besides getting weapons off the street. "It's a process of redemption really, of turning something that's meant for destruction into something that is life-giving. And that has all kinds of rich symbolism for our whole lives."

Mercer said there's a cool aspect to blacksmithing too, watching the process of melting things down and pulling out red hot metal.

One of the missions of Swords to Ploughshares, according to their website, has been " to heal the wounds of war, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans." The not-for-profit organization wrote that they have served Bay Area veterans since 1974, offering services like housing programs, counseling, and case management.

WBZ's Kendall Buhl (@WBZKendall) reports.

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