An interview with Barbara Spiess Miller…

Tell us about the Lobster Lunch at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. The first Lobster Lunch at St. Michael’s was held in 1972. After becoming an exhibit venue for the Festival of Arts the previous year, it seemed a good idea to create a fundraising opportunity around the Festival. It’s been held every year since then with the exception of 1974 and the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. In the early days, lobster rolls were served in the basement of the parish hall. During the 1980’s, members of the parish became more involved with local mission work, as well as entering into a partnership with a parish, St. Thomas, in Arcahaie, Haiti. By 1994, it was decided that all net proceeds of the event would be shared between local charities and the parish of St. Thomas and its school in Haiti. A number of years ago, we moved to serving under the tent on our front lawn, greatly increasing our visibility and thus our revenue.  To date we have raised $435,591 for charity and mission work.

What is your favorite part about being a Lobster Lunch chair? How long have you been helping to plan the event? My husband Bill and I have been a part of the Lobster Lunch for at least 35 years. Over that period I have either chaired or co-chaired it a number of times. It’s a ton of work, but we always have a great team. I can’t imagine celebrating the 4th of July any other way. It’s the most festive and fun atmosphere. My favorite part is being able to welcome the community to St. Michael’s and visitors to Marblehead.

What are the dates and times of the Lobster lunch this year? Are there any other activities included that day with St. Michael’s Church? This year the Lobster Lunch will be held Thursday, July 4 through Saturday, July 6 from 11am to 3pm daily. In addition, we’ll once again host the Festival of Arts Sculpture and Mixed Media exhibit in our parish hall. Historic church tours will be offered daily from 10am – 3pm. Our Thrift Shop will be open 10am – 5pm daily. The public can also participate in ringing our bell at noon on July 4th to celebrate Independence Day. Last, but certainly not least, we have Sunday service on July 7 at 9am on the front lawn under the tent – the community is invited.

What makes St. Michael’s location so special? We’re located in the heart of town, where much of Marblehead’s early history happened. It’s a vibrant area where your neighbors are close and yet at times is amazingly serene and peaceful. When the breeze is right, you can smell the salt air wafting in through the open windows. It doesn’t get better than that.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Something many people don’t know about me is that I’m also the Directress of the Marblehead Female Humane Society (MFHS), having succeeded Lee Bartlett Weed in that role, who was a lifelong member of St. Michael’s Church.

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
Interview with Barbara Spiess Miller
26 Pleasant St, Marblehead


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