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Parishioners donate silver for man’s memorial chalice

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Phyllis Caro wanted to donate a silver chalice to her church in memory of her husband, but she needed the silver.

Once word spread, parishioners at Saint Matthew's Anglican Church in Newport News offered little treasures: a candy dish, earrings, candlesticks.Now, six months later, church members will gather at a shop in Colonial Williamsburg to bless Jimmy Curtis, a master silversmith, and the keepsakes he will melt: William and Angela Welch's silver bowl from Tiffany & Co., Rita Hubbard's sorority brooch, Ernestine Cooper's baby spoon.

"I'm just overcome, I guess," said Caro, whose husband, William, died two years ago of a stroke. "It's so generous. And so meaningful. I know, of course, that some of the things were things they didn't need, but some were very precious to them."

In colonial times, parishioners donated old silver to make chalices, just as Saint Matthew's has done, Curtis said.