Building a Foundation – The 1800s
The parish of St. John the Evangelist was founded in 1864. Services where conducted in various places until 1888 when the congregation purchased a lot at the corner of Wellington and St. James Streets and erected a lovely gothic structure.
Organizations for all age groups were established. Outreach projects to serve both the wider Anglican Communion and the local community were designed. These endeavours became a significant aspect of the parish’s life and have remained constant activities over the years.
As the congregation grew, the building was enlarged and beautified. Devoted members have donated vessels and vestments for celebrating the Holy Eucharist, altar candles, Bibles, hymn books and prayer books to enrich the worship.
In 1895 a small hall was built for the growing Sunday School. Two years later, the graceful spire was erected. The beautifully carved rood screen between the choir and the nave was added in 1905.
A Century of Growth – The 1900s
The 1920’s saw many new additions to the structure including the chapel, the rounded apse behind the main altar, and more classrooms for the expanding Sunday School.
Over the years, numerous stained glass windows have been given to enhance the church’s beauty. Perhaps the most striking window in the church is the one in the west wall placed there in 1949 honouring the men and women who served in World War II.
In the 1950’s the cloister, the oak chapel screen and more new classrooms and office space in the hall were added and in 1977 newly carved panels matching the statues of Jesus and St. John were placed behind the high altar. An organ designed by Gabriel Kney was installed in 1984. A bequest from the Blackburn Family allowed us to complete the beautiful fourteen bell carillon in 1996.
St. John’s Today – The 2000s
A major restoration project was completed in 2002. This including upgrades to the walls, roof and stained glass windows as well as major repairs to the bell tower. Shortly after a major interior renovation project saw improvements to the parish hall, office and meeting spaces to better fit the needs of the changing ministries at St. John’s. In 2013 St. John’s celebrated our 125th anniversary which saw the addition of several decorative banners and repainting of the exterior doors to a bright, welcoming colour.
The loveliness and serenity of this stately building assist the congregation in following the psalmist’s command to “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”.
In 2016, we developed a Visitor’s Guide that provides more information about the history and architecture of our church.