St. John’s Stone Church Saint John

St. John's Stone Church

St. John’s Stone Church Saint John

St. John’s Stone Church, commonly referred to as “the stone church,” was recognized as a National Historic Site in 1987 for being an early and exceptional example of a Gothic Revival church in its Romantic phase in Canada.

Canada is home to over 800 national historic sites, with 58 of them located in New Brunswick and 13 within Saint John itself. These sites, primarily dating back to the nineteenth century, reflect the cultural roots that make Saint John distinct.

St. John’s Stone Church Saint John

A key aspect of this culture is the loyalty to British heritage, which is evident in the Stone Church. In 1824, it was designated as a Garrison Church when the Lieutenant-Governor donated £600 to assist with construction costs. The military continues to use the church for special services, and its ties to England and the Church of England remain strong. The Linking Stone, a piece of Caen stone from the chancel of St. Andrew’s Church in Steyning, Sussex, England, connects St. John’s Church to its ancient British predecessors. The church still has a Garrison Officers’ Pew and displays the royal coat of arms on its balcony.

St. John Stone Church, Saint John
St. John Stone Church, Saint John 1890’s
The Stone Church boasts unique and stunning wood carvings from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, showcasing Canada’s rich artistic heritage. Notable examples include the font cover, pew ends, wall carvings, the Holy Communion Table, and the Rector’s Stall.
St. John’s Stone Church Saint John

Built between 1823 and 1826 based on John Cunningham’s designs, St. John’s Stone Church represents the earliest phase of Gothic Revival in Canada— the Romantic Gothic Revival. This style bridges the gap between classical tradition and re-emerging Gothic architecture, featuring eighteenth-century classicism adorned with Gothic elements. St. John’s is an early embodiment of this style in the country.

St. John’s Stone Church Saint John

The church also features a chancel, constructed in 1872 following designs by local architect Matthew Stead. This later addition adheres to a more historically accurate version of Gothic Revival, known as Ecclesiological Gothic Revival.

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2 thoughts on “St. John’s Stone Church Saint John

  1. I am doing research on an Anglican clergyman, the Revd Pelham Williams who
    may have been rector of St John’s, New Brunswick about 1888. He had been rector
    of St Barnabas Church, Troy, New York from 1879 until he resigned 14th May 1888.

    Is there a list of Rectors of St John’s which may shed light on this?
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely, Steven Haws

    1. There is a book called “The Book of Remembrance” by A. L. Flemming which recounts about 100 years of the church’s history including the rectors, vestrymen, and notable figures in the church. You can find it digitized on the internet archive!

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