St. John the Baptist Anglican Church
1919 Sunrise Trail - Hwy. 6, River John.
1st, Sunday of the month 9 am
2nd., 3rd and 4th Sunday 11:00 a.m. (Service times are subject to change)
Church Hall Telephone: (902) 351-2107
Events: Monthly Breakfast - last Sunday of every month. See the Community Events Calendar for details.
In 1832 the first church was built. The church was consecrated by Bishop Binney in 1849. The first clergyman was Rev. Charles Elliott after several years he returned to England and was followed by Rev. J.A. Kaulbeuk a very loved and respected man. After some time the Rev. J. L. Downing was placed in charge. Twenty one years after the church was consecrated it was destroyed by fire in the 1870's.
The present church was built in 1879 by local shipwrights, of River John. It is of gothic style with open rafters and a steep roof.
All the windows in the church are stain glass windows that were brought over from England. The lead in the windows buckled in an Atlantic storm on the way over and had to be taken out and returned to England for repair.
The pulpit was placed in the church in 1918 by the family of Capt. George Hayden.
The baptism font is made out of sandstone and came from an old Saxon church in England along with a stone fire place for the rectory.
The religious pictures at the back of the altar were drawn by Frances Downing daughter of the first minister Rev. J.L. Downing.
The first church organ was an old pump organ and was donated by Rev. Downing's wife, and was used for services from 1879 to 1978 when a new Hammond organ was purchased through the memorial fund. The pump organ although no longer used sits in the church vestry.
For funerals the church bell was always tolled when the procession was seen coming and continued at equal intervals until the grave was filled in.
In 1960 a furnace was installed to heat the church, prior to this a coal stove was located at the back of the church.
The beautiful hangings were embroidered by the wife of Rev. J.C. Wilson.
The Sanctuary light was given in loving memory of Helen Shea by her family.
The Paschal Candle was donated by the family of Myrtle Langille in honor of her 90th birthday.