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The Church of St. John the Evangelist

The Church of St. John the Evangelist
Plaque no. 31
Date of plaque unveiling
3 January 1988
Speakers
Elizabeth Spicer
Location
280 St. James Street, London, Ontario
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History

The history of the Church of St. John the Evangelist goes back to 1864 when a chapel by the same name was consecrated at the old Huron College on St. George Street. The chapel was a gift of Huron’s first principal, Archdeacon Isaac Hellmuth, and his wife, Catherine, in memory of her father General Thomas Evans, C.B.

This chapel was used until 1884, when the congregation moved to the chapter house of the proposed Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

In 1887, property on St. James Street was purchased for a new Gothic-style church, to be designed by Charles F. Cox, a member of the congregation. The foundation stone was laid on March 8, 1888, by the Reverend Richard G. Fowell, Principal of Huron College. The church cost around $13,000, and opened on November 11, 1888.

Many additions have been made over the years, including a school building in 1895, a spire in 1897, and a chancel screen in 1905.  In 1955, a new baptistry, a north aisle, a narthex and cloister on the north side of the church were added.

Several memorial windows have been dedicated over the years. Many of the earlier windows are the work of the distinguished firm of McCausland & Co. of Toronto, including three in the chancel: “The Good Shepherd,” “St. John the Baptist,” and “Virgin Mary.” In the cloister is the “Priscilla Window”, the only London example of the work of notable Canadian artist Yvonne Williams. The church also has several works by Londoner, Christopher Wallis, including “The Lamb of Resurrection” and “The Creation” windows, as well as a large stained-glass window commemorating those who served in both world wars.

Other distinctive features are the unique rood screen, stone font, soaring arches, and “inverted ship” ceiling. Also of note are terra cotta panels depicting the apostles around the 1953 cross, designed by Londoner Ray Robinson.