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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. John the Evangelist Church, with its adjacent cemetery, is situated on the south side of Main Street on the north side of Fredericton. Bishop John Medley consecrated the “little stone church”, its construction based upon John Henry Hokeswell’s design plans, in 1856.
The construction of St. John the Evangelist Church represents Bishop John Medley’s influence and his ecclesiastical vision for New Brunswick. Bishop Medley, who arrived from England in 1845, intended to spread Anglicanism throughout New Brunswick with the construction of Gothic Revival churches.
The heritage value of St. John the Evangelist also resides in its construction material and style. A Gothic Revival church built of stone was rare in New Brunswick at the time of its construction during the mid-1850s. The church, which was originally intended to be built of wood, was constructed using local stone. This church reflects Bishop Medley’s intertwining of architecture and sacred space. When Bishop Medley consecrated St. John the Evangelist in March 1856, he described the church as a “gem of architecture”.
The construction of this church demonstrates the liturgical needs of the local community. Discussion concerning the construction of a church began in 1851, when it was decided that families in the lower part of Douglas Parish had for too long been “destitute of church privileges”. The original plans, which were drawn in 1852, were altered in 1853 by John Henry Hokeswell of London, England and called for a stone church. One particular family played a prominent role in the construction of the church. The Robinsons, who were descended from Loyalist stock and owned considerable property between Nashwaaksis and Douglas, provided both the land and the stone necessary for the construction. Major Fred Robinson and his wife donated the land upon which the church was constructed, and a quantity of stone had been culled from the Robinson family quarry. In 1897, Beverly A. Robinson and his wife deeded a parcel of land on the lower side of St. John the Evangelist as a burial plot for his Lordship H.T. Kingdon, Bishop of Fredericton.
Source: City of Fredericton Historic Places Files, “St. John the Evangelist Church”
The character-defining elements associated with the Neo-Gothic style of St. John the Evangelist church include:
- manicured lawn and grounds;
- adjacent cemetery;
- one-and-a-half storey local stone structure;
- period furnishings inside the church include a butternut altar, chancel chairs, and pulpit in Gothic Revival style;
- small stone font inside the church;
- original entrance porch on the north side of the church;
- single lancets along the nave;
- double lancet windows at eastern and western ends of structure;
- original glass in the double lancet window at the eastern end of the structure;
- the small, inset, four sided star window, positioned above the double lancet window at the western end of structure.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
John Henry Hokeswell
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Fredericton, Historic Places File, "74 Main Street, St. John the Evangelist"
Cross-Reference to Collection