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St. John's Lutheran Church and Cemetery

Riverside RM 168, Saskatchewan, S0N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/12/12

View southwest, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2004.
Front and North Elevations
View north at south elevation, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2004.
South Elevation
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Other Name(s)

St. John's Lutheran Church
St. John's Lutheran Church and Cemetery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1919/01/01 to 1919/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. John’s Lutheran Church and Cemetery is a Municipal Heritage Property located in the Rural Municipality of Riverside No. 168, approximately 15 km south of the Town of Cabri. Occupying a grassy 2.1-ha parcel of land set amidst cultivated fields, the property features a cemetery and a wood-frame church built in 1919. Situated on a gentle rise of land, the church is a prominent feature on the local prairie landscape.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of St. John’s Lutheran Church and Cemetery resides in its status as one of the first churches built in the municipality and one of the oldest churches remaining in the area. St. John’s Lutheran congregation was organized in 1912 by Norwegian settlers in the Fosterton district. After holding services in members’ homes for a number of years, the congregation built St. John’s Lutheran Church in 1919. Undergoing a number of renovations throughout the years, the church served its community’s spiritual needs for nearly 60 years. Since regular services ceased in 1976, the church has continued to provide a venue for occasional weddings and funerals. The cemetery also remains in use. A volunteer committee ensures that the church and grounds are well-tended, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the church as a valued landmark, and honouring the property’s long-standing role in the religious life of the community.

Heritage value is also found in the property’s connection to the district’s Norwegian pioneers. Built by community volunteers, the church’s modest design and restrained decoration are typical of Lutheran churches built by Scandinavian immigrants to rural Saskatchewan. The interments and headstones in the cemetery are also evocative reminders of the community’s forbears and its Norwegian heritage.


Rural Municipality of Riverside No. 168 Bylaw No. 201.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of St. John’s Lutheran Church and Cemetery resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements that are typical of early-twentieth century Lutheran country churches, including the church’s east-west orientation; its simple rectangular plan, gable roof and centrally-positioned bell tower; the four-sided steeple with flared base; the colour scheme of light-hued walls and dark roof and steeple; the Gothic-inspired pointed-arch windows and window tracery; the wood shingles and clapboard siding; the restrained interior treatment of wood flooring, panelling, mouldings and doors; and the recessed, elevated chancel separated from the nave by a chancel rail;
-elements that express the property’s connection to the district’s pioneers, including the church’s location on its original site; the open, grassy grounds; and the cemetery with its interments and grave markers.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1919/01/01 to 1976/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 1317

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 1317



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