Church of St John the Evangelist, Lancaster, Lancashire
How to find us
- What's nearby
Refined Georgian craftsmanship and a complex legacy of Trans-Atlantic commerce in the heart of the city
Consecrated in 1755, with a distinctive Neoclassical tower and spire added in 1784, St John’s was built by and for the expanding merchant community of Lancaster, at a time when Trans-Atlantic trade - including trade in enslaved people - brought prosperity and growth to the city. It was built near to the Lune-side docks, which connected Lancaster to the Atlantic and thence to Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean, and known locally as ‘t’owd fish church’ for its fish-shaped weathervane and maritime associations.
Internally, the majority of the Georgian interior survives including the altar rail, box pews, galleries and 1780s organ casing, the latter by the renowned Gillow’s of Lancaster, cabinet-makers, donated by local MP Abraham Rawlinson. Later alterations, including a porch and side chapel, are sensitive to the character resulting in an austere but coherent aesthetic. Set behind tall railings in its overgrown churchyard, this is one of Lancashire’s hidden treasures.
St John’s has been closed and underused since flooding in late 2015 and subsequent outbreaks of wet and dry rot. It is in significant need of repair and conservation; despite investment of in excess of £250,000 over the last decade, the condition of the historic fabric continues to deteriorate and the building is on the Heritage At Risk register. CCT is working with local stakeholders to secure a new, sustainable use for the building which will repair it and prevent future decay; for more information on the regeneration of St John’s see our dedicated page for The Chamber at St John's project.
Donations to support this work, and the repair and upkeep of St John’s are vital; please help us by donating a gift of £5 or £10 by texting the numbers below or visit our donation page here
Text LAN to 70970 to give £5
Text LAN to 70191 to give £10
Your generous donation will help us to protect a beautiful part of local and national heritage. Thank you!
23 January 2023
The winter months continue to overwhelm St John’s, with the church suffering a burst pipe during the cold weather in December leading to flooding and water damage in the vestry and eastern end of the building.
14 December 2022
CCT has been awarded a grant of £393,507 to work with Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce to open a co-working space in the redundant St John’s Church in Lancaster.
24 November 2022
Earlier this month, St John the Evangelist Church, Lancaster, was taken over by contemporary artist Anne Bennett, with her light installation Butterfly Dream: Making the Invisible Visible.
25 March 2022
St John the Evangelist Church opened its doors to welcome the people of Lancaster for a Spring Clean recently. The event was part of a community consultation exploring options to reopen the church back into the heart of the community. The event was well attended by locals, members of Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce, Lancaster and District Heritage Group and Lancaster City Council.
11 October 2021
Georgian city church wins £17,355 of new funding
06 May 2021
St John the Evangelist Church, Lancaster has received £51,875 for vital repairs to windows and doors thanks to grant funding from the government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund.
09 September 2021
Anonymous donor gives £20,000 towards our project to find a new use for the Church of St John the Evangelist in Lancaster.
10 December 2015
Flooding devastates city centre church
A remote coastal church
A railway church on the edge of two national parks
A rare church built in the reign of Mary I
Disabled access information
Low step into church. Steps onto chancel. Stairs to gallery
Facilities & Hire
Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
Junction of North Road and Chapel Street.
Nearest railway station: Lancaster (0.5 mile).
History & Further Information
Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church before you visit? You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.Lancaster St. John the Evangelist - Your Church Tour Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester, & Merseyside County Guide 2012
This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches we care for in Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.
All our Lancashire churches are in our North region.
Useful local links