Church of St John the Evangelist, Lancaster, Lancashire

North Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1PA
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Opening times:
Access to this site is currently restricted, St. John's will be open to the public on the 17th of February, 16th of March and 20th of April 2024 from 11am to 1pm, for more information please email Elanor Johnson Regeneration Officer [email protected]
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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!


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