Who We Are

FOSJ=Friends of St John's

We are a small dedicated group  attending to the preservation of our beloved 1861 Gothic Revival Church: St. John the Evangelist Anglican in Prescott, Ontario -- just up the street from the beautiful St. Lawrence River.  

One of our many goals:  to encourage awareness around the historical and cultural significance that such Gothic Revival architecture adds to the fabric of our communities and our country Canada as a whole.   FOSJ isn't about the religion that takes place inside this building--it's about the building itself.   This magnificent landmark,  built back in 1861 to seat 400 parishioners, has significant  rootedness in the era of Gothic Revival buildings.  It's a point of pride to share the same architect  who designed some of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.  Thomas Seaton Scott,  first Chief Dominion Architect appointed by the Government of Canada was well-know for his neo-gothic design.

Like many other  small Ontario towns there is an urgency for community engagement and stewardship here in Prescott.  If we are to preserve our architectural  landmarks and heritage we must act fast.  It is no secret that there is deep need to reclaim our "old buildings"-- and after more than a hundred and fifty harsh Canadian winters, St. John's is in serious need of attention.  

It is for our children and grandchildren that we embark on this challenging restoration project,  knowing it is the only way we can ensure that a tangible piece of Gothic Revival Architecture in this small Ontario town remains for generations to come.  

And, like eating an elephant ... we had to start somewhere.

In 2013 we embarked on the Lost Window Campaign to raise funds to cover the cost of moving an exceptional stained glass masterpiece by acclaimed artist Guido Nincheri (1885-1973) from the Eliza Merrington Chapel to the sanctuary at St. John's.  Nincheri has produced over 5,000 stained glass windows in nine Canadian provinces and six New England states.  He was one of the most accomplished religious artists of 20th century Canada, bringing Bible stories to life in stained glass and frescoes. He has been described as Montreal’s Michelangelo, introducing splashes of colour from his native Italy into the sometimes drab interiors of Canadian churches.  This particular work, signed by the artist was thought to be lost.