St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church is a large church building of mixed concrete and wood construction in a late rendition of the Gothic Revival style. It is situated near two other historic public buildings, forming a distinct cluster. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Recognized Heritage Structure
St. John the Evangelist was designated a Recognized Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2017 due to its historic, cultural and aesthetic value.
St. John the Evangelist has historic value due to the context of its construction. Construction of St. John the Evangelist began during the Great Depression, continued through the Second World War, and was completed in the 1960s. Shortages of both materials and labour resulted in a protracted building campaign and a structure of mixed construction. Modern materials were combined with traditional style to result in a Gothic Revival structure of concrete, cinderblock, wood, and plywood. The initial architect is unknown, however the tower was designed by prominent modernist architect Frederick A. Colbourne. The result is a transitional building, between the primarily Gothic Revival wood churches of the 19th century on the one hand and the less ornate modern churches of the mid-to-late 20th century on the other.
St. John the Evangelist has cultural value as the third church erected by its parish and as a building completed through a long and hard-fought building campaign. The first St. John the Evangelist was built in 1849 by the people of Joe Batt’s Arm and was replaced in 1880 when the parish joined with that of Barr’d Islands. The second church was destroyed by fire in 1928 and by 1931 a new cornerstone was laid by Rev. Charles White, Bishop of Newfoundland. Construction of the new church was stalled by the Great Depression and would finish more than 25 years later in 1957. The current St. John the Evangelist was built for a large congregation and can seat approximately 800. That a third church was built at such a scale, and that its congregation persevered through several major obstacles, speaks to the importance of St. John the Evangelist to its community.
St. John the Evangelist has aesthetic value as a late Gothic Revival church of unique, mixed construction. The Gothic Revival of St. John the Evangelist is subdued and likely reflects an interpretation of the style by its congregation and builders. Gothic elements include lancet arched windows, a steep-pitched gable roof with aisles and clerestory windows, buttresses with pointed tops, and a tower with a flared spire. Modern design and construction is reflected in these details, in the rough, poured concrete of the buttresses, the simple division of the windows, and the largely unornamented clapboard walls. On the interior, the same themes are exemplified by utilitarian plywood used to decorative effect for the vaulted ceiling.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Barr’d Islands – Barr’d Islands, FPT 3376”
Character Defining Elements
All original features which relate to the age and style, including:
-number of storeys;
-steep gable roofs;
-wood roof shingles;
-narrow wood clapboard;
-wood cornerboards and trim;
-tower with flared pyramidal roof;
-concrete foundation and buttresses;
-five-light Gothic arched clerestory windows;
-thirteen-light Gothic arched aisle windows;
– size, style, trim, and placement of wood windows;
– size, style, trim, and placement of wood doors;
-location of the building in relation to the landscape and neighbouring structures;
-dimensions and orientation of building.
The first Anglican church in Barr’d Islands was built either in the late 1820s or early 1830s. It was built on Foster’s Point and was called St. James’ Church. St. James’ closed around 1870 and the congregation joined St. John the Evangelist Church, a congregation from nearby Joe Batt’s Arm that was in the process of building a new church. The first St. John the Evangelist Church had been built in 1849 by the people of Joe Batt’s Arm and by 1880 the people of Joe Batt’s Arm and Barr’d Islands were busy building the second St. John the Evangelist Church. This building was destroyed by fire on January 22, 1928. The building of the third St. John the Evangelist Church took almost thirty years. The foundation was laid in 1930 and the cornerstone in August 1931 by Rev. Charles White, Bishop of Newfoundland. Financial setbacks caused by the Great Depression resulted in work being halted. The church was completed in 1957 and opened on August 25, 1957. It was consecrated by Bishop Seaborn on September 24, 1961. The bell tower was completed in September 1963.
Location and History
Town of Fogo Island
19700101 - 19700101
Rectangular Short Façade