St. John's Episcopal Church, Canandaigua

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St. John's Episcopal Church
StJohns 001.JPG
Basic information
Location Canandaigua (city), New York
Affiliation [1] The Episcopal Church
Country United States of America
Website [2] St. John's Episcopal Church
Architectural description
Architect(s) Emlyn T. Littel
Architectural type church
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Completed 1872
Direction of façade West
Materials Limestone, Stained glass, slate roof
Original wooden St. John's Church, Canandaigua

The Episcopal presence in Canandaigua,New York begins about 1799 with the St. Matthew Society, a missionary group. St. John's Episcopal Church was organized in 1814 and first met in the Ontario County, New York Court House in Canandaigua. St. John's erected a wooden church building in 1816. Bishop John Henry Hobart consecrated it that year. The brick rectory was constructed alongside the church in 1851. Steady congregational growth necessitated more space. This led to the razing of the first church and the constructing of the current, larger stone Gothic building done in the parish church style popular in the 19th century. Emlen T. Littel of New York, who was also the architect of Zion Episcopal Church (Palmyra, New York) designed the building. This church was constructed in 1872 at a cost of $47,000 (approximately $850,000 today) and consecrated in 1886. It contains several windows from the earlier wooden church, elaborate new stained glass windows imported from Europe, and one—The Parables Window—was designed by Daniel Cottier(1837–1891), who was considered an important influence on Louis Comfort Tiffany. In 1908, new hardwood floors, choir stalls, and an organ were installed. The parish house and a chapel were added at the same time. In 1964-65, an addition to parish house included classrooms, a new chapel, and a dining/ meeting room added to celebrate the church’s 150th anniversary. Recent additions include a columbarium with a capacity of 136 niches and a memorial garden, outside the church, reached through the columbarium and chapel in the South Transept.

Historical Timeline[edit]

1796 Missionary services begun in Canandaigua by Robert G. Wetmore

1799 February 4, first Episcopal congregation in Canandaigua, St. Matthew's organized by The Rev. Philander Chase.

1814 September 27, St. John's Church organized. Met in Court House.

1816 December 12, first church building consecrated by Bishop John Henry Hobart; a wooden gothic structure on site of present church, costing $14,000.

1815 The Rev. Alanson Welton Rector.

1815 - 1819 The Rev. Dr. Henry Ustick Onderdonk Rector.

1820 The Rev. William Barlow Rector.

1834 First Rectory on Gibson Street. House given by Mr. Grieg moved from N. Main Street to lot given by Mr. Gibson.

1836 -1842 Augustus Palmer Prevost Rector.

1844 The Rev. Joseph Wayland Rector

1851 Present Rectory build at cost of $4,000.

1867 Church enlarged with 26 additional pews, repaired, painted, stoves removed and furnace added. Cost over $16,000.

1869- 1875 The Rev. C. M. Nickerson, Rector.

1872 Original church torn down. New church erected, essentially same as present except for spire atop tower. Cost of $47,000 left parish with large debt. The present church was designed by Emlyn T. Littel of New York who was also the architect of Zion Episcopal Church in Palmyra, New York. St. John's is built of various kinds of stone and its intricate and colorful display of stained glass windows is one of the most impressive in this area.

1880 Bell installed as memorial to Moses Atwater, first Warden by descendants

1886 May 6, church consecrated after payment of debt.

1892 -1905 The Rev. Charles J. Clausen, Rector.

1895 Permanent Endowment Fund established with legacy of $1,000, "interest only to be applied to current expense of the church."

1907 The Rev. Herbert Gaylord became Rector, serving for 32 years.

1908 Hardwood floors, choir stalls, and organ installed in church. New Parish house and chapel built.

1923 Rectory repaired and improved at cost of $15,000.

St. John's Church, Canandaigua, about 1910.
St. John's Church, Main Window above altar.

1928 Spire removed from church building after being found unsafe.

1939 -1944 The Rev. Eugene C. Chapman, Rector

1940 Chapel established in south transept of church in memory of Frances Paul $500 bequeathed to church by Frances Paul used for altar appointments. Organ rebuilt, electrified, chimes and other stops added. Mr. Donald Scott became organist a few years later and served with a brief interruption for more than 32 years.

1944 -1959 The Rev. Robert C. Dunn, Rector

1959 -1970 The Rev. Harold D. Avery, Rector

1951 Church building completely redecorated.

1965 Addition to parish house providing 5 classrooms, Chapel, and dining/meeting room. Organ rebuilt.

1970 -1986 The Rev. Robert W. Withington Rector.

1974 Extensive work on organ after decision to preserve it in preference to installing an electronic organ.

1986 -1990 The Rev. James A. Hubbard, Rector.

1987 St. John's begins to host the Gleaners Community Kitchen, a community run ministry of providing meals to those in need in the community.

1992-93 Restoration of Stained Glass windows

1993-2008 The Rev. Albert J. Keeney, Rector

2000 Major restoration of Nave

1996-2010 Mrs. Ann Louise Pera serves as organist for St. John's Church; named Organist Emerita upon retirement.

2008-2013 The Rev. Richard D. Krapf, Deacon

2009 - Columbarium joins Memorial Garden located off the South Transept.

2010 - The Rev. David Hefling, Rector

2013 - The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts-Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, opens Bicentennial year celebrations.

2014 - The Rev. David Hefling named Dean of the Northeast District.

Organs of St. John's Church[edit]

1816 Original organ in St. John's Church was built by Henry Erben.

1872 Original organ rebuilt by A. B.Felgemaker Organ Company of Erie, Pennsylvania.

1908 New Organ installed in North Transept by Felgemaker at a cost of $3,000. Original organ sold for $400.

1940 Organ moved up to Chancel and modernized by adding pipes and chimes.

1963 Organ moved across Chancel and repaired.

1965 Organ rebuilt and some stops added.

1974 Extensive repair needed due to water damage.

1985 Organ rebuilt and restored due to water damage and other problems

External links[edit]

History of Churches of Canandaigua New York [3]

Sermon Preached in St. John's Church after the Assassination of President Lincoln [4]