St John's, Aberdeen

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St John's Church, Aberdeen
57°08′36″N 2°06′04″W / 57.143324°N 2.101135°W / 57.143324; -2.101135
Location Crown Street, Aberdeen
Country Scotland
Denomination Scottish Episcopal Church
Dedication St John the Evangelist
Consecrated 6 May 1851
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Architect(s) Matthew and Mackenzie
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 20 November 1849
Materials Granite with Burntisland stone dressings
Diocese Aberdeen & Orkney
Rector The Revd Canon Dr Isaac M Poobalan

St John the Evangelist — also known as St John's — off Crown Street is a Scottish Episcopal Church in Aberdeen, Scotland.


The Episcopal congregation in Aberdeen that became St John's Church began when the Kirk of St Nicholas ejected Rev Dr George Garden in 1693 for refusing to conform to the Presbyterian Establishment. After a spell in exile, he returned to Aberdeen by 1720 and gathered around him the remnants of his flock.[1]

Over the next one hundred and thirty years, the congregation met in several houses and a larger building in Golden Square, dedicated to St John the Evangelist.

Present Church[edit]

During the long incumbency of Rev. Patrick Cheyne, a new building off Crown Street, was consecrated by the Primus, Bishop William Skinner and opened for worship on 6 May 1851. The congregation has worshipped there continuously since then. Cheyne[2] was prosecuted in 1858 by Bishop Thomas Suther for his Tractarian “Six Sermons” on the Eucharist. His successor, the Rev. Frederick G Lee soon resigned to found a new congregation, St Mary’s Carden Place, and the Patrons, Dr George Grub and Dr George Ogilvie beseeched John Comper to come to Aberdeen in 1861.

During the first years of Comper’s incumbency a day school was built, dedicated to Cheyne’s forty years association with St John’s, then in the year 1863 the first sister arrived from the Society of Saint Margaret,[3] the foundress of St Margaret’s Convent, 17 Spital, Aberdeen.

Comper resigned the charge at St John’s in 1870 to spend more time in his new mission located in the Gallowgate slums of Aberdeen (now St Margaret of Scotland, Aberdeen). The reredos of St John’s was designed by Sir Ninian Comper in memory of his parents.

In 2013 the church became the first in Scotland to invite Muslims to share its building as the neighbouring mosque was so small that some were forced to worship outside.[4][5]



  1. ^ The Story of St John The Evangelist's Church, Aberdeen by W. Douglas Simpson M.A., D. Litt.1951, reprinted 2001
  2. ^ St John's Episcopal Church, Aberdeen
  3. ^ St Margaret's Gallowgate website
  4. ^ "Christian church in Aberdeen is first in Scotland to share with Muslims" STV 18 March 2013
  5. ^ "Christian Church opens doors to Muslims" BBC News 30 March 2013