SJWT-100th: The History of the History of St. John’s
By Christopher Rutty
Some twenty-one years ago, the Advent (December) 2001 edition of the “St. John’s Journal” included an “Of Things Past” section with an article by May Webster titled, “A Historical Conundrum, in which she looked back a further 20 years to 1981 when St. John’s celebrated the 100th anniversary of the official founding of the parish. The conundrum stemmed from discovering that there was a vestry meeting held in 1879, and perhaps another in 1880. However, it became customary to mark the official birth of St. John’s when the first church opened in 1881. Today, we’re working towards the celebrating 100th anniversary of the opening of St. John’s third church building, which will be in November 2023.
You can read the Advent 2001 edition of the St. John’s Journal, via,
The Advent 2001 issue also included an article titled “Twenty Years Ago at St. John’s” by Nan Weston, who, with her husband Cy, were long-time members of St. John’s. Her article began with, “1981 was the year that the parish celebrated its Centennial. It was a year crammed with special events, memories, and souvenirs, involving all ages in a wonderful celebration of the past, while looking forward to the future.”
Among the initiatives was the creation of a Centennial logo based on a rising eagle (the symbol of St. John) above the number 100 set in a triangle, the symbol of the Trinity.
The St. John’s 100th logo was used in all parish correspondence and it was also made into lapel pins. Other souvenirs included a spoon with a tiny replica of the church on the handle, as well as bookmarks, pencils, and balloons that included the logo. There was also a booklet published titled, “The First Century.”
A Centennial Stone was laid in the wall at the north-east corner of the building next to the 1889 and 1923 cornerstones, the box behind the Stone containing the Centennial souvenirs, a parish list, an Order of Service, and a history of the parish.
There was a Harvest Service in October during which many parishioners worshiped in period costumes and followed the service as it was in 1881. The celebrations climaxed with a Centennial Service in November 1981, for which many former parishioners attended.
The Advent 2001 edition of the St. John’s Journal also included an article I wrote inviting assistance from parishioners to help with preparing an updated online St. John’s History project for its 120th. At that time, I called for a meeting, as I am again today, to get an official start developing plans and projects, perhaps inspired by what was done in 1981, and to discuss other ideas to document, share and celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. John’s current church building.
The first meeting of the SJWT-100th Team will be on Tuesday, November 22 at 7:30 pm, via Zoom. All are welcome. Here’s the Zoom meeting link,