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Musings on May Webster, Part 2

By Christopher Rutty, SJWT-100th Team Lead.

Last week’s SJWT-100th article revealed how May Webster first found St. John’s back in December 1969. For those of us who have been part of St. John’s for many years, and those who are new, you’ll know, or have noticed, that often with May is her husband, John Webster. He is second only to May in longevity as a member of the parish. After I asked May how she discovered St. John’s, I asked how John did. Here’s what she told me: 

“John’s coming was actually just as accidental as mine… John hadn't intended to come at all. He had come into Toronto to attend a track meet (The one that used to be at Maple Leaf Gardens). He stayed with a friend [Bob] who was co-leader of the youth group. The youth group met for Bible study on Sunday nights, and for music making on Wednesdays. It was the time of the Christian folk-rock movement, and Bob led the music part. He could play guitar, and the rest of us all sang. We had a monthly Coffee House, which was sort of a ministry to young people by young people. I do think it was part of why that group of young people didn't [go] through a 'teenage rebellion' phase. In any case, Bob brought John to the Bible studies, and John stayed with Bob for a time. But he obviously found something at St. John's, and I remember that I encouraged him to continue to come. And the rest is history, and all that!”


St. John’s Vestry Report for 1972 includes a short article by May about “The Followers”, which describes the young people’s group that met for Bible Study, and for a “coffee house” in the church.


May Zadkin (later May Webster) with daughter, Quita, 1971

"The Followers" by May Webster from the 1972 Vestry Report

I also asked May about when she and John were married.

“Yes, we were indeed married at St. John's. The date was September 27, 1975. We had our reception in what was then called the North Room, now the baby room of the daycare. Ruby Hoyland was my matron of honour, and Bill Hoyland was John 's equivalent. Cy Weston was an usher, and Quita, almost 9, was junior bridesmaid.”


St. John’s Vestry Report for 1975 includes “John David Webster and May Zadkin” in the listing of the year’s “Holy Matrimony” report.


The SJWT-100th Team held a productive meeting via Zoom on Feb. 13. A video recording of the meeting, along with notes, are available via this DropBox link,

Contact Christopher Rutty – – with any contributions you’d like to make in support of the SJWT-100th initiative.

We are looking for volunteers interested in helping with the organization of special SJWT-100th events and activities, especially to:


  • Mark the 100th of the laying the church cornerstone on May 5th

  • Our anticipated participation in Doors Open Toronto, May 27-28

  • The 100th of the official opening of our Humberside Home on November 4th.

Originally published in St. John's Newsletter on February 26th, 2023

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