History of St John The Evangelist Parish

The foundation stone of St John the Evangelist Church was laid in October 1861. The church was completed and consecrated in October 1863. We celebrated our Sesquicentennial Celebrations, in October 2013, 150 years of ministry in the heart of the city of Bath.

The architect Charles Hansom, designer of fifty Catholic churches in the country and brother of Joseph Aloysius Hansom, the designer of the Hansom cab, regarded St John’s as his best and most rewarding work. The church, on the site of an earlier priory was built by the Benedictines of Downside Abbey who handed it over to the Diocese of Clifton in 1932. St John’s prospered from its consecration until the Second World War when, on 27th April 1942, during the second night of a German air attack on Bath, the presbytery received a direct hit and was destroyed. Fr Sheridan, one of the curates, the housekeeper and three members of the Sweet Family were killed. The church was severely damaged, the south aisle being completely demolished.

The Church is built in the Decorated Gothic style with Bath stone used throughout the entire building. The stone tower and spire stand 202' - the highest in Bath!

The spire also plays host to a pair of nesting peregrine falcons. We are dedicated to St John the Evangelist one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and writer of St John’s Gospel. St John’s is an oasis of peace in our vibrant city.