By the book: the history of St. John’s

St. John’s is 200 years old, and we’re marking the anniversary by releasing two books that tell the story of our church and community: one old and one new.

In this, our bicentennial year of 2016, we’re looking back on 200 years of worshipping God and serving our community. We are planning events to commemorate and celebrate this milestone. Among these are the release of two books about St. John’s. One is a reprint of a book published a number of years ago; the other is a new book that will be ready this fall.

On the presses: 150 Years at St. John’s York Mills

Many of our newer parishioners probably know very little about the history of our church and will want to learn more. In 1966, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary, M. Audrey Graham of this parish published a book called 150 Years at St. John’s York Mills. It’s a fascinating read, about not only the history of St. John’s from the early 1800s but also that of the settlement of York Mills, Lawrence Park and the neighbourhood stretching into Willowdale.  The connections to St. James Cathedral and the history of the Church of England in early Canada are also very interesting.

Many of our longstanding parishioners have copies of the original book, and there are a handful of books still on shelves at the church. However, the book has been out of print for years and the publisher no longer exists. The book has been digitized by the University of Toronto Robarts Library for their archives and St. John’s has obtained permission to reprint it for use within our church community.

This spring we are offering the original text and layout, with illustrations and photographs, reprinted in a cerlox-bound, soft-cover version. It costs $25 and you can find order forms in the church foyer. We are accepting orders until Easter, March 27, and the book will be available for pickup in April.

Download the Audrey Graham Book order form.

Available this Fall: 200 Years at St. John’s York Mills

In the fall of this year, we will be publishing a new history of St. John’s, 200 Years at St. John’s York Mills, which will cover the years since Audrey Graham’s book appeared, from 1966 to 2016. It will also include some additional stories from the earlier years. You will be hearing a lot more about this book in the spring as it is slated to be published in the fall.

The stories of church and community

In its 200 years, the community around St. John’s changed dramatically, from one of farms and forests to a major urban centre. In that time, it has seen profound political and cultural changes, and throughout, St. John’s was constant in striving to serve God and the community. This history, as told in these two books, will make for fascinating reading and offer illuminating insights.

Find out more about all the things that are happening during our 200th anniversary here.


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