Built in 1871 in the early Gothic style and for an estimated cost of £1,000, St John’s originally had just one aisle. It was soon realised that more seating was needed and the north aisle was added in 1886.
Further development of St John’s has taken place in the intervening years.
- 1920 In thanksgiving for peace after the First World War, the reredos and panelling in the sanctuary were installed. In 2012, the reredos was removed to allow the full East Window to be viewed for the first time since it was was installed. The reredos is now positioned behind the altar in the Lady Chapel .
- 1950 A major re-ordering took place in thanksgiving for peace after the Second World War. New furniture was ordered from Thompson’s of Kilburn, the organ was re-built and the pulpit moved to its present position. It originally stood where the lectern is placed.
- 1970 The addition of the Lady Chapel and two new vestries. The architect was Michael Ryley and the chapel is dedicated to the memory of his parents.
- 2012 The east window was revealed in its full glory by re-siting the main altar reredos into the Lady Chapel.
Most dates from the major re-furbishment in 1950 and was built by Thompson’s of Kilburn. Some of the items of church furniture eg pew ends, baptistry screen, lectern, pulpit bear the company ‘signature’- a carved mouse. Altogether, St John’s has 19 such carvings although some of those on the pews are currently stored elsewhere. Children enjoy trying to find the ‘church mice’!
First World War Memorial
The memorial unusually lists the names of all the men and women of Menston who served in the Great War. A bronze tablet in the centre gives the names of those who fell. A recent booklet by Judith Knaggs gives interesting biographical details of almost all the 50 men who fell. The memorial to those killed in the Second World War is above the Book of Remembrance.
Organ The organ chamber was added to the original building in 1890. The 2-manual organ is a fine example of the work of I W Binns of Bramley. It has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 2008.
- East Window The beautiful east window, erected in 1876 in memory of Bertie Markland who gave the land on which St John’s is built, is now in full view for the first time since 1920. It depicts the visit of the Magi to the infant Christ and was designed by John Ward Knowles. After consultation with the congregation and the DAC (2012) it was agreed that the reredos, which previously obscured the lower third of the east window, would be removed and re-sited in the Lady Chapel.
- Font and Baptistry Windows The two windows depict the Annunciation (1901) and the Nativity (1915) and were made by Messrs Taylor and Clifton of London who reputedly made a similar one for Windsor Parish Church.
- Children’s Windows which are immediately on the left after entering the church were presented by the Sunday School children in 1893.
- South Aisle windows The three small windows depict Stations of the Cross.
St John’s is floodlit each evening from dusk until 10.30pm as a sign of our calling to be God’s light in the world. If you would like to sponsor the floodlighting in memory of a loved one, to celebrate an anniversary or simply to give thanks please contact the Parish Office. The cost is £5 per evening.
Visit photos for more views of St John's.