This city centre church has its roots set firmly in the history of both the Methodist and Anglican communities. The church is dedicated to St John the Baptist and as Methodists, we are attempting to follow the example of John the Baptist as witnesses to the Light.
This church building is the third to have stood on this site.
We aren't sure what the first building looked like. Some historical authorities say that it was set up by Ethelstan, the 25th King of the West Saxons. when he founded here a priory of Black Canons of St Augustine. That was around 940 AD. No one can be sure of course., but if this isso, the light of the Christian faith was burning here less than 400 years after Augustine had first arrived in England.
By the time of Edward the Confessor (who died in 1066) within the tiny walled city of Gloucester, 10 Christian churches had been founded and the likelihood is that St John's was one of them.
St John's is mentioned in records from early Norman times.
The second building we know something about. It was 80 feet long, 50 feet wide with a slender tower and a large porch on the North side. We read that the Church had a large nave with a south aisle of the same length. The Church was close to the city wall and the North Gate.
That medieval church building gave way in the 18th Century to the Georgian structure you see today. This new building was designed and built in 1732 – 34. The stone front is also a visual reminder of that medieval church.
This new Georgian building had a gallery at the rear, clear glad windows throughout – of the sort you can see either side of the Church today. The East Window was added to commemorate the cenenart of the Sunday School movement, which saw its beginnings in St John's parish.
This was the building into which we Methodists came in 1972.