of St. John's Church, Parish of Horton
St. John's Church, Parish of Horton had its beginnings
during the late 1700's through the work of the English
Missionary Society, commonly known as the SPG - Society for
the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts. The
first missionary in this area being the Rev. Joseph Bennett
who resided in Windsor. He was appointed missionary of the
townships of Newport, Falmouth, Horton and Cornwallis at a
stipend of 70 pounds a year.
From these beginnings gradually lands and
responsibilities were divided and rearranged until St. John's
Church was built in 1818 on lands donated to the Parish of
Horton by Mr. Stephen Brown DeWolf. The deed is dated
January 01, 1817 and describes the conveyance of the Church
lot from Mr. DeWoff to the Right Rev. Robert Stanser D.D.,
second Bishop of Nova Scotia.
The church was built by Mr. Jehiel Brown and was
completed in June of 1818. The first service being held on
June 18th of that year.
The church and burial grounds were consecrated on
August 10, 1826 by the Rt. Rev. John Inglis, third Bishop of
The building was originally constructed on the Georgian
Architectural style similar to St. Mary's Church, Auburn,
Kings Co. and Old Holy Trinity Church Middleton, Annapolis Co.
Originally there was no chancel, the walls were plaster and
the windows plain glass, rounded at the top in the Georgian
Style. There was a gallery above the entrance which was at the
west end with windows on either side. these have been replaced
by lights which some have referred to as "window lights".
Sometime after 1887 major renovations were carried out;
the gallery was removed, the plaster covered with wood. The
entrance way changed. The windows were gradually replaced with
Three crosses have been erected on the church building,
the Latin cross on the bell cote, the Celtic cross on the east
end of the nave and the Heraldic cross on the east end of the
The first baptism in the church was of Hannah, daughter
of John and Barbara Hopkins on July 08, 1823.
The first marriage recorded was that of John Whidden
and Lavinia Chipman, August 16, 1823.
The first recorded burial in the churchyard is that of
Christian Jane Harris, age 44, July 20, 1825. All of these
entries in the record book were made by the Reverend Joseph
Wright. As far as is known this clergyman became the first
Rector of the Parish of Horton in 1823.
In 1830, the center of Upper Horton area, known as Mud
Creek, was renamed Wolfville.
The history of the stained
glass windows is worth noting
The east window over the Altar was given by The
Very Rev'd John Storrs, Dean of Rochester Cathedral, and
his brothers and sisters in memory of their parents -The
Rev'd: John Storrs, Rural Dean Avon and Rector of Cornwallis and
Horton for 35 years and Melanie, his wife. The two cherubs are
pictures of Dean Storrs' sons, one of whom was Sir Ronald
Storrs, one time civil Governor of Jerusalem and the other
Captain Gerald Storrs, who was killed in the Gallipoli
In 1891, the Mite Society fitted the church with plain
stained glass windows. The Mite Society was a womens group
which collected mites to pay indebtedness on repairs to the
church. In 1944 this group was re-organized and renamed the
Over the years most of the stained glass windows
donated by the Mite Society have been replaced with memorial
stained glass windows. One original side window remains, along
with the stained glass window at the rear of the church.
The stained glass windows tell their own
story. Only a few of them have the date they were installed but one can
surmise the approximate dates by the death dates of the
Mary and Martha
To the Glory of God and in Honor of the
women, past and present who have served this parish this was a
gift of the ACW on the 175th Anniversary of the opening of the
church. Dedicated in 1994.
In memory of Frederick Brown who died
January 10, 1896 and his wife Lydia who died Oct. 10,
Shall See His Face
To the Honor and Glory of God: In
loving memory of Joseph Dwight Sherwood: Born 1880, Died
Full of Good Works
To the Glory of God and in
loving memory of Georgina S.H. Wheaton who departed this life
August 28, 1946. Installed by her family June 15, 1986.
To the Glory of God and in affectionate
memory of Thomas Tuzo who for 40 years was an earnest and
devoted member of this church. This window was placed
by his many friends. Easter, 1899
To the Glory of God and in
celebration of the children of St. John's Anglican Church.
Gift of the Sunday School: Dedicated in 1999.
In addition to
the stained glass windows one should note the memorial plaques
which line the walls on either side of the church. There are
also two Honor Rolls celebrating members of the congregation
who gave their lives for Canada during the two World Wars,
1914 -1918 and 1939 -1945. In our memorial book to be found in
the church the names of merchant seaman from this area of Nova
Scotia who served during World War 2 are recorded.
Some interesting highlights
through the years
In 1884 there is a record of the first attendance of a
woman at an annual meeting of the Parish. It was not until
1910 that women were granted the right to vote at an Annual
In 1893 the Parish purchased land at the corner of Orchard
Ave. and Main St. on which a Rectory was to built.
In 1899 the Rev. Richard F. Dixon was appointed rector
of the parish, an appointment he held until his retirement in
1930. At this time the Rectory was sold to him at a
price of $3,500.00 and the Sir Charles Townshend
property located adjacent to and east of the churchyard was
purchased for the sum of $5,000. 00. This home continues
to be the Rectory for the Parish of Horton.
In 1900 a hitching rail was located along the eastern
portion of the front of the church.
In 1912 a new furnace was installed with funds
collected for that purpose.
In 1930 insurance was purchased for memorial windows,
organ, church and furniture.
In 1951 the parish became self supporting.
In 1957 a committee was formed to have a
new Parish Hall built. In 1960 this Hall was erected on the site
of the old one at 189 Main St. Construction of the new
hall represented the largest investment in buildings since the
purchase of the Rectory in 1930.
A portion of the funds received from the Primrose
Bequest in 1976 were used for construction of a cement walkway
with steps and wrought iron railings to go from the church
steps to the sidewalk. Now known as the "Primrose Path".
A Casavant Organ was installed in 1975 through monies
provided by Miss Margaret Troyte-Bulloch in memory of her
parents, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh A. Troyte-Bulloch.
In 1978 an addition was made to the Church and was
undertaken with the assistance of Mr. Ronald Peck, an
historical reconstruction architect. This addition features a
baptistry, Sunday School rooms, a bathroom, a kitchen area and
a large meeting room with skylights. It was dedicated on June
18, 1986 by the Bishop, the Right Reverend Leonard F.
In 1993 the 175th Anniversary of St. John's was
cerebrated with a special service followed by a Garden Party
on the church grounds.
2012 saw the sale of the parish Hall, with proceeds going to
the renovation of both the rectory and the church.
In 2013-14, renovations took place in the church
and in the communal space attached to the church.
The parish has an active worship life, ACW group,
Sanctuary Guild. The Parish and the Council committees carry
on a number of parish ministry projects and also support
various community projects.
Visitors and newcomers are welcome. We invite and
encourage you to join us and take part in the life of our