The chapel of St John the Baptist is central to the life of the St John’s community. It is the oldest part of our foundation and, except for a time in the 17th century when it was in a ruinous state, has been used as a place of worship and hospitality since 1135. It is open daily from 9.30am to 5.00pm for private prayer and quiet reflection, or just for people to enjoy its beauty and tranquility.
It was originally a simple rectangular stone building but the original lancet windows did not permit much light and so have been enlarged over time. In 1829 an aisle was built on the north side, the former outer wall being replaced by a three-bay arcade. There was another major restoration in 1870 when the walls of the nave were raised and a new high pitched roof built, with buttresses added to the outside of the south wall.
In 1984 magnificent stained glass by John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens was placed in the east window. It represents Christ in Majesty with an offset Mercian cross surrounded by the symbols of each of the Gospel writers: the man/angel refers to Matthew, the lion to Mark, the ox/bull to Luke and the eagle to John.
There is also a shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the north aisle in the style of Italian ceramicist Luca della Robbia, 14 Stations of the Cross and a fine organ designed in 1972 by Hill, Norman and Beard.
There are regular services in the chapel at which all members of our community and members of the public are all equally welcome. Entrance to the Chapel is through the archway of St John's Hospital off St John Street, and follow the path.
Full details of all services, including special services, can be found on the chapel notice board by the front door to the chapel or by contacting the Master Rev'd Sharon Greensmith on 01543 251884 or at [email protected].