St John

St John's is a very fine example of Victorian architecture, originally opened in 1879 and, following a fire, reopened in 1897 with one of the tallest spires in northern England.

About this church

St John’s is in the early English Gothic style. Eight years after being built the church was destroyed by fire. Only the tower, the tallest in Sheffield at almost 200 feet, survived. The spire and tower were incorporated into the new church, also by Gibbs (of Flockton & Gibbs), consecrated in 1888.

Described by Pevsner as 'opulent outside and inside'. At the west end the intimate space of the little baptistery, with octagonal rib vault, opens off the narthex. From this a triple arched opening gives access to the impressively spacious nave of five bays, heightened by the introduction of a triforium, a most unusual feature in a parish church of this date and unique in Sheffield. There are two pairs of arches to each bay and continues across the west end below the big rose window in the gable. Plain round piers to the arcade and slender shafts to the upper stages, the exquisitely and densely carved capitals and corbels by Frank Tory. His decorative sculpture throughout the church is one of his finest achievements, matching the depth and finish of the medieval work that inspired it and displaying artistry and craftsmanship in every leaf, flower and figure. Wooden roof with moulded rafters and purlins, the arched braces have traceried spandrels. Stone and marble reredos by Frank Tory, 1888. The Last Supper carved in alabaster, flanked by St Peter and St Paul, under a canopy with crocketed gables and coloured marbles shafts. Octagonal arcades on each side with figures of the Evangelists under nodding canopies at the corners. Superb brass lectern, 1892, with lions and angels. A fine collection of Victorian and Edwardian stained glass in rich reds, blues and gold. Mostly animated groups of figures in New Testament scenes, with architectural surrounds.

Michael Palin has listed St John's as one of his 'top seven' favourite churches in a speech given to the National Churches Trust, he describes fond memories of his Father being both a chorister and bellringer there.

St John’s Church is a community whose vocation is to extend to all people the same welcome that we ourselves have received from God in Christ. Our worship, enriched by our strong musical and choral traditions, is at the heart of our community’s shared life. The gospel calls us to lives of discipleship marked by care for one another, by a passion for justice, and by a commitment to the service of our local and wider community. As a Church we see ourselves as within the central Anglican tradition, tending towards more liberal churchmanship but with a formal style of worship. A considerable proportion of our congregation come from outside the parish boundaries we do have something distinctive to offer which many people value.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Ramp or level access available on request
  • On street parking at church
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

Trinity URC

The church building, designed by John Mark Mansell Jenkinson, the second generation of a Sheffield firm of architects, was opened in 1971.

St Augustine

St Augustine’s promises a warm welcome to all visitors, whether they are looking in on their parish church or have a special interest in stained glass.

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