Built in 1621, the original St. John’s Church (127 St. John’s Rd., tel. 441/292-5308, fax 441/296-9173, admission free) was one of the island’s first churches, with a wooden structure and thatched palmetto roof. It was destroyed less than a century later by a hurricane-fed fire and replaced by a stone church, which was demolished in 1821 for the needs of a larger congregation.
Numerous additions and renovations have been done since then, but the Anglican church remains a historic and popular community landmark ministering to the parish’s varied demographics. (St. John’s is also the mother church of St. Monica’s and St. Augustine’s mission churches in the North Village neighborhood.)
St. John’s beautiful interior is notable for its stained glass, bell tower, and 2,418-pipe organ, rebuilt in 1989. The crowded graveyard contains historic family plots—stacked to make more room—interspersed with ancient cedars and other shady trees and shrubs. Funerals are held many weekday afternoons here; I’ve even seen several gombey ceremonies, with graveside performances by the colorfully garbed troupes.