200 YEARS Of Worship and Community Ministry (1813 - 2015)
After more than 200 years, the recent decline in active parish membership and financial support has made it impossible to sustain St. John's Church, its ministry and outreach. As a result, the parish officially closed its doors following the celebration of a Solemn Eucharist on Sunday, June 28,2015. We were honored by, and thankful for, the more than 175 people who were present, including not only members of St. John's, but also members of All Saints', and St. Augustine's, as well as neighbors and friends from the community. The Rev'd Vernon A. Austin, SSC, Rector Emeritus of St. John's, and Rector from 1976 to 1996, was the Celebrant and Preacher.
Gratitude was also expressed for members of the parish, and others from the Norristown community, who have helped to enable the strength and importance of St. John's outreach, and witness to the truth of Gospel for more than two centuries.
It is expected that St. John's Soup Kitchen, founded in the late 1970's as part of the work of Norristown Ministries, Inc, will be able to continue its care and support for the poor and needy of Norristown. We give thanks to God for that, and for the people from St. John's, and other churches in the area, whose time and labor make it happen.
At this time it is not known what will happen to our beautiful church building. The cemetery behind the church will continue to be a place for the burial of the faithful departed, and its care and management will be provided by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
We thank God for the love, the memories, the mission and outreach that we have shared here with our fellow parishioners for many years. We cannot change the past, but by the power of God, we can walk into the future with hope and determination, open to where He may be leading us to worship and serve Him in the days and years to come.
The Rev'd Vernon A. Austin, SSC