Origins: the McLennan Estate
In 1897 the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Lancaster, was erected by Mrs. John McLennan and her daughter in memory of the late John McLennan. In the autumn of 1897, an application was made to Bishop Hamilton of Ottawa for a Priest. In June 1898, the Reverend Arthur H. Whalley left the Rectory of Bell's Corners and was licensed to the County of Glengarry. The Church was erected on the McLennan Estate, called Ridgewood.
It is a real gem of a small cruciform church, complete with a belfry and a peal of three bells. The bells were first rung for Divine Service on July 21st 1899. The large bell is a gift of the late Hugh McLennan of Montreal, the other two of Mrs. John McLennan.
The exterior of the Church seems to have changed little in appearance over the years; repairs have been done with loving care to maintain the character of the building. In 1993, in response to a growing population, an addition was built on the Church that doubled the seating capacity. This addition was possible due to a bequest from Hugh William Douglas.
Both the interior and exterior appearance of the original Church were maintained in the addition. In 1998, the former Church Hall was razed and a new hall was built through the generosity of many members. The new Church Hall was dedicated to the memory of the Osborne family's 100 years of service to St. John's.
Twenty-two incumbents have served this Church since its dedication in 1898.
In 2018, the congregation joined the newly formed Area Parish of the St. Lawrence (St. Lawrence Parish) along with two other Anglican churches in the region - Trinity Church (Cornwall) and Christ Church Seaway (Long Sault).
*Special thanks to Kellie and David Clifford for compiling this history.