The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is one of  the largest cathedrals in the world and the Episcopal Diocese of New York.  The cathedral is also one of the 5 largest church buildings in the world. While the church falls under the Episcopal Diocese, it welcomes all denominations and worshippers of many faiths continually join together to take in one of the 30 weekly services.

The church’s aim is to help the community through various ways, including education, food programmes, and other programmes to provide for its people. Their social outreach has several different programmes, such as a soup kitchen that provides 25,000 meals annually. Though construction of the church began in 1892, it hasn’t been completed as they prioritise the community needs first.

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York - one of the highlights of 11 Most Iconic Buildings in New York (Read all about New York here)

Highlights of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

The architecture of the church is stunning and features many unique baroque revival and romanesque revival architectural details.

Some of the architectural highlights include the carvings of the transfiguration of Jesus, St. John, and 32 biblical characters. You’ll also see a beautiful stained-glass rose window by the renowned artist Charles Connick, who used over 10,000 pieces of glass in his design. He designed the 7 archangels and the 7 churches of Asia that appear on the grisaille as well.

To get a look at everything, the church offers both self-guided and guided tours. With the guided tour, you will hit all the church highlights and you'll be  treated to background information and stories from your tour guide.  If you prefer to take your time and experience it all at your own pace, a self-guided tour is the best option.

Before you leave, check out the church’s shop. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, you’ll be sure to find some treasures to bring home, and you can feel good knowing that your purchase is going back into the community and the restoration of the church.

History of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

Construction of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine began in 1892, but plans for the church began many years prior in 1828. The first services were held in a section of the crypts in 1899, and in 1939, the services were conducted in the nave.

The church has hosted many historic and prominent people through the years, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 2017, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, Aretha Franklin gave her final public performance.

In 1982, the church added the soup kitchen and overnight shelter for community members in need. Both the cathedral and the cathedral close, the area around the cathedral, were landmarked in 2017 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Good to know about The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine may be considered an Episcopal church but they are very welcoming to anybody and everybody. No matter your faith, beliefs, orientation, race, or gender, you are welcomed within the walls of this cathedral. They perform burials, baptisms, and marriages regularly, including interfaith and same-sex marriages.

Across from the cathedral on the Morningside Drive is Morningside Park, where you can spend some relaxing time before moving on to your next activity. Morningside Park is a vast park with varied terrain that includes outcroppings, a cliff of schist rock, an ornamental pond, and a waterfall. You’ll also find sculptures, athletic fields, playgrounds, and an arboretum, so you could spend hours exploring the park with the kids. Some of the notable sculptures in the park include the Seligman Fountain, the Lafayette and Washington statue, and the Carl Shurz Monument.

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York

Ubicación: 1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025, USA1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025, USA

Horarios: Monday–Friday from 9.30 am to 3 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 930 am to 5 pm

Teléfono: +1 212-316-7540