The Church of St John, Lower Merion was founded in 1863. The Rt. Rev Alonzo Potter, Bishop of Pennsylvania, consecrated the land on Oct 20, 1863. The wooden frame church, the Rectory, and the Sunday school building were completed in 1871. The church was closed in 1894 for more than a year. As a direct result of the dedication of one parishioner, the Bishop allowed the church to reopen on Whitsunday in 1895.
Philadelphia architect Milton S. Medary presented plans for the present church complex in 1897. The construction was completed in 1901, at which time the Rectory was then blessed and services were begun at once in the new church.
While the original construction remains intact, extensive changes have occurred since the turn of the century. The lich gate, which was traditionally used for funerals, was completed by the year 1902. The Lady Chapel (pictured left) was completed in 1906. Flying buttresses forming a part of the exterior of the Lady Chapel can be seen on the outside of the church. The front of the church (part of the nave, from the tower to the door toward Levering Mill Rd.) was built in 1926. The most recent work was the construction of the Centennial Tower for the 100th anniversary of the church in 1963.
The church has 22 extraordinary stained glass windows. Two of the windows –”Jesus Healing the Sick” and the “Te Deum” (over the high altar) — are the work of the Hardman Studios of Birmingham, England. The other windows are the work of the D’Ascenzo Studios in Philadelphia. The windows reflect Nicola D’Ascenzo’s love for the bright blues and reds made famous in the Cathedral at Chartres in France.