St. John's Episcopal Church ...a Summer Chapel in the lovely New Jersey Shore town Avon-by-the-Sea


The Reverend and Mrs. Robert Francis Innes, founders of the Home of the Merciful Saviour for Crippled Children in Philadelphia, opened a summer home for the children in Key East, now know as Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey.  Reverend Innes conducted tent services on the property at the corner of Woodland and First Avenues and in 1883 erected a small frame building for church services.  St. John's immediately prospered as the Jersey Shore became a place of summer-long family vacations.  In 1912 an elargement of the church was planned and executed as the small frame building could no longer accommodate all those that wished to participate.  On July 4, 1913 a parish meeting approved the Incorporation of St. John's.    A rectory at 305 Woodland Avenue was purchased shortly thereafter.  The driving force behind this purchase and other Church improvements was the indefatigable group of women known as the St. John's Guild.

Changes in vacationing habits impacted St. John's rather dramatically.  During and after the Second World War families no longer spent entire summers at the Shore but settled for a week or two and week-ends.  The shrinking congregation and financial base caused  the leadership to face the need for reduction of costs and overhead.  This resulted in the sale of the rectory and the erection of a prefabricated house on the Church property.

The leadership of St. John's continues to maintain the church property and is open to the shifting demands of our changing times.  St. John's is a continuing presence of Jesus Christ in Avon-by-the-Sea for the present and for the future.