St John’s Craighurst

St John’s is a vibrant country church in the heart of the historic village of Craighurst. We are located at 3191 Penetanguishene Road and gather for worship on Sunday mornings at 11:15am and throughout the week. Our faith is nurtured as we study together in small groups and serve others in our community. St John’s has a strong choral tradition and under the guidance of our music director the choir helps to beautify our worship service. Our worship space is fully accessible and our parish hall is available for rent to community groups. To inquire about booking our space for your event please email us at


A Brief History of St. John’s Anglican Church

St John’s Anglican Church, like so many other Canadian churches, had its beginnings in the homes of pioneer settlers. Mr. Thomas Craig settled in Medonte about 1819 and services were carried out in his home from about 1833 by traveling preachers like The Reverend Adam Elliot and The Reverend George Bourn of the Simcoe Travelling Mission.

In 1846, his son John donated land for the erection of an Anglican Church and burial ground on lot 40 in Oro. The original deed read, in part:

“On February 6, 1846 John Craig of Medonte township conveyed to John, Lord Bishop of Toronto, part of lot 40 on the east side of the Penetanguishene Road in the first concession of Oro Township for the use of a church of the United Church of England and Ireland to be erected on the said parcel of land and for the burial ground in connection herewith.”

The brick portion of our building was constructed in 1884 just south of where the original log church and cemetery were located. The wardens were proud to state that all debt was clear before the first services were held. Bricks left over were given to the Methodists to use in their church in the village.

Over the years many gifts, including the Apostle murals in the chancel by Mr. P. Browne and the stained glass windows and door, have added to the beauty of the building. Through many generous financial donations as well as countless gifts of time and talent, the new board and batten addition and renovations to our hall were completed in January 2009.

We look back with love and respect to those who laboured faithfully and diligently, often in adverse conditions, to provide a place of worship for the Anglican community. Today, St John’s is a vital and energetic part of the Anglican Communion and of the life in and around Craighurst. As we strive to maintain that sense of community and hospitality, we welcome you.

A Brief History of St John’s Anglican Cemetery

Thomas Craig (1772-1840) and Elizabeth Craig (1773-1839), the parents of John Craig, were originally buried at their home farm, a custom that was not unusual at the time. When St John’s Cemetery was opened their remains were exhumed and buried there, being the first burial at this cemetery. Thomas and Elizabeth are the great-great-great grandparents of Mr. Neil Craig who has served as Rector’s Warden and continues to serve as a lay-reader at the church. Mr. Craig also served for a time as Mayor of the amalgamated township of Oro-Medonte.

At a Vestry meeting in 1852 a motion was made that the burial ground be laid out in plots 16 by 12 feet and that they be sold to members of the Church of England at the price of ten shillings each.

Today St John’s Cemetery is one of the earliest burial grounds in the area and continues to function as a community burial ground. Over the years more land was acquired and the layout approved by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations of Ontario, in accordance with the Cemeteries Act. Each year a Memorial Service is held in the latter part of August.

For further information on availability of interment rights and other information related to the cemetery please contact Mr. Neil Craig, 705-726-1334.