Buildings & Location
St. John’s, located on Strawtown Road in New City, abuts Lake DeForest, a 4-1/2 mile long reservoir surrounded by a heavily wooded buffer that attracts deer and other wild animals. The property contains the main church building, an attached education wing, the rectory (located toward the rear of the property), a fenced playground, and parking area. Many mature trees throughout the property provide a very natural setting.
The physical plant was recently upgraded as the result of two Capital Campaigns which included new roofs over the nave, the education wing and the rectory. New energy efficient boilers were installed in the basement of the education wing (to provide separate heating for the education wing and the nave) and also a new boiler for the rectory. An on site water well was retired in favor of public water. Additional improvements to the education wing included new windows and replacement of the fixtures in the kitchen. The major focus of the second campaign was a new parking lot and driveways. This included installation of drainage, curbing, signage, striping and lighting.
Other than cleaning, lawn maintenance and snow removal, parishioners maintain the property under the guidance of the Buildings & Grounds Committee.
The main church building was constructed in 1960 (see History) to resemble a Rockland County barn. Over 3500 square feet of floor space makes up the nave, which is housed under exposed roof trusses that soar over 40 feet high to create a vast vertical space. The focal point of the nave is a large cross located on the east wall. Underneath this cross is a raised, forty-foot wide platform which supports the altar. Doors at either side of this platform lead to the Sacristy, where the Altar Guild stores linens for different seasons. Along the south wall, a large expanse of opaque glass combines with stained glass images that depict prominent biblical events. Transoms above these glass panels provide light and ventilation. At the rear of the nave a tiered choir loft rises, holding pews and the electric organ. In lieu of pews to seat the congregation, movable chairs allow for varied uses of the nave. In addition to the nave, the original church construction included the narthex (entryway to the nave), offices, restrooms, and the kitchen.
Subsequently, the 6500 square foot education wing was added which consists of the Common Room and several class rooms.
A Resurrection Garden is located adjacent to the church building and faces the lake. A wooden arbor creates the entrance to the garden, which is the burying place for many former parishioners. There is also a memorial garden. Both have been maintained recently as St. John's members' Boy Scout Eagle Projects. Our grounds are enhanced by a variety of garden areas dedicated to former St. John's parishioners.
The rectory, a comfortable and spacious four bedroom colonial, is secluded at the southeast corner of the property in the wooded buffer to Lake DeForest.