St. John, The Unwelcoming

Glad we went, won’t be back any time soon

Remington Write
4 min readMay 23


Photo Credits — Remington Write / St. John, The Kinda Sorta Divine

Look, I get it. I don’t live in such a bubble that I don’t see that even the last 72 hours in this country have brought an almost unbearable number of mass shootings. And to her credit, the young lady who was overseeing the metal detector just inside the massive doors of St. John, The Divine (aka St. John, The Unfinished) was pleasant and patient.

The clearly annoyed gentleman at the check-in desk? Not so much. Yes, just so you’re prepared if you decide you must take in the glories of the world’s sixth-largest church by area and either the largest or second-largest Anglican cathedral you will be required to check in first.

You will be asked the purpose of your visit.

All this is after you’ve passed multiple signs that seem to indicate that there is an admission fee. Even the Cathedral’s website notes admission for adults is $10 although they do say that if you’re there for prayer and meditation there’s no charge.

That admission price? That’s only if you wish to have a self-guided tour with one of their gizmos telling you all the cool stuff you’re looking at. And if you come in without paying — as we did — there are numerous donation boxes all around the place.

That said, it is a breathtakingly beautiful space. A breathtakingly beautiful space with a breathtaking history. For example, there was the time that guerilla wire-walker, Phillipe Petit walked his highwire inside the nave of the Cathedral.

I suppose one upside to those various gatekeepers is that even on a lovely Sunday afternoon there weren’t very many people sharing the vast space with us. And here I’d like to note that the security guards were also pretty unfriendly.