Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Owner N/A
Employees N/A
Hours of Operation Daily, 6am to midnight; see specific events below
Current Status Open to the Public
People Come Here For… Religious services, prayer and contemplation, free food and/or advice

The largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine remains partially unfinished to this day, despite its construction having begun in 1892 — true to form for buildings of its type. Nonetheless, it is a grand and imposing sight; possessing the characteristic grand arches, pointed spires, and beautiful stained glass windows, including a large and striking Rose window. Where the walls aren't covered with old and meticulously preserved tapestries, they are often ornamented.

Guided tours are offered six days out of the week. Services are open to all. Since the bomb, the main nave is open at all but the latest hours, though the smaller subject-specific chapels close in the evening. The cathedral is also a site for major workshops, speakers, and musical events — most especially the free New Year's Eve concert, which has been held without fail each year since the bomb.

St. John's has long been a center for public outreach and civic service events, but since the bomb, those have become an even greater part of its daily affairs. Services include a men's shelter, a twice-weekly soup kitchen, walk-in counseling, and other programs besides. These are open to everyone — non-Evolved, unregistered Evolved, registered Evolved… the philosophy is that they're all children of God, and that's what matters.

Major IC Events


  • NOTE: The Cathedral of St. John is associated with the Episcopal Church (it's not Catholic).
  • The Cathedral hosts medieval-themed children's birthday parties (not for free, of course). Activities include brass rubbings and making your own gargoyle.
  • The Cathedral Soup Kitchen is open every Sunday and Wednesday, providing hot breakfast and/or lunch to up to 500 people. It also offers a take-home meal to participants. In addition to the core staff of cathedral employees, many homeless, unemployed, and civic-minded individuals volunteer with the cooking, serving, and cleaning in order to boost the numbers the kitchen can serve.
  • St. John's runs the New Hope Men's Shelter for up to a dozen homeless men. Food and shelter is provided, along with counseling, towards the ultimate goal of providing them with permanent housing, employment, and self-sufficiency.
  • The Crisis Intervention and Counseling Center is open every morning, from 8 to 11am. Walk-ins are welcome; staff primarily focus on getting a client through their immediate issues, then arrange their placement with an appropriate expert. They also follow-up and make sure access to things like shelter, food, clothing, drug recovery treatment, etc. is available, if at all possible.
  • As part of the West Harlem Action Network Against Poverty, the Cathedral serves as an outlet for several New York farmers, and a place where families who may not otherwise have ready access to fresh food can purchase something that isn't boxed, canned, or otherwise nonperishable. This market is held every Thursday.
  • St. John's runs the 'Clothing Closet' — what was originally a service to provide professional clothes to any individual returning to the workforce, given a referral, now transformed into the distribution of clothing to anyone with demonstrated need. Their primary focus is on children, impoverished job-hunters, and cold-weather coats, but there is something to be had for everyone who is sent their way. Anyone seeking a set (or even just a specific article) of clothing needs to have a referral from either one of the cathedral's counselors or an unaffiliated counselor; unlike many of its services, this is not available to all comers.
  • Health Fairs are held every other month at the Cathedral, providing various tests and vaccinations free of charge.
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