After over a century, the church was elevated to the status of a cathedral when the Diocese of Antigua was created in August 1842.
On October 9, 1843 and on October 10 1847, the Cathedral was opened for divine service. It was consecrated on July 25, 1848.
The Cathedral is dominated by twin towers at the west end and provides a distinct baroque flavour. They are 70 ft high and the cupolas that crown the towers are aluminum in colour. At the time of erection, the edifice was criticised by ecclesiastical architects as being like “a pagan temple with two dumpy pepper pot towers”, however in modern times the edifice has been cited as “the most imposing of all the Cathedrals of the West Indian Province”.
Originally the south gate was the main entrance to the Cathedral. On top of its pillars are the lead figures of St. John the Divine and St. John the Baptist. H.M.S. Temple is said to have taken these figures from a French ship destined for Martinique in 1756 during the Seven Years War. The iron gates themselves date from 1789.
The Cathedral has been closed to the public due to restoration works. Restoration of the St. John Cathedral is now ongoing. Please see link to the page for more detailed information, and how you can contribute.