St. John's Episcopal Church
Serving the Community of Gloucester for Over 150 Years


Luke 1:37

For 150 Years Saint John’s Episcopal Church has quietly glorified God by serving Gloucester and the surrounding area. As Episcopalians, we trace our identity back to the Roman Catholic Church, from which our spiritual ancestors were separated due to the politics of 16th-century England. Today, while our faith remains rooted in Scripture and the Creeds, we enjoy debating issues that lie beyond those core principles. At Saint John’s we are proud to welcome everyone to the fullness of sacramental worship and parish life.


We are also proud to glorify God with our beautiful services and with our many ministries to the community. We have lively programs for youth in both Cape Ann Choir School (Thursdays 4:30-5:30, September – May) and Cape Ann Arts Alive (August 20–24). And of course, children are welcome at all of our services. We have a Thrift Shop that sustains our other ministries while providing clothing and shoes for anyone in the Cape Ann community. Every week we host Our Place, Harvest Meals, Learn to Cope, three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and two art classes. We host or partner with Action, Inc., Sorellanza, the League of Women Voters, and the Coalition to Prevent Domestic Abuse. And, most simply, we open the Middle Street doors of our gorgeous church on Monday through Thursday mornings, so that anyone who needs a moment of rest, prayer, or inspiration may find one “in the beauty of holiness.”

Please join us for worship at 8:00am or 10:30am on a Sunday morning, or for any of our scheduled events. It’s an honor to serve such a dynamic parish and I pray that our worship, ministries, and celebrations serve Gloucester, too. Pray for us, as we pray for you. Yours in Christ, The Rev. Bret B. Hays, Rector



The Rev.


Rector since Advent Sunday, 2011. Originally from Maryland, Fr. Bret graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2008. From there, he served a three-year term as Curate at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver, CO, followed by a short-term Interim Rector position at the Church of Christ the King, Arvada, CO.

Committed to serving the people of St. John’s and the wider Gloucester community with an emphasis on mission and outreach, The Rev. Hays routinely tells people he has the best job in the Episcopal Church.


Music Director

Mark has been leading music at St. John's Episcopal Church since 2001. He enthusiastically educates, encourages, and cajoles people to sing, both in the choirs and the congregation. He's passionate about educating young singers in the great legacy of sacred music. He provides guidance and suggestions to people planning weddings and funerals.


Born in Minnesota, and a cradle Lutheran, he attended St. Olaf College in Northfield MN. His first church job was playing the organ for St. Luke's Episcopal in his home town. He came to Cape Ann in 1979 to work for CB Fisk organ builders. He worked for 31 years in all phases of organ construction and service. He's a creative cook, gardener, and woodworker.


Parish Administrator

Originally hailing from Arlington, Virginia, Elizabeth now lives in Georgetown. Hobbies include: reading with her grade-school age daughter, baking cookies, camping, and drinking coffee. She has a collection of books about country music and loves really good french fries. Assists the rector with administrative matters and maintains church accounts under the direction of the Treasurer.

Church Assistant

A life-long resident of Gloucester, MA, Marge worked as a salesperson at Woolworth’s in Gloucester from 1954-57. She was a Tupperware Manager for 15 years and in 1982 came to St. John’s to do some volunteer work, which, eventually turned into becoming a sexton, then administrator and now church assistant combined.


Her interests include God, Family, St. John’s Church and The Boston Bruins.



Beverly, MA native, she has been working in Gloucester for 15 years prior to accepting the Sexton position at St. John’s. Recently married, She has 3 children and 1 step-son. She also manages the American Legion in Gloucester and works at the VFW as well.


St. John’s Episcopal Church was founded on October 7, 1863 when a group of fervent Christians voted to constitute themselves as St. John’s Church.


Wardens are elected by the parish and serve as the chief liaison persons between the parish and the Rector assisting the Church in fulfilling its mission.