The north aisle of the church was built in 1861 by C. G. Giles to provide a place of worship for the “labouring classes” of Bathwick. From the start S. John’s was influenced by the Catholic Movement within the Church of England and attracted people from all over Bath.
The large south aisle by A. Blomfield was added in 1871 to accommodate the large congregation.
The baptistery was added in 1879. Note the beautiful mosaic floor, by the Venetian firm of Salviati, with the sea, net and fishes, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
During the incumbency of Fr. James Dunn, Vicar from 1880 to 1919, reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and the Daily Mass were introduced and the church became a beacon of the Catholic faith.
During this period the church was beautified by the following additions:
- The floors of the High Altar, Lady Chapel and Baptistry and the mosaic of the Nativity above the High Altar were designed and laid by the studios of Salviati, the Venetian mosaic artists
- The Mosaic on the High Altar Floor
- A painted reredos was provided for the Lady Chapel
- Wrought iron screens were provided for the chancel, the entrance to the Lady Chapel and the openings of the Baptistry
- Between 1896 and 1902, the Stations of the Cross were painted by the artist Edward Frampton RA; they are copies of those in Antwerp Cathedral.
All the windows are provided with stained glass of good quality. The triple light at the west end is particularly good.
The Calvary, with the attendant figures of S. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary. In the early 1920’s the Calvary, with the attendant figures of S. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary, by Sir Ninian Comper, were added to the chancel screen, in memory of Fr. Dunn.
In the 1940’s the figures of S. John the Baptist and the Virgin and Child, also by Sir Ninian Comper, were placed on the screen, in memory of Fr. Charles Harris, Vicar from 1919 to 1936.