St. John’s Kirk continues to be used by its congregation for worship and it maintains a lively program of activities.
The tower and spire have dominated Perth since mediaeval times. It is, by several hundred years the oldest, and is still the most prominent building in the centre of the city. The late Richard Fawcett wrote in his book, A History of St. John’s Kirk of Perth, ‘Few churches can now give such a complete impression of the mediaeval appearance of a great Scottish burgh church as St. John’s, and it is therefore a particularly precious survival’. Notwithstanding the renovations by Sir Robert Lorimer in the 1920s, the building today would be instantly recognised by John Knox and his contemporaries. It is now an important tourist magnet attracting visitors from all over the world.
As Perth’s Civic church, it hosts the important annual ceremonies of the Kirking of the Council and the Remembrance Day service, and other events such as the service to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Perth’s Royal Charter in 2010.
Between 2011 and 2013 £2.75m was raised and spent to refurbish the interior of the Kirk. The wooden chairs were replaced with more comfortable seating, and the lights, heating, electronics, toilets, and office accommodation brought up to a modern standard. This is not only for the comfort of the parishioners on Sunday mornings, but to facilitate the use of the building as a modern arts venue. This has been very successful and throughout the year it is well used as a venue for concerts, especially the more intimate events such as performances by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and visiting choirs.