Rev Canon J.T. Richard’s of Bareneed

The residents along the Strait of Belle Isle on the Great Northern Peninsula know Reverend Canon John Thomas Richards. He was an influential person during his tenure along the coast from 1904-1945.

He served as a minister, educator and advocate for social and economic improvement. St. Barnabas Church, known locally as “seal skin boot” church was built under his tenure. A building fund was established by woman making and selling seal skin boots to establish a church in Flower’s Cove. In 2021 it celebrated 100 years. He worked hard to establish the seal skin boot making trade to put real cash into the region and reduce dependency on the truck system.

My mother and I visited his gravesite in Port de Grave at St. Mark’s Church.

The Heritage Society established a Tea Room in the former St. Mark’s Schoolhouse. A place for tea, baked good or a meal during the season. When on the Port de Grave Peninsula, you can also experience the vibrant fishing communities and explore the Green Point Lighthouse.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore


  1. Great article!!! Do you know if he had siblings? I had a teacher in Deer Lake who was know as Dick richards who was from the port de Grave area. would like to know how/if the two related. — Tom Caines

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