John Churchmouse was a male mouse Recorder of Redwall Abbey. He was the husband of Mrs. Churchmouse, the father of twins, Tim and Tess, father-in-law of Mattimeo, and the grandfather of Martin II. John lived at St. Ninian's Church with his family before coming to Redwall, where he then became the Recorder. Later, he passed down his job to his son, Tim. He was also one of the few creatures able to read Loamscript, having been taught to do so by Methuselah.
John Churchmouse had, like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, lived at Saint Ninian's Church. However, he and his family were forced to move out when Cluny the Scourge, who had recently arrived in Mossflower Woods, took up residence there. He was among the party in the abbey cart, on the night of Abbot Mortimer's Jubilee Feast, that personally saw Cluny. Later, after taking up residence at Redwall Abbey, he comforted his wife, who was in tears at the thought of what Cluny and his rats would do to their home.
John was otherwise involved very little in the Late Rose Summer Wars. He did, however, become Recorder after the late Methuselah, and when his children Tim and Tess became Bellringers, he was very proud of them.
John was a significantly central character during the events of Mattimeo. During the summer feast, Slagar the Cruel attempted to steal the Abbey's young ones by drugging all the other residents. However, John and Friar Hugo already had full cups, and Lettie Bankvole was busy tending to her son Rollo, and when the three saw what Slagar was up to they immediately tried to stop it. However, Lettie and Hugo were killed in the attempt, and John was injured.
The next morning Matthias found John with a nasty cut in deep shock, muttering about the events he had witnessed. Matthias immediately got John to the Infirmary, where he recovered. Matthias later questioned John about the previous night's events. John began sobbing, and told Matthias that Slagar had stolen the young ones, including Mattimeo.
The Redwallers immediately began to track down the slavers and find the young ones. John, however, was still uneasy after his injuries and decided not to participate. With Tim and Tess gone, he and Rollo were the new bellringers (Cornflower especially enjoyed this).
Later, the Redwallers discovered a stone tablet covered in Loamscript, and John was able to translate it.
It turned out that there was a stone crow at the south end of the Abbey, with a poem etched in stone. Warbeak rubbed the poem on some cloth, and John and several of the other adult mice copied it on parchment, so at least one copy would reach Matthias, Jess and Basil.
Soon thereafter, General Ironbeak and his army of birds had come south, and took up residence in the Abbey, threatening to slay all the Abbeybeasts if they did not hand the "Redstone house" over to them. When they captured Mrs. Churchmouse, Cornflower, and Baby Rollo, John was very distraught and attempted to run up to get his wife, and the Abbot had to hold him back. When the Redwallers attempted to develop a plot to get the others back, John remembered the name of the birds that were with Ironbeak - Magpie. Sister May came up with a crafty plan. Quickbill, Brightback and Diptail, three magpies who were constantly downing the fruit in the orchard, were drugged by strawberries that Sister May had sprinkled a sleeping potion on.
The Redwallers ultimately bargained with Ironbeak and his birds to have Cornflower, Mrs. Churchmouse and Rollo returned to them.
Matthias and the others ultimately returned the young ones to Redwall, and John was reunited with his children. He later retired as Recorder, and passed the duty on to Tim.
John Churchmouse is in both the first and second seasons of the Redwall TV Series. He narrates the epilogue of the first season and appears with his wife as his son Tim narrates the epilogue of the second season.
In his epilogue, John claims to be Cornflower's father and Mattimeo's grandfather. This is inconsistent with the novels where Cornflower is the daughter of Mr. Fieldmouse. This alteration of paternity significantly changes the ancestral implications of Martin II who in the novels is John's grandson (by Tess, his daughter); he additionally becomes his great grandson (by Mattimeo, his grandson). However, it is alternatively possible that John Churchmouse is Cornflower's adoptive father. This idea is given credence by their obvious physiological differences, as well as the fact that in To be a Warrior, Cornflower calls him "John" rather than "father."