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Hearing the Service

St John’s has an Induction Loop System so if you have a hearing aid, please switch it to the ’T’ setting.

Prayer in Opera

During the operatic bel canto (beautiful singing) era of the 18th and 19th centuries, prayer scenes were featured with increasing frequency.  The popularity was rooted in a Romantic trend towards utilizing religious ceremony for dramatic effect, and none so prevalent as the heroine’s pleading in tragic operas.   Besides experimentation with musical form, some composers used the prayers to experiment with orchestration, using solo instruments to accompany the singers. 

La Vergione degli Angeli - La Forza del Destino – G. Verdi 

La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) was composed in 1862.  This morning the choir will be singing the male chorus and soprano aria, La Vergione degli Angeli,The Virgin of the Angels’, which is a religious anthem that closes the end of Act II and is set in Our Lady of the Angel church near Hornachuelos, Spain.

Reckless Pub Quiz Evening

A big thank you to all who supported the quiz evening this past Wednesday.  We raised over £1,100, which will be divided between Children Change Colombia and The Bishop of London’s Mission Fund.  Thanks in particular to Noor Jahan, who supplied the delicious curries and rice, and to Fullers Brewery, who provided cider and lager and who also donated the raffle prize.  Special thanks to Chris Cochran, landlord of The Victoria, who ran a brilliant quiz!

Autumn Lecture Series

Who is my neighbour? The Ethics of Global Relationships

This term we make use of some of the best of the Capital’s Lecture Series by attending St Martin-in-the-Fields on Monday evenings.  After the lectures, we meet at a local restaurant and discuss the evening’s subject further.

24th October 7.00pm

My Neighbour: beyond Fear and Discrimination

The Reverend Professor Sarah Coakley

Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge


31st October, 7pm

My Neighbour, My Nation and the Presidential Election

Stanley Hauetwas

Gilbert T. Rowe Emeritus Professor of Divinity and Law at Duke University


14th November, 7pm

My Neighbours, God’s Gift

The Reverend Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields


Jenny Clark Concert

This year’s Jenny Clark Concert takes place on Sunday, 30th October, immediately following the 10am service.  We are especially pleased this year to have clarinetist Robert Hill and soprano Rhiannon Llewellyn, accompanied on piano by our Nicky, performing at this year’s concert.  Robert Hill was co-founder of the London Sinfonietta, co-principal of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and, since 1972 until his recent retirement, principal for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  Rhiannon was choral scholar at St John’s in 2013/14 and is currently touring with Glyndebourne, singing in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.  Nick has been our organist since 2013 and is also Musician-in-Residence at Eltham college.  The concert will last 35-40 minutes and is open to all.


31st October, 5pm

On All Hallow's Eve we remind ourselves that our faith lets us laugh at the unnatural fears of the night!  There'll be crafts and games, a church decked out in webs and spiders and the choir will sing spooky favourites from TV and film.  If you survive the service there'll be a suitable reception for adults and children.  In order to succeed this service needs lots of volunteers.  If you're able to help, please speak to Robin, Antonio or Becky.  For a better time than trick or treating, come along for some frights and fun!

All Souls

On Wednesday, 2nd November, at 8pm we mark this special festival at which we remember those who are part of the church community but who have died.  This year the choir are singing Chilcott’s Requiem.  During this service we remember those who have been dear to us - a list is available in the porch for you to add the names of those you would like to be remembered.  As part of the liturgy, there will be opportunity for you to light a candle and place it on the altar in remembrance of your loved ones.

St John’s Late

Returning in November, St John’s Late services offer a friendly but contemplative space for those who’ve missed the morning, want to try something different or need space for reflection.

Jazz Mass

6th November, 6.30pm

The atmosphere of a jazz club, great music and the beauty of the eucharist meet in this fantastic service with wine and nibbles available throughout.  The setting is Todd’s Missa Brevis and the anthem is Post from Heaven by Przystaniak.


13th November, 8.00pm

preceded by a lightsupper at 7.00pm

This ancient monastic service, in a candlelit church, is stunning in its simplicity.  The service is sung and the choir sing the anthem François d’Assise by Poulenc.    Sign up if you wish to join us for supper.

Evensong for Christ the King

20th November, 6.30pm

This service is the foundation of English tradition, a gem in the crown of the prayer book.  The setting for the responses is by Rose with the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis from Howell’s Colleguim Regale.  The anthem will be Let All the World from Vaughan Williams’ 5 Mystical Songs.

Save Betty Recital Series

The next recital in this series sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund will be on Saturday, 19th November, at 5pm.  We are especially pleased that our own maestro of the manuals and professor of the pedals, Nick Miller, will be giving this recital.  

Advent Carols 2016

Advent Sunday is on 27th November this year and our Advent carol service is at 6pm that evening.  This service always features some fantastic music and this year will be no different, with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (1st movement), In the Beginning from Haydn’s Creation, You Are the Light of the World from Godspell, Take That’s Rule the World and pieces by Dove, Vaughan Williams and John Williams.  There will be mulled wine and homemade mince pies after.

Bible Book Club

Bible book club meets once a month to read and to discuss the gospel reading for the coming Sunday and concludes with Compline.      Meetings take place on the last Tuesday of the month – the next meeting is 26th October.  For further information, speak to one of the clergy.

Culture Vulture Autumn Venture

A Venture to the Royal College of Physicians, Tuesday 1st November, 10.30am,

11 St Andrews Place, NW1 4LE

Go to to view the current exhibition, ‘The Great Fire’. This reveals how Londoners treated their burns from the fire – with animal droppings – and includes handwritten recipe books from the time, detailing the extraordinary potions and poultices thought to cure burns.  Founded by royal charter of Henry VIII in 1518, it is the oldest medical college in England. As well as oil and sculptural portraits (Zoffany’s oil painting of William Hunter lecturing c. 1722 is the most famous) and collections of silver apothecary jars and 17th century surgical instruments, the adjacent Medicinal Garden has over 1300 plants. These have either been used as medicines over the past 5000 years or commemorate physicians. Located a few minutes’ walk from Regent’s Park tube station, we meet at 10.30am in the foyer of the College and enjoy coffee/tea and biscuits before our guided historical tour of the building and its collections and an introduction to the exhibition, which we can then view at our leisure. Cost £8.00. Please give payment to Margaret.

New Website

St John’s has a new website!  Still on the old location,, it’s had a lick of paint and a good scrub and now looks really smart.  Have a look and sign up to the weekly newsletter if you are not already getting it.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Help Robin Get to Church

Robin Plummer lives in Cato Street and needs help getting to and from church.  Would you be willing to help him?  There is a rota and you would be expected to help Robin approximately one Sunday every other month.  Robin is particularly fond of riding in fast cars although he is also very happy to walk to church.


St James and St John School

This is our school; a school with a proud history and an aspirational future.  St. James & St. John School provides both academic and personal development for every child, underpinned by Christian values. To quote Ofsted: "This is a good school.  It is strongly supported by parents and carers.  The strong provision for development of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural qualities ensures that pupils are kind to new arrivals and respect one another's values.  Progress in English and mathematics is good and this reflects the good teaching and curriculum."

Under Five’s Playgroups

An international playgroup aimed at Russian speakers meets in St John’s on Wednesdays at 10am.  Other playgroups meet on Wednesdays at 3.45pm and Thursdays at 10am.  Suggested donation for all groups: £2.

Children’s Community Choir

On Wednesdays Robert Greenhill, St John’s Director or Music, is conducting a Children’s Community Choir for children 6 years old and above. Sessions are 30 minutes long and children explore singing with movement and games as they engage with different genres of music. If you are interested in bringing your children along please let Robert, Robin or Antonio know. 


The Annual General Meeting of the Hyde Park Estate Association will be held on Tuesday, 8th November, in St John’s at 7pm.  Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of the Marble Arch and Paddington Business Improvement Districts, will be the guest speaker. As well as the formal agenda there will be opportunity to raise and discuss issues of concern in our local area.