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.

Orfeo ed Euridice - C. W. Gluck

The choir this morning are singing the chorus and aria from Orfeo ed Euridice, composed in 1762.  The opera begins with a chorus Ah se intorno with Orfeo grieving before the grave of his dear wife, Euridice, in the forest.  He appeals to the gods for her to come alive again.  Jupiter grants his wish on condition he goes to Hades and calms the spirits of many dead people.  On his way back to earth he must not look at her.  Towards the end of Act 3 he does look at her and she dies once more and Orfeo sings Che faro senza Euridice (What Is Life to Me without You).

Reckless Pub Quiz Evening

This popular evening returns this Wednesday, 19th October, at 8pm. Tickets are £15 for dinner and Quiz Entry and are on sale from a member of staff or the parish office.  Form a team or come on your own and join one on the evening.  All proceeds will go to Children Change Colombia and The Bishop of London’s Mission Fund.

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.

17th October, 7pm

My Neighbour: the Refugee

Sarah Weather

Director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) UK

and former Minister of State for Children and Families

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

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.

St John’s Electoral Roll

The Electoral Roll is a register of our members.  By having your name entered on it, you are not making any obligation but you do become entitled to take part in our annual meetings next spring.  It is also something that our local church schools ask about when you apply for a place.  If you are thinking about standing for election to the church council, you will need to have been on the Electoral Roll for at least six months so you need to sign up now.  It’s a simple procedure.  Just see Bryan Sollenberger if you would like to have your name added or to be sure your name is on the roll.

Culture Vulture Autumn Ventures

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.

Early Bird Notice: Iona Retreat, May 2017

Margaret has booked places on Iona, the island on the west coast of Scotland, for a Parish Retreat from Friday May 12 – Tuesday May 16 2017.  The daily schedule will include worship in the chapel, a daily spiritual reflection and space for individual prayer. There will also be opportunities for guided pilgrimages around the island.  Bishop’s House are providing accommodation in twin and single rooms on a full board basis including afternoon tea at an all inclusive rate of £320 per person.  Travel costs are approx. £150 return.  Nigel Percival will be available after the service to give first hand details and to receive deposits (non-returnable) of £80 required by Bishop’s House to secure the booking.  This is a wonderful opportunity - there can be no location in the British Isles more retreat friendly than Iona.  Join if you can!

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.