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.

When I Am Laid in Earth & With Drooping Wings – Dido and Aeneas – H. Purcell

Dido and Aeneas by Purcell was composed around 1688 and is one of the earliest operas written in England.  The aria and chorus this morning is sung at the end of the opera when Dido's life comes to an end, ‘When I Am Laid in Earth’, also known as "Dido's Lament."  The chorus and orchestra then conclude the opera once Dido is dead by ordering the "cupids to scatter roses on her tomb, soft and gentle on her heart.  Keep here your watch, and never never never part."

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.


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 magus of the manuals and prodigy of the pedals, Nick Miller, will be giving this recital.

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.  The final lecture in this year’s series takes place on Monday.

14th November, 7pm

My Neighbours, God’s Gift

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

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 29th November.  For further information, speak to one of the clergy

Mary and Joseph Are Looking for Somewhere to Stay!

Advent is drawing close!  As part of our preparation for Christmas, every year Mary and Joseph travel to homes around the parish, together with a rucksack full of things to use and play with, stories to read, colour pictures and an entourage of animals that are passed on every morning to a different family. That day, the family has a great opportunity to talk about the Christmas story, play together and have a great time. And don’t forget to check your own pictures from previous years in the booklet provided and take some new ones this year!  Mary and Joseph leave the church on Advent Sunday (27th November) after the Eucharist and return to St. John’s for the Crib Service on Christmas Eve at 4 pm.

If you would like to host Mary and Joseph, please fill in your details in one of the blue forms at the back and return it to Becky, Robin or Antonio. Alternatively, you can fill in the online form here:

Festival of St Nicholas

St John’s is celebrating the Festival of St Nicholas (aka Father Christmas) again this year on Sunday, 4th December, at 4pm.  This seasonal all age service begins with the entrance of a bishop and ends with the arrival of Father Christmas and in between there will be storytelling and lots of children’s activities interspersed with all kinds of St Nicholas/Father Christmas music from the choir.  After the service there will be a seasonal tea.

Advent Course

Christian Basics Explored

This year our Advent Course on Christian basics will take the form of an open shared conversation around some wintery nibbles.  We will meet on four successive Tuesdays, starting 22nd of November, at 7:30pm at the curate’s house.  Using Rowan William’s book Being Christian, we will explore our modern understanding[s] of four pillars of Christianity: Baptism, Scripture, the Eucharist and Prayer.  For more information and to get a book, please contact Antonio.

St John’s Book Club

St John’s Book Club is currently reading Eyrie by Tim Winton. They will meet to discuss this book on 28th November.  See Michael King for further information.

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."

St James & St John Christmas Stall

Our school children have made Christmas cards for a competition and the best 10 have been printed for sale.  Also, the children have made Christmas decorations and all sorts of arts & crafts for sale.  On the 13th November after the 10am service these will be available in church.  All proceeds will go to the PFA.

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 at 4.30pm during term times Robert Greenhill, St John’s Director of 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.