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.
From the beginning of September until Advent the choir, with various instruments, will be performing different settings of the first verse of Dixit Dominus, Psalm 110: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. This psalm is the first psalm of Vespers (a sunset evening prayer service) on Sundays and major feast days.
This morning the choir will be singing the first part of Handel’s Dixit Dominus, composed in 1707 when he was 22. The work is in eight movements, scored for five-part chorus, soloists, strings and continuo. It is regarded as one of his finest works and the first movement its full of energy.
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 this year we will have a Harry Potter themed workshop. Doors will close at 5.30pm to allow children enough time to finish their activities and crafts before the service of light. 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 Antonio or Becky. For a better time than trick or treating, come along for some frights and fun!
On Thursday, 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 Rutter’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.
12th 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 Leavitt’s Missa Festiva and the anthem is Wade in the Water by Hayes.
19th November, 8.00pm
preceded by a light supper at 7.00pm
This ancient monastic service, in a candlelit church, is stunning in its simplicity. The service is sung and the anthem is De Profundis, Pärt’s anthem for male voices. Sign up if you wish to join us for supper.
Evensong for Christ the King
26th 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 Smith with the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Purcell in G Minor. The anthem will be O Clap Your Hands by Gibbons.
Jenny Clark Concert
This year’s Jenny Clark Concert takes place on Sunday, 19th November, immediately following the 10am service. This year we are pleased that Julien van Mellaerts, one of last year’s choral scholars, will be performing at this year’s concert. Julien is the winner of numerous prizes, more recently the 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition and the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Award, and he will be accompanied by Gamal Khamis. The concert will last 35-40 minutes and is open to all.
Advent Course 2018
The Reformation’s Battleground:
Paul’s Letter to the Romans Re-Visited… and Re-Fought?
Mondays, 27 November and 4, 11, 18 December
7:30pm at Archery Close
31st October 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg and the symbolical beginning of the Reformation. Two weeks ago, some Anglican groups declared the need to "Re-Reform" the Communion or breakaway from it, arguing that true Biblical teachings on women’s leadership and human sexuality have been abandoned.
Interestingly, Paul’s letter to the Roman’s, which was the main biblical battleground between Protestants and Catholics during the Reformation, addresses head-on both women’s leadership and human sexuality, including homosexuality. But, what does it really say? We will try to find out through together through constructive and honest discussion.
We will meet four consecutive Mondays during Advent at 7:30pm for an hour or so and finish with Compline. There will be a detailed program and a reading guide for the four weeks available soon from Antonio (please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Advent Carols 2017
Advent Sunday is on 3rd December 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 Handel’s O Thou That Tellest (from Messiah), Wade in the Water by Hayes and Jenkins’ Angus Dei. There will also be selections from Vangelis, Rodgers & Hammerstein and John Williams. There will be mulled wine and homemade mince pies after.
Children’s Community Choir
The Children’s Community Choir is open for children 6 years old and above, sessions will be 30 minutes long and children will sing different genres of music. If you are interested in bringing your children along please let Robert or Antonio know.
NB There is no session this week due to half term.
St John’s Book Club
St John’s Book Club chose for their next book Hiromi Kawakami’s ‘The Nakano Thrift Shop’ and will meet to discuss it on 4th December. See Michael King for further information.
LORD MAYOR’S CORNER
A high point this past week was handing out awards and certificates to Westminster’s looked-after children; these young people excelling in education and skills despite facing some really challenging circumstances. By contrast I also spent a morning as guest of Her Honour Judge Deborah Taylor, the Westminster Recorder, observing a criminal trial of former Tesco directors. I hosted a visit by a House of Lords committee looking at the impact of local authorities’ role in citizenship services; members of the House of Lords Citizenship and Civic Engagement Committee observed me presiding at a weekly citizenship ceremony at Westminster City Hall. I also played a part in the switch-on of new high-tech display screens at Piccadilly Circus. On Sunday, Chris and I will attend an event at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue to mark the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.
School Gate Gossip
During each term the various years visit St John’s for a eucharist or for a lesson in conjunction with their Religious Education curriculum. Recently, years 2, 5 and 6 were in St John’s.
Y2 is reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer. On Monday but they built the sermon together with Antonio. In pairs they considered one of the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and two questions to help them reflect on their meaning. The second question was then transformed into a prayer that was offered during the intercessions.
Year 6 is studying life and death. The students wanted to know more about the Christian perspective of life and death and how this is reflected in the Sacraments of the Church. Antonio led them through the Easter Vigil service and the meaning of its multiple signs and symbols: the Easter Candle, the rite of Baptism (which the early church celebrated only this night for the whole year) and how it is linked it to water as death and life in the History of Salvation, and finally the meaning of the Eucharist itself.
Year 5 are studying Who Is Jesus. We celebrated a Eucharist and looked at the windows above the Sanctuary, what they mean and how they represent different facets of Jesus’ ministry. And yet, the only way to get to fully know Jesus is follow his invitation in the Gospel that we read: “come and see” and forming a personal relationship with him.
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 which is also for early school years and Thursdays at 10am. Suggested donation for all groups: £2. Information about the playgroups can be found at www.HPPplaygroup.weebly.com and www.HPPrussian.weebly.com for the Russian speaking playgroup.