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.

St John’s Late

St John’s Late returns this evening for a seasonal run before Advent.  These 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

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 2017

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.  Evenings start at 7:30 pm and finish with said Compline.

Monday 27th November

Introduction and Romans 1-4

Why did Paul write this Letter?  How can we make sense of God’s wrath?  Why is the Old Testament a “gift” for Paul?

Monday 4th December

Adam vs Christ: Romans 5-8

Was Adam a real person as Christ was?  Free from the Law… of the Old Testament only?  African theological perspectives.

Monday 11th December

The People of God: Romans 9-11

What happens to those who don’t believe?  How does belonging and behaving  relate to each other in this letter?

Monday 18th December

On Human Behaviour: Romans 12-16

Is there such thing as “Pauline Ethics”?  If we are saved by faith, is there a place for a moral code of conduct?

Advent Carols 2017

Advent Sunday is on 3rd December this year.  At 10am we welcome Joseph and Mary before their pilgrimage around the parish.  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’ Agnus Dei.  There will also be selections from Vangelis, Rodgers & Hammerstein and John Williams.  There will be mulled wine and homemade mince pies after.

Festival of St Nicholas

St John’s is celebrating the Festival of St Nicholas (aka Father Christmas) again this year next Sunday, 4th December, at 4pm.  This seasonal all age service begins with the entrance of a boy 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.

Sunday, 17th December

Nativity Play

This year’s play has been carefully crafted by Mike Roskell and will be a world premier exclusive at the 10am service.  There are a couple of dates to keep in mind.  Antonio will be casting the roles after church on Sunday 10th December and the dress rehearsal will be in church on Saturday 16th December at 10:30 am. Speak to Antonio or Becky for more information.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Our traditional carol service takes place Sunday, 17th December, at 6pm.  The choir will be accompanied by a multitude of musicians.  This year’s service includes music by Ravel, Leavitt and Saint-Saëns.  The service will be followed by a fizz and panettone reception.  This is one of the biggest musical treats of the year for all the family.  Invite your friends and neighbours to join us for this festive community celebration.

Children’s Community Choir

Thursdays, 4.10pm

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.

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. 


Culture Vultures Go Viral: The Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum

How many of us passed the Blue Plaque to Alexander Fleming on the wall of St Mary’s Hospital in Praed St and wondered just how and where he discovered penicillin in 1928? CVV offer you a chance to find out! Meet at the junction of Norfolk Place and Praed St, by the wrought iron gates of St Mary’s Hospital, W2 1NY and the blue plaque at 11.45am on Monday November 20th and we will proceed to the Museum.  Health Warning: 61 stairs and no lift!  With the help of a guided tour by archivist Kevin Brown, a short video ‘Penicillin and Fleming’, displays and an in-situ reconstruction of his laboratory, we will uncover the remarkable story of how a chance discovery became a life-saving drug destined to revolutionise medicine.  After all that, we adjourn to the perhaps aptly named It's All Greek to Me, 101 Praed Street, London W2 1NT , a new family run restaurant.  Moussaka and Greek salad highly recommended!  £20 all in.  Payment to Margaret, cheques preferred.

Culture Vultures Venture: The Postal Museum

A New Year treat on Tuesday January 16th when we visit the very popular, recently opened Postal Museum at Phoenix Place, Mount Pleasant, WC1X ODA.  Our self-guided visit includes tickets to ride on one of London’s hidden gems: the underground mail train route and surprising stories from what is in fact the first social network!  Before our visit we enjoy a 2 course set lunch at the nearby family run Sicilian restaurant, drinks/tea coffee extra, 91-93 Grays Inn Road WC1X 8TX.  Our exhibition visit is not timed, but our train departs at 2.35pm, so we will meet at the restaurant at 12.15pm to give us plenty of time to enjoy lunch.  Nearest tubes Chancery Lane and Farringdon.  Total cost £36 but places are limited.  Payment to Margaret Legg (cheques preferred) to secure your place.

Culture Vultures go to the Opera

10th March 2018

Former Choral Scholar (2015-16) soprano Soraya Mafi has landed the role of Tytania in English National Opera’s production by Robert Carson of Benjamin Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, based on Shakespeare’s popular comedy.  Britten’s opera follows the consequences of a falling-out between the fairy-king Oberon and his queen, Tytania. Mistaken identities, confused lovers and alarming transformations are the result!  We have tickets in the front of the Upper Circle at the London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES for the 7.30pm performance on Saturday 10th March 2018 and will enjoy a 3 course supper beforehand and during the interval (drinks, tea/coffee extra).  Meet in the Coliseum’s American Bar Restaurant at 5.30pm.  Tickets all in £70.  Payment to Margaret will secure your place.  Cheques preferred.


Remembrance Sunday marks the climax of a lot of engagements, not least as this morning, 12 November, Steve, Chris and I will be taking part in the annual service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey; later today Chris and I also take part in a service at the war memorial at Lancaster Gate.  I met HRH Prince Harry at the Field of Remembrance outside the Abbey last Thursday; took part in a GLA Festival of Remembrance on Friday; and attended, with Chris, the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall last night.  A very moving occasion.  Also yesterday I attended a ceremony and wreath laying in memory of Marechal Foch before joining British Veterans at a Légion d’honneur awarding ceremony.  We were also guests of the new Lord Mayor of London at the annual Lord Mayor’s Show yesterday, 11 November, in the City.  I was guest speaker at the Past Overseers’ Annual Dinner and also took part in the switching on of Christmas lights on Oxford Street and Bond Street.  @LM_Westminster


School Gate Gossip

It’s only been two weeks since we’ve been back from the half-term holidays but it already seems like an eternity ago.  Probably because we’ve been so busy since.  Year 5 spent one morning at the Wallace Collection to learn around their new topic: Princes, Peasants and Pestilence.  Year 4 went to the Sea Life centre.  No better place to learn about the current topic “Blue Abyss” and some brave children even touched a starfish, shark skin, and a shark fin.  Year 2 just returned from a trip to Wriggle and Crawl, an education centre, in Hyde Park and met some lovely creatures such as a toad, worm, spider and even woodlice.  And year 6 is still out of breath from this Friday’s skip-a-thon for the British Heart Foundation.  Upcoming events include the Remembrance Day Service at St. James’s Church and a year 6 visit by Speed Wardens to talk about the change of speed limits near the school.  Dates for your diary: PFA Christmas Market on Friday 8th December.  Please ask a member of the school, governors, parents or clergy how you can support this key event for our school.

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 and for the Russian speaking playgroup.