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.

Dixit Dominus

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 week's setting is by the Austrian classical composer Johann Michael Haydn, the younger brother of the famous Franz Joseph.  By age twelve he was making money as a substitute organist at St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna.  He later worked for more than forty years as concertmaster of Salzburg, where he taught composers including Weber and Diabelli, and made the acquaintance of Mozart, who admired his compositional style.  (He was also criticised by Mozart's father for his heavy drinking). This work is somewhat unusual in calling for three violins, whose parts overlap each other with great energy.

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

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.  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 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’ Agnus 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

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.

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. 


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 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.


Another varied week, the highlight of which was attending a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 500 years since the Reformation, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom we met afterwards at a private reception, delivering the sermon.  I took part in a panel discussion on skills training for the construction sector and met some participants from a related work experience programme.  A very lively and positive group of young people!  I also attended the ground-breaking ceremony at the Penninsula Hotel at Hyde Park Corner; visited Wetherby School on Bryanston Square to judge a cake-baking competition; and spent yesterday with Chris as guests of the RAC annual Regent Street Motor Show event.  I also spent a delightful hour in the company of a Chelsea Pensioner, selling poppies outside City Hall.  Today, Chris and I are involved in a recording of Songs of Praise for the BBC at Westminster Central Hall before heading off to a premier screening of Paddington 2, the movie.  @LM_Westminster


School Gate Gossip

Just before the half-term holidays our children had two highlights to look forward to: Year 3 and 4 went to visit Kensington Palace to participate in various science workshops while year 5 and 6 had their own culture vulture event watching the theatre adaption of Beowulf at the Unicorn Theatre in Southwark. After a well-deserved half-term break we are now very much looking forward to all the upcoming events, especially as we get closer to Christmas. Some of the highlights include: Trips to the Wallace Collection, Sealife Centre and the Natural History Museum. Dates for your diary: PFA Christmas Market, Friday 8th December, and the whole school nativity at St. John’s, Tuesday 19th December.

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.