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.


Today is Advent Sunday where we mark the beginning of the season of the preparation for Christmas in a number of ways.  Children’s activities will this year be set around the Jesse Tree and Mary and Joseph will also be in church to be blessed before beginning their journey to stay with the children of the parish each night until Christmas Eve.

Mary & Joseph’s Parish Promenade

This morning we welcome Mary & Joseph into church before sending them on their journey to stay with the children of the parish during Advent.  They arrive back for the crib service on Christmas Eve.  If you would like to host Mary and Joseph, please fill in your details in one of the forms at the back and return it to Becky or Antonio.

Advent Carols 2017

This evening at 6pm is our Advent carol service - the first of our four carol services reprising the Christian year.  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, Rossini and John Williams.  There will be mulled wine and homemade mince pies after.

Advent Course 2017

The Reformation’s Battleground:

Paul’s Letter to the Romans Re-Visited… and Re-Fought?

Mondays, 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 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?

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. 

Festival of St Nicholas

St John’s is celebrating the Festival of St Nicholas (aka Father Christmas) again this year next Sunday, 10th 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.

NB  There is no session this week due to half term.

Christmas Flowers

Remember a loved one by making a donation to this year’s Christmas flowers.  Complete the slip inside your order of service and leave it with Bryan Sollenberger.  A list of those in whose memory donations are given will be displayed in the porch.


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 Sicilian restaurant Luce E Limone, 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 (tea/coffee extra) 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.


Gremlins prevented my update for last week from appearing, so there’s a couple of weeks to report on today.  Since Steve, Chris and I returned from Oslo on 21 November, where I cut down the Christmas Tree for Trafalgar Square, I took part in a ceremony in honour of a local Victoria Cross hero from World War One; I attended a St Cecelia’s Day service at Westminster Cathedral; hosted a reception for council staff who won this year’s London in Bloom competition; attended Westminster Synagogue’s Scrolls Service; and joined Den Norske Club’s 130th anniversary Christmas dinner where I was guest speaker. 

I also helped to switch on the Christmas tree lights at Maida Hill Market, Churchill Gardens and in Little Venice; was a guest at the Mayfair Magazine Awards and also the Fayre of St James; I hosted receptions for the Westminster Small Business Council and council staff in receipt of long service awards.  I also attended the Active Westminster Awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground and took an HIV test in Soho to help promote World AIDS Day.  Tonight, 3rd December, I am attending Advent Liturgy at Westminster Abbey and reading a lesson, later on, at St Mark’s, Hamilton Terrace at their advent carol service.  And don’t forget the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree lights are switched on at 6pm on Thursday 7th December.  Twitter @LM_Westminster.


School Gate Gossip

Only three weeks to go until Christmas Eve. While we obviously continue to work very hard on our academic curriculum, the last weeks have seen our children work increasingly their artistic side. We participated in various Christmas card art competitions (the winning entries can be purchased over the coming weeks at the various local Christmas markets), and we continue to work very hard rehearsing various nativity plays (this year’s main title “The Midwife Crisis”). Christmas Jumper Day is also one of the key events we always look forward to and this year we have a first: we will be inviting parents to join the children for dinner on the non-negotiable condition that parents also wear a Christmas jumper. Dates for your diary: Friday 8th December PFA Christmas Market (we luckily found a Santa!), Saturday 9th December German YMCA Christmas Market (performance of our school choir), Tuesday 19th December Whole School nativity service at St. John’s, Wednesday 20th December last day of term.

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.