Notices 25th JUNE 2017

Heroes & Heroines in the Bible

Over 10 weeks after Easter, the anthems at the 10am morning services will be dedicated to Heroes & Heroines from the Bible.  The series starts with Christ, the image of heroism to which all should aspire.  The series then opens out to include the Virgin Mary, King David, the Queen of Sheba, Samson, Elijah, Noah, Esther and Moses.  Slightly outside of the mould of ‘Hero’ though still extremely important to the narrative of scripture is Adam whose story is told in the musical, Children of Eden.

The primary account of Noah in the Bible is in Genesis chapters 6-9.  The narrative discusses the evil of mankind that moved God to destroy the world by way of the flood, the preparation of the ark for certain animals, Noah, and his family, and God’s guarantee for the continued existence of creation.  This morning the choir are performing Ain’t It Good from the musical Children of Eden composed by Stephen Schwartz.  It comes at the end of the musical after the dove has returned with an olive branch heralding the end of the flood.

Going Green for Grenfell

After the tragic fire in Grenfell Tower in west London on 14th June was the deadliest on mainland Britain in over 100 years.  Many have expressed a desire to do something to help the victims.  While initial donations of clothing and other items to assist those who were not homeless were overwhelming, a fund has now been set up to support those who lost their homes and possessions in the disaster.  Our local Church of England Primary School, St James and St John, on Friday had a fund raising day ‘Going Green for Grenfell;, where children were encouraged to wear green and to bring a contribution.  St John’s is supporting this with a bucket collection after the service this morning.  Gift Aid Declarations are available which, if you are a UK taxpayer, will increase the value of your donation by 20%.

Community Charity Concert
Monday, 26th June, 7.30pm

Tomorrow evening our choral scholars will be joined by the singers from the Duke of Kendal and the Swedish church choir for this annual community extravaganza.  Tickets will be available from the beginning of June - £10 per adult, £5 concession.  More information to come but for all Abba fans the evening will finish with a selection of songs from Mamma Mia.  All proceeds will go to Children Change Colombia, a charity working to assist underprivileged children in challenging poverty, inequality, violence and discrimination.  Despite a growing economy and prospects of an end to long-running conflict, millions of children are still threatened by forced displacement, sexual exploitation or recruitment into armed groups.  Your support helps to ensure that every child can claim their right to a safe and happy childhood and a fulfilling future.

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 on 27th June.  For further information, speak to one of the clergy.

St John’s Book Club

St John’s Book Club meets Monday, 3rd July, when they will be discussing Guy de Maupassant's 'Boule de Suif' and Somerset Maugham's ‘The Letter'.  See Mi-chael King for further information.

Little Questions with Big Answers

Based around a series of ‘little books of guidance’ these sessions will deal with some of the little questions about Christian faith which stir up big challenges when it comes to answering them. We meet in the Library at The Victoria Pub on Strathearn Place at 12 noon (except on the 23rd July when we will meet at 12:30pm).  Everybody orders their own food and then we get into the discussion - all to be completed by 2.00pm.

What do we mean by ‘God’?
9th July 2017
Who or what is ‘God’?
How does the universe point to God?
Does God have a purpose?

What is Christianity?
16th July 2017
What is Christianity all about?
What is faith?
What difference does it make?

Why did Jesus have to Die?
23rd July 2017
Was the cross necessary?
What is atonement?
Is God atoning?

Why does God allow Suffering?
30th July 2017
What’s the problem?
Why create a world with suffering?
What does Jesus do about suffering?

13th July, 7pm

St John's Choral scholars in collaboration with St James and St John CofE Primary School and St George's Hanover Square CofE Primary School and a combo orchestra will be performing Oliver! - St John's Director of Music, Robert Greenhill, is directing the performance while Nick Miller will be playing the recently refurbished pipe organ, Betty.  Tickets (£5 per adult, children go free) are now available from the church office or online via a link on - this is part of the Lottery funded programme following the restoration of Betty, our organ.  Music, lyrics and book by Lionel Bart.  Produced for the Broadway stage by David Merrick and Donald Albery.  By arrangement with MusicScope and Stage Musicals Limited of New York.

Organ Recital
22nd July, 5pm

The next recital in our series sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund is on Saturday, 22nd July, 5pm.  We are privileged to have Jeremy Woodside, school organist and music teacher at Repton School, Derbyshire.  Further details nearer the time.  The recital is free and open to the public.

Farewell to Pippa Turner

Pippa became part of Team St John’s shortly after returning from New York City, where she went to Master of Divinity Degree.  She was ordained by the Bishop of New York in 1995 and became Associate Priest at our sister church, The Church of the Heavenly Church, in Manhattan.  Pippa returned to London in 2008 to become chaplain at London Royal Veterinary College and London Royal Free and University College Medical School.  Earlier in the spring we were pleased to announce Pippa’s appoint as Vicar at St Philip’s, Earlsfield Road,, but we will also be sad to see her go.  We will say good-by to Pippa on Sunday, 23rd July, and celebrate her ministry here.

Jazz Mass
23rd July, 10am

The choir will complete their year at St John’s on 16th July but we have a special treat – a jazz mass!  Ewan King, who introduced us to the jazz mass in 2010, will be back with his band and singers to lead our Sunday morning service.  If you have not experienced a Sunday evening jazz mass, you are missing something quite special – do make sure you don’t miss it this Sunday morning.

Sponsor a Window

As part of the works, we are delighted that we have been given permission to restore the clerestory windows and replace the frosted glass with clear glass, as would have been originally.  The restoration of clear glass at this level should flood the ceiling with light and significant enhance the building in all seasons as the light changes.

The cost of replacing the glass and restoring these windows is likely to be in the region of £28,000.  There are 14 windows so that is £2,000 per window.  We would be delighted if people would like to sponsor a window!  If you are a UK taxpayer, after Gift Aid it is only £1,600.  If a full window is a bit much, then why not half a window, which would be £1,000 (or £800 with Gift Aid).  If that is a bit of a stretch, we would be delighted if you could sponsor a quarter of a window (£400 plus Gift Aid) or just a pane or two for £100 or £200.  Every donation helps!

Donations can be made either to the Vicar or Bryan Sollenberger at the parish office. 

St John’s Annual Barbecue

Summer is not quite here yet but we have faith! and are planning this year’s barbecue following the 10am service on 2nd July.  As usual, St John’s provides the meat and desserts, you supply a salad and a donation: £5/adult, £2/ child.    Please sign up after the service if you will be coming and indicate what kind of salad you will be bringing.  Volunteers to help with setting up and barbecuing the meat are also needed – speak to Andre or to Bryan if you can help.

St John’s Family Camping Trip
14th – 16th July 2017

St John’s families are organising a camping trip in July again this year at Debden House.   If you are interested in coming speak to Samantha Tear with some indication as to whether you are interested in coming for 1 or 2 nights.  You can sign up by going to and booking a site near pitches 204 and 205.

Horseman’s Sunday
17th September 2017

This year we will be celebrating the 50th Horseman’s Sunday!  In addition to the usual volunteers, this year we are looking for someone with particular PR skills to help us to publicise this milestone event.  If you can help, please speak to Bryan Sollenberger after the service.

Culture Vulture Ventures

Culture Vultures Support our Choral Scholars at the Royal College of Music
25th June, 12 noon

On Sunday 25th June we meet at 12 noon in the Royal Albert Hall’s ground floor Café Bar (enter via Door 12) for a light lunch before walking over to the Royal College of Music for the Dress Rehearsal of two delightful French comic operas: Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias and Chabrier’s Une Éducation Manquée.  Choral Scholar Julien Van Mellaerts, who recently won the prestigious 2017 Ferrier prize, sings the main role in Poulenc’s farcical little opera bouffe: enter the topsy-turvy world of Tiresias who turns herself into a man, dresses her husband as a woman and heads off to conquer the world.

Meanwhile, set in 18th-century France, Chabrier’s Une Éducation Manquée finds Count Gontran and his new wife Helene unprepared for the particulars of their wedding night.  Seeking advice from close relations, will they find the answers to their questions?

The rehearsal is performed free of charge but names are needed for admission:  please let Margaret or Lesley Gray, who will be co-ordinating the Venture on the 25th, know you will be coming.

Culture Vultures Venture to Oxford
Tuesday, 25th July

The Reverend Sally Hitchiner, who has spent time as a student and chaplain at Oxford University, is arranging a day in the city for us.  We will catch the 10.15am Oxford Tube from Marble Arch and return at either approx. 5pm or after attending a College Evensong – 6pm start.  Day return is £18, £14 for over 60’s, under 15’s travel free.  The plan is to explore Oxford’s literary landmarks and the itinerary will encompass Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland so the day is very suitable for children as well as adults.  We'll also venture inside Christ Church College where the Harry Potter film was set and where CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll were dons and visit the pub where CS Lewis, JR Tolkien and their friend Hugo met each week to discuss their writing.  Sally will arrange coffee and lunch stops and afternoon tea in the crypt library underneath the university church.  Please give Margaret travel fare as appropriate if you would like to join this venture.


Marking a special birthday?  Celebrating an anniversary?  Wanting to remember that special person?  St John’s can help!  To honour a loved one or to commemorate a special event, you can sponsor some music or flowers, have fizz & refreshments after the service - there are lots of possibilities.  If you would like to observe a special occasion or honour someone special, speak to Bryan Sollenberger.LORD MAYOR’S CORNER
Can't believe I've reached the end of my first month as Lord Mayor of Westminster - such a whirlwind.  Christopher and I attended five community events last Sunday alone, including Whitsun Carols at St John's - such an enjoyable service.  This week we were honoured to attend State Opening of Parliament.  The extra security was a stark reminder about the challenges faced by the authorities in organising such events, especially in the heart of the capital.  On a lighter note, we are attending West End Live in Trafalgar Square today (25 June) - an amazing showcase of West End theatre and musicals, which runs until 5pm (free entry).  Looking ahead, I shall be the first Lord Mayor of Westminster to lead the annual PRIDE London parade, which takes place on 8 July.  I'm also hosting the first-ever PRIDE reception at Westminster City Hall on 3 July - the same day I'm due to appear on BBC Radio London's Robert Elms programme, when I hope to promote my charity work as Lord Mayor.


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."

Under Five’s Playgroups

Information about the weekly community playgroups that meet at St John’s can be found at for the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning groups and for the Russian speaking playgroup on Wednesday mornings.

While the scaffolding is in church, the Wednesday afternoon playgroup will not meet.  The Wednesday and Thursday morning groups will meet at the church at 9.45am and go to Hyde Park, weather permitting.