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.

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.

King David was, according to the Old Testament, the second king of the United Kingdom of Judah, reigning in c. 1010-970 BCE. He is depicted as a warrior of great renown, a poet and a musician credited with composing many of the psalms contained in the Book of Psalms.  This morning the choir are singing part of Eric Whitacre’s When David Heard, which premiered in 1999.  The text is from the second book of Samuel and represents the grief felt from Kings who have lost their sons.  “When David heard that Absalom was slain he went up into his chamber over the gate and wept, my son, my son, O Absalom my son, would God I had died for thee!”

Summer Barbecue

St John’s summer barbecue is today and the residents have again kindly allowed us the use of the gardens behind the church.  As is our custom, St John’s will provide the meat, drinks and strawberries in return for a donation towards costs: £5 per adult, £2 per child.  This is a great family event and we hope that you will join us.  In the unlikely event of rain, food will be served in the hall at the back of church.

Immediately following the service, sherry will be served at the west end of the church in order to give our chefs opportunity to get the barbecue going before we move to the gardens of the flats at the back of church at midday.

If you have brought a salad with you, please place it on the table at the back of church.  These will then be taken over to the gardens by one of the barbecue team in time for the barbecue.  If you have not indicated your intention to come to the barbecue, spare places are limited:  please speak to Bryan.

To help cover the costs there will be a bucket for donations as you enter the gardens.  There will also be a raffle during the course of the afternoon: the prize is a bottle of champagne and some smoked salmon.  There will also be a bucket for donations on the drinks table.

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 Michael 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 had spent twenty years, having obtained her Master of Divinity Degree from Yale Divinity School.  She was ordained Priest by the Bishop of New York in 1995 and soon after became Associate Priest at our sister church, The Church of the Heavenly Rest, in Manhattan.  Pippa returned to London in 2008 to become Chaplain to the Royal Veterinary College and UCL Medical School.  Earlier in the spring we were pleased to announce Pippa’s appointment as Vicar at St Philip’s, Earls Court 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.

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.

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 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.

Culture Vulture Ventures

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.


Can't believe I've reached the end of my first month as Lord Mayor of Westminster - such a whirlwind.  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

The scaffolding has now come down in church but as the summer holidays are imminent, playgroups will resume in September.  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.