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Horseman’s Sunday

A special welcome this morning to The Reverend Peter Murphy who was curate at St John’s between 1967 and 1972, participating in the second Horseman’s Sunday. Peter will be preaching at the 10am service and giving a short address outside after the horses have arrived on the forecourt.    

The Batting Order

This morning at 10am the choir will be accompanied by some of our house winds and strings.  Immediately after the service the Nico Sabatini Jazz Band begins playing on the forecourt. The Vicar will lead the Calvacade of Horses into the forecourt at 12noon.  The Blessing of the Horses will take about 25 minutes after which the horses and riders are introduced to us as they ride past.

While we await the arrival of the horses, tea and coffee will be available for a donation on either side of the forecourt and Cluttons will be serving drinks in their hospitality tent.  Members of the local community will open their stalls while children’s activities will be taking place in the North East corner of the forecourt (on your left as you face the church).  Be sure to visit the various stalls and have a go at the tombolas; and whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to win our fabulous St John’s hamper in our Horseman’s Sunday Raffle.

Thank You

to Cluttons, the estate agents, Starbucks and Tesco for their generosity in supporting this year’s Horseman’s Sunday, along with Colbeh and the Royal Lancaster Hotel, who are providing food.  Our thanks also go to all those who have taken part in the festivities on the forecourt and especially to all the traders of Connaught Village who have so generously donated to the tombola.  We are grateful to the Church Commissioners for England for sponsoring some of the costs of this morning’s music.

Dixit Dominus

From the beginning of September up 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 morning the choir will be singing with instruments the first two movements of Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus. Like the first movement of the Vivaldi Gloria, which is being performed at the blessing of the horses after this service, the Dixit Dominus is written in the bright key of D major to suit both the celebratory mood of the piece and the prominence given to the trumpet. He wrote the piece some time after 1720. It is one of the four settings written by the composer.

Children’s Community Choir

After an amazing performance of Oliver! in July the Children’s Community Choir is be back on Thursdays at 4.10pm with Robert Greenhill, St John’s Music Director.  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, Robin or Antonio know.

Culture Vulture Ventures

Wine and canapes in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour, Monday 18th September 7-8.30pm

At Westminster City Council’s temporary headquarters, 5 The Strand, WC2N 5HR close to Charing Cross, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Ian Adams, will open his 8th floor parlour to Culture Vultures.  Ian will welcome us; his chaplain, the Reverend Steve Mason, will speak to us theologically about the office of Lord Mayor and we will view some of the Council’s silver and art collections.  All this while we enjoy the stunning view over Trafalgar Square and enjoy the Lord Mayor’s hospitality.  Please give Margaret £15 per head (cheques preferred), which will be donated to the Lord Mayor’s charities.

A Marble Arch Experience, Friday 29th September at 6.00pm

Culture Vultures dine at Maroush Gardens, 1 Connaught Street, W2 2BH, www.maroush.combefore attending the 7.45pm performance of the jazz musical Five Guys Named Moe at the new, temporary Marble Arch Theatre. Khalil, the manager, is arranging a special all-inclusive menu for us to enjoy before we move on to a completely different experience at the theatre, where we will be transported back to a red hot 1940’s New Orleans jazz bar. Performed in the round and featuring hits such as ‘Is You Or Is You Ain’t My Baby’ and ‘Choo Choo Ch’Boogie’ from the king of jazz Louis Jordan, with choreography by Andrew Wright, the show will surely have us all tapping our feet! All in price £55 and payment to Margaret to secure your place (cheques preferred).

Farewell to Robin Sims-Williams

Robin joined Team St John’s as a training curate after completing his training and being ordained at St Paul’s in the summer of 2013 - he was ordained priest at St John’s a year later during the 10am Sunday service. In July we were pleased to announce Robin had been appointed Priest-in-Charge of All Saints’, Child’s Hill in West Barnet, but we will also be sad to see him go. We will say good-by to Robin, Helen, Iris and Meredith and celebrate their time here on Sunday, 24th September. Robin will be licensed at All Saints’ on the 9th October at 7pm, member of St John’s congregation are very welcome to come along, please sign up in the porch so that All Saints’ has an idea of numbers.

William Gibbs Concert

28th September 2017, 7.30pm

As part of the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of our pipe organ, more affectionately known as Betty, St John’s Choral Scholars will be conducting a concert to raise money for the William Gibbs Charitable Trust which generously supports our choral scholars in their studies along with other educational endeavours. St John’s has also regularly been a beneficiary of the trust. The first half will be a Mass-terful Musical Meandering through Mass settings from different periods of music. The second half will be an Operatic Odyssey of solos, duets and trios. Tickets are £10 and can be purchased from the choir or at the St John’s stall.

Organ Recital

30th September 2017, 5.00pm

Edward Kemp-Luck of the Royal Academy of Music will be performing for this Heritage Lottery Funded recital.

Harvest Sunday Family Eucharist

1st October 2017, 10am

This year’s harvest service will be bee-themed - so wear yellow and bee-have. There will also be a collection for the West London Day Centre alongside a bucket collection for a bee charity.

Bible Book Club

Bible Book Club meets once a month to read and discuss the gospel reading for the coming Sunday and concludes with Compline.  For more information, see one of the clergy.  Meetings take place on the last Tuesday of the month – this month’s meeting is on 26th September.

St John’s Book Club

St John’s Book Club meets Monday, 2nd October, when they will be discussing Henry Fielding’s ‘The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling’.  See Michael King for further information. 

Silent Film - Nosferatu

13th October 2017, 7.30pm

The first vampire film created will be accompanied by our own Nicholas Miller as one of the last Lottery Funded Event celebrating Betty’s restoration.

Paddington Deanery Course in Christian Studies

This is a one year introductory course to explore Christian life and thought. The teaching takes place on Tuesday evenings in at St Matthew’s Church, Bayswater and includes among the tutors our own Helen Sims-Williams. If you would be interested in participating pick up a leaflet, speak to Helen or email


This morning, 17 September, I am at Westminster Abbey for a service of thanksgiving and rededication on Battle of Britain Sunday, which will be followed by a fly past.  This means, of course, that regrettably I am unable to be present at Horseman's Sunday.   However, I'm delighted that my colleague Cllr Jan Prendergast will be attending as Lord Mayor Locum Tenens to mark 50 years of Horseman's Sunday.  I am very much looking forward to hosting Culture Vulture Ventures in the Lord Mayor's Parlour on Monday evening, along with Steve and Margaret.  Later in the week, I will visit Harris Sixth Form Academy and PIP, a charity in W9 helping adults with learning disabilities.  And on Saturday, I shall be at Westminster Abbey for Evensong to mark the centenary of the birth of the Blessed Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador who was assassinated in 1980.


School Gate Gossip

Before the summer, the school had a SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools). We are delighted that our status as a good school is confirmed. What the report says about our pupils, staff and parents confirms that we are doing the right things to ensure that the children in our care start their education with emphasis not only on academia but also on becoming caring, compassionate, respectful and thoughtful people. The Christian values which underpin our daily school life are recognized as being of great value to all our pupils from all faiths and none.  We owe our thanks to the head teacher, all our staff and our clergy, not only for their work in implementing the RE curriculum and delivering good impacts but also in fostering an environment in which the children can grow in safety and confidence. You can download the report from the school’s homepage:

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.