Celebrating Robin’s Ministry at St John’s

This morning we give thanks for and say good–bye to Robin, Helen, Iris and Meredith.  Over the past four years, they have become part of our community and much loved by us all.  We owe a big thank you to Helen for her work with our younger members in Sand & Gravel in Kids’ Club and for her teaching and facilitating the Deanery theology group, as well as her great catering skills.  Iris and Meredith, plucky and confident children, will be missed greatly by us all and ‘show and tell’ will not be quite the same again!

We of course celebrate this morning Robin’s ministry among us over the past four years.  It has been our privilege as a parish to support and to enjoy him as he has blossomed, thrived and grown in confidence during his time here.  Among the many gifts in ministry he has shared with us, of particular value have been Robin’s technical expertise in upgrading and maintaining the website.  He played a key role partnering Robert in delivering the activities programme of the HLF organ project and has introduced us to lights, cameras and a big screen!  We thank him for all of his hard work, his sense of fun and his reliability to get the job done.  Robin leaves us to become Priest-in-Charge of All Saints’, Child’s Hill in West Barnet.  We wish him, Helen, Iris and Meredith well and hold them in our prayers as they begin this new chapter in their lives.  Please stay behind after the service to wish them well during a special farewell reception.  In honour of Robin, there is a barrel of beer which can be enjoyed as a straight pint or a shandy, sherry or fizz, hot dogs from the barbecue and a cheese board.

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

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

Culture Vultures dine at Maroush Gardens, 1 Connaught Street, W2 2BH,, before 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).

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.  The recital is open to the public.


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. 


Licensing of Robin Sims-Williams

Robin will be licensed at All Saints’ on the 9th October at 7pm and member of St John’s congregation are very welcome to come along.  Please sign up in the porch so that we can give All Saints’ an idea of numbers.

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.  Tickets are £5 (£7.50 concessions).

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



While we had to miss the main event last Sunday, Chris and I managed to visit a local family who had taken part in Horseman's Sunday through their involvement in Riding for the Disabled.  We also enjoyed hosting St John's Culture Vultures in the Lord Mayor's Parlour last Monday to view the council's silver collection, which also includes pieces belonging to the Past Overseers' Society.  

Today I am hosting a sponsored event for Ataxia UK along with my nephew, Adam.  On Tuesday I will be present at the reopening of Westminster Council House on Marylebone Road, with HRH The Princess Royal in attendance.  Other events this week include a Chinese charity dinner at the House of Commons; the Sheriffs' Admission Ceremony at the Guildhall; Eucharist for the Feast of St Michael and All Angels at Westminster Abbey; an NFL event on Regent Street; a summer reading challenge film screening at Leicester Square; and a performance of Five Guys Called Moe at the pop-up theatre at Marble Arch.  And prior to taking part in Silver Sunday events on 1 October, I will be visiting several older people's homes across Westminster.  



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.