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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.

St John’s Late

Our Sunday evening services this evening.  Please note the times of services as they do fluctuate until the Lent series begins on 18th February.

Jazz Mass

28th January, 6.30pm

The atmosphere of a jazz club, great music and the beauty of the eucharist meet in this fantastic service with wine and nibbles available throughout.  The setting is Chilcott’s Little Organ Mass and the anthem is Gerlitz’s arrangement of This Little Light of Mine.


4th February, 8.00pm

preceded by a light  supper at 7.00pm

This ancient monastic service, in a candlelit church, is stunning in its simplicity.  The service is sung and the anthem is Verdi’s Hymn to the Virgin.  Sign up if you wish to join us for supper.

Choral Evensong

11th February, 6.30pm

This service is the foundation of English tradition, a gem in the crown of the prayer book.  The setting for the responses is by Smith with the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis from Howell’s Collegium Regale.  The anthem will be O Nata Lux by Thomas Tallis.

Ash Wednesday, 14th February 2018, 12.00 noon & 8.00pm

We begin our Lenten observations on Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on 14th February.  As usual there will be a said lunchtime service at 12.00 noon.  In the evening there will be a sung Eucharist at 8.00pm, the setting Victoria’s Missa Quarti Toni and featuring Allegri’s well known Miserere.  If you still have your palm crosses from last year, bring them in and we will burn them to make this year’s ash.

Sunday Evenings in Lent

Jesus: the Living Water

In this series of Lenten evening services, we explore how Jesus brings life in many different ways to many different people, using his encounters with water as illustrations.  With our own lives as our templates we reflect, through music, worship, prayer and water-focussed practical interludes, on the times when we have been healed and reshaped and have felt we have had no control.  Ultimately, we focus on Jesus himself as the source of new life within us, through the cleansing and empowerment that he gives us through his death and resurrection.

Lent Course 2018

Faith and the Arts

For centuries, different art forms have been used as channels to capture faith. The beauty found in these artistic expressions goes beyond the religious motif, to something deeper within the artist and the beholder.  In four weeks, we will explore different forms of art: Sculpture, Music, Dance and Visual Arts.  We will share a conversation with artists on how they perceive and express faith, and us as spectators, how we perceive beauty and faith through art.

This is our yearly Lent Course shared between St John's, St George's, Hanover Square and the Grosvenor Chapel.  It will be held on Wednesdays at the Garden Room in the Grosvenor Chapel, 24 S Audley St, Mayfair, London W1K 2PA. Most days starting at 7pm (*), we begin by sharing soup and supper (see below for details).

Wednesday, 21st February: Visual Arts

Rev'd. Mark Dean: Chaplain to the University of the Arts, London and Visual Artist

Wednesday, 28th February: Dance

Avatara Ayuso: Choreographer, Ballerina and Dancer

Wednesday, 7th March: Music

Sir James MacMillan: Composer

*Please watch out for further announcements on this session as we might begin earlier with Sung Vespers where Sir James will direct the choir and organ to his own music.

Wednesday, 14th March: Sculpture

Professor Alexander Stoddart: the Queen’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland

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 30th January.  For further information, speak to one of the clergy.

St John’s Book Club

SJBC met earlier this month and selected Hillbilly Elegy by J D Vance as their next book and will discuss it on 5th February 2018.  After that, they will peruse The Bell by Iris Murdoch for a meeting in April.  See Michael King for more information.


On Sunday, 22nd April, the acting Bishop of London will be presiding at a service of Confirmation.  Courses preparing children and adults for Confirmation will be run in Lent.  If you would like to be confirmed or if you would like to explore the possibility of being confirmed, please talk with one of the clergy.  Do come along and support those who are being confirmed.

Heart Start Training

Claudia Finlay has organised this course, run by London Ambulance, for members of St. John’s Church on Tuesday, 3rd April. 18.30 – 20.30 at 220 Waterloo Road, London SE1.  The course is available for 15 people only and is free, but you need to register.  Please send your name, mobile number and email to

Congratulations, Dame Vivian Hunt

Big congratulations to Vivian Hunt, who received a damehood in the New Year’s Honours for services to the Economy and to Women in Business.  Vivian is the Managing Partner for McKinsey & Company, UK and Ireland. Previously named “the most influential black woman in Britain”, and “one of the 30 most influential people in the City of London,” she serves corporate, public, and third sector clients on a range of strategic and operational issues. Her pioneering work tying diversity to strong financial performance (“The Power of Parity”, and “Diversity Matters” I and II) is globally recognised and paves the way for programmes enabling women to advance. She serves on the Mayor of London’s Business Council, chairs the CBI London Council, and is on the board of both Business in the Community and British American Business. She is a trustee of the Southbank Centre, The Henry Smith Charitable Trust, Action on Addiction and is a member of the Tate Modern Advisory Council. She is an inspirational speaker and a powerful advocate for non-traditional voices in the corporate world. 

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.

Help Robin Get to Church

Robin Plummer lives in Cato Street and needs help getting to and from church.  Would you be willing to help him?  There is a rota and you would be expected to help Robin approximately one Sunday per month.  Robin is particularly fond of riding in fast cars although he is also very happy to walk to church.


Culture Vultures Attend

the Queen’s Chapel, Marlborough Rd. and the Chapel Royal, St James’ Palace

Saturday 24th February

The Serjeant of the Vestry, Jon Simpson, has very kindly agreed to give Culture Vultures a private tour of these chapels on Saturday February 24th at 10.30am - a great privilege and treat! The plate is sumptuous, as are the Van Dyke’s in the Upper Room at the Queen’s Chapel.  The visit will last approx. 1.5 hours, after which we will adjourn for lunch nearby (details later).  Numbers are limited.  Cost £40 which includes lunch and a donation to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal. Cheques preferred, payable to Margaret Legg.  We have to be security cleared beforehand, so please let me have your full name, postal and email addresses, and the number of your current passport or photocard Driving Licence – whichever you will bring with you on the day.  Meet under the St James’ Palace clock at the bottom (southern) end of St James’ St. at 10.15am.

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.



Things are back in full swing following a short break.  Last week I hosted a launch reception for this year’s London Handel Festival; attended the national Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony; was guest at an Australia Day reception hosted by the High Commissioner; presided over a citizenship ceremony at the refurbished Old Marylebone Town Hall; attended the annual Regent Street Association lunch; and chaired a meeting of the Full Council.  Chris and I also bid farewell to the Italian Ambassador who transfers to Moscow.

This coming week I am guest speaker at the Westminster Abbey Audit Dinner and will also be speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of St Marylebone.  Other highlights will include hosting a reception for our library volunteers; presenting an award from the Past Overseers’ Society to a hand engraving student; attending the centenary celebrations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at Lancaster House; being interviewed on Soho Radio, followed by hosting an Opening Doors quiz night for older LGBT residents; visiting L’Ecole Internationale, a school in Marylebone with over 30 nationalities; taking part in a sung eucharist at Westminster Abbey, marking the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas); and being guest speaker at the annual London Mayors’ Association dinner.  @LM_Westminster

Lord Mayor’s Wigmore Hall Gala Concert

On Friday 23rd February 2018 Wigmore Hall will be the venue for a very special concert.  Taking the theme of “All the World’s a Stage”, the performance will open with a recital of Shakespeare’s renowned speech and will feature songs exploring different stages of life by composers such as Haydn, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms.  Performers include the world-famous soprano Ailish Tynan; the mezzo-soprano Anna Huntley and Stephan Loge, who has sung Bach cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner.  

The Lord Mayor is delighted to have been asked to host this special occasion and will be using the evening to raise much-needed funds for his mayoral charities: Age UK Westminster and the Social Mobility Foundation.  There are a limited number of tickets to the concert with access to an exclusive pre-concert reception which are available to buy for £70.  If you are interested, please contact Ruth Beck on or 020 7641 4241.

St James & St John School Gate Gossip

We were very busy again last week with exciting extra-curricular activities. These help complement the ordinary class-room training very well and are also so much more fun. Our year 3 children have been to the Thames River-Path as part of the topic "Flow" and luckily nobody was interested in a first-hand (and wet experience) on that subject. Year 5 had to build a model of the solar system (as part of the "Stargazers" topic) and then went to the Science Museum “Wonder-Lab" to explore the subject further. Both trips were greatly enjoyed. Two upcoming events to which we all look very much forward are the Poetry Competition and the School Disco (hopefully we won't have any complaints from the neighbours or visits from the Westminster Noise Police).

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 and Thursdays at 10am.  Suggested donation for all groups: £2.  Information about the playgroups can be found at and for the Russian speaking playgroup.