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.
Festival of St Nicholas, 9th December, 4pm
St John’s is celebrating the Festival of St Nicholas (aka Father Christmas) again this year. This seasonal all age service begins with the entrance of a boy bishop and ends with the arrival of Father Christmas and in between there will be storytelling and lots of children’s activities interspersed with all kinds of St Nicholas/Father Christmas music from the choir. After the service there will be a seasonal tea.
Nativity Play, 16th December, 10am
The nativity play is a closely guarded secret at the moment but we are assured it will relevant and not a whiff of fake news. This year’s play will involve children and adults. If you are around next Sunday and would like to take part, Dan would love to talk to you briefly after this morning’s service.
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, 16th December 6pm
Our traditional carol service kicks off the countdown to Christmas. The choir will be accompanied by a multitude of musicians. The service will be followed by a fizz and panettone reception. This is one of the biggest musical treats of the year for all the family. The service is set around music from The Silence and the Sound, by H Sorenson. Invite your friends and neighbours to join us for this festive community celebration.
Carolling around the Parish
Come join our choristers and help raise money for Children Change Colombia by singing carols in pubs around the parish on Thursday, 20th December. Meet in church at 6.30pm.
Christmas Eve, Monday, 24th December
4.00pm - Crib Service
Mary and Joseph return to St John’s after their travels around the parish and all of the children attending will build the crib, placing a lamb alongside the Baby Jesus.
11.30pm – Midnight Mass
Enjoy the first mass of Christmas in a candlelit church, singing Christmas carols accompanied by strings and winds. The setting will be Mozarts Coronation Mass K 317.
Christmas Day, Tuesday, 25th December
10am – Family Festival Eucharist
Children are invited to come along dressed up in their fairy costumes and sparkly shoes or Christmas pyjamas and to bring their toys with them if they wish. Sing Christmas carols accompanied by windwoods and strings.
Remember a loved one by making a donation to this year’s Christmas flowers. Complete the slip inside your order of service and leave it with Bryan Sollenberger. A list of those in whose memory donations are given will be displayed in the porch.
Epiphany Sunday, 6th January 2019
The arrival of the Magi, after their long journey following a star seeking Jesus, is one of the oldest festivals of the Christian Church. In the Eastern and Russian Orthodox Churches, this is the equivalent of Christmas. St John’s will celebrate Epiphany with a festival Eucharist. There will be a procession of the Magi and Presentation of Gifts before the crib as part of the service. Afterwards, there will be a reception of fizz and finger food. Members of the congregation are asked to bring a plate of finger food with them and, in order to help with numbers, please sign up on the form in the porch, indicating that they will be able to attend and what food they will be bringing with them.
13th January 2019, 6pm
After our fantastic Advent and Christmas carol services, what next? Epiphany carols! Robert, Nicky and the choir have prepared another special treat to conclude our seasonal celebrations marking the events of the Epiphany season. The service will be followed by fizz and seasonal delicacies. A great way to beat the post-Christmas blues!
The Wednesday Club
23rd January, 7.30pm
This is a new group typically meeting on the third Wednesday of the month in a local pub to discuss everyday ethics and how the things we think and do relate to our understanding of God and faith. This promises to be a lively and generous discussion, so do come and join us! To sign up or for further information, speak to Dan.
Sponsor a Buttress
Raised so far: £26,366
Last year we undertook some very essential repairs to the roof, gutters and parapets. If you look up on the north or south sides of the church, you’ll notice the beautiful new stonework. To fund the works, however, we had to borrow £200,000 from the Diocese of London and we are looking to raise £50,000 to pay this year’s commitment plus interest.
The ‘Sponsor a Buttress’ campaign is to raise funds to cover this year’s commitment. There are 40 buttresses consisting of three stones each. A stone costs £416, a buttress £1,250 (£333 and £1,000 respectively if Gift Aided). To sponsor a stone or buttress or for more information about Gift Aid, speak to Bryan Sollenberger.
Venture to the Panto!!
A festive treat for all the family, Saturday 5th January 2pm.
‘Oh yes he did!’ ‘Oh no he didn’t!’ The young and the young at heart are sure to enjoy Dick Whittington at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith www.lyric.co.uk (that’s the Lyric, main entrance on Lyric Square, not the Apollo by the big church) on Saturday January 5th at 2.00pm. Ticket details to follow shortly. Meet for a delicious lunch at 12.30pm at Byron’s, www.byronhamburgers.com, opposite the Lyric and to the right as you exit Hammersmith & City line tube station. Kid’s Menu £6.50, with both healthy and less healthy options, £6.50. Please speak to Margaret or Sam Tear to register your interest.
St John’s isn’t just a church for Sunday! There are services at 5.30pm Monday to Thursday. Monday’s service is a eucharist and there is a said evensong Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Services take place in the sanctuary and are open to all.
NB There is no evensong this Thursday due to the Sankta Lucia concert (see below under Community Events).
Sankta Lucia Concert
Thursday, 13th December 7pm
Carina Einarsson, familiar to many for participating in the community concerts each year with the Swedish Church Choir, is bringing her London Nordic Choir to St Johns for a special concert celebrating the traditional Sankta Lucia festival. Singers will be dressed in white gowns and carrying candles in the darkened church. This unique event was performed by them last year to enthusiastic audiences in York Minster and Liverpool Cathedral. Tickets can be obtained from www.eventbrite.co.uk £32 to include seasonal refreshments.
Children’s Community Choir
Thursdays, 4.10pm, St John’s Church
The Children’s Community Choir meets on Thursday afternoons. The choir is open for children 6 years old and above. Sessions are 30 minutes long and children will sing different genres of music. If you are interested in bringing your children along please let Robert know.
NB There will be no more rehearsals now until January 2019.
School Gate Gossip
We celebrated the annual PFA Christmas Market on Friday - one of the highlights in the school-year. We're immensely grateful to the PFA for raising such important funds for the school and for arranging such a fun afternoon for our children, staff, parents and all other friends from the school. Also a huge Thanks to the Lancaster Hotel, a very loyal and very significant supporter for many of our events. As has been tradition at St James & St John, all the pupils have been making half-termly visits to the Paddington Children’s Library on Queensway. In continuing to refine and develop the curriculum at St. James & St. John, this year has seen the introduction of the Literacy Tree units, which embed the use of high-quality texts into the teaching of writing. Next week brings also about another chance for children to purchase new books for their own book collections as the school will be hosting a visiting Book Fair. On Friday we will host a cinema night to raise money for playground equipment for our children to play with during break and lunch times. It promises to be a fantastic event with refreshments such as drinks, popcorn and other snacks. Who says school can't be fun! Another of the extra-curricular groups, in which some of our students participate, is the Music and Drama (MAD) Paddington group. Their performance of Nigel Haynes’ and Barbara Höfling’s ‘Rudolph’ will take place on the 13th December.
Stay and Play
A community playgroup meets weekly in St John’s on Thursday mornings from10-11.30am. Come and stay for a play, a sing-song and to share stories over a cup of coffee. All children and babies are welcome (newborn to 5 years). Suggested donation: £2. The last meeting this year will be on 13th December.