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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

Choral Evensong, 6.30pm

Our Sunday evening series concludes this evening with a choral evensong. 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 Howells’ 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 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).

St John’s is providing supper on 21st February and 7th March – is you can help serve, please speak to Antonio.

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

*This evening’s session will be preceded by Sung Vespers using music

composed by Sir James.

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 27th February.  For further information, speak to one of the clergy.

Annual Vestry and Parochial Church Meeting

This year’s annual meetings take place on 18th March immediately after the 10am service.  The first step in preparation for these meetings is to revise the Electoral Roll.  Accordingly, the Roll will be open until 1st March.  Having your name entered on the Electoral Roll is an indication of your involvement in the life of the parish and entitles you to attend and take part in the annual meeting.  It is also something that Church of England schools ask about when applying for a place.  Forms are available from the table in the porch or from Bryan Sollenberger.


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

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 Great Western Road 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.



Events with local schools featured in my programme last week, not least joining Steve to help judge the annual poetry competition among pupils from St James and St John School.  Some first class readings from a wide range of poems!  I also attended a combined baptism and confirmation service for around 50 young people from three local schools held at Westminster Abbey; plus a ‘graduation ceremony’ for pupils from Queen’s Park Primary.  

Music features next week at two events: one to be held at Buckingham Palace to celebrate work undertaken by Wigmore Hall for local people suffering from dementia and a concert by the Orion Orchestra at Cadogan Hall.  On Wednesday I shall be attending a ‘vin d’honneur’ hosted by the Ambassador of Peru to mark the occasion of the Presentation of Credientials by the new ambassador prior to attending Sung Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes for Ash Wednesday at Westminster Abbey.  Next Sunday I shall be making a speech in Trafalgar Square to mark the Chinese New Year, with 2018 being the Year of the Dog.

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

It's been a little more than five weeks since our children have returned from their Christmas holidays, but it's remarkable how many activities, events and trips they have managed to organize in that short period of time.  This week alone had multiple highlights.  The Poetry Competition Final was held on Tuesday followed by a poetry writing workshop with children's writer Alan Durant on Thursday morning.  Our year 2 children went out and about Paddington as 'street detectives' searching for statues or memorials of people who influenced the area (amazing how many famous people have lived around us).  Then on Thursday, the PFA organised the annual School Disco which was a great and fun way to raise funds for the school.  Key dates for next week: None as the school is closed for term holidays!

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.