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Sunday Evenings in Lent

Jesus: the Living Water

In this series of Lenten evening services at 6.30pm, 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 this week – if you can help serve, please speak to Antonio.


Wednesday, 7th March, 6.30pm: Music

Sir James MacMillan: Composer

*This evening’s session will be preceded by Sung Vespers at 6.30pm using music composed by Sir James.


Wednesday, 14th March: Sculpture

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


Mothering Sunday

Next Sunday we celebrate Mothering Sunday.  The theme for this year is ‘Women Opening Doors’.  During the service our children will give flowers to every woman in the congregation while the choir sings Wonder Woman.


Annual Vestry and Parochial Church Meeting

Our APCM this year is on Sunday, 18th March, immediately following the 10am service.  This is the meeting where we receive the annual report and accounts and elect our churchwardens and members to the Parochial Church Council (PCC).  This year we will be electing churchwardens and two members to the Parochial Church Council (PCC).  Nomination forms are available at the back of church.  Completed forms can be given to Bryan Sollenberger.

Our thanks to Damon Greeney and Andy Moxon, whose terms on PCC come to an end.  A very special thank you to Louise Rowland, who has served as churchwarden for the past three years and retires.  The vitality of a parish like St John’s is dependent on people being willing to give of their time and skills in leadership of the parish.  We are as a community grateful for all that they have brought and shared.  Please think carefully about whether you might have skills you can share by standing for PCC.


Easter Baptisms

There will be an opportunity for adults and children to be baptized as part of the Easter liturgy at 5am again this year.  If you are considering being confirmed on 22nd April but have not yet been baptised, this is the perfect time for it – it is a traditional for those wishing to be confirmed to be baptised at Easter.  If you are interested in being baptized at this service, please speak to one of the clergy as soon as possible.


Good Friday Children’s Workshop

A children’s activity morning is planned for Good Friday, 30th March, between 10am and 12 noon for children from 0-11.  Coffee, biscuits and hot cross buns will be available and we will build the Easter Garden.  Volunteers are needed to help with the activities.  A donation of £5 per child is requested (babies go free).  If you can help, speak to Antonio or Becky Stringer.


Easter Breakfast

As part of our Easter morning celebrations, we break our Lenten fasts with a cooked breakfast following the dawn service.  Anyone wishing to volunteer to organise the Easter breakfast would be very warmly welcomed by the Vicar.


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



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.


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 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.



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.



I spent last Friday morning helping to clear up Paddington Basin with other local volunteers as part of the Paddington Great British Spring Clean.  Other highlights from last week included dinner at Fishmongers’ Hall; presiding over a citizenship ceremony; attending a lecture organised by the Westminster Abbey Institute; and having dinner at the Austrian Ambassador’s Residence.  I also attended the funeral of Sir Alan Dawtry CBE, who served as Chief Executive of Westminster Council from 1956 to 1977.

Tomorrow, 5 March, I shall attend a Daffodil Day Celebration at Methodist Central Hall, before hosting a reception in aid of the West London Day Centre for Homeless People with musicians from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.  Later in the week, I am due at another Westminster Abbey Institute Lecture; a Commonwealth Day Service at the Abbey; and I shall speak at a dinner organised by the Royal Navy Reserve Officers.


St James & St John School Gate Gossip

It‘s been a great week for our children at St. James and St. John.  Unlike for many commuters, the snow was one of the highlights this week, though some may have secretly wished to get a day off.  The other highlight was World Book Day on Thursday with many teachers joining and dressing up as their favourite character.  Despite the cold and snow our children were able to see many animals as they went on a trip to the Zoo (as part of their predators term topic), though to see a pack of hyenas in the snow seemed slightly out of place. In RE we continue to discuss reverence (one of our school values) and what it means for us during Lent.  Upcoming events: PFA Mother’s Day Tea Party next week.


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.