Celebrating Antonio’s Ministry at St John’s

This morning we give thanks for and say good–bye to Antonio and Alex. Antonio has been part of our community for around ten years, first as a member of our congregation before training for ordination, then serving his curacy here the past three years.  He has become a friend to so many of us and we are sad to see him and Alex leave.  Our feelings are of course mixed because our sadness is tempered by the joy of him moving on as a fully trained priest joining the teams at St Christopher’s Hospice and St Barnabas, Dulwich.  St James and St John School has much benefitted from his assemblies and church visits.  Those who have taken part in education and study courses have much valued Antonio’s input and hosting over the past couple of years.  We will all miss his wonderful posters in the porch advertising everything coming up at St John’s and, of course, his warm smile and welcome to us all along with his sense of fun.  We wish him and Alex 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 over a glass of fizz or a gin & tonic during a special farewell reception.

At 12 noon we are priviliged to have the Eltham College Boys Choir singing here under the direction of Mr Tom Bullard and accompanied by our own Nick Miller.  The programme, which the choir are performing on a tour to Lake Garda and Verona in early July, consists of a mixture of sacred and secular works by Alexander L’Estrange, Bob Chilcott, Herbert Howells, Pharrell Williams and others.

Antonio will be licensed to his new parish at 6.30pm on 8th July at Christ’s Chapel at a sung evensong by The Right Reverend Dr Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich.  Members of St John’s are very welcome to attend.  There will be a reception after the service.  If you would like to attend, please inform the office so we can let them know of the numbers to assist with their preparations.

Spring Term 2018 Anthems

This term’s offering of anthems during the Sunday morning service has two main themes running through it: on one hand we take a look at ‘God on Stage’, uncovering some of the ways religious themes and ideas have appeared in musical theatre shows over the years, either more or less overtly, and we also celebrate a range of major composers who celebrate important anniversaries in 2018.

This week's anthem is the Sabbath Prayer from the 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof, by Bock, Harnick and Stein.  Set in Imperial Russia in 1905, the show follows Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain Jewish traditions in the face of various outside influences on his family, including an edict from the Tsar which evicts all the Jews from their home village.  An extremely successful musical, it won 9 Tony awards and spawned five Broadway revivals and a 1971 film adaptation.  It was the first musical ever to surpass 3,000 performances, and remains popular for school and community productions.

Assistant Curate Dan Warnke

St John’s is getting ready for our next assistant curate – Dan Warnke.  Dan’s first Sunday will be 8th July but there is plenty to do before then.

The Big Day!

Dan’s ordination as deacon will take place on Saturday, 30th June at 3pm in St Paul’s Cathedral. The ordinations will be conducted by the Bishop of London.  All members of the congregation are invited and people should be seated by 2.50pm.  It would be helpful to the office to know how many of us intend to support Dan.

First Appointment Grant

St John’s must also provide Dan with a grant to cover the costs of setting up as a clergyman: robes, books, office equipment, etc.  This will be £2,468 extra for the first year.  If you are able to help us to meet these costs in some way, please contact Bryan Sollenberger or the Vicar.

Summer Barbecue

As part of the celebrations surrounding Dan’s arrival, our summer barbecue this year will be on 8th July, following the 10am service.  We are pleased that once again the residents have kindly opened the gardens behind the church to us.  Sign up sheets are in the porch – please indicate numbers in your party and what kind of salad you will bring.  St John’s provides the meat and dessert.  Suggested donations are £5/adult and £2/child.

Invite Dan to Visit

It is customary for a new curate to get to know members of the congregation by visiting people for a cup of tea.  If you would like Dan to visit and feel able to tell him something about how you came to live in the area and what brought you to St John’s, then please put your name and telephone number on the sheet at the back of church.

St John’s Book Club

St John’s Book Club next meets on 2nd July, when they will be discussing Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.  For further information, please speak to Michael King.

Connaught Village Sesquicentenary Celebrations

This year Connaught Village celebrates 150 years.  As part of the festivities, they are having A Walk through Time on Thursday, 5th July from 3-7pm.  Expect a journey through the ages with food and drink, live music and street entertainment spanning the last 150 years to the current day. The area will be traffic-free for you to enjoy live on-street theatre performances, offers from shops and boutiques and much more.  ‘Horrible Histories’ will preform live scenes from their latest stage show Barmy Britain, learn how to dance the Charleston, create your own flapper headband, Punch and Judy, special in store offers in the shops around Connaught Street and much much more.

Connaught Kitchens Bric-a-Brac staff

As part of the festivities, Connaught Kitchens, in Connaught Street, is having a bric-a-brac stall with proceeds going to St John’s.  Donations of bric-a-brac to support them are very welcome.  Alongside the bric-a-brac, there will also be Victorian games for children, a tombola and other activities.  Mark this date in your diaries and come along to celebrate with Connaught Kitchens and the Church Commissioners and to support St John’s.

St John’s Stall

St John’s has been invited to have a stall so we need some volunteers to staff it from 3-7pm.  See Bryan Sollenberger if you can help.


Family Culture Vulture Venture to Margate

On Saturday July 14th we venture to Margate for a day at the seaside.  Venturers old and young, come with Sam Tear and Margaret to enjoy the Great British Seaside. Sam will be heading for the amusement experience at Dreamland, with all the associated sounds (and screams) of delight and wonder. Not to your taste? Then instead join Margaret to look at the Turner Contemporary Gallery and discover why Turner so relished the light and seascape here, have a tour of the Tudor House, dating from 1525 and, if there's time explore, Margate Museum. This is housed in a Victorian Police Station and Magistrates Court and displays an eclectic history of the town over the past 5,500 years. Bring a picnic lunch and those who wish can end their visit with afternoon tea. Meet at St Pancras International at 10.00am to catch the 10.22am train. Return from Margate 6.30pm arriving St Pancras 8.06pm. For speed, if you can please buy your own train tickets in advance and also take advantage of the 2FOR1 offer on Dreamland wrist bands:

Save the Date

Dog Collar Dinner, 14th September 2018

This popular event returns in September.  Further details will be released nearer the time but mark your diaries now!

Remembrance Sunday

11th November 2018

Many of you will probably remember the impact of the ceramic poppy display at the Tower of London in November 2014.  This year to mark the 100 year anniversary of the end of the Great War The Remembered Charity are launching 'There but not there'.  The idea is that those who gave their lives are remembered by silhouettes or name plates on Remembrance Sunday. Our intention is that as many of St John's roll of remembrance (30) will be represented as possible and we invite congregation members to take part.  A name block costs £10 or a torso sized perspex silhouette designed to sit on a chair costs £42.  Each of these could be placed on a seat to be amongst us all for our service of remembrance and help ensure that each of them will not be forgotten.

Andrew Moxon will be co-ordinating a list of names from our roll of remembrance so please email him on if you would like any more details and to check what names are available. More information also available on



Marking a special birthday?  Celebrating an anniversary?  Wanting to remember that special person?  St John’s can help!  To honour a loved one or to commemorate a special event, you can sponsor some music or flowers, have fizz & refreshments after the service - there are lots of possibilities.  If you would like to observe a special occasion or honour someone special, speak to Bryan Sollenberger.



Children’s Community Choir

Thursdays, 4.10pm, St John’s Church

The Children’s Community 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.


St James & St John School Gate Gossip

The next big event here is our Summer Fair!  Kids’ games, cakes & sweets, a summer raffle, barbecue and hot dogs and, hold on to your baseball caps – a Pimms table!!  The fair takes places at St James and St John School, 4 Craven Terrace, W2 3QD, on Friday 6th July, from 3-6pm.  A great afternoon and all in support of our local Church of England primary school.

For prospective parents, tours of the school are organised by the head teacher, Mark Hewitt, and take place every week.  For further information, contact the school on 020 7504 0535.

Under Five’s Playgroups

An international playgroup aimed at Russian speakers meets in St John’s on Wednesdays at 10am.  Another playgroup meets on Thursdays at 10am.  Suggested donation for both groups is £2.