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.

Welcome, Dan!

This morning we welcome our new assistant curate, The Revd Daniel Warnke, his wife Isabella, and children Joshua, Caleb and Phoebe.  Dan starts his new ministry among us as a deacon.  He was ordained last Saturday afternoon by the Bishop of London in St Paul’s Cathedral.  There will be a special welcome liturgy after the Gloria and a chance to meet Dan over sherry after the service and then at the barbecue!  Dan will serve as a deacon, assisting at the Eucharists and in the pastoral care and leadership of the parish.

A special welcome this morning also to Mark Hewitt, head teacher at St James and St John School, our local Church of England school in Craven Terrace, who has come to help welcome Dan.  St James & St John aims to be an excellent school, providing both academic and personal development underpinned by Christian values for every child.  If you have a child nearing school age, take the opportunity to speak to Mark after the service.

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 comes from the ever-popular musical Cats, by the great musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.  The show is based upon T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and both are rich in scriptural references and biblical symbolism.  In Memory, we see the character Grizabella, who is a kind of allegory for Mary Magdalene, singing of her memories of her painful, sinful past.  She longs humbly for forgiveness, to be reborn and to be healed with a touch; as in the healing power of Christ's touch.

Summer Barbecue

“Batting Order”

St John’s summer barbecue is today at 12 noon and the local residents have again kindly allowed us the use of the gardens behind the church.  As is our custom, St John’s is providing the meat, drinks and strawberries in return for a donation towards costs: £5 per adult, £2 per child.  This is a great family event and we hope that you will join us.  In the unlikely event of rain, food will be served in the hall at the back of church.

Immediately following the service, sherry will be served at the west end of the church in order to give our chefs opportunity to get the barbecue going before we move to the gardens of the flats at the back of church at midday.

If you have brought a salad with you, please place it on the table at the back of church.  These will then be taken over to the gardens by one of the barbecue team in time for the barbecue.  If you have not indicated your intention to come to the barbecue, spare places are limited:  please speak to Bryan.

To help cover the costs there will be a bucket for donations as you enter the gardens.  There will also be a raffle during the course of the afternoon: the prize is a bottle of champagne and some smoked salmon.  There will also be a bucket for donations on the drinks table.

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.  So far we’ve had donations of £1,115.  Thank you to all who have contributed

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.

Mary Poppins

17th July, 7pm

Following the success of last year’s project based on the music from Oliver1, St John's choral scholars in collaboration with St James and St John CofE Primary School and St George's Hanover Square CofE Primary School and a combo orchestra will be performing music from Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins – directed by St John's Director of Music, Robert Greenhill.  Tickets (£5 per adult, children go free).   Order yours today!q

Culture Vulture Ventures

A (Family) 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:

A Misèrable Venture 18th September 2018

Thanks to Jonathan Hill, lead violinist in the show and one of our wonderful Sunday morning players, we have 12 halfprice tickets for Les Miserables on Tuesday 18th September at 7.30pm - £35 instead of £70! Another thank you to congregation member Jamie Poulton, for facilitating our pre-theatre supper booking at his renowned Soho restaurant Randall and Aubin, 14-16 Brewer Street, W1F 0SG   Full details to follow, but to secure your seat for Les Mis. please pay Margaret £35, cheques preferred.

St John’s Big Gay Night Out

A new social activity for gay guys & girls and their friends.

Friday 3rd August, 7pm - Grindr: The Opera!

Note the new date

Grindr: The Opera! puts the most notorious gay hook-up app into the exaggerated world of opera. With musical styles ranging from baroque to contemporary pop, Grindr: The Opera! is a daring, humorous look at the changing landscape of gay relationships, and the greatest catalyst for the shift: Grindr.  Meet at 6pm at Pico, next door, for dinner.

Friday 7th December - Mother Goose Cracks One Out!

This year’s pantomime follows years of sell out performances at Above the Stag theatre.  You’ve not really been to a panto until you’ve been to Above the Stag.

Tickets for either show £25. Meal before the show at Pico bar and grill (next door to the theatre) – pay as you go.  For either event, please contact Ian Smith ( or leave your payment, stating which event, together with your name, email address and phone number at the church office.

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!

St John’s Book Club

St John’s Book Club met this past week and selected their next book – Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth.  They will discuss this book on 26th September.  For further information, please speak to Michael King.

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.


Fernando Montaño Raising Plastic Pollution Awareness

Fernando Montano, a member of St John’s and soloist with the Royal Ballet, is a Counsellor with One Young World (a global forum for young leaders and entrepreneurs working collaboratively to solve the world’s environmental, social and political problems) and to this end he would like to heighten awareness of the environmental disaster caused by plastics in our oceans and seas.  He is planning an art installation working with a professional underwater photographer who will take a series of photos of Fernando in a local swimming pool with a back drop of plastic waste; his designer is creating a special costume for this project made of recycled plastic.  Fernando wants to engage the community in this project.  He would like to involve St John’s in this project and has had interest from two local schools to involve their students in developing the plastic backdrops he will need for this photo shoot.

Members of our congregation can participate this in two ways: First, save your plastic recycled waste – milk bottles, plastic food trays yogurt pots, plastic bags, straws, plastic cutlery and cups  – anything plastic BUT IT MUST BE CLEAN AND WASHED (this is required by the owners of the pool!).  Please bring these items in to church on the morning of Sunday 15th July when Fernando will be here to receive them.  Second, Fernando plans to start working with an artist on one of these plastic backdrops after church services on that same Sunday and would like to invite anyone, including children, who would like to stay after and work with him on this creation.

Fernando is grateful to St John's for this support but asks that you please remember to wash all the items first and wait to bring them until 15th July.

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

With temperatures staying elevated, you might have thought that the pace at our school would have slowed down, but quite the opposite was true.  Last Friday we had our "All School Sports Day" at Paddington Recreation Ground.  All our children had a fantastic time and gave their best despite the scorching heat.  It was also great to have so many parents join to either help support the event or to cheer on their kids from the side-lines.  This Friday we had our annual PFA Summer Fair which continues to be a highlight of the PFA events calendar.  The ongoing support from parents, teachers, staff, friends and local community is extremely important, and we are all very grateful for it.  The PFA helps fund many curricular and extra-curricular activities and is looking to increase the support for our school even further. Key dates for your diary:  End of Year music concert (12th July.), Year 6 production evening (12th July.), end of year celebration and prize giving (17th July.), end of year and leavers' service (19th July.)

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