A service at St John's in the 1940's,
showing the windows boarded up because of bomb damage.
The Friends of St John's was formed in 1944 to keep members in touch with each other. The Friends contributed towards the cost of repairs to the building and St John's was finally restored from war damage in 1951, the new East Window being dedicated in 1955. Each year at St. John's we hold a 'Friends Service and Lunch' when all our past members are invited to join us in a special celebration and the vicar sends a special greeting and report to all of those absent friends.
The flags above represent the countries from which members of St. John's Friends come.
From the Vicar:
Greetings to all friends of St. John's, wherever you are!
We do hope that you will be able to join us for the Annual Friends' Service on Sunday 6th July 2014, 11am, to be followed by a buffet lunch in the Christchurch Room. Our guest preacher is Nick Munn, formerly guitarist in our band, now a Licensed Lay Minister in the Diocese of London. He has promised to play guitar as well as preach!
We thought things would get quieter after 2012, but Stratford is never quiet, and always changing.....
ALL CHANGE at ST JAMES: St James is on the move! The BUILDING has to close - a combination of very old wiring and asbestos in the structure, which prevents the wiring from being renewed. The PEOPLE are alive and well and moving to join St Paul's Church, which faces the huge challenge of outreach to the new East Village (formerly the 2012 Athletes' Village).
The last service at St James' building will be on 7th September, and the first service of the new St Paul's with St James' will be on 14th September, followed by a meeting and picnic for all the parishes surrounding the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, from both London and Chelmsford Dioceses, together with the Bishops of Stepney and Barking.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY visited our parish in May; he didn't get to St John's, but he did pray with us in the inSpiration Prayer Room at Westfield, and was most impressed by the great work being done by Christy and the inSpire team; many people from St John's are involved, and Dave chairs the inSpire trustees.
- Rev. Peter Kinyanjui, Associate Minister, remains a key part of our team. His son, David, has now join him in the UK and we hope the rest of the family will follow soon
- Robert Otule, Reader, will marry Florence Tofa on 16th August. Is this the first time a serving Reader has married at St John's? Robert continues to have special responsibility for Sunday morning services in the inSpiration Prayer Room at Westfield Stratford City and for St John's evening service, and is currently exploring ordination.
- Eon Wade was commissioned as Parish Evangelist in 2013 and currently leads our outreach team, on duty most Saturdays.
- Pat Larocque was commissioned as Pastoral Assistant in 2013 and is busy recruiting and training a Pastoral Team.
- Elis Matthews continues ordination training at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. Please pray for Elis and his wife Sheila.
- Rev. Modicum Okello has resigned from Hall Green in Birmingham and is currently seeking a new ministry. He is still a regular visitor to St John's to lead the monthly Acholi Service.
- Chris and Frances Aubrey retired to Kent in November, after many years as, respectively, Church Warden and Music Director. We are grateful for all they contributed to our ministry.
- Richard Aubrey returned to work in London at Easter, and is now our Choir and Worship Leader; his amazing talent has already made a great difference to our worship, and we thank God for his return.
- Geoff Hobbs, our long-serving organist celebrates 50 of organ playing this year - 25 of them at St John's. He is giving a series of Sunday Afternoon organ recitals on 18th May, 29th June, and 27th July at 4:30pm - free - everyone welcome - tea afterwards.
- Scilla Morgan was knocked down by a car, outside the Church, in February, and remains in the London Hospital with serious injuries. Please pray for her to recover, and pray for her family as they support her.
BUILDING WORK...... continues as ever.
- We established a live link from Church to Cafe during 2013, making the Cafe a popular chill-out space for parents with noisy babies.
- We had a steeplejack to inspect the spire because small pieces of stonework were beginning to fall off; we await a full report, but no major problems were found
- The Quinquenial Inspection for St John's is due in August
- We will need to do some re-pointing on the south side roof parapets this year. The north side was done some years ago.
- We are still working on a scheme to improve the chancel for mid-week services.
- Katie Maddern had an operation in July 2013 and follow-up treatment in the Autumn. Please pray for Rev. James and Katie in their continued work in Brize Norton.
- Dave and Carol were able to visit Rev. Darren McIndoe in Burslem in the Autumn; he works hard, as ever.
- Rev. Christy Asinugo remains Associate Priest at St Matthew's West Ham, (our next door parish), and co-ordinating Chaplain for Westfield Stratford City. Dave is Priest in Charge at St Matthew's, on a temporary basis, to support Christy. It is hoped that Christy will eventually become Vicar of St Matthew's, as the Church grows under her leadership.
- Rev. Cornelius Henry became Vicar of St Saviour Forest Gate, (our other next door parish), in May 2013; St Saviour's will take over the area of our parish formerly looked after by St James, so we know it is good hands!
- Gautam and Sabrina Money, working in India with CMS, will return to the UK this summer. We will support Rev. Peter and Christine Knight in their work at St George's Church Tunis, for the next few years. This is a happy return - St John's supported Peter and Christine in Zaire in the 1980s.
- 4 Church members joined the TFM Cornwall Mission in autumn 2013, and 3 joined the TFM Two Rivers Mission in May 2014.
- We said sad farewells to Bill Lucas, (Carol's father), in December, and to David Reay in January, and to Edna Conibeare, (formerly Dodd), in February.
- Alicia Prince, a Church member, died on holiday in Antigua, just after her 80th birthday, in January.
- Rev. John Richardson, former Associate Minister died after a short illness in March. John will be missed by many people throughout the Church of England, not least for his Ugley Vicar blog.
- For all our Ministers, especially those still training, and pray for those thinking and praying about some sort of ministry.
- For our continuing ministry and mission to the local community, and for our on-going work to contact the thousands of new residents who have moved to Stratford.
- For the inSpiration Prayer Room at Westfield, for all the St. John's members who help to staff the space. For Rev. Christy Asinugo, co-ordinating chaplain, and the growing Chaplaincy team.
- For Peter and Christine Knight as they prepare to work in Tunis.
- For Nick Munn in his new ministry as a Licensed Lay Minister.
- For Scilla Morgan in her long road to recovery.
- For all Friends of St. John's, wherever they may be.