Weekly News 20th November 2016/ Amber Crisis Pregnancy Care



Amber CPC are hosting an event on March 7th 2017 entitled ‘Let’s Talk About Sex – maybe?’

This will be for a secular audience and held in SJ’s. The aim of the evening will be to support parents/ carers/ teachers/ youth workers in talking with their children and young people about some of the issues around sex and relationships in the 21st century.

With limited capacity, we would like to gauge interest to help plan the extent of our advertising. Please help us by indicating if you think you and/or your friends may be interested by emailing alison@amberpregnancy.com or texting 07927034971 by the end of November.

Many thanks.

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Weekly News 13th November 2016/ Remembrance Sunday


REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY  It is very easy to politicise an event such as Remembrance - as FIFA have recently discovered. But I suspect many of us will have had our fill of politics this week. Rather than enforced stances on whether to wear a poppy or not, I trust we can give one another space to mark remembrance in such a way as to respect one another’s freedom. Ironically, that’s one of the very things for which many surrendered their lives. So, whatever your politics, let’s remember together and unite around a common desire for peace in our broken world.

‘They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.’

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Weekly News 6th November 2016/ Baptism Celebration


BAPTISM CELEBRATION This Sunday morning, the following people will be publicly declaring their faith in Christ by being baptised, or by re-affirming their baptismal vows:

Thomas Farah

Alice Jaffray

Sara Blackburn

Amelia Williams

Amidst everything that baptism captures, it represents a great opportunity for us to come together as a church family in celebration, and cheer on those who are taking this important step. We hope that you are able to come and hear their stories of how they have arrived at this point, lend your support, and rally behind them in prayer and worship.

If you can’t make it for any reason, please commit to praying for these young people as they look to go on with God.

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Weekly News 30th October 2016/ Financial Health-Check


FINANCIAL HEALTH – CHECK We continue our Thank God it’s Monday series this morning by thinking about money. As St John’s we encourage you to undertake an annual review of your approach to finances, not simply in relation to giving to church, but your whole approach in relation to money. Below is a basic gauge linked to this morning’s talk for you to use privately as a prompt for further discussion and prayer.

Not Good                                                                                                                Doing Well











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Weekly News 23rd October 2016/ All Saints Update


ALL SAINTS UPDATE Discussions have been on-going with the Architect who has been involved in the sale of the All Saints Land. He has kindly agreed to draw up for free a footprint plan of a basic, multipurpose hall for St John’s.

This is simply to give us a reference point, not least of all in relation to the cost of such a proposal. We will also be able to explore how the cost would vary, depending on the specification sought, as well as discuss with the Developers the range of options on which such premises might be made available.

All these explorations are on a no-commitment basis. At this point, we are seeking to elicit as much information as possible, so that our discussions will be informed when it comes to weighing whether this is a real possibility for us as a community.

In the meantime, we would value your ongoing prayers into this matter. Thank you.

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Weekly News 16th October 2016/ Diary Check


DIARY CHECK There are plenty of things to look forward to in the coming weeks, including a number of variations to our usual patterns of worship on a Sunday. We thought it might be helpful to list them all in one spot:

22 October, 11:00am-3:00pm      Link to Hope Autumn Fair, St Francis Church Hall

30 October, 10:00am                      Service in the Assembly Rooms, followed by Bring & Share Lunch.

31 October, 6:30-7:30pm              Light the Night @ Church – crafts, games, hotdogs: All welcome.

6 November, 10:00am                   Baptism Celebration as a number of our young people take the plunge in the baptism pool.

12 November, 10:00am                 Quiet Day with John Nuttall.

13 November, 3:00pm                   Thanksgiving Service in memory of loved ones who have died.

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Weekly News 9th October 2016/ Home Groups


HOME GROUPS At St John’s, we intermittently stress the importance of Home Groups. They are an important part of our church family life together, providing a great opportunity to meet and relax with Christian friends, learn together, pray, deepen our faith and support one another.

Whether you feel ‘elderly’ or not so old; whether you are a life-long Christian or new to faith; there is a suitable place for you. Each group has its own ‘style’ and they meet in different homes at different times during the week.

Want to give it a try? Maybe just for a trial? Speak to Jon or Nick.

And also…there is a real need in one particular group.

The group led by Barry Clements (Thursday evening) could do with 2 or 3 new members. Best described as a group for mature Christians, it digs deep into the Bible as well as spends a fair part of the evening praying for each other, and the needs of the church and community. But its style is relaxed.

Been thinking of changing? Or maybe been praying about how the Lord may use you somehow? Might you be being called to this group? Talk to Jon or Nick.

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Weekly News 2nd October 2016/ Quiet Day


QUIET DAY “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11: 28-30

 If those verses resonate with you, then I am pleased to let you know that John Nuttall will be visiting us again on the weekend of 12-13 November. On the Saturday, he will lead a ‘time of retreat’, involving quiet, music, space for reflection, worship, ministry, and teaching. He also joins us for our 10:00am service, at which he will be speaking and playing some of his own music.

We will choose the venue for the ‘Quiet Day’ on the Saturday based on the number of people who would like to attend. Please would you let Jon know whether you would like to come in the next couple of weeks (even if you can’t definitely commit), so that a decision can be made. Thank you.

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Weekly News 25th September 2016/ Harvest Collections


HARVEST COLLECTIONS As we celebrate Harvest next Sunday, we will continue what we have done in years gone by and look to contribute to the needs of others both nearby, and further afield.

We’re encouraging everyone to give generously towards the following:

  1. A food collection for the Salvation Army in Bromley. They have asked for tinned fish, meat and vegetables (less beans, soup and pulses as they get plenty of those), and Fray Bentos pies and ravioli are also much appreciated;
  2. A money collection for Tearfund and their Middle East Emergency Appeal, through which they are trying to provide access to safe water, shelter and vital essentials to the millions of people from Syria and Iraq, who have fled their homes to escape IS militants.

Thank you for all your support.

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Weekly News 18th September 2016/ All Saints Update


ALL SAINTS UPDATE We have received confirmation this week that completion of the sale of the All Saints site is scheduled for 8 October. From that date Regalpoint Homes (WW) Limited will assume ownership of the land from the Catholic Diocese.

They anticipate that works on the site are likely to commence in early 2017, but at this point, no timeframe for completion of the project. The appeals procedure has provided Regalpoint with an insight into how the local Planning Department are viewing matters. As such, they now think it might well be possible to secure planning permission for the development of a church building, located in a number of possible positions close to St John’s, if we were interested!?

You will appreciate that there are a whole host of questions attached to such a proposal. At this early stage, we are asking you to keep praying about something that has shifted from the highly speculative into real discussions. We will keep you posted.

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Weekly News 11th September 2016/ Response to Serving Opportunities


RESPONSE TO ‘SERVING OPPORTUNITIES’ Before the Summer break, we said that we would follow up in the Autumn with a summary of how the church responded to the invitation to consider whether there might be some roles people can take on in the future.

I will outline that response this Sunday morning and some of the implications for us as a church. If you are unable to be there Sunday morning, please can I encourage you to find out what is said from someone who is able to make it.

There are challenges before us that are much better confronted if we take them on together, and that begins with as many people as possible having a sense of what we are talking about. Hopefully, that will also help inform your prayers for us a church family, as we look to move forward into whatever season God is leading us towards.

God Bless. Jon.

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Weekly News 4th September 2016/ Let's Pray


LET’S PRAY ‘Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn’t act the way we want God to, and why I don’t act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge.’

Philip Yancey

It’s easier to talk about the importance of prayer than it is to cultivate a vibrant prayer life. We are aware that our Sunday night prayer meetings have recently been rather sporadic, so we are introducing a new regular time to get together and pray - the 1st Sunday of each month at 6:30pm, in church. We will produce a programme for the term, which will outline the topics for prayer (coming shortly), and these will be highlighted on the website and News Sheet for the remainder of the month for on-going prayer fuel.

This Sunday (4th) we’re going to pray for:

  • People’s working lives (in anticipation of the new Sermon Series);
  • The sale of the All Saints Site & the possibility of a premises for us.See you there and we can grow our prayer lives together!

Click here to download   Weekly News 4th September 2016

Weekly News 28th August 2016/ "Thank God Its Monday"


‘THANK GOD ITS MONDAY’ As the Summer Break draws to an end and we return to our usual work routines, this is our teaching series for the Autumn. We’ll be exploring how to understand our work and our approach to some of the challenges and opportunities that our daily activities throw up.

Here are the subjects we’ll be covering:

  • God is for life, not just for Sundays;
  • A Theology of Work;
  • Psalms, Hymns and Nappy Changing;
  • The Business of Busyness
  • How do you gain the whole world, WITHOUT losing your soul;
  • Money, Mammon & Me;
  • Go, and make Disciples.

The series will begin on 11 September. We hope that whatever the nature of your ‘work’ – paid, voluntary, at home, in retirement, etc – there is plenty of room for God to speak into the things you spend a lot of time doing.

Click here to download   Weekly News 28th August 2016

Weekly News 21st August 2016/ Exam Results


EXAM RESULTS This week some of our young people will have received the verdict on their efforts from a couple of months ago, and a whole lot more will be waiting on results this coming Thursday.

The stress often experienced at exam time is typically mirrored by the tension of waiting for the examiners’ judgement. In many respects, it’s a natural anxiety to experience. For some, it’s about hoping that all the effort ploughed in has been rewarded – ‘well done, my good and faithful servant’. For others, it can be more of a case of hoping that work done half-heartedly won’t be too painfully exposed.

What is more sinister is when results feed the pressure to measure ourselves against our friends, prove ourselves to our parents, or simply shape our very identity.

We all hope our young people ‘do well’. But more than that, we hope that they know that their value to us is not defined by what grades they secure; even less so the value that God places on them - whose love relentlessly runs toward them irrespective of anything they have done.

Click here to download   Weekly News 21st August 2016

Weekly News 14th August 2016/ A Long Time Coming


A LONG TIME COMING! This week Max Whitlock achieved something extraordinary: he won a bronze medal. Now you might be thinking, “yeah, that is impressive, but why mention him rather than one of our Gold medallists?” Well, Max achieved his medal in All-round gymnastics. The last time we did that we were on home turf, and that was 108 years ago! You could see the pressure in his eyes as the final athletes were still scoring.

David Boudia and Steele Johnson are the Synchronised 10m Platform 2016 silver medallists. They were asked afterwards how it felt to be medallists at Rio, with all the pressure following London 2012. David replied, (and Steele later echoed), “There's been an enormous amount of pressure. I've felt it, and it's just an identity crisis. When my mind is on this [diving], and I'm thinking I'm defined by this, then my mind goes crazy. But we both know that our identity is in Christ, and we're just thankful for this opportunity to be able to dive in front of Brazil and for the United States. It's been an absolutely thrilling moment for us.”

Paul gave some similar advice to Timothy (4:7b-10):

“Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.”

So, when the pressure hits, try to remember: Your identity is in Christ.

Click here to download   Weekly News 14th August 2016

Weekly News 7th August 2016/ Christ & Culture


CHRIST AND CULTURE  I’ve been thinking a lot recently about culture and its place in our faith.

Sometimes we say “culture” to mean “High Culture”, such as Opera or Art Galleries, but really culture is just the things we do and think.

Culture is a tricky beast because although it’s easy to see it in others when they are so different to us (E.g. The Armish), it can be nearly impossible to see it in ourselves. Why are we fascinated by the weather? Why is reading the paper over someone’s shoulder rude? Why do we find inequality foul, and yet still pay women less? Why do we deify scientists, and idolise popstars?

All our thoughts and actions are learnt from our culture. Nothing is safe. Even our language shapes how we think and reflects something of our culture too. Since it is so pervasive it begs the question: How do Christian’s respond to our culture? And that includes, church culture too!

Is culture a gift of God, or a corruption of God’s original plan? Does culture shape how we view God, or does it get in the way? Are our ethics simply cultural preferences, or is there some eternal feature? Is it even possible to have a faith free from cultural influence?

So what do you think? How do you think that our culture and our faith inter-relate? And how can we tell the difference between culture and Christianity?

Want to think about this more? I recommend the seminal book “Christ and Culture” by Richard Niebuhr. It’s a brilliant and thought provoking read.

Click here to download   Weekly News 7th August 2016

Weekly News 31st July 2016/ 24 hr Worship-a-thon


24hr Worship-a-thon Life can be really busy. I know, it’s a bit of a cliché and a huge understatement, but bear with me! If you’re anything like me, whenever you see another church event your first thought might be ‘How am I going to fit that in?’ However, here are a few reasons I’d like to suggest this is worth making time for:

  1. You can come for a little bit or a lot. You don’t need to stay for all the 24hrs! Come whenever you can. At the start, at the end, or even 3am!
  2. It’s a chance in our busy schedules to set some time aside to meet with God, to praise him and pray for those things that are on your heart.
  3. It’s a chance to get involved with the worship team. Feel you might want to sing, or play an instrument as part of our worship, then this is the perfect opportunity to start. We also need people to read the bible and prepare some intercessions.
  4. To support the building of an orphanage, associated with one of our mission partners, Kruper. Have a think about what you are able to give. And get creative: Maybe what you’d normally spend a week on coffee?

Noon Saturday 6 August to noon Sunday 7 August.

Speak to Stu Carey or Jonny Faint if you’re interested in getting involved.

Click here to download   Weekly News 31st July 2016

Weekly News 24th July 2016/ Serving Opportunities Follow-Up


SERVING OPPORTUNITIES FOLLOW-UP I am aware that we haven’t yet detailed to the church the response that flowed out of our 21 day period of prayer, and what that might mean for us going forward.

There have been some movements even in the last few days with some of the gaps in our mid-week youth groups. Consequently, we are now asking whether people, who might not have been minded to take on a leadership role, might consider offering to lend a hand as a helper for a year for Cru2 (7-11 yr olds). Cru2 runs on a Tuesday night from 6:15-7:30pm, and could do with a couple of extra people to support the existing team. If you are think you might be able to assist, let Jon know.

More widely, we will outline the response we received to ‘Serving Opportunities’ after the Summer exodus, as well as set out some intentions for sharpening our vision.

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Weekly News 17th July 2016/ Welcome to the Goodman Family


WELCOME TO THE GOODMAN FAMILY We extend a really warm welcome to Katie & Chris, as they join with their family and friends to give thanks for their daughter Edith. It’s a natural thing to feel gratitude for the arrival of a child, but there is something special about expressing that thanks in public.

So, it’s great to have you with us today, and we hope that this will be a morning that you can look back on with much fondness.

We offer a Thanksgiving Service as an alternative to a baptism for different reasons. Some people wish to leave the possibility of baptism open, so that their child can make their own decision about it when they are old enough to weigh it for themselves. Others are clear that they wish to give thanks to God, but feel they are not yet in a place where they can make the full-blown promises of Christianity that are part of the baptism service. If you want to find out more yourself, don’t hesitate to ask one of our leaders.

Click here to download   Weekly News 17th July 2016

Weekly News 10th July 2016 - Pimms & Afternoon Tea


PIMMS & AFTERNOON TEA Whilst originally billed as a BBQ, we’re breaking with the pattern of past years and the Wardy garden party is going to take the form of the quintessentially English Summer afternoon tea.

We’ll provide the Pimms and/or a cuppa, but if that’s not your tipple, come with what you fancy. Food wise, it’s a ‘bring and share’ occasion, so we are asking people to come with anything fitting for afternoon tea - cake, savoury bits sandwiches (no need to cut off crusts), etc. You might also want to come armed with a garden chair if you want to guarantee a seat.

Proceedings will start at 3:30pm running till the evening. Come and go as you please, and feel free to bring any friends and family you may have in tow.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Click here to download   Weekly News 10th July 2016