St. John’s Church


St. John the Evangelist, Friern Barnet

Faith, Excellence and Enjoyment
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The Church of St John the Evangelist was completed in 1911, a beautiful neo-gothic building designed by John Loughborough Pearson.   It is a place of worship where daily services provide space for prayer and encounter with God.  But St John’s is more than a building, it is a family of people offering friendship, support and care to the wider community we serve in Friern Barnet.  St John’s School is central to the work and ministry of this Church and together we strive to embrace each other and the world around us in the healing love of God.

Fr. Paul's Thought for the Month: June 2017

June 2017

Ahead of her official birthday celebrations this month, the Queen acknowledged the “very heavy sombre national mood…’ following what she called ‘a succession of terrible tragedies”.  Manchester and London had been the target of terrorist attacks and then there was the dreadful fire in Grenfell Tower, when so many people lost their lives cruelly.  Since then, yet another incident of hatred and violence over spilled as faithful Muslims left their Finsbury Park Mosque after prayers last Friday to confront the face of evil in the streets of London.

The mind reels at these events and fails to make sense of them.  Our first response must surely be, as Her Majesty put it “…determined (in the face of adversity), without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”

The worst and best of humanity was on display.  As dark as were the instances of tragedy, so there was light in the courage, self-sacrifice and generosity shown by many whose compassion and common humanity compelled them to help, give comfort and save lives.

Jesus, dying on the cross, uttered a cry of absolute desolation, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Matthew 27.46).  Those of us who struggle with the seeming contradiction of a loving God and the suffering of our world, may need to place in Jesus’ desperate prayer our own cry and yearning for understanding.   For Jesus that moment of desolation was assuaged by a powerful declaration of trust, because of rather than in spite of his desolation; an innate acknowledgement of love’s presence in that darkness, that pain as he uttered “Into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23.46).


Fr. Paul