Church Life

We have restarted, then re-stopped some of these activities - please check our Calendar for details.

What’s on

We have a wide range of activities at St John’s.


If no contact details are given for the specific group you are interested in, please contact the parish office.

Brownies and Rainbows

The 19th Harpenden Rainbows meet in St John’s church hall on Thursday evenings from 4.45pm, followed by the 19th Harpenden Brownies at 6.15pm. Both groups are thriving, with a long waiting list. All the girls enjoy arts and crafts, playing games and working for badges. They also undertake fundraising events and go on regular outings. For more information please contact Linda Traynor or to register your interest in one of the groups visit the Girlguiding website.


The Dorcas Group meets at 2pm most Fridays (not the last Friday of the month) and undertakes needlework and embroidery for the fabrics in St John's such as altar frontals and clergy vestments. We also refurbish these materials as needed. For more information, please contact Helen Davies.

Faith and Light

Faith and Light is a non-denominational worship and fellowship group for adults with learning difficulties, their families and carers. We meet at 4pm on the first Sunday of most months in the church hall. Most meetings include some craft, occasionally drama and a time of worship followed by tea. To find out more, contact the chaplain, Lauryn Awbrey.

Fellowship and study group

This group meets on Mondays (usually in five week blocks either side of half-term) at 8.00pm in the committee room.  It has a varied programme – sometimes Bible study, sometimes using a book as the starting point for discussion, sometimes going to lectures at the Abbey. For more information, please contact Anne Edwards.

Flower guild

The guild is a group of people who give time and energy to creating beautiful displays to enhance our worship. They can also arrange flowers for weddings, and memorial displays for anniversaries or birthdays of loved ones. They arrange displays for flower festivals and meet to learn new techniques.  For more information, please contact Elizabeth Curran.

Cultivate Arts Festival

Two Cultivate Arts Festivals organised by Harpenden Churches Together have now taken place - in June 2018 (theme ‘Beauty Order Abundance’) and June 2019 (theme 'Generosity').  For each Festival, St John’s hosted a number of exciting events, including large family-friendly art installations in church, walks, talks and readings, and music events; further information is available, If you want more information, contact Liz Sergeant.

Little Acorns

Little Acorns is a group for preschool children - Please see our Children & young people page for more information.

Mothers’ Union

The St John’s branch has about 40 members and meets in the committee room on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm. Apart from the regular meetings, there is also the opportunity for members to get together at Holy Communion in the Lady Chapel at 9.30am on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, followed by coffee. We are an informal and very friendly group; each member contributes to the work of the branch in their own way and all seek to serve Christ in the community through prayer and fellowship. For more information, please contact Carol Cooke.


St John's has a strong musical tradition. We have an adult choir of about 20 that sings a wide range of music at the weekly Parish Communion and occasionally at Choral Evensong on a Sunday evening. We also have a larger all-age group that sings for special services such as Harvest Festival.

The organ is well maintained and used regularly for recitals in addition to regular services.

The church boasts a very fine acoustic and is often used for concerts by local groups.

To find out more, contact Roger Carter.

St Luke’s Cell prayer group

St Luke’s Cell prayer group, named after the ‘beloved physician’, has members drawn from St John's and Southdown Methodist churches. We pray for those in particular need of prayer – this includes those mentioned in the weekly pewsheet, and others for whom we are asked to pray, who live in the parish or are friends or relatives of people living in the parish.  Every month each of us prays for a different group of about five people, and we meet together once a month to pray for all these people in a short service. We are always happy to welcome new members or to hear of people who would benefit from our prayers. Please contact Michael Hughes.

St John’s visitors

The St John’s visitors are a small number of specially trained members of the congregation and ministry team who visit those within the parish community who have been identified as being in need of special care and support. Need will not always be confined to physical wellbeing, sometimes it will be spiritual, emotional or social. There are times in our lives when we are just unable to cope on our own and need some support and friendship. For more information, contact Margaret Creighton.

Tea at 3

Tea at 3, held on the last Friday of each month in the Hall, was launched in January 2015 and since then has become a very popular and well-attended event.  It provides friendly companionship over a cup of tea, homemade cakes and sandwiches to a number of people in the parish.  Everyone is very welcome to come along and join us, to meet up with old friends or indeed make new ones. For more information, contact Margaret Creighton.