St. John’s exists to welcome, worship and witness to God’s love in the community. Our church stands in the heart of Angell Town, the area from which it takes its name. However, the parish boundaries stretch far and wide, and include the area east of the Brixton Road to Loughborough Junction, and south to Herne Hill. The town centre of Brixton has been neatly carved out of the parish boundary, but the parish still includes the Soweto First Child sculpture and the Police station on Brixton Road, the busy Brixton Village on Coldharbour Lane, the shops and restaurants on parts of Atlantic Road and Railton Road, and the infamous Barrier Block on the Moorlands Estate.
We aim to witness to the love of God in our community within and without our building. In 1853, St. John’s was consecrated on the Angell Town estate to serve a growing suburban centre in Brixton. The aims of the church remain the same, but the area we serve now includes five large inner city estates, three primary schools (St. John’s, Hillmead and Loughborough), one secondary academy (Evelyn Grace), one community horse riding centre (Ebony Horse Club), one busy train station (Loughborough Junction), and the new developments of Brixton Village in the market, and new private housing developments in the south of the parish.
The church today draws its congregation from the local people, and we reflect the diversity of the area in our ages, from teeny tots to older retirees; our household and family status including singletons, partnered households, young families and large extended families; and our wide ranging ethnic and cultural affiliations. Many members are of West African origin, but there are also substantial numbers of folk from Caribbean backgrounds, from East Africa, from India and from the United Kingdom. Some people are lifelong Anglicans, and others have joined the church from other denominations and faith traditions. To all we offer a warm, welcoming atmosphere for worship and fellowship. Our worship is within the inclusive catholic tradition of the Church of England. We try to ensure that the worship is a lively reflection of the people and cultures from whom we are drawn.
Open Doors: Open hearts
For those who regularly attend St. John’s, being there for the community may seem commonplace, but to a society filled with people who no longer believe, and many who have no sense of belonging to their community, it is important that we stand with our doors open wide offering God’s extraordinary welcome and love. In a society where people are often solely focused on meeting their wants, our church stands as a place offering Jesus to help meet their needs. Generations of people have come in through St. John’s doors, and today people all ages continue to worship and witness together in our building. They know that in this church they will find a place of welcome for all, a place where God is worshipped and faith taught, a place where they are valued for who they are and not for what they own and a place where Jesus is served joyfully from year to year. We actively work to ensure that we face outwards through our work with young people in church, our unique parish midwife project, our partnership with the church primary school, with London Citizens and with other groups in the local community. In all we do here at St. John’s we strive to make the world a better place through our welcoming, worshipping and witnessing.