Our Place in the Wider Church
The Church of St John the Apostle and Evangelist stands as a symbol and focus of the presence of God in our community in central Watford. We are a faithful member of the Church of England (the Anglican Church) in the Diocese of St Albans. Our church tradition is often referred to as being Anglo Catholic or 'High Church'. We strive to make our worship as beautiful as we can, yet accessible to all. We value the use of incense, candles, vestments and liturgy to provide a meaningful experience for all who come to St John's. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in our side chapel and a white light burns to denote Christ's real presence. This is an area of particular devotion, quiet and prayer.
God has been worshipped in this building since 1893 and, in common with Christians all around the world, we worship God by the joyful and vibrant offering of the Holy Eucharist (also called the Mass or Holy Communion) and in the gentle rhythm of Morning and Evening prayer. Holy Communion is the meal that Jesus commanded His Church to share in His presence and it is the sacrament in which we people of God gather round His table.
Our Sunday mornings together are a time for reflection, prayers for the future and for those in need, and to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. We gather round the altar to celebrate His presence with us and His ministry amongst and through us. The wisdom of the centuries has taught us that the same structure each Sunday helps us to create a prayerful rhythm and allows us to go deeper into God's love.
I have been coming to church for several years and heard the Mass many many times, yet it always offers me something new. Even when my mind wanders from the service and I think of anything and everything else I am still changed by it. My life is enriched; I am calmer, more hopeful and less critical of others, and I know these are because I've received Holy Communion.
We are a diverse group of Christians coming from all walks of life; we firmly believe we are here to welcome all and not judge or condemn anyone. We strive to be an inclusive community welcoming all regardless of age, gender, background, ethnicity, disability or sexuality. We welcome people as they are and wherever they are on life's journey.
At St John's we draw on the many great traditions of the Church to enrich our worship and to help equip us for our diverse lives in the 21st century. We are not stuck in the past but enjoy the beauty of our worship happy in the knowledge that our act of worship has changed little over the generations. We greatly value the diversity of worship that the wider Church community has to offer but accept that worship involving drums, dancing, guitars and emotional singing is not for us. We tend to leave the more energetic styles of worship to our sister churches who can do it well.
Our services are open to all and our congregation includes people from all over the world. Whether you are Anglican, Roman Catholic, from another Christian church or of another faith, or seeking or doubting, you are warmly welcome to join us.