St. John's Church
Living stones, loving God, serving others
Our Patrons

More about us 

QUAT_3680.pngdsgn_1186_back.jpgSt John the Evangelist, Our PatronS.Giles_7175.jpgOur_Lady_-_Patron.JPG
The Blessed Virgin Mary                        Principle Co-Patron of the Parish

Christian tradition says that John the Evangelist was John The Apostle. John was a historical figure, one of the "pillars" of the Jerusalem church after Jesus' death. He was one of Christ's original twelve apostles and is thought to be the only one to live into old age and not be killed for his faith. John is associated with Ephesus, where he is said to have lived and been buried. Some believe that he was exiled (around 95 AD) to Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. However, this is a matter of debate, with some attributing the authorship of Revelation to another man, called John of Patmos, or to John the Presbyter.



St. Giles is said to have been a seventh century Athenian of noble birth. His piety and learning made him so conspicuous and an object of such admiration in his own country that, dreading praise and longing for a hidden life, he left his home and sailed for France. At first he took up his abode in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone river, afterwards near the river Gard, and, finally, in the diocese of Nimes.He spent many years in solitude conversing only with God. The fame of his miracles became so great that his reputation spread throughout France. He was highly esteemed by the French king, but he could not be prevailed upon to forsake his solitude. He admitted several disciples, however, to share it with him. He founded a monastery, and established an excellent discipline therein. He died probably in the beginning of the eighth century, about the year 724


Feast day - 27th December
Feast day - 1st September

The Mother, of God, Mother of Jesus, wife of St. Joseph, and the greatest of all Christian saints. The Virgin Mother “was, after her Son, exalted by divine grace above all the angels and humanity.. The principal events of her life are celebrated as liturgical feasts of the universal Church. The Blessed Virgin Mary's life and role in the history of salvation is prefigured in the Old Testament, while the events of her life are recorded in the New Testament. Traditionally, she was declared the daughter of Ss. Joachim and Anne. Born in Jerusalem, The Virgin Mary was presented in the temple and took a vow of virginity. Living in Nazareth, Our Lady was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who announced to her that she would become the Mother of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit. She became betrothed to S. Joseph and went to visit her cousin, S. Elizabeth, who was bearing S. John the Baptist. Acknowledged by S. Elizabeth as the Mother of God, Our Lady intoned the Magnificat.

Feast days -
  • 1st January - Mary Mother of God
  • The month of May
  • 15th August - The Assumption
  • 8th December - The Immaculate Conception  
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  • Our Church, S.John's dedicated on 29th January 1862 and replaced S.Mary's (Saxon foundation) as the Parish Church in 1987.
  • We are open daily (under CCTV).
  • The Blessed Sacrament is reserved. 
  • Mass is offered daily; twice on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. 
  • The Offices are prayed daily by the clergy.
  • There is a prayer request board by the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham - we have had over 40 years of association with the Shrine itself. 
  • There are prayer candles available at all the shrines.
  • There is some lovely post-war stained glass     (mostly Moira Forsyth).
  • The organ is a 2 manual Father Willis.



  • The former parish Church of S.Mary's is open daily. Founded @ 8th century it lies at the centre of the original village on Higham marshes - two miles to the north of S.John's. It is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
  • Our parish is called 'Higham with Merston'. Merston is a village which had 'disappeared' by the fifteenth century. It lay to the west of present day upper Higham. Merston's Church of S.Giles lies under the fields today but some of modern Higham is within its boundaries.
  • The PCC passed resolutions A&B in 1994   (which limits the priestly ministry of women among us) however women do minister at every other level in worship and service. 
  • Resolution 'C' was passed in June 2009. We have been under the episcopal care of the Bishop of Fulham since 1st Sept  2009.



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The Blessed Sacrament reserved in our tabernacle

S.John                                                          Patron of the Parish Church                           and Co-Patron of the Parish
S.Giles   Patron of Merston            Icon information written by Simon Walker