Past Events


7 December was 100th birthday of Fay Butcher, a member of St John's congregation for many years.  We were delighted that three Hurst Green vicars were there to join the celebrations.  The picture shows (l-r) current vicar, Anna Eltringham, and former vicars John Bickersteth (vicar in the 1960s and later Bishop of Bath and Wells) and David Butlin (vicar from 1992 - 2012).


RISE THEATRE - WHITE RABBIT - 24 November 2016

Rise Theartre played to a full house on this November evening and it was well worth the ticket price.  We saw a captivating play about two world-weary adults who discover what it means to believe and dream again.




UPLIFT YOUTH GROUP - 20 November 2016

Our youth group worked incredibly hard tonight.....!
They puzzled their way through Pictureka, Bible quotes, dot to dot,  Pictionary and many more!
Huge thanks to Mark for his hard work in organising this interactive, fun session and thank you to all you children for coming and taking part in such great spirit!  Click here for photos of the evening.

UPLIFT YOUTH GROUP - 6 November 2016

The group had a great evening on Sunday when Sue Fox helped them by organising a wonderful piece of collaborative 'art for all'.  It was mad, crazy and busy but a huge amount of fun.  To see more photos click on the picture.

ST JOHN'S 'SUMMER' BARBECUE - Sunday 18 September 2016

Our annual barbecue was held later in the year than usual due to many other events being on earlier in the summer.  We had a great time in good company (including some of our friends from Crowhurst) in the Vicarage garden and enjoyed excellent burgers and sausages cooked by our 'resident' barbecuers as well as delicious salads and puddings brought by many who came.  The children even had a bouncy castle to play on.  More photos of the event can be seen here.


This annual match took place in good weather this year.  To see the full match report click here.

PARTY ON THE GREEN - 12 June 2016

This was held on Hurst Green to cebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.  It was hosted by St John's church but was a real community event.  people brought picnics and enjoyed live music (including by our own Sarah Newbury, St John's choir, Hurst Green Singers and the Oxted Band), dancing, children's activities and lots of tea and cake!  It was rounded off by a 'Last Night of the Proms' style grand finale.

The picture shows St John's choir in action.  Other images can be seen here.

UPLIFT YOUTH GROUP - 17 April 2016

Uplift youth group had one of the best youth group sessions ever last Sunday evening! 'Lambing Live' took place at Foyle Farm for the start of the new term. The weather was beautiful, the bluebells were out and they enjoyed hot chocolate, shortbread biscuits & chocolate crispy cakes courtesy of Clare & Annie. Everyone enjoyed a cuddle, stroke and play with newborn lambs. It was a huge success & a smashing way to start the term. The whole experience was a reminder of the beauty and joy that God has given us - in our environment and in our friendship. We are so grateful....

To see more photos, click on the picture.

QUARR ABBEY RETREAT - 27-29 February 2016

Our "St John's Six" had a very enjoyable time on the I.O.W from lunch time on Saturday February 27th returning home on Monday afternoon. They experienced services led by the monks- starting with "Vigils" at 5.30 am and 7 services later finishing with "Compline" at 8pm. All meals were taken in total silence with the monks and the group enjoyed long walks in the wonderful grounds. Led by Michael Harman the other participants were Nigel Eltringham, David Stonebanks, Ian Wilks, Chris Johns and Peter Langham--and they quickly became a very tight unit.

SALLY CRANHAM: YOUR HOUSE - a songwriters tour in association with Compassion - 25 February 2016
A lovely intimate evening at St John's with Christian singer-songwriter Sally Cranham. Cafe style set up and wine throughout! We heard songs from Sally's albums, inspirational stories and testimonies, and found out more about the work of charity Compassion, with a few new sign ups to sponsor children around the world. 








Our annual summer barbecue was held at lunchtime on the vicarage lawn after our Patronal Festival, which marks the saint day for St John the Evangelist. Despite intermittent rain the weather was warm and there was a good turn-out and a good time was had by all.

We were particularly glad to see some faces from St Georges, and were glad to return the favour after the excellent BBQ they gave us on Rogation Sunday 17th May.

Thanks to all who helped organise it.

To see photos of the event click here

St George's contingent brave the rain



As if the opera gala (below) were not enough, the next afternoon Hilary Dilnot gave a delightful piano recital.  She played a mixture of classical, jazz and popular music to a full house in church.  This was followed by cream tea and cakes for all those fortunate to be present.  Many thanks to church members who made and/or served the scones, cakes and tea.


A marvellous evening of opera favourites was held in church on 30 May with performances by Sophie Pullen (soprano), Charlotte Tetley (mezzo soprano) and Richard Lloyd Owen (tenor).  They were accomanied on the grand piano by our own Hilary Dilnot.  Here are some of the reactions to the concert:

“the opera singing was amazing and the artists gave us a wonderful concert”

“we had no idea that you were going to spoil us with such wonderful music ...”

“we thought the music was of a seriously high standard and a treat just to walk round the corner and hear that: Covent Garden comes to Hurst Green”

“I enjoyed it all - way above my expectations of the opera part and had a lovely evening.  The Church is so good in “party” gear and always feels so welcoming ...”

“fabulous music ...”

“what fantastic  voices each of them had and also Hilary’s accompaniment was great”.

To see photos of the event click here.




  On Friday 30 January the church was transformed into a smart   restaurant with candles everywhere and almost no artificial lights.  We all dressed to impress and sat down to a delicious three course meal.  As well as the lovely food, we were entertained with an excellent raffle, a quiz (won by the table shown here) and 'heads and tails'.  We even made some money for St John's funds.  Thanks to all who helped make it such a memorable evening, but especially to Roger Lugg for organising it all.

To see more pictures, click here.

MISSION PLANNING AWAY DAY - 8 November 2014 at Wychcroft Retreat House

Christ the Worker by John Hayward from the Chapel at WychcroftAbout 25 people, aged 8 to 80+, from St John's spent the day together to pray, reflect and plan our mission focus. It was a very good day of both giving and receiving to and from each other and from God. The three areas we have agreed to focus on for now are

  1. Work with 0-11 year olds
  2. Our welcome to visitors, and
  3. Reaching out in friendship to the lonely and isolated.

This is just a start, but a clear manageable way to do so.  After all the talking of the day, all was offered to God in a very moving 'Wordless Eucharist', under an imposing picture of Christ the Worker by John Hayward.

Please click here for a transcipt of Revd. Anna's sermon on 16th November, giving further details of the day.

OXTED TEAM MINISTRY INAUGURATION - 5 November 2014 Oxted Team Minisrty group photo after the service

A Eucharist with the Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon was held at St John's at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5 November for the inauguration of the Oxted Team.

The new team is made up of St Mary's Oxted, St Peter's Tandridge, St John's Hurst Green and St George's Crowhurst.  Revd Andrew Rumsey, Rector of Oxted and Tandridge, will be the Team Rector and Revd Anna Eltringham, Vicar of Hurst Green and Crowhurst, will be the Team Vicar.

Click here for a transcript of Bishop Jonathan's sermon.

Click here for more photos.


We warmly welcomed to our 9.30am service the family of the late Mrs Eileen Sweeting. Her son, Mr John Sweeting, and her daughter, Mrs Sue Merriman, very kindly gifted to St John’s 100 bibles in memory of their mother. They will be permanently placed in the backs of chairs in the nave, together with some large print editions and some lectionaries.
Eileen was a regular and faithful worshipper at St John's for many years, along with her husband Teddy. We remember them both with affection, and especially give thanks to God today for Eileen’s many gifts, and all the many things she contributed to our church life together.

Staff and Mrs Eileen Sweeting's family during dedication of the new Bibles








In particular Eileen was a talented artist, and it is especially fitting that one of her drawings has been used to make the bookplate that has been placed in each bible recording this generous memorial gift.

Bookplate artwork


VARIETY CONCERT - 25 October 2014Barbara Richards & Sue Fox perform Rossini's 'Humorous Duet for 2 Cats' from Otello

The Variety Concert held on 25 October included performances by the church choir (with friends) and other members of the St John's congregation and friends and even the Vicar!  It was enjoyed by a large audience.  The programme included choral. piano, cello, solo voice and spoken word items of a variety of genres.  Over £700 was raised for church funds.

To see photos of the performance, click here.

FOR GOD, KING AND COUNTRY: An Exhibition at St. John the Evangelist, Hurst Green - July 2014

The fortnight's events began on Sunday 27 July with a service led by the Bishop of Croydon at which the Rev James Francis, from Portsmouth Naval Base, preached. With a large proportion of the exhibition dedicated to the work of chaplains during the First World War, his words proved extremely moving; service chaplains have a prominent and dangerous role today, let alone during the Great War. His anecdotes about life as a chaplain on the front line in Afghanistan really brought to light the enormity of the chaplain’s often overlooked role in war. The exhibition commemorated those chaplains who gave their lives to help other soldiers during the First World War and beyond, bringing comfort and hope to the soldiers on the frontline.

More moving still was the chaplain's recollections of young men who gave their lives for their country in the last few years, not a far cry from the young men we researched from our very own War Memorial here in Hurst Green. Sadly many of the men commemorated on the Hurst Green War Memorial were under the age of 25 when they were killed. Even worse for their families, most of their bodies remain lost. One particular mother, of Sergeant William Madge of Oxted, continued to search for her son until her own death; unfortunately not an uncommon story.

The extensive research into the men commemorated on the Memorial proved to be particularly poignant for some people in the community. Several visitors to the exhibition were able to track down family members from the information we had found. Furthermore, the incredible donations made by the  families of men named on the Memorial, and people with family connections to the Great War succeeded in bringing the exhibition to life.  Memorabilia included letters from the trenches, war medals, death plaques and discharge notices. These objects in themselves spoke a thousand words, the ordeals of these local men could be glimpsed through the generosity of the donors.

Heartfelt thanks go to everyone who shared their memories and precious momentos with the visitors to the exhibition from near and far. After many hours of research and investigation the exhibition commemorated  the men of Hurst Green during the First World War; it was truly a community event.  There was a hub, a focus for local people to come together.  There was something really alive in the midst of remembering death.  It feels like a potential for more of the same has been unleashed.




This took  place at 4.30pm on Saturday 25 January here at St John's. The service was led by Jonathan, Bishop of Croydon, and was followed by refreshments in the York Rooms. Some official guests were present as well as members of Anna's family, her friends and members of her former congregation, also members of the congregation at St George's, Crowhurst, for whom Anna will also have responsibility. 
A good number were present to join in this happy occasion.

To see more photos of the evening click here


THE BISHOP OF SOUTHWARK, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun came to preside and preach at our Centenary Eucharist on 14 July at 10am.

St John's was dedicated on July 12 1913, so this was the nearest we could get to mark the centenary of this event and it concluded our year of celebrations for our 100 years of existence.

A good number of people were able to attend and stayed on after the service enjoying a lavish finger buffet Luncheon Party held in the York Rooms.

After being thanked by Mary Seller, the Bishop wrote:

'The thanks are mine to you and everyone at St John's Hurst Green for very happy and blessed centenary celebrations, planned and prepared for with a masterly attention to detail which ensured all went so well on Sunday. Please convey my thanks and appreciation to the home team and the assurance of my prayers and blessing'.

+ Christopher


The Church and the Parish of St John's, Hurst Green said goodbye this weekend to David Butlin who has been our vicar for 20 years.

He came with his wife Judith and 2 young children Zachary and Hannah at a time of difficulty for St John's following the departure of the previous vicar George Russell, who himself had done so much for the parish.

David, with his ministry of quiet calm and stability, his love of people and care for the community has given encouragement and hope to many and will be very greatly missed.
This was amply demonstrated by the donations which flooded in amounting to over £3,000 and the good wishes and presence of so many at both his farewell party Saturday evening and his final service the following Sunday morning, 16 September. Tears were shed as people grappled with the reality of his leaving. 

We wish David well in his new post as Chaplain to the Heart of Kent Hospice at Aylesford and in his continuing counselling and therapy work.

David's farewell party
Saturday 15 September