St John the Baptist Church

Langthorne Park

Leytonstone lights up this weekend

There’s a lively weekend on offer in Leytonstone with free comedy at the Luna Lounge Annual Laughter Zone, St John’s Michaelmas Fair which is open to the whole community, Light Up Langthorne Park on Saturday evening, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) being performed by the Woodhouse Players and TEST at the Stone Space gallery.

Saturday 29 September

St John’s Michaelmas Fair

St John's Church, Town CentreSt John’s will be hosting its annual fair with a bouncy castle, miniature railway, bell ringing demonstration, stall with homemade cakes, jams, books, plants, live music and lots more.

Admission is free and the fair is open to all members of the community.

Don’t forget St John’s also has a regular weekly programme of free lunchtime concerts on a Thursday lunchtime and Sunset Tours of The Tower on Thursday evenings for stunning views over London. The church also hosts a number of community clubs including Zumba Dance, Keep Fit, Tai Chi, Bellringing, ‘Cheeky Monkeys’ and ‘Acting Bugs’ Children’s Drama Group.

More details:

Saturday 29 September

Light Up Langthorne Park

Jugglers, fire breathing dragons, art installations and a spectacular fire show are on offer this Saturday evening at Langthorne Park.

More details from the London Borough of Waltham Forest who are organising this event.

Friday and Saturday

Woodhouse Players present

“Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)”

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Welsh Church HallWelsh Church Hall 879 High Road Leytonstone E11 1HR

  • Fri 28 September 8pm
  • Sat 29 September 2.30 and 8pm

Tickets £8 (£5 concessions)
Book online:
Phone reservations: 020 8504 3872

Friday 28 September

Luna Lounge Laughter Zone

The 19th Leytonstone Laughter Zone at the Luna Lounge — Leytonstone’s only free comedy club!

Do check the Luna Lounge website for details of times.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The Stone Space


Presented by Ribbon Machine Collective, a group of artists living in London, joined together by the work they make, courses they have attended, geography and chance.

See the Stone Space website for more details and opening times.

Transition Leytonstone Community Garden site

New community garden and a new view of the Paralympics closing ceremony

Transition Leytonstone Community Garden Launch

Sunday 9th September 2-4 pm

Transition Leytonstone Community Garden siteTransition Leytonstone have been given permission by the London Borough of Waltham Forest to develop a piece of land in Leytonstone town centre into a community garden, and this Sunday will be the first meeting at the site. Everybody is welcome to go along and give ideas and offer help.

The London 2012 Changing Places Transform is also supporting the project.

Location: Between the footbridge and 113 Harold Road Leytonstone (follow Church Lane past the tube station and keep going past the car park and the children’s playground).

View the Paralympic Closing Fireworks from the top of St John’s Tower

Sunday 9 September, 10pm until  12.30am 10 September

St John’s Church, Church Lane, Leytonstone, E11

Sunday sees the Paralympic Closing ceremony and if you’re not one of the 80,000 lucky ticket holders to the Olympic Stadium, St John’s Church Tower offers a unique opportunity to watch the fireworks that will bring to a close this amazing summer of sport in the East End.

Book your tickets — places are limited so it’s essential you do book — for this event which includes live classical music in church first and FairTrade refreshments on the tower (good filter coffee and proper hot chocolate, and both chocolate chip and ginger biscuits). There’s also smartphone reception on the tower, and one guide can give a commentary on what is happening (or bring your own, only 3G — there is no free wifi). Binoculars are provided (or bring your own) and cameras are welcome. You need sensible shoes and clothes as the climb to the tower is quite narrow, but worth the effort for the stunning view at the top.

The event is a church fund raiser so the price is £50 per ticket (all included and all goes towards the remaining debt for the recent works on the tower).


Places are limited so please let RoseMary Warrington know as soon as possible if you are interested on E:

More photos from the church tower

Leytonstone Wanstead Flats and Canary Wharf from St John's TowerI’ve added some more photos from the tower of St John’s Church and arranged them in an approximately 360 degree order here: St John’s Church Panoramas from the Tower.

The church has an open day today and is running its Sunset over London tours every Thursday evening (which include music and a free drink). Read my review for more information.

Leytonstone Festival 2012The church’s open day is part of the Leytonstone Festival which this year runs alongside the Leytonstone Arts Trail. Get a taster of the many events running this weekend on Leytonstone Festival and Arts Trail.

Monday 16 July sees the start of the Olympic Controlled Parking Zones in Leytonstone. Are you ready for the Olympics. I created a page a few weeks ago with lots of useful links about the Olympics for Leytonstone residents, businesses and visitors — take a look it should save you time hunting down all the various sources of information: Olympics 2012 page.

Independent Retailer Month logoIf you’re out shopping today don’t forget it’s Independent Retailer Month. Support your local shops (and cafés and retaurants)! Today is also the Lion Heart Festival Market outside the Red Lion.

Enjoy the Festival and Arts Trail, and please share with your family and friends!

Towering high over Leytonstone

Panorama from St John's Church towards Stratford

I was delighted to be given the opportunity last night to be in the first party to try the new Sunset over London tour of St John’s Church in the centre of Leytonstone.

Church Lane, the Library and High Road Leytonstone towards StratfordI have been up the tower once before, many years ago, when it was so cloudy you could hardly see as far as Leytonstone Overground station and I was hoping that wasn’t going to happen again after this awful summer. I was not disappointed.

There was cloud in the sky but still some sun breaking through and as the sun went down there was a distinctly red glow from the West.

Leytonstone Overground stationThe tour starts with half an hour of musical entertainment. Last night it was a delightful performance by Rachel Smith who played flute, alto flute and piccolo with works by Bach, Ibert, Piazolla, Debussy and a composer, Paul Lewis, who had written a piece especially for her. Rachel is a professional flautist who has played throughout the world and on BBC radio and television and has recently released a CD Aquarelles. Different musicians will play at each tour.

Hard hats are provided for the tour and you are advised to wear trainers — certainly not high heels — and clothes that won’t mind a bit of dust. It is good advice as the winding stairs to the top are narrow for most of the way and very narrow at the top. It’s probably best to visit one of Leytonstone’s restaurants after the tour, rather than have a hearty meal beforehand, though none of us got stuck!

Looking towards Hackney and Haringey and the sunsetThe views from the top are really spectacular. Although a church steeple may not seem very high compared with the London Eye or the new ArcelorMittal OrbitTower in the Olympic Park, when it opens, St John’s has the distinct advantage that Leytonstone is already one of the highest points in London so the top of the tower really does have unparalled views.

The City of LondonYou have a full half an hour to study the vista.

If you are a local you will see Leytonstone in a completely new light and the first thing that strikes you is just how much greenery you can see compared with many other parts of London.

Even if you have never been to Leytonstone before, you will find you have a good view of the Olympic Park and right over London. You can see the O2 in Greenwich, Canary Wharf, the City of London, the Shard, which was inaugurated yesterday, and even as far as the London Eye.

Looking East you can see to across Newham and Redbridge towards Havering and Barking & Dagenham.

To the West you can see Enfield on the other side of the Lea Valley, and Hackney and Haringey, which if my geography is correct is where the sun was setting.

You are provided with a four page guide to the many sights you can see and you can borrow binoculars.

Canary WharfAs a bonus we also got to see the fireworks display from one of Waltham Forest’s Urban Classic event, part of its Big6 events season.

After descending the tower there was a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits (all Fairtrade and included in the ticket) and a chance to chat to others in the party.

Wanstead Flats and looking EastPart of the reason for introducing these tours is to raise money for the church to pay off the expenses it has incurred in its recent restoration,.

However, Rev Draper is also keen to stress that he sees the church very much as part of the community and wants to welcome everyone from the community. There’s no attempt to enrol you and anyone from any denomination, or no denomination, would feel just as comfortable visiting.

This is one part of the community opening up a facility to the whole community and it is one of Leytonstone’s hidden gems that everybody should take the opportunity to enjoy.

More information

St John’s Church has a regular programme of concerts open to the public, many of them free, and there is also the churchyard trail.

A stunning new view of London

St Johns Church Tower Tours advertisementFrom this week (5 July 2012) St John the Baptist Church in the centre of Leytonstone is offering sunset tours of the tower every Thursday evening.

From one of the highest points in London the tours combine the chance to enjoy the stunning panorama towards the Olympic Park, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, central London and Epping Forest.

Refreshments will be available and each tour will also be entertained by local professional musicians. Times will vary according to the season and to coincide with the sunset, so please check the church website for details of opening and how to book. Full price tickets are £12.50, concessions are also available.

The church which is just one minute’s walk from Leytonstone tube station on the Central Line (Zone 3) also has free weekly lunchtime concerts and a churchyard trail.

St Johns Church view from the tower4St Johns Church view from the tower3St Johns Church view from the tower2St Johns Church view from the tower