St. John’s has been a place of Christian worship for around a thousand years.
The Christian family at St. John’s is made up of people of all ages and backgrounds. We are drawn together by the love of Christ and seek to show this love in action.
One of the most important things we do together is to worship the risen Lord Jesus Christ week by week. We do this in a variety of methods. Most of our Sunday worship is informal in style and our worship is arranged to try to help people meet with God and come closer to him. To help us do this we seek to involve members of the Church in planning and leading our worship.
History of the Parish Church
The Parish Church of St. John the Baptist is also fondly known as St. John’s or as “The Old Church”. It is a living parish where the living God is worshipped.
Founded in the 12th Century as the ancient Parish Church of Erith, it is a Grade 11* listed building, full of interesting architectural features and tombs and we are very proud of our links to the past and to the generations of Christians who have worshipped at St. John’s.
The main body of the church – At present the main body of the Church can accommodate approximately 200 worshippers. The south west corner of the Church has been made into a social area with facilities for serving refreshments after services.
Wheatley Chapel – Also known as the Lady Chapel it is in the south-east corner of the Church. The Wheatley family used to be the Lords of the Manor of Erith. Contained within the Chapel is a fine monument to the Countess of Shrewsbury. The Wheatley Chapel is used by the younger groups of “Young Church” members during services.
Bell Tower – The tower contains eight bells, the oldest of which dates from 1703. Internal features of the building include monuments and memorials to various local families and dignitaries associated with the parish of Erith through the ages.
The Churchyard – At the east end of the churchyard provision exists for the interment of ashes of the deceased however, the Churchyard itself has been closed for burials for many years, by order in Council. The grounds of the churchyard are maintained by Bexley London Borough. The PCC is responsible for the maintenance of the boundary wall, except for that length which forms the boundary with the A2016 dual carriageway.
Vestry – A rearrangement of the original vestry provides space for a “Sunday School” for the teaching of the older children who are at secondary school (Revelation Group).
St. John’s is situated in the north of the Borough of Bexley, within the ward of Erith, approximately one mile west of Erith town centre. It is one of the four northernmost wards known as “Bexley Riverside”. The Parish is divided in two by the presence of the railway, which has been a feature of the Parish for 160 years, and by the A2016 spine road link, (Bronze Age Way) which was opened shortly after Palm Sunday 1997. The Parish is to be found on the banks of the River Thames, much of it built on former industrial areas. It is about 15 miles from Central London.
Geographically, the Parish is a long and slim expanse of land running along the south bank of the Thames. The church building is situated in quite a central position at the point where West Street becomes Lower Road. The road that forms West Street/Lower Road could be considered the main access route to the Church. The position of the church and grounds is quite prominent at the junction of Lower Road and West Street (a bus route). The Church can also be seen from Bronze Age Way.