St. John, Waterloo Road
Vicar: The Rev. E. V. Rhys ◦ Musical Director: Dr. W. N. McKie
The “Parish Church of the Festival” is the Church of St. John, Waterloo Road. It stands on the traffic roundabout, facing the Exhibition car park, so that visitors can easily find their way there as they leave the Exhibition through the York Road or Waterloo Bridge exits.
It is, then, so near the Exhibition as to be almost part of it, and yet, being outside the actual Exhibition grounds, it will be a real “place apart”. Nearly all the different denominations are arranging special services at one time or another.
The church was built originally by the government of the day as a thanksgiving for victory at Waterloo; it was badly damaged in 1940 by enemy bombs, and has now been rebuilt.
An attempt has been made to refurnish St. John’s in a manner which may set an example of art in the service of the Church. This theme will be expressed in fuller detail in an Exhibition at Lambeth Palace during June and July.
The services themselves will vary according to the accepted form of worship used by the different denominations which together make up our religious life in Britain. Similarly, addresses will be given every day by outstanding preachers of all denominations, and also by some well-known laymen.
Choirs from over 150 towns and villages throughout the country are coming to sing in the Festival Church and, over the five months of the summer, there will be an excellent opportunity for the visitor to hear the best and the most characteristic of our English church music.
In the evenings, the services are being supplemented by concerts, and religious drama. Particulars of these, and of the services, are available at the information kiosks and bookstalls in the Exhibition.
The chief times of weekday services arc: 8 a.m., 9.15 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4.30 p.m., and 8 p.m. daily. The Sunday services are at 8 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 11.30 a.m., and 7 p.m.