Facilities and features


Toilets are located in St John's church hall, next to the church. There is a slope up to the entrance that is wide enough for a wheelchair. Separate male and female toilets inside and an accessible toilet suitable for wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties.

There is a unit in the ladies toilets and in the accessible toilet, suitable for changing a baby on. Change mat provided. Toddler toilet seat available in the ladies toilets that fits under the regular toilet seat. Potty also available.

There is a small car park out the front of the church. Level ground from there in to the church though the car park surface is a little uneven. There are a couple of spaces available right opposite the church main door for those with very limited mobility and an area that can be used as a drop off point. There is also a public car park behind Dominos pizza shop. Access via North Road and turn right in to Ravensdale to find the car park entrance which will be on the right. Parking in here is free and there is a path from the back of the car park, that runs behind the gym and if you turn left along that path it will lead in to the church grounds (turning right leads to the shops in North Road). There are no steps between this car park and the church entrance.

Accessible toilet in the church hall. This toilet also contains a baby changing unit. There are support rails around the toilet.

The car park at the front of the church and the public car park behind Dominos pizza shop on North Road (access this car park via North Road and turn right into Ravensdale. Entrance to car park on the right along Ravensdale) are both on level ground between the car parks and the church entrance.

There are no steps in to St John's church or inside. There is a ramp wide enough for a wheelchair up to the entrance to St John's church hall where the toilets are.

Large print service sheets and notice sheets are available with prior arrangement. Please call the office to arrange large print versions. 01255 475704

Assistance dogs are allowed in to church.

Our Building

St John's church is now 900 years old! It is a Grade 2 listed building which means we can not change the church in any way without consulting English Heritage first for approval of any changes we may wish to make in the future.

Music and Worship

There is a set of bells at St John's church which we can ring, by arrangement, for a wedding. We also ring the bells for special occasions such as our late Queen's Platinum Jubilee and King Charles III Coronation in May 2023.

Groups, Courses and Activities

Our after school club is called Searchlights and is held in St John's church every Monday afternoon during school term times. Suitable for primary school age children. Starts at 3.15pm until 4.30pm. Activities vary from week to week but include craft, songs, bible story and light refreshments.

Once a year we usually run an Alpha Course. This course is an introduction to the Christian faith and run over 11 weeks, once a week. Usually includes a meal to begin the session and then a video followed by discussion in small groups. It is a great way to find out what it means to be a Christian, and is a safe place to come and explore what faith is and ask any questions you may have about Christianity. If you are interested in this course, please get in touch with the church office and we can tell when the next course is due to begin. Office phone 01255 475704

A coffee morning is held in St John's church hall on the last Saturday of every month, from 9.30am to 11.30am. Hot drinks available, fruit juice cakes and biscuits. Stalls selling second hand bric -a-brac and some hand made greetings cards, and rail of second hand good quality clothes for sale too.

Frydays cafe is held on the second Friday of the month. It is an 'all day breakfast' cafe. Open at 9am until 1pm serving a wide selection of breakfast food including cereals, toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, hash browns. Various jams and marmalade for using on toast, butter too. Tea, coffee and juice. Cost £3. A popular community event, very sociable and friendly. Come along and make new friends!

We hold a Holiday Club for children of Primary School age in February half term, for three days and in July for a whole week. The summer Holiday Club is during the first week of local school summer holidays. Children arrive at 10am and club runs until 12 noon. Cost is £1 per day per child. Reduced rates for families of more than 2 children of primary school age. Secondary age children can come along as helpers at Holiday Club, helping to run the games and with craft activities.
Children attending are organised in to small groups according to age. Children can request to be in the same group as a friend. There are organised activities throughout the morning including games, songs, a bible story and a time for refreshments. The Holiday Club is very popular. It is essential you book children in beforehand. You can book by calling the church office 01255 475704 from 2 weeks before club starts, or by email [email protected] from 2 weeks before club starts. Keep an eye on our website for advertising the club www.gtclactonparish.co.uk and to find out what the theme for this year is going to be! We get great feedback from the children and many come back year after year.

Bethany Bereavement cafe runs on the second and fourth Monday of the month from 2pm in St John's church. It is an informal group for anyone needing support through bereavement, regardless of how long ago the bereavement began. Members of St John's church, trained in pastoral care, are present each session to talk with you and help you deal with the sense of loss. We try and support each individual in the way they are most comfortable with. Needs vary from person to person. It is a safe and welcoming group. You can attend for as many weeks or months as you wish. You do not need to be a regular attender at church to come. You can just turn up, or contact the church office first, if you prefer, to be put in touch with those who run this group before attending if you're not sure if this is the group for you. Church office phone 01255 475704.

Little Fishes is the name of our group for pre-school children and their carers. It runs every Monday from 10am to 11.30am during school term times. Toddlers and babies attend with their parent or carer and there are lots of toys to play with, songs and nursery rhymes to sing, short stories from the bible, craft activities and time for light refreshments and snacks. No need to book, just turn up. Doesn't matter if you're running a little late, just come on in! You do not need to be a regular attender at church to join in.

See Parents and Toddlers

Help for Visitors

Other Features

We provide food bags to local people and families in need. Local supermarkets support us in this provision allowing us to collect food from them that we can then distribute. Some families come to our attention through local schools contacting us, some by just getting in touch. If you are in need and don't already access a food bank, family or a single person, we can arrange for a time you can come to the church hall and collect a food bag. In the first instance, please call the church office 01255 475704.

The churchyard by St John's is a 'closed' churchyard maintained by the local council. As a church we do try to encourage wildlife and ask the council in summer to not mow all the grass, but leave areas uncut to encourage bees, butterflies and insects. You may well see 'weeds' in the summer, but this is intentional. The trees are regularly monitored by the council and from time to time a tree may have to be cut down if it is dying and becoming unsafe for withstanding storms. Trees are never cut down for convenience. We are hoping to replace some trees that have needed to be cut down in recent years, soon.

St John's church hall is available to hire. It is not a brand new hall with state of the art facilities so we encourage a visit before deciding if you wish to hire the hall. For enquiries on hire fees and availability please call the church office 01255 475704