Our Chancellor, Mick Messinger, is one of a number of Deputy Lieutenants appointed  by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, all Deputy Lieutenants (DL) appointments being of distinguished residents of Greater London who have served their local community or have a history of service in other fields.


Due to the size and constitutional structure of London, the Lord-Lieutenant selects one of his DLs to represent him in each of the 32 London Boroughs. It is a great tribute both to our Chancellor and to his role in the Order of St John based in Clerkenwell in the Borough of Islington, that the Lord- Lieutenant, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE CStJ, has selected Mr Mick Messinger LVO KStJ QPM DL to succeed Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes DL as the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Islington on 7 November. I congratulate him on that honour and we look forward to that further strengthening of the relationship between the Order and the Lieutenancy.


Lionel Jarvis CBE KStJ DL, Prior

As the final act of this year’s Remembrance events, Michael Messinger, Chancellor of the Priory of England and the Islands, laid a wreath on behalf of all St John people in the Memorial Garden of the Priory Church in Clerkenwell.


With the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the events have been necessarily smaller in scale this year.


Last week, the Duchess of Cornwall opened the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey where a St John ‘plot’ was planted in memory of all St John People who gave their lives in the cause of freedom. Our Prior, Lionel Jarvis, was also present in his capacity as President of the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory which oversees the Field of Remembrance.


On Saturday evening, volunteers Dr Sarah Davies and Zain Osmani represented St John at the pre-recorded Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall. On Remembrance Sunday, Peter Hollely took part in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph alongside colleagues from the other civilian services.


Speaking about this unique Remembrance season the Priory Dean, The Very Reverend John Hall, said:


“A hundred years ago, on 11 November 1920, the final version of the Cenotaph in Whitehall was unveiled by King George V and the Unknown Warrior was brought from a battlefield cemetery in Northern France and was honoured at the Cenotaph before burial at the west end of the Nave of Westminster Abbey. He was buried under French soil surmounted by black Belgian marble. A hundred holders of the Victoria Cross were present at his burial, as were a hundred mothers who had lost their husbands and sons in the conflict of the Great War.


“The Grave of the Unknown Warrior continues to be a powerful and vivid symbol. Early in my time as Dean of Westminster, we welcomed groups of soldiers at the Grave during their early training; they came to understand something of real importance in that encounter, setting their future commitment in a deeper context. And once or twice a year, Heads of State visiting The Queen would come to pay their respects at the Grave, laying a wreath and praying with me for world peace. This was a vital part of their State Visit. And the Field of Remembrance in St Margaret’s Churchyard to the north of the Abbey is another potent symbol of Remembrance, as thousands of crosses are marked, many of them named, in sections for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, remembering not only the World Wars but the many other conflicts in which our compatriots have been engaged.”

Priory News: Autumn 2020

With COVID-19 still dominating the headlines, we look at St John’s continuing response in articles covering our work on the frontline, as well as our support for NHS Blood and Transplant. The charity continues to provide exemplary service nationally and this is reflected in the incredible total of more than 200,000 hours that have been delivered
since the start of the pandemic.

The Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John has selected Paul Herbage MBE CStJ for the role of Priory Hospitaller. He succeeds Surgeon Captain James Walsh KStJ RD* RNR in this role, which is a volunteer position with an initial term of three years.


The Priory Hospitaller, who is a Priory Principal Officer and an ex-officio member of the Priory Chapter, is the principal liaison point between the Priory and the St John Eye Hospital Group (SJEHG) in Jerusalem and with its Head Office in London. In his role, Paul will be tasked with promoting the profile and visibility in England and the Islands of the SJEHG’s vital humanitarian work, organising fundraising and working with the County Priory Groups in England to promote local support of SJEHG.


Paul is a lifelong St John volunteer who joined as a St John Junior in East London in September 1961. As a Cadet, his first duty was on a first aid post in Whitehall for Sir Winston Churchill’s State Funeral in January 1965.


After university, Paul spent almost 30 years in NHS administration and management ending up as a Director in a large West London NHS Trust. A second career saw him as Clerk (CEO) to one of the newer City of London Livery companies before final retirement in 2017.


Within St John, Paul has held a number of Divisional, Area and District roles in Hertfordshire and London, culminating as Deputy Commissioner until December 2012. During that final year he acted on the St John Gold rota throughout the Olympics and Paralympics and was Gold Commander for the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. Paul was honoured to be appointed an MBE for his services to St John in 2013. Since 2013 he has been an Area President and a member of the Greater London County Priory Group, being appointed its Chair in 2016.


Married to Rosemary, also a lifelong St John volunteer, and currently Youth Lead for London West District, his other interests include the City of London where he has been actively involved for over 30 years, travel, food and wine, and his grandchildren.


Commenting upon his new role, Paul said: “It is a challenging time to take on the role of promoting the work of the St Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group which was founded in 1882 as the second of the two Foundations of the Order of St John. Just as the Priory and St John Ambulance face huge financial pressures in the post-COVID world, the Eye Hospital has had to cope with the impact on its ability to deliver essential eye care to a highly disadvantaged population in the West Bank and, like all charities, a funding shortfall. I shall really look forward, when international circumstances permit, to being able to see again first-hand the important work of the Hospital and its clinics. I’m sure that much will have changed since my last visit in 1980 as part of a St John Ambulance Year of Nursing project.”

The Priory of England and the Islands sends its heartfelt congratulations to Baroness Audrey Emerton, who has become the first recipient of a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Nursing. This is a very well deserved award for the Baroness.


Baroness Emerton is a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St John and a member of Chapter. She was the first Chief Commander and Chancellor in the Priory on its foundation in 1999 and has given 74 years of volunteering service to St John.


You can read about the Baroness’s award here.


Pro Fide - For the Faith

Each year The Order of St John commemorates the Feast of St John the Baptist with a Service of Commemoration and Re-dedication in St Paul’s Cathedral. This year, the St John Family are invited to a very different service when we can come together virtually to acknowledge our patron Saint.


If you wish to follow the Service, please download a copy of the SJD2020 Order of Service.




Priory News: Summer 2020

St John’s Day is, as ever, a highlight in the St John calendar and we take a look at the rather different celebrations that will be happening next week. Our Prior and Dean both share their thoughts at this focal point of the year. There have also been a number of new appointments in several roles. We welcome a new Dean, our next Chief President and new CPG Chairs in five counties and pass on our thanks to those who are stepping down on 24 June after their dedicated work for St John.


Front page of Priory News Spring 2020

Priory News: Spring 2020

Since the last issue, life for St John has undergone an unprecedented transformation as we collectively face the challenges posed by the coronavirus. With teams now working from home and St John Ambulance fully focused on providing support in various ways to the NHS, the news reported in this issue will possibly be the last of its kind for a while as events, vehicle handovers, Organ Donation ceremonies and other face-to-face activities
are currently suspended.


Priory News: Christmas 2019

Welcome to the Christmas 2019 issue of Priory News. In it you will find the usual broad selection of news and articles from around the country but this is a particularly poignant issue as we say farewell to former editor, colleague and friend, Tony Shepherd, who died suddenly in August after a short illness.
Tony’s impact on Priory News was undeniable and his presence will be sorely missed by all contributors and those involved in its production. In his memory, we have asked the wider world of St John to send in their tributes and recollections of this wonderful man, and you will read just how esteemed and respected he was by many colleagues and friends around the country on pages four to seven.

Priory News: Spring 2019

The dark mornings and early evenings of January and February have now passed for another year and gardens are already full of lovely spring flowers reminding us that summer is on its way. As always this edition is packed full of interesting articles from around the country including a feature about our new Cadet of the year Mary Oshinyemi. We send our congratulations to Mary on achieving this very prestigious award.