1st November: Lunchtime show – High Stakes

facebook eventFor the final “Tuesdays Till Two” in our autumn season we welcome back St John’s former Poet-in-Residence Pete Cox, in a performance of his latest one man show : ‘High Stakes: A “spooken” word show‘

A former Poet Laureate of Peterborough (2003); Poet-in-Residence of the Broadway Cemetery (2005 – 2008) and Poet-in-Residence at St. John’s (2012 – 2013), “Cardinal” Cox is currently Poet-In-Residence with The Dracula Society.

This current residency is the starting point for his “spooken” word show “High Stakes”; in it Peter looks at what might scare us all. Armed with only a bulb of garlic, a notebook and a leaky biro he explores the perils of back-street literary societies which celebrate unfashionable genres and near-forgotten authors, our own human frailty, and the dread prospect of failing to repay the mortgage! So come along, and join him on his journey into the darkest recesses of human existence…

The performance will start at 1pm, but the church café will be open from noon, staffed as ever by volunteers from The Green Backyard, so you can fortify yourself for the ordeal ahead with delicious home made cakes, scones, and quiche, or a cup of tea, or, if you’re so inclined, with some prayer and fasting!

Admission is free, but a donation of £3 to help cover our costs and fund our future programme will be much appreciated if you can afford it.

High Stakes has been developed with producer Mark Grist, director Ross Sutherland and assistance from Arts Council England, arts organisation Metal and the John Clare Cottage.
– See more on Pete’s blog about the show:


11th October: Lunchtime talk – Why cities need trees

Forest for Peterborough Planting Day
Forest for Peterborough Planting Day

facebook eventAt 1pm on 11thOctober Tuesdays Till Two returns for the first in a short season of talks and concerts. David Bole from the Forestry Commission will speak, and Simon Belham, project officer at PECT’s “Forest for Peterborough” project, will be on hand to answer questions about the project which aims to plant a tree for every person in the city.

The talk starts at 1pm, but the café will be open from noon. This week the café will be run by staff and volunteer from Peterborough Environment City Trust, with all profits going to PECT.

Admission is free, but a donation to help cover costs will be appreciated. The suggested donation is £3.

Autumn Tuesdays Till Two

Tuesdays Till Two will return on 11th October with the first in a short season of talks and concerts.
All talks and concerts start at 1pm. The café will be open from noon, and will have a variety of home made cakes, scones, quiche etc on sale. All profits from the café will go to The Green Backyard, except on 11th October, when the café will be run by and in support of PECT (Peterborough Environment City Trust)
You can download the flyer on the left, which is also available in PDF format.

11th October: Talk – David Bole (Forestry Commission)

“Why cities need trees”

18th October: Concert – Jonathan Hanley (tenor) & George Haynes (piano)

“In sweet music is such art: Songs to Shakespeare”

25th October: Concert – Kate Risdon & Patrick Williams (flutes) and Fergus Black (piano)

“Two flutes and piano in lively conversation”

1st November: One man show! – Pete “Cardinal” Cox

“High Stakes – A ‘spooken’ word show”

2nd July – All day: Peterborough Heritage Festival at St John’s

Peterborough Heritage Festival has long been one of the city’s most spectacular events. But there’s more to celebrating our heritage than reenacting battles and dressing up in old-fashioned clothes. This year, in conjunction with Peterborough U3A, St John’s will be hosting speakers and exhibitions from some of Peterborough’s longest established clubs and societies. Our Saturday café will also extend its regular opening hours and will be open throughout the day, so please drop in any time for a tea or coffee and a slice of cake, and check out what else is happening!


10am – Talk : “The Diary of a Victorian Surgeon” with Liz Davies from the Museum Society
11am – Concert: U3A Harmony Singing Group
12pm – Poetry: Poetry about Peterborough with Poets United and the U3A Poetry Group
1pm – Concert: U3A Concert Band
2pm – Talk: “The Blue Badge Trail” with Toby Wood from Peterborough Civic Society
3pm -Tai Chi Display: U3A
3.45pm – Talk: “Peterborough – A walk through its yards!” with June & Vernon Bull from St John’s

All day exhibitions:

Peterborough Photographic Society
U3A Water Colour Group
Peterborough Cycling Club
Photographs of Peterborough during the First World War from June & Vernon Bull’s collection
Andrew Cole – Commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme

Further attractions:

Mask Theatre will be performing extracts of “Much Ado about Nothing” – this year’s Shakespeare in the Park production in St John’s Square

Meet a nun! Sisters from The Community of St Francis will be parking their mobile monastery outside St John’s and will be in St John’s all weekend. Take a break from the excitement of the Heritage Festival and enjoy a few minutes of quiet reflection in our Lady Chapel.

26th April: Lunchtime concert – Ellen Porter and Alec Hone (cello and piano)

fb_event_buttonIn the third lunchtime concert of our Spring season, we are delighted to present another talented young musician – cellist Ellen Porter. From Prokofiev to Schumann, Ellen will cover 100 years of the cello repertoire. Having gained a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music, Ellen is sure to take us through this 100-year journey with sensitivity, emotion and deep musical understanding. She will be performing movements from major Sonatas and Concertos and will be accompanied by Alec Hone. This concert will definitely be one not to miss!

As usual the café will be open from noon, serving a range of hot drinks and homemade cakes,scones etc. All profits from the café will go to The Green Backyard.

The concert will begin promptly at 1pm. Admission is free, but those who are able to afford it are asked to make a donation. The suggested amount is £4.


Prokofiev – Cello Sonata in C, Op. 119: movement I
Fauré – Elegie, Op. 24
Fauré – Romance, Op. 69 in A
Herbert – Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30: movement II
Glazunov – Chant du Menestrel, Op. 71
Glazunov – Serenade Espagnole, Op. 20, No. 2
Schumann – Adagio and Allegro in A flat, Op. 70

About the Musicians

Ellen Porter is a 17-year old British cellist and studies with David Smith, privately, at the Royal Academy of Music. Ellen currently attends Prince William School in Oundle, where she is studying for A Levels in Music and History. Ellen was a member of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain from 2010 – 2012, winning the Dame Ruth Railton Prize in 2012. Ellen worked with the Britten Sinfonia Academy for 2 years, between 2013 and 2015. In 2015 she performed a full lunchtime recital as part of the 2015 Oundle International Festival and has previously won prizes and performed as part of the Oundle Festival, Musicale Eisteddford and Hatfield House International Chamber Music Festival. She is currently principal cellist in the Musicale Young Artists Chamber and Symphony Orchestras, based in Hertfordshire. Ellen has also recently studied with Hannah Roberts as part of her International Masterclass course, as well as with Guy Johnston and privately with Eduardo Vassallo, principal cellist in the CBSO. As a member of the CBSO Youth Orchestra she has repeatedly been awarded the James Langley Memorial Prize on an annual basis. She is now Principal cellist with the orchestra and has worked with conductors such as Edward Gardner and Jac Van Steen. In November 2015, Ellen auditioned for Conservatoires across the UK and was delighted to accept a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Eduardo Vassallo, starting in September 2016. She is supported in her further musical study by a number of charitable trusts and currently plays on a modern Italian style cello dated 2012.

Alec HoneAlec Hone read Music at Birmingham University where he studied piano with Beryl Chempin and organ with David Saint before going to the Royal College of Music to train as a repetiteur in their Opera School. He then worked a freelance teacher and pianist before becoming Assistant Director of Music at the Blue Coat School in Birmingham. In 1993 he was appointed Director of Music at St Peter’s School, Lympstone and in 1998 moved to Stamford to join the staff at the Stamford Endowed Schools. In 2001 Alec was appointed Head of Keyboard Studies at Oundle School. Alec was until recently an ABRSM Examiner and is a Trustee of the Oundle Music Trust.

Spring 2016 Church of Ideas

Tuesdays Till Two returns on 16th February with the first of five new “Church of Ideas” talks. As usual, admission to our lunchtime events is free, but we would appreciate a donation of £3 (or more!) to help us cover our costs. Our café will be open before the talks from noon, serving hot and cold drinks and a variety of home made cakes, scones, and other treats, and once again all profits will go to The Green Backyard. This time, rather than holding talks at the front of the church, we are going to experiment with using the café area for the talk, as this has worked very well for Piccolo (our monthly music event for young children) and should be more comfortable for audience members.

Church of Ideas Spring 2016Information about our first five Tuesday Till Two events can be found below, but we hope to be continuing our lunchtime events later in the Spring with a mix of talks and recitals. Further details of our events will be published here and on our facebook page, or you can subscribe to our mailing list in order to receive our occasional newsletters about talks, concerts and other events in St John’s. The flyer on the right is also available in PDF format.

16th February – Jessie Brennan

“What is the value of The Green Backyard? Art, activism and the environment in Peterborough”

23rd February – Cécile Faraud

“Circular Peterborough”

1stMarch – Beverley Jones

“Just passing through”

8thMarch – Alison Hawtin

“Art Therapy – Why it’s not about adult colouring books!”

15thMarch – Peter Slinger

“Back to the future – The history of housing crises”

“What is the value of The Green Backyard?” with Jessie Brennan

“What is the value of The Green Backyard? Art, activism and the environment in Peterborough” is the first of a new season of Tuesdays Till Two “Church of Ideas” lunchtime talks, to be presented at 1pm on 16th February by London-based artist Jessie Brennan, who is an artist in residence with Metal Peterborough at The Green Backyard.fb_event_button

Picture of Cyanotypes from "Inside a Green Backyard"
Cyanotypes from “Inside a Green Backyard”

Situated (in a shed-turned-darkroom) at the Green Backyard – Peterborough’s ‘community growing project’ – she is exploring ways in which an art project in collaboration with the grassroots charitable organisation can contribute to debates around regeneration and community land rights.

The Green Backyard’s future at its current site is uncertain: the land was proposed for redevelopment by Peterborough City Council. Jessie’s project attempts to challenge the narrative of the need for redevelopment of the site by offering alternative evidence – in the form of a visual (cyanotypes) and audio (local voices) archive – for the social use and value of the land. In her talk, Jessie will reveal her research to date – and why we all should be activists.

As usual the church café will be open from noon, and will be selling a range of hot drinks, and home made cakes, scones, and other baked goodies with all profits from the café going to The Green Backyard. The talk will begin at 1pm and will be followed by an opportunity for discussion and questions. Admission to the talk is free, but a donation to help cover costs will be appreciated. The suggested donation is £3.

Jessie Brennan is a London-based British artist whose practice explores the representation of places through drawing and dialogue, informed by their changing contexts and a direct engagement with the people who occupy them. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2007 and has since exhibited nationally and internationally, including: REGENERATION! HS Projects, London, (solo and publication, 2015); Progress, The Foundling Museum, London (2014); Talents Contemporains, François Schneider Foundation, France (2014); Coup de Ville, WARP, Belgium (2013); Cities & Eyes, Marian Cramer Projects, Netherlands (solo, 2012); and The Cut, Space, London (2011). Jessie is a freelance educator, visiting university lecturer and current Metal Peterborough/GBY residency artist where she is developing her Arts Council England supported project Inside a Green Backyard. She is also a Visiting Research Fellowship at The Bartlett, UCL, (2016). Further details about her work can be found on her website.