Entry to the Order is by invitation only – and subject to the sanction of HM The Queen – in recognition of achievements towards our mission and values, but also in expectation of future involvement and contribution.

There are approximately 20,000 members of the Order worldwide, all of whom have become members by being honoured by the Sovereign Head for service rendered in furthering the work of the Order. Although our Order is founded on Christian principles, membership is not exclusively Christian, and our members come from all faiths and none.

Members are admitted and promoted in five Grades, from Member, Officer, Commander, Knights and Dames, to Bailiff and Dame Grand Cross. Some of our most notable members include Nelson Mandela, Queen Noor of Jordan, Desmond Tutu, Margaret Thatcher, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Barbara Cartland, Edwina Mountbatten and Christopher Lee. Members of the British Royal family who are members of our Order include the Duke of Gloucester, our Grand Prior, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Princess Royal and the Countess of Wessex. 

St John’s focus on health care, especially amongst the poorest of the poor, and its capacity to tap the most generous and caring human impulses, gives it a special place in our hearts.
Nelson Mandela, Knight of the Order of St John