The station is located in St John's. The district is named after the dedication of the parish church of St John, Deptford that was established in 1855. The church lies at the top of the hill, almost adjacent to the railway station which borrowed its name. The area encompasses streets between Brookmill Road and Lewisham Way, bound by Friendly Street in the west and railway embankments in the south-east. Parts of northern Brockley may be included in the designation, which includes Brockley's Farmers' Market. Deptford New Town was conceived by the Lucas family as an affordable and spacious alternative for the working classes of mid to late 19th century Deptford. Originally from Cumbria, the family made their wealth in South Carolina, where they built and managed water-powered rice mills. There are a few older buildings - the most notable being the late 18th-century Italianate mansion known as the Stone House. St John's Church was built in 1855, designed by PC Hardwicke. St John's station opened in 1871, at a time when housing construction was still in full swing.
Upon opening, the station was one of the most lightly used on the DLR network, but traffic has increased significantly following the construction of several new apartment complexes in the area. The station is located between Deptford Bridge and Lewisham stations, and is on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 2 and Zone 3. The station site straddles the boundary between the boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich, and passengers must briefly cross into Greenwich when walking over the footbridge to reach the opposite platform. Selective Door Operation is in use at this station on Mondays-Fridays when 3-car trains call here.
Connections: London Buses routes 47 and 225 stop a short walk down Elverson Road.