We have heard that Brian died peacefully in Redhill, Surrey on 4 December 2019. His funeral will be in Redhill, probably in the week beginning 13 January. Further details, when known, will be posted here. We are grateful to Dennis Richards for letting us know. Brian had a long connection with St James's. May he rest in peace and rise in Glory.
27/10/2019, Hugh writes: "I shall be leaving St James’s on 26 January 2020 after more than twenty seven years here as one of its clergy, and thirty years after my ordination (is that possible? It seems like yesterday). I have been something of an irregular cleric, in so far as I have viewed working full-time in the so-called secular world as the principal focus of my life as a priest. (If anyone is interested in a short explanation of this, I’ve posted something at www.passingthrough.uk/leavingchurch).
For a long time I’ve thought that because my vocation arose within the context of my paid work (I have tried to follow the model of the worker-priest), then once I stop that, it will be the time to quit as an active priest licensed to a parish. To my mind there is a logic in this, and more importantly, a faithfulness to my vocation as I have understood it all these years. I expect to retire from paid (secular) work in two to three years' time. The reason for this step now, and ahead of that, is because to finish both full time paid work and my active work as a priest in a parish at the same time would be more of a major change than I want, or need, to experience. Both spheres have been very important ones to me, and, crucially, they have been spheres in dialogue with one another. My time at St James’s has been, for me, a truly wonderful and hugely stimulating time. I am more grateful for this than I can say."
Sunday 15 December: Once again, we will be collecting donations of new toys for our neighbours at the Soho Family Centre, one of the 37 award-winning nurseries across London which make up the London Early Years Foundation.
Please bring donations of toys with you to church on Sunday 15 December, and hand them to one of the Vergers or Churchwardens. They may also be left at Reception in the Rectory building during office hours in the week. Soho Family Centre have asked specifically for donations of puzzles, wooden toys, soft toys and books for children aged six months to five years. Thank you!
If you’ve attended Carols for Shoppers in the past, you will know that this is a very popular event. We’re mindful of the fact that the capacity of the church is 500 and will strictly adhere to that figure again this year! The church will close after the lunchtime Eucharist on Tuesday 17 December and then reopen at 4.30pm for the 5.30pm Carols for Shoppers service. Please come early to avoid disappointment. We anticipate a queue forming from 4.00pm. If you’re unable to stand for any length of time, please let us know. The service will be relayed on speakers in the courtyard for those who are unable to get in once we’ve reached our capacity. Enquiries to Parish Secretary.
Blue Christmas is designed for those who find this time of year difficult. Sunday 8 December 2019 at 3pm.
Saturday 14th December 10.00am-3.30pm
at St Saviour’s Priory, Haggerston E2 8NS | Led by Daniel Norris & Trevor Lines
An opportunity to take time out for reflection, prayer and silence. St Saviour’s Priory is a community of Anglican lay and ordained sisters, living in East London, right next to Haggerston Park. Please bring your own packed lunch to the Quiet Day. The cost of the day will be £10 (this includes tea, coffee and biscuits) Please pay in advance by cash or cheque (payable to St James’s Church PCC). Booking forms are available on the table in the Prayer corner
We're recruiting an Associate Rector. Full details here.
We're delighted to welcome Sarah Howard-Jones, an Ordinand in her first year training at Ripon College Cuddesdon. The College has recently developed a different way of training priests. Ordinands spend two years embedded in a parish, alongside being at college. Sarah will be with us at St James's for two days a week (Sundays and Thursdays) for two years. Sarah writes:..."I am delighted to be joining the congregation and wider community of St James's. As a lifelong Londoner, I feel a connection with St James's through playing in chamber music concerts here, being inspired by the visible and generous missional activity of the church, and knowing the church itself as a place in W1 to step into to sit and pray. I look forward to many conversations with you all over time and hearing about things that are part of God's witness here, both seen and less seen. For the past 18 years I've worked 20 minutes walk down the road, as a civil servant in central government in quite a number of social policy areas. I've lived and worshipped across London over time, at Southwark Cathedral and at All Saints Fulham. I now live in zone 4 of west London, with my two children and overseen by our cat."
Upcoming rehearsals for the Ukulele Orchestra … all welcome
Sunday 20 October 1.00pm-2.00pm
Sunday 27 October 1.00pm-2.00pm
Sunday 3 November 1.00pm-3.00pm
Sunday 1 December 1.00pm-2.00pm
A message from Michael Percival, a member of our congregation
"A member of the congregation who travels to London once a month from Yorkshire has lost his source of accommodation for Saturday and Sunday evenings. Part of his trip each month is to enjoy the Eucharist at St James’s on the Sunday morning, but he needs to find accommodation whilst he is in town.
If you can help with accommodation regularly or even occasionally, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you, thank you. Michael"
In 1788, St James's purchased land close to the present-day Euston Station as an additional burial ground. It was in use from 1790 to 1853. It is now to be built over as part of the HS2 extension to Euston Station. Read more here
21 July 2019
Some news from Lindsay
UPDATE: Lindsay's last St James's Sunday will be 15 September. Please join us, after the 11am service, for a party to thank her for her enormous contribution to the life of St James’s.
"After very nearly 14 years serving on the clergy team here at St James’s, the time has finally come for me to move on. Many will know that during my time in London, theatre chaplaincy has become a real passion of mine. Beginning in October, as a 3-year pilot project with London Diocese, I will be pursuing theatre chaplaincy full-time. My final Sunday at St James’s will be mid-September – date to be confirmed. For most of the last 14 years, I’ve found it very hard to imagine leaving St James’s, or what on earth you go on to do after being on the clergy team here, so amidst the inevitable sadness of leaving, I feel extremely blessed and a real surge of joy at being called to - and given - such an exciting new opportunity.
I’m also excited and delighted that St James's can look forward – in time – to welcoming a new, enthusiastic and energetic Associate Rector to do great things. The successful candidate will be one of the luckiest priests in the Church of England!"
Our many church community events often involve preparing and serving food and in a bid to make this run even more smoothly, we are developing a pool of volunteers. Would this interest you?
Your level of commitment is entirely up to you - from twice a year to once a month, from chopping carrots to overseeing the catering for an event … it's entirely up to you - we welcome anyone who would like to serve our community in this way.
Training opportunities will be provided for those who want to get more involved.
Please contact email@example.com to express an interest
The Southwood Garden at St James’s has, once again, been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the best in the world. This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Congratulations to our gardener, Catherine Tidnam, and to all involved with the upkeep of our beautiful and sustainable garden. The Green Flag Awards Scheme is run by the Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under licence from the Department of Communities and Local Government
How can we help? We have a group of pastoral visitors who are happy to visit people in hospital or at home, or to telephone those who may be some distance away or appreciate a chat from time to time.
If you, or someone you know in the congregation, would appreciate a visit or phone call, then please
contact Joan Ishibashi by email or speak to her at church.
We are currently recruiting volunteers to join our Sunday morning hospitality team. If you’d like to join the ‘Intentional Coffee’ rota, please speak to Fiona Notman after the morning service.
Ilse Boas was an active member of St James's for many years before moving into residential care in North London. She was serious minded in many ways, and often raised serious questions. She was fun, too, and gentle. Her mother had suffered from dementia; Ilse had cared for her and went on to establish the Barnet Alzheimers Society. As a child, she had arrived in Britain from Germany on the Kindertransport. Later she worked as an administrator at the LSE.
Below are some pictures I had taken of her over the years, including one where she appeared unexpectedly from behind the St James' font when I was trying to photograph it. It rather captures, delightfully in my view, Ilse's curious, serious yet always detached engagement with Christianity. She had reason to view all ideologies with a degree of scepticism. Hugh Valentine
Our WALKING BOOTS GROUP walked THE DEVIL’S PUNCHBOWL recently: A steep climb up to Hindhead along the Greensand Way was followed by a gentle circuit of the Punchbowl’s rim, over Gibbet Hill to the Temple of the Four Winds. Then down, steeply at first, to lunch with David Cox in the company of horses. After that we ambled across fields and through woods to Witley station.
(Wood-ash, Thames water, honey, cotton) Sara Mark, 2019
Sara writes: “I made the first version of Mundus (Latin: World) in 2006 after attending a climate change conference at the RSA in London. After three days of talks by eminent scientists and activists I was so shocked that it triggered a period of bewilderment and grief; so began a series of installations using melting ice, linen bandaging and wood-ash. The altar cloth is the ‘shroud’ installed at St James’s last Easter, part of which was frozen into a block of ice which melted during the course of Holy Week before being hung on the cross on Easter Sunday.” Click 'Read More' for further details.
General Synod asked the House of Bishops to consider a liturgical means for trans people to mark their transition. In response, the Bishops issued guidance suggesting the use of an existing affirmation of baptismal faith. However, a group has been formed to oppose this from an evangelical and biblical position, calling on the bishops to withdraw their suggestion. In an open letter, the group have said that they do not believe that the Bishops’ Guidance is the right way forward since it raises some significant issues for the church’s belief and practice. The letter and signatories can be reviewed at www.responsetohob.co.uk. This letter will, undoubtedly, be hurtful to trans Anglicans who were encouraged by the Bishops’ Guidance. Indeed, the Revd Dr Tina Beardsley has responded with A Trans Priest’s Response to the “Harmful” Open Letter which can be reviewed by going to the following link:
Affordable room hire at St James's Church. Ideal for training sessions, rehearsals, meetings, seminars, presentations, workshops and press launches. Please re-tweet!
This slideshow was shown at the annual church meeting on 28 April 2019
See here for a report on the annual church meeting