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St James’s Creative Programme

Musicians, thinkers, poets and artists have been at the core of life and St James’s Church for centuries.

Today this cherished and sacred public space is open throughout the year and plays host to a wide-ranging cultural programme of both free and ticketed events and exhibitions, to stimulate the imagination and nourish the soul. Regular events include lunchtime recitals, an outdoor monthly soul music festival, evening concerts, talks by some of today’s leading writers and thinkers, as well as art installations and exhibitions.

What’s On

We offer daily services and a creative programme of talks, events and concerts. We seek to be a welcoming space for people to reflect, create and debate.

Cugoano250

New artwork by Che Lovelace commemorates Cugoano, a prominent abolitionist but largely forgotten figure in Black British history. Lovelace was selected by a process led by curator Ekow Eshun.

Portrait of artist Che Lovelace by Brendan Delzin

Royal Academy of Arts Varnishing Day

Every year St James’s takes a central role in the launch of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. As part of its ‘Varnishing Day’ celebrations artists and members of the Academy process from the RA to the church for a special service.

Music Scholarship Programme

St James’s has a long tradition of music, both religious and secular, and the support of benefactors has made our scholarship programme possible.

Piccadilly Piano Festival

The 2023 Piccadilly Piano Festival showcases a range of established and emerging artists, including Jools Holland, John Grant, Tokio Myers, Derek Paravicini, Melvyn Tan and Victoria Canal.

Jesse Darling: Miserere

In 2022 St James’s commissioned an artwork in the sanctuary of the church by Jesse Darling (Turner Prize award winner). An accompanying programme of events and music involving Freya Lily, Trans Voices, Cherif Hashizume, Sarah Boulton, and okcandice.

Embark Festival

A music festival in 2022 celebrated journeys, stories, migrations and community. Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh OBE headlined Embark festival along with sarod pioneer Soumik Datta & Indian singer Deepa Nair Rasiya.

PREACH!

As part of its mission to celebrate artistry and ingenuity in every walk of life, for the first time in its 340 year history, St James’s in 2023 welcomed drag icons from around the world to perform beneath its ornate gold ceiling, showcasing some of the biggest names in the art of drag, as well as fresh talent.

Soul at Saint James

Held in the courtyard our monthly festival features the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir. Spoken word artists have included Sophia Thakur, Dizraeli and Solomon O.B, and iconic music ranging from Whitney Houston to Kirk Franklin.