Our church in the community through the years

Our church in the community through the years

The early history of both St James's Church and its community, the village of Hampton Hill, are inextricably linked. The first vicar, Revd Fitz Wygram, saw his rôle as improving both the spiritual and social conditions of the new parish, and this included developing a wide range of organisations to benefit the community. Some of these were explicitly religious, some were secular in their activities and others bridged the gap between them. However, all were based on his sense of Christian responsibility towards fellow human beings at a time and in a place where there were no other authorities able to take on the task. In this work he was helped by his leading laymen. "They looked after peoples' human rights and dignities, keeping them safe from injustice and encouraging healthy use of leisure." 

Have a look at Our church in the community through the years which shows what happened from when records began up until November 2016.

During 2017 visitors were trained and organised to offer pastoral care. The aim was to provide a link with the church for those parishioners who are unable to attend or are in need of support at a particular time. Visiting the elderly and the families of those being baptised were particular foci. Visitors undertook safeguarding training through the year.

St James’s, being part of the ecumenical team providing services at Laurel Dene Residential Home, offered to take extra services at festival times. So a new venture was a carol service with members of the congregation and the Hampton Hill Junior School choir supporting the carol singing. An Easter service was also held there. As part of Churches Together, Hot Cross buns were assembled in the hall for Holy Week. Our closest neighbour is the United Reformed Church and their lay leader was invited to preach in the autumn. We also shared the Remembrance Sunday service with them.

Derek took assemblies at the local schools, Carlisle Infants, Hampton HIll Juniors, LEH Juniors. There have been visits to the church from Hampton Hill Juniors, LEH Juniors, Jack and Jill, and the Scouts and the schools have also held their Christmas carol services in the church. He has also been to the Brownies, the Beavers, assisted the Cubs, and shown two groups of Scouts round the church. 

The Film Club / Pop Up Cinema had shows on throughout the year. Particularly successful was the afternoon performance of Moana, especially for children.

A Lent Pilgrim Course was run on the subject of prayer, with a light meal, in the church, with books being available for Lent reading. Four ‘Learning’ evenings were held in the summer. House groups were revived in September 2017, meeting in members’ homes and were called 'Life Groups'. During the term the members read and discussed Paul's Letter to the Philippians. Derek led the meetings and "the group felt that it had been an enjoyable and inspiring time, giving us the opportunity to give thanks for our blessings, share concerns, and pray for ours and other people’s needs."