St James's role in the community
St James's Church plays an important role in the community of Hampton Hill. This is done in two different ways. One is by the clergy and lay people going out into the community, ministering to the parishioners. The clergy are often out and about, visiting the sick or housebound, local hospitals, prisons and so on. The clergy and lay people also take Sunday afternoon services at Teddington Hospital, Marling Court and Laurel Dene.
The other way is by opening the church to individuals and groups and encouraging people to come into our midst for example the Quiz Supper Night this year was well attended by members of the community, not just the congregation (shown right).
Baptism and parish visitors
During 1953 there was a church representative in every street in the parish and all sick and lonely people who desired it were visited regularly. A parish visiting scheme was set up in 2005 with parish visitors group being trained under the Diocese of London Parish Visiting Scheme to assist the priest by undertaking various ministries. The scheme also provides for growth in Christian discipleship. The aim is to provide a link with the church for anybody in the local community who are unable to attend church or are in need of support or company at a particular time. These include the housebound, the elderly, the lonely and those who are unwell.
Families of children and infants prior to their baptism are also visited. It is an expression of pastoral care following the example of Christ who said, "I know my sheep, and they know me". The visitor explains the service to the family, answering any questions they may have, and helping them prepare for the day. If they can, the visitor then attends the baptism and welcomes the family. As a follow-up, a card is sent for two years after the baptism, around the time of the anniversary. Also, each year there is a 'baptismal tea party' when the families of those baptised are invited back to St James's for a social occasion to maintain a link with the church.
The second aspect of the visitors' work, visiting the elderly, those in hospital or housebound and the bereaved, is perhaps not so much reaching out as maintaining links. Not all of those visited regularly are housebound, but for those who are a visit can be the continuing expression of the church's concern and care for that person. They are still part of the church community even if they can physically no longer attend. (People also have the option of receiving Holy Communion at home regularly, if they would like it.) Twice a year a tea party is held for those being visited so that again the continuing link with the church is maintained. Each member of the team has one or two housebound or elderly persons whom they visit as and when they can, fairly regularly. We feel that some of the visitees are quite lonely and would probably be glad of more visitors.
Connections with local schools
For many years St James's church has had connections with local schools, centres of the wider community of the parish. The vicar often visits the local schools and sometimes takes assemblies. Groups from the schools visit to learn about the church to help with their Religious Education work. One little girl's response to the vicar's question as to what goes in the font was "Is it Perrier?" Religious Education students from St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill also have also visited the church.
The ministry of music
The ministry of music is an extremely important part of our parish’s life and witness. In this, as in many regards, the church is a major focus in the local community. The layout of the church, its fine acoustics and the facilities of the adjacent Church Hall all make St James's an excellent venue for musical events. See the Concerts & recitals page for more information about this.
Our uniformed groups are always welcomed into the church and they often attend the All-age Services, carrying their banners in a colourful parade through the church.
The well equipped church hall is very well used.
Mission through the years: our church in the community
Parish Visitors: Liz Wilmot on 020 8977 9434