The nave

The nave is the central open space of the church, the main aisle, with rows of pews either side. This is the part of the church where most of the congregation sit during services. The word nave comes from the Latin word navis which means ship, the root of the English word navigation.

The nave Most older churches have pitched roofs with supports in the shape of an upside down 'V'. This is particularly obvious at St James's where the roof timbers are like an upturned ship's hull, reminding us that St James was a fisherman. 

High above the nave at the entrance to the chancel is a tiny window depicting the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove (c1909). The Great West Window in the nave depicts the 'Transfiguration of Christ' (c1882). Find out more on the page The nave stained glass windows.

The pulpit stands at the east end of the nave. The lectern also stands here but on the north side. At the west end of the nave a memorial hangs on the wall on the north side of the west entrance. The shelves housing the hymn books and service books hang on the wall on the south side of the west entrance. Hymn boards hang in the nave, one on a pillar and two on the walls facing the congregation. A new audio-visual system was installed in the west end of the nave in 2016. Find out about all these on the page Wood in the nave.

A series of lights with red purpose-built perspex shades were installed in 1992. The then controversial red chandeliers were a product of close co-operation between the architect, metalworker, electrician and glazier. The red glass, in the original plans, was deemed too expensive and was replaced with perspex. Read the article The north aisle and those lights

The nave is divided from the side aisles by ten columns which support the church roof. Each column is topped by a carved stone capital representing flowers, leaves and fruits. They are all different and three are shown below.

A stone capital
A stone capital
A stone capital