The History of our Church in the Community

Our church in the community through the years


Pages in this section: History | Buildings History | Children History | Churchyard History | Churchyard Records | Clergy History | Community History |  Magazine History | Mission History | Music History | PCC History |  Services History | Social Life History
 

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 2017.

The History of Churches Together around Hampton

Churches Together enjoyed a 'Songs of Praise' service in 2018 with favourite hymns chosen by a representative from each of the churches. It was a very special time of shared worship to celebrate the 'Week of Prayer for Christian Unity'.
Our closest neighbour is the United Reformed Church and their lay leader was invited to preach in the autumn of 2018. We also shared the Remembrance Sunday services with them.
In September 2019 an open meeting at St James’s, entitled 'Our Churches and Our Community', conveyed a lot of information about community chaplaincy, refugees and SPEAR.
The AGM at the United Reformed Church in January 2020 was followed by a 'Songs of Praise' service which was a lovely way to mark the end of the 'Week of Prayer for Christian Unity'. A 'Faith Questions' evening at St Theodore’s a week earlier was well attended and appreciated.
The 'World Day of Prayer' service was written by women from Zimbabwe in 2020 and used all over the world on the same day. 
 Due to Covid 19 restrictions the church leaders only met together on Zoom, and there were no wider gatherings. The local team put together the World Day of Prayer service in March, on Zoom.

These bullet points only show some information from this period. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports show the latest reports from most teams and groups.

The History of Concerts & Recitals

ConcertConcerts and recitals have been held in the church probably since Revd Fitz Wygram was vicar, performed by young and old alike. Concerts and recitals have been, and still are, performed in the church by many different local community groups. Also, over the years, St James's own musicians have put on recitals for various charities and for their own pleasure. Have a look at Concerts & Recitals through the years which shows what happened from when records began up until 2017. 

• With the installation of toilets in the actual church, as well as in the hall, and clever marketing, more concerts were held in the church from 2019.
• The updated sound system and the addition of special lighting effects also made a big difference.

These bullet points only show some information from this period. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports show the latest reports from most teams and groups.

The History of Connections and Messy Church

 Connections, a community-based project, primarily for older people, was launched in February 2018 for friendship and support and proved to be very popular with members of the community.
 Messy Church, which started in February 2020, is church - but not as you know it. It provides an opportunity for effective mission in the community. Unfortunately after two extremely successful sessions it had to go on hold because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

These bullet points only show some information from this period. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports show the latest reports from most teams and groups.

The History of Hampton Deanery 

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. Christmas services and also Easter services were held and are still held every year.
 Meetings in 2019 considered the 'Diocesan Vision 2030' and the plans for the proposed Area Deanery Missions, among many other topics. 

 Due to the pandemic the new Deanery Synod met only twice in 2020, on both occasions via Zoom. The main items on the agendas were ‘Diocesan Vision 2030’ and Common Fund pledges for 2021.
 Rev Chris Kennedy outlined the progress of the Activate initiative, a Deanery Mission project focusing on sports and activities. 

These bullet points only show some information from this period. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports show the latest reports from most teams and groups.

The History of Keeping in Touch with the Community 

  See the page The History of Keeping in Touch.

The History of the Local Schools and Uniformed Groups 

 See the page The History of the Link with Schools.
 See the page The History of the Link with the Uniformed Groups

The History of the Parish Visitors 

The Parish Visitors Team was formed in 2003 and revived during 2017 with visitors being trained and organised to offer pastoral care in the church community.
In 2019 the visitors met more frequently to monitor the church’s pastoral care. They worked with the Safety Officer to draft a Risk Assessment for Visitors (for the safety of both visitor and visited). They also established a simple way in which the visitors could make a brief record of their visits - for their own coordination. 
From March 2020, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Parish Visitors Team was crucial in keeping the church family together through all the lockdowns. The team met regularly on Zoom and agreed to facilitate any practical help that was needed if for example someone was sick or shielding. A number of people were helped in this way, but through good neighbourliness and the action of the statutory authorities it did not become a major concern here. The members divided the congregation between them and ensured that everyone was contacted one way or another between the more frequent meetings the team undertook. So by and large the team had a general sense of how people were managing (with the various configurations of lockdowns, and online church) and any causes for concern. with each visitor keeping in touch with those on their list. This way nobody was left on their own and help could be provided as and when necessary.

These bullet points only show some information from this period. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports show the latest reports from most teams and groups.

The History of St James's Social Life 

 See the page The History of St James's Social Life .

 

Community Community Community

Taking a service at Laurel Dene

A community Carol Service

Taking part in Hampton Hill Fair