St James's involvement with mission through the years

The community


"Mission work was always strenuously exercised in the neighbourhood by St James’s...."  Beyond the needs of the parish itself, St James’s contributed generously to the work of the church through the Home and Foreign Missions and other charities. Advent Sunday became its Mission Sunday, when this work was celebrated and collections taken to support it. 

Mission witness & outreach through the years

MissionSt James's has undertaken various types of witness, mission and outreach through the years. Have a look at Witness, mission & outreach through the years which shows what happened from when records began up until 2017.

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' (shown right). 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."

Church members are encouraged to think about how their Christian faith can be taken into their working / family life. Approximately monthly someone spoke about ‘This Time Tomorrow’ at the 09.30 service; this replaces the long-running ’Faith at Work’ group. 

Charities & links through the years

The giving of charity was one of the most important social functions of the church before the advent of the Welfare State. Have a look at Witness, mission & outreach through the years which shows what happened from when records began up until 2017.

Twenty-first century Britain is a very different place from Victorian Britain, but sadly the need to think of those less fortunate has not gone away and charitable giving is still at the heart of our parish outreach - an essential part of the good news our Christian faith encourages us to proclaim.

Many people continue to donate a wide range of items to Tools with a Mission (TWAM) via our parish contact, Janet Nunn. This fine charity refurbishes our surplus goods and ships them to developing countries to enhance the livelihood opportunities of many families. The picture below shows a refurbished sewing machine put to use via TWAM.

Charitable giving during 2017
In 2017 St James’s Church made donations totalling almost £15,000. Many donations were from the £10,000 set aside in the parish budget for charitable grants, with half supporting the work of local charities, such as Project Grow at St Richard’s, Hanworth, and the Greenwood Centre. The other half went to support our overseas links, including Milo hospital in Tanzania and the work of David and Shelley Stokes in northern Argentina.

The additional £5000 came from the Lent Appeal, collections at Harvest and Christingle, and from our young people in Shell Seekers who held two fundraising events for the charities of their choice. The Lent Appeal raised £2300, Children’s Society boxes and Advent candles a very pleasing £1000 and the Shell Seekers’ wonderful contribution was almost £500. During Christian Aid Week in May parishioners collected over £3600 from the local community to help this charity continue its ongoing work with people of all faiths and none in combating poverty and injustice.

In April 2017, we were delighted to welcome Bishop Matthew Mhagama and his wife Scola to St James. Bishop Matthew talked about Milo hospital and also told us of his plans for the Diocese of South West Tanganyika. In September Simon Tuke came to talk about the Upper Room and in October we greatly enjoyed welcoming our mission partners, David and Shelley Stokes, on home leave from Argentina.

Following the PCC’s difficult decision to suspend charitable grants in 2018 (to help tackle the parish deficit), there were various fundraising initiatives so that we could continue to support our charities. The 'Charities and links' team was renamed 'Charity support' to match this. 

Charitable giving during 2018
2018 was the first full year where the congregation had been asked to support the chosen charities as the church was not able to if it was to balance the books. So the church was asking for ‘new money’ to support the charities and the congregation is to be applauded and thanked for a very generous response.

At the start of the year the Lent Appeal raised £2,733 for the Church Mission Society (for David and Shelley Stokes in northern Argentina), and Welcare. During the year various events including the wine tasting, St James’s day activities, including the raffle and auction, plus Nick and Genevieve’s Anniversary concert raised a total of £2,512 for the church's chosen four charities: Bishop Wand School, London Churches Refugee Fund, Tools with a Mission (TWAM) and ALMA (Angola London & Mozambique Association). Then the Harvest Appeal raised £1,152 for The Upper Room project in Hammersmith. Except for Christian Aid and the Children’s Society, which have always been separate and specific appeals, the total raised from the congregation for charity in 2018 was £7,897. This compares quite well with 2017 where £10,000 came from church funds and £2,925 from the Lent and Harvest Appeals.

In 2018 Christian Aid raised £3,733, up about £100 on 2017, although there was an increasing difficulty in recruiting collectors, with some resistance to knocking on people’s doors. The Children’s Society raised £1,155 from the collection boxes, Christingle candles and the plate collection, about the same as in 2017.

A more charitable future
Some good news for 2019 is that, subject to PCC approval, the church has come up with £1,500 of church funds for Bishop Wand School and Welcare, two local C of E charities that we have supported for a very long time. This obviously gives us more money to donate to other charities.

With the necessary church cutbacks last year it was quite refreshing for a large personal donation to be able be made to Milo hospital in south west Tanzania and so continue our support there. In late November we were honoured to be visited at the church by two doctors, Adrian and Hilary Murray from North Wales, who at the invitation of local Bishop Mathew Mhagama are to work as volunteers at Milo for at least a year starting next August. This was an inspiring visit and they already have plans to make Milo a maternity centre of excellence, also a centre of excellence for the treatment of HIV, and to fundraise for X-Ray equipment.

The personal touch
It was almost certainly not a coincidence that the Charity Support team met the very next day after the Murray’s visit and wholeheartedly decided to make Milo one of our main charities to support again in 2019 and beyond. This visit by the Murrays, also by David and Shelley Stokes, even recently a guest speaker, Dave Farris, a Diocesan President for the Children’s Society, have all shown that personal involvement can make all the difference and enable the congregation to better understand the charities we support and so hopefully be more generous.
 

Mission Mission Mission

Tools with a mission

Overseas charities

The Upper Room


St James's in the local community through the years

Much of our mission work comes under the purview of community and has its own page, Our church in the community through the years

Concerts & recitals through the years

Concerts 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. 

Keeping in touch through the years

The parish magazines have always been considered one of the ways we achieve outreach by spreading news of our faith and what goes on in our church and further afield. Have a look at Parish magazines through the years which shows what happened from when records began up until 2017.

All our parish magazines are available on this website: 1884 -1899 | 1900 - 1919 | 1920 - 1939 | 1940 - 1959 | 1960 - 1979 | 1980 - 1999 | 2000 - 2019.

The PCC agreed to extend the Spire’s reach by funding an extra 100 copies for each issue, for systematic distribution around the parish during 2017-18. 

Soon after Revd Winterburn started his incumbency he developed the way St James's kept in touch with people. He updated the weekly Pew Sheet, using colour, pictures and extra information. Also, every Saturday he sent all congregation members a weekly email with greetings and any relevant information. Sermons were uploaded onto the website.

A team worked with graphic designers to produce new branding in 2017. A fresh new logo, incorporating the landmark profile of the spire, was chosen by the PCC. The fluid font style of the church's name spoke of life and movement; the 't' looked like a cross and the colour version incorporated a ‘stained glass’ pattern - another feature of the building. Colour, text fonts and page layouts were deployed on all printed materials and signage. This website underwent a major facelift to come into alignment with the new style.

Posters advertising upcoming events in the new west porch notice boards were continually being updated and therefore let people know that there is a lot is going on in the church. The welcomers in church on a Sunday morning and the vergers at weddings, baptisms, funerals and other services were given name tags to wear which identified them as being welcoming helpers.
 

Mission Mission Mission

Extending the Spire delivery

The new logo

Notice boards on the church