The History of St James's Involvement with Mission

The community

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"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. St 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.

The History of our Prayer and Study Groups & Courses 

Lent Courses 

Annual Lent Pilgrim Courses started running in 2017 in the church.
• The Lent Course in 2018 was based on ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ on the subject of prayer. 
• The 2019 Lent Course was based on the Pilgrim Journeys, The Beatitudes. 

Life Groups 

Life Group• House groups were revived in the autumn of 2017 and called Life Groups
• These groups continued through the years with different topics covered each time.
• From the autumn 2019 the group leaders took ownership and helped the courses develop. 

The COVID lock-down interrupted the joint 2020 Lent Course we were sharing with All Saints, 'Finding a Voice: The King's Speech'.
After Easter, being more confident about using Zoom, a group gathered to work through Pete Grieg's 'Prayer Course'. Taking the Lord's Prayer line by line.
In the Autumn / Winter a group read through the 'Screwtape Letters' by CS Lewis in a 'book club' style, taking three chapters a week. Set in the time of the Blitz there were interesting parallels with the situations we were experiencing.
We also ran an online Alpha Course on Zoom.

During Lent 2021 we took the York Course 'Caring for Creation'. Listening to interviews and using the breakout rooms in Zoom we were challenged to think practically about the impact our lives make on the environment and consider changing. The course prepared us for the relaunch of Eco-Church in the summer.

Other Study Groups and Courses 

• In the autumn 2018 there was a course for enquirers ‘Quest’. 
• An eight-part Alpha course was also held, the brand awareness making it attract newcomers. 
• ‘This Time Tomorrow’ started during the 9.30am service replacing the long-running ’Faith at Work’ group, both activities being led by Rev Julian Reindorp. 
• From March 2020, nearly every weekday during the Covid-19 Pandemic Derek provided 'Time to Pray' weekday audio recordings, with a reading and prayers.
• While we were locked-down there was a limit to what we could physically do, but there was an opportunity to grow in spiritual ways. The Prayer Course, a video course held on Zoom, was an eight week journey through the Lord's Prayer with Pete Greig.
During the autumn in 2020 an Alpha course was held 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 our Charities & Links 

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.

• During 2017 we made donations to local charities, such as Project Grow at St Richard’s, Hanworth, and the Greenwood Centre  and also to our overseas links, including Milo hospital in Tanzania and the work of David and Shelley Stokes in northern Argentina. Additional donations came from Christian Aid Week collections, the Lent Appeal, collections at Harvest and Christingle, and from our young people in Shell Seekers.
• Many people continued to donate a wide range of items to Tools with a Mission (TWAM).
• During that year we were delighted to welcome Bishop Matthew Mhagama and his wife, Simon Tuke who came to talk about the Upper Room and our mission partners, David and Shelley Stokes.

• St James's used to set aside £10,000 in its budget every year for charitable grants for organisations and projects both in this country and abroad. However, 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 chosen charities.
• The 'Charities and links' team was renamed 'Charity support' to match this and fundraising activities continued into 2019. Successfull activities included the Lent Appeal, a wine tasting, a raffle, an auction, an Anniversary concert and the Harvest Appeal. Fund raising for Christian Aid and the Children’s Society are always separate and specific appeals. 
• Visits by the Murrays, David and Shelley Stokes and a guest speaker, Dave Farris, 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.

• The Lent Appeal started off our 2019 charity collections with money for our CMS partners, David and Shelley Stokes in northern Argentina, and for the Bishop of London’s appeal fighting Modern Day Slavery.  A very generous donation went equally to CMS and to Milo hospital. These two benefactors are good examples of a policy of providing support where we have a personal connection.
• This personal connection is likely to bring more engagement and therefore more support. St James’s day raffle and auction, the wine tasting and sales, plus personal donations, led to donations for Milo Hospital, the London Churches Refugee Fund, Tools with a Mission and ALMA (Angola London and Mozambique Association.) Harvest saw us again supporting the Upper Room. 
• Most of the door to door collecting for Christian Aid was replaced with the Dream Auction.

• 2020 was a highly unusual and difficult year but St James’s saw some good stories come out of the difficult Covid-19 background.
Most of our successful Lent appeal went to our CMS partners, David and Shelley Stokes, in Argentina, as well as the London Diocesan ALMA appeal, Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies. (ALMA supports the Church of England’s work in Angola and Mozambique). Other benefactors were Milo hospital (St Luke’s, Tanzania) and the London Churches Refugee Fund.
Despite the difficult financial situation for the church the PCC yet again approved £1,500 for Welcare and Bishop Wand School.
Another really interesting story was our Harvest appeal for the Upper Room where our donation was also up on last year and this included food and other items donated, including from local schools. The Upper Room have been at the forefront of supporting those affected by the pandemic and early on were fighting hard to get back to providing hot meals to the poor and homeless.
Inevitably with many church events not run in 2020, especially St James’s Day weekend, including the raffle and auction, and a reduction in large personal donations, the total income for the team was down.

2021 will see David and Shelley Stokes retire from their work in Argentina, and we are hoping to establish a new partnership with a parish in Mozambique through ALMA. Being able to support charities like Welcare and The Upper Room, most affected by the pandemic, showed we could help where it really mattered. With God’s help we can continue making a positive 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.

Mission Charities Mission

Tools with a Mission

Charities supported by St James's

The Upper Room

The History of St James's in the Local Community 

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

The History of Keeping in Touch 

• The parish magazines have always been considered one of the main 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.
• 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.
• Every Saturday the vicar sent out a weekly email to those who wanted it with greetings and any relevant information to keep everyone in touch with what is going on.  

• From 2017 the social media outlets offered further means of contact with the public.
• A team worked with graphic designers to produce new branding in 2017. A fresh new logo (see below), 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 was 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. 
• From 2018 four times a year a leaflet, 'You're Invited', was delivered to every house in the parish advertising the forthcoming services and events and inviting people to come along.
 In 2018 on the day before St James’s Day, an invitation event (Open to View) was organised for the community. This included an organ recital, tea and cakes, tombola, a Traidcraft stall, a plant stall, tours of the church and the tower with the afternoon concluding with a children’s film. The experiment was considered very successful as there were a good number of visitors for this the first time so the event was repeated the following year, again being very popular.

• From March 2020, when the church had to close Nick had to be furloughed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
 As people could no longer go into church for services. the weekly Pew Sheet, which used to be available in church, was merged with the weekly email that was sent out to mostly the younger people. This was distributed via MailChimp to the congregation and others and became known as the Weekly Email. It kept eveybody up to date with what was going on and contained links to event details and bookings. This was accessible from the website as well.

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.


Mission Mission Mission

Extending the Spire delivery

The new logo

Notice boards on the church