The History of St James's Social Life

Social life


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It is not clear to what extent any organised social life existed in the village prior to 1863 but the early history of both St James's Church and the village of Hampton Hill were inextricably linked. The social life and groups of St James's have changed and developed out of all recognition over the years.

The first vicar, Revd Fitz Wygram, saw his role as improving both the spiritual and social conditions of the new parish, and this included developing a wide range of social organisations. There are a number of ways that we still seek to build up the church’s social life, and community. Have a look at Social Life through the years which shows what happened from when records began up until 2017.

Refreshments after the 9.30am (Parish Breakfast) and 11am services continued to be very important in making new people feel welcome and enabling members to talk to one another. Through the years other occasions occur including St James’s Day, breakfast on Easter day, Harvest Lunch and mulled wine after the Carol Service.  
Pop-up CinemaSt James’s launched its own Film Club / Pop Up Cinema in November 2016. The films made full use of the big screen and wonderful sound system and were free for all. The shows grew in popularity within the whole community.

In the summer of 2017 more social events were requested and so the newly named Social Team planned a year of events, including a Lent quiz night, fish and chip supper and a curry night.
The usual Tuesday communion service at 9.30am was developed into 'Communion and Coffee' on the second Tuesday of the month. After the short service people stayed for coffee and a social get-together and this proved very popular.

 A new community-based project, primarily for older people, was launched in February 2018 and was called Connections. Meeting in church, on the first Tuesday of the month from 11.00 - 12.30, it provided friendship and support and a great opportunity to meet people in a safe environment. 
Special social events in 2018 included a quiz night, a wine tasting evening, a late summer supper and a concert with singer-songwriter Alistair Griffin. An indoor games evening for all the family was introduced.
Children's parties were held, including a paddling pool tea party in the vicarage garden, a teddy bears picnic, a late summer party, a celebration of light and a Trunk or Treat as alternatives to Halloween and an Epiphany party. 
 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, nearly every week during the Covid-19 Pandemic Derek organised a virtual coffee morning every Thursday on Zoom. After a holiday break, this resumed on Tuesday mornings.
As the usual weekly pew sheet could not be made, the information was incorporated with usual weekly email sent out to all who wanted it. The website and social media were kept up to date with what was going on.

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 Groups  

Over the years, many different groups came and went, and those not directly organised by, or associated with, the church took on a separate life of their own much as they have today. Have a look at St James's Groups through the years which shows what happened from when records began up until 2017.

Social Groups

During 2017 St James's Ramblers group was formed running for about eighteen months, with occasional two mile walks ending with pub lunches. 
A new Gardening Club was formed in 2018 and the hard work made a big difference in the churchyard.
The Good Guys was launched in 2019 as a fellowship and social group for men. The monthly meetings include a meal and/or drinks at The Beech House in the High Street. 

Prayer and Study Groups

Find out about these groups/courses on the page The History of Prayer & Study Groups .

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.
 

Social Social Social