Church Properties

The church and churchyard in the spring

Pages in this section:  Church PropertiesChurch Hall | Churchyard | Inside the Church | Baptistry | Belfry | Chancel (Choir) | Chancel (Sanctuary) | Nave | North Aisle  | South Aisle | South Porch | Vestry | West Porch Stained Glass Windows | Tower & Spire | Vicarage

As with most churches, St James's was built with the altar end facing east towards the rising sun. The architect was W. Wigginton of County Chambers, Cornhill and the contractors were Messrs Bond of Hackney. It was built in Gothic Revival style with the main walls of yellow stock brick and stone dressing around the corners and windows. The spire was made of stone and the roof of slate on a timber structure over the nave and chancel, apart from the two aisles which were covered with copper in 1963. 

There are various symbols in the carvings, embroideries and stained glass of the church and even outside the church. Have a look at some of these on the page Symbols in the Church. A symbol is something that makes us think about something else. It is said that early Christians did not think it reverent to write the names of God or Jesus in full, so they made different symbols for them.

The Properties Team 

The Properties Team has the responsibility to the Parochial Church Council for the maintenance, upkeep and care of the church, the hall, the vicarage, the garage, the shed and all other structures, but not the moveable items which are the legal responsibility of the Churchwardens. The Churchyard is maintained by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, overseen by this team. However, as their care is pretty basic a new Gardening Club was formed in 2018 to improve its upkeep, especially the new garden around the west porch.

The diocese requires and pays for an architect to carry out a quinquennial (five-yearly) inspection of our church property and fabric. The funding and carrying out any maintenance work required by the architect is our responsibility. Heating, electrical services, fire appliances, lighting, the clock, the bells, and the lightning conductor all have regular professional inspections and maintenance, and these are always done on schedule. All records of inspections and certificates are recorded and filed in the logbook held in the office.

There are innumerable works of maintenance, repair, renovation and sometimes construction which need to be done. These are tackled as they arise, often by team members themselves where there is considerable knowledge, experience and expertise. Although some of the team have professional skills, some major work requires outside assistance. The team will assess the work required, obtain estimates and make recommendations to the PCC.

An important maintenance activity undertaken by the Properties Team in the autumn is the annual leaf sweep and gutter clean. All gutters of both the church and the hall are cleared of leaves that have built up over the year, after which the gutters and drain pipes are flushed through to ensure the free passage of water. The leaves in the courtyard and cark park are also swept up. This is undertaken early in December with the support from volunteers and the Scouts.

There are regular weekly and annual cleaning tasks undertaken by volunteers. See the Cleaning page.

Find out more

The History of St James's Church Buildings
The History of the Churchyard
Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports (these documents contain the annual reports of the various church teams or groups associated with St James's Church. Scroll down the document of the year you are interested in to find the report you want) 


Bryan Basdell on 020 8979 2040

The Foundation Stones

The foundation stone, on the outside of the east wall, for the church was consecrated in 1863.
The pink granite foundation stone for the tower and spire, on the south side of the base of the tower, was laid by the vicar’s only son, Edward on the 20th of June 1887. One each of every coin in the country, from a farthing to a guinea, was placed behind this stone. 
The last foundation stone, that for the church hall, on the west side of the porch, was consecrated by the Bishop of London, David Hope, during the St James’s Festival on the 4th July, 1993.

Foundation stone Foundation stone Foundation stone
Foundation stone
for the church

'To the glory of God
St James Church
Consecrated AD 1863
North Aisle built 1874
Chancel enlarged 1877
South Aisle built AD 1879'

Foundation stone
for the tower & spire

'To the glory of God and in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the accession to the throne of his servant Victoria, Queen of the realm by public subscription on foundations laid by Fitzroy John Fitz Wygram, first Vicar of the Parish. This stone was laid by Edward Bligh on the 24th June 1887. Henry Bligh Vicar, xxxx Churchwardens,. xxxxx Architect.'
Foundation stone
for the church hall

'This stone was blessed
David Bishop of London
4th July 1993'