St James's Day

St James's Day in the vicarage garden

Pages in this section: Church Year | Advent | Christmas | Epiphany | Candlemas | Lent | Ash Wednesday | Mothering Sunday | Palm Sunday | Maundy Thursday | Good Friday | Holy Saturday | Easter | Ascension Day | Pentecost | Trinity Sunday | St James's Day | Harvest Festival | All Saints' Day & All Souls' Day | Remembrance Sunday

St James's Day is actually on July 25th, but we celebrate this day a few weeks earlier before people go away on holiday. St James’s Day is our Patronal Festival celebrating our patron saint, St James. Patron saints are saints who were chosen as special protectors or guardians over certain things like occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes, in fact, anything that is important to us.

What happens at St James's

We have a service on the chosen Sunday all together at 11am, usually a Parish Communion and often with a guest preacher. Our Sunday School, the Shell Seekers, take part in the service and the uniformed groups sometimes join in by carrying their flags in a colourful parade through the church.

At Revd Winterburn's first St James's Day, in 2017, the formal was combined with the less formal with the organ playing, the choir singing an introit and anthem and the St James's Players accompanying the last two hymns, playing music during the giving of the communion and the exit music. The children enthusiastically joined in the hymns with bells and other instruments!

After the St James's Day service, drinks have been served in the vicarage garden and sometimes different activities have been held while the usual family shared BBQ lunch was being prepared. A churchyard trail and various activities have also taken place after the lunch, such as bell-ringing in the tower, climbing the spire and a bouncy castle or slide, badge-making, face painting and other activities for the children. There have been Parish Treasure Hunts, and 'Beating the Bounds' where parishoners (of all ages) took to their bikes (of all types) and rode around the boundary of the Parish of St James. 

In 2018 and onwards there has been a return to the 'St James's Weekend' which has proved very popular with the community. The church is 'Open to View' for everybody on the Saturday. Here the afternoon starts with an organ recital in the church. Plant stalls, tombola and activities for the children are available during the afternoon as is a delicious tea with home made cakes. Church tours, including exploring the tower, ringing the bells and climbing the spire, take place throughout the afternoon and are particularly popular. The Sunday is kept for the special St James's Day service followed by the usual Pimms and shared family barbecue in the vicarage garden. After the lunch there are quizzes and games for both adults and children. 

Find out more

St James's Day Celebrations (photo album)
St James's Day (service booklet)
St James's Day through the years 

Ringing the bells The service Up the spire