Parish Groups

The Parish has a number of active groups. Below is a list and description of each group;

Home group

Fr Brian Tubbs runs two monthly home groups (Wednesday and Thursday).The group that meets on the first Thursday of the month has recently been meeting on Zoom to study St John's gospel and grapple with questions such as what Jesus meant when he said 'I appointed you to bear fruit, fruit that will last'.By contrast, the Wednesday group has been in abeyance since early 2020; it is hoped that meetings in person can begin again soon. New members are always welcome.

St. James' Social Justice Group

Since its beginning in February 2015, the Social Justice Group has considered a number of topical issues including: Modern Slavery, Fairtrade, Homelessness, Refugees and Climate Change. They have organised several events aimed at raising awareness of these issues and receiving information from local charities about possible ways to help.

The group took its inspiration from William Wilberforce who led the anti-slavery trade movement in 18th Century Britain and said:

"You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know."

Please check our weekly bulletin for details of our events, including our occasional Fairtrade Stalls.

Book Group

The St James’ Book group meets every 4 - 6 weeks to read a book chosen by its members. Most books have a religious or spiritual theme, but not all, and we happily read novels, memoirs, biographies, plays and poetry. Our membership has actually grown during the pandemic as we have continued to enjoy lots of lively conversation by Zoom. If you like reading and talking about books in a very informal way, do speak to Jill Mather in church or send her an email through the church office. 

Singers

St James' is blessed with a dedicated group of singers who add harmony to our worship at the Parish Eucharist each week. Regular rehearsals on Monday evenings include the hymns and music setting for the following Sunday as well as occasional anthems. Although the singers sit together in the choir stalls, they remain very much a part of the congregation, there not to perform but to bring added colour to the worship through singing in harmony. New members are always welcome and although an ability to read music is helpful, it is by no means essential. Practice tracks are circulated in advance, so it is easy to learn your part.

Brass Quartet and Other Musicians

Four experienced brass players meet at St James' to rehearse for concerts and other performances. For special occasions, they also offer their instrumental talents to lift our worship. Although the number of musicians in the brass quartet is naturally limited, they and other musicians often play at the Parish Eucharist and other services, facilitating contemplation during Communion or augmenting our praise together with the organ. If you play an instrument and would like to offer your worship in this way from time to time, please speak to Tim Bayton.

Craft Group

On the first and third Friday of every month, a group of ladies (men are also welcome to come along) meets to share craft skills over tea and biscuits. Some people bring their own projects, including art work, crochet, card-making and tapestry. Others knit for charities that the group supports. As a part of our active support for the Warm Baby Project, the crafters are currently sewing single bed sheets for an orphanage in Uganda. We are also making knee blankets, warm hats and children’s jumpers to be sent to Moldova with the charity Christian Response to Eastern Europe. Are you at a loose end on a Friday afternoon? St James’ craft group is open to all. Come along for a chat and a cuppa, whether or not you have a craft to bring. Wool, knitting needles and patterns can be provided. The cost is only £1.00 per session, including refreshments.