We'd like to welcome you to our beautiful church, to join with us in worship and in our various social activities. 
The church building is unusual in design and has an unusual history - if that interests you, you can find out more about it by clicking here.
Unlike many Anglican churches locally, St James the Great contains quite a number of statues, banners, cancles, icons and other decorations. We value these as aids to the worship of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Though some of these things are beautiful, it is important to realise that they are all just ordinary objects with no intrinsic supernatural properties whatsoever. Worship is reserved for God alone.

The Icon Corner
article posted 21 Jul 2013
As you walk up the central aisle of the main church, pause at the sanctuary steps and look to the right. There at the east end of the south aisle you will (for most of the year) see some red curtains and on them is displayed a celtic cross flanked by two icons. In front of these you'll see three sand trays for votive candles. This quiet spot is ideal for prayer and contemplation, and it is available whenever the church is open.

These two icons were painted by the late Leon Liddament, who was based at the Orthodox church of St Seraphim in Little Walsingham, Norfolk. For many years, he and the late Fr David painted icons for churches up and down the country, preserving the traditional conventions of icon painting but incorporating Celtic and English design elements to create a style that resonates with their location in this country.

For further information about their icon painting, the church of St Seraphim itself and its development projects please visit the excellent website at

Christ Pantocrator
article posted 21 Jul 2013
Pantocrator comes from the Greek and may be translated as Almighty, Ruler of All, Sustainer of All. The figure has a cruciform nimbus (or halo) which has been used for centuries in Christian art to identify Christ. In it are three Greek letters standing for He Who Is, a reference to the Divine Name. On each side of the figure is a group of two Greek letters surmounted by a wavy line - on the left we have the first and last letters of the name Jesus in Greek, and on the right the first and last letters of the title Christ. So we are in no doubt about who is depicted here! In his left hand Jesus carries a closed book of the Gospels to remind us that we are no longer to be judged by the Jewish Law but by the standards of the Gospel in the Age of Grace. The right hand is depicted in the sign of blessing, with two fingers raised to emphasise that Christ was both fully human and fully devine. Taken together, these signify holiness and right judgement on the one hand, tempered by Divine love on the other.

Our Lady of Walsingham
article posted 21 Jul 2013
The Virgin and Child have featured in a number of icon designs over the centuries - these can be classified into four broad kinds. Our icon belongs to the group known as Hodegetria which translates as She who shows the Way. In this kind of design, the Christ Child is held in the Virgin's left arm, whilst her right hand points to Him who is the Way. Depicted with adult rather than childish features, the Christ Child holds the Gospel book in his left hand and blesses us with his right. As before, the Greek letters identify Him as Jesus Christ and those in the nimbus reference the Divine Name. Above the Virgin's head are two further two-letter groups, again surmounted with the wavy line which says they are abbreviations: the first stands for Mother in the Greek, the second group stands for of God.
Leon places the Virgin and Child on a throne patterned after that on the Walsingham Seal, and a lily stem extends from the Virgin's right hand to her right shoulder. These local references are made in a delightfully understated way which does not compromise the traditional icon design or detract from its message.