Thursday, 28 September 2017

'I will build my church'

With our 50th anniversary service for the church's re-opening, and the infusion of new life coming from Cambridge University Mission, we have been thinking about the history of St James's Church and the area it serves.

I've been given a list of key dates in the Church's life and I have selected a few of these milestones for blog readers.

Like many churches, St James has had its ups and downs, its highs and its lows, but the Church has continued to flourish, and proclaim the unchanging, life-changing message of the Gospel, knowing that the church is the people, not the building, that it belongs to Jesus and he said 'I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.'

1820    Land acquired by local churchmen
1827    First stone laid
1829    Building consecrated. Total cost £24,412
1834    Railway built
1839    Picture of the Ascension commissioned
1841    St James School founded and built
1849    Outbreak of cholera
1851    Census shows 2,350 worshippers in 3 local CofE parishes, including
            St James
1878    Largest Sunday school in London
1881    111 children baptised on one day
1887    Strong links with Church Missionary Society (CMS) - 15 people go to
            work overseas
1906    Cambridge University Mission (CUM)  founded
1909    12 staff, 3 mission halls, 10 Sunday schools
1914    Church used as an air raid shelter; Churchyard used to grow vegetables
1941    Church damaged by bombing
1944    Vicarage destroyed by bombing
1961    Church closed because of dangerous stonework
1963    PCC votes for demolition, later reverses decision
1966    Building re-opened
1967    Michael Whinney appointed vicar; congregation from CUM joins
1968    St James School rebuilt
1971    Thanksgiving service for completion of restoration
2017    50th Anniversary Service

St James Church today

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