Church Life Today
By any stretch of the imagination, the Church of England is a huge organisation. 1.7million people attend a CofE service at least once a month and 40% of the population regard themselves as members. With bishops serving in the House of Lords, 19,000 clergy and licensed Church workers working in thousands of parishes, hospitals, prisons and military establishments and with over a million children attending CofE schools, it has a presence in every place and in every walk of life.
Yet no two local parish churches feel quite the same. Because of our history since the Reformation in the 16th century, the Church of England has allowed its members a huge degree of freedom to seek after God in whatever way seems most helpful.
While some churches with large premises are able to provide a range of practical services for local people, we believe our main task at St James’ is educational, trying to make the rich inheritance of Christian spirituality – built up over 2000 years – both relevant and accessible for those seeking after God in today’s society. We believe this includes the affirmation of women as bishops, priests and deacons and our support for those in committed same-sex relationships.
Many who come to St James’ have had very little experience of Church in the past and we hope that the ‘modern catholic’ worship style that we are developing, with its appeal to all of our senses, will enable more and more people to discover the love of God in their everyday lives.