St James’ Church Centenary

St James’ Church Centenary
St James’ Church Centenary
St James’ Church Centenary
St James’ Church Centenary

Story: Barry Swift

In 1898 the Presbyterian Church of England decided to start a new congregation in Ellesmere Road to serve the growing number of Scottish people working and living in north Sheffield. Within a short while the growing number of members needed new premises and they bought a piece of land at the corner of Scott Road and Abbeyfield Road.

Ambitions ran high as the architect’s painting of the proposed buildings (which now hangs in the hall) shows. Plans included a large traditional church with a spire, a hall for the Sunday School and a house for the minister, but as a first stage the hall was completed in 1911 at a cost of £3,040. This is the building which is still in use and has always been multi-purpose, as finance was never found to complete the plans. The land alongside the hall, where they intended to put the church, remained empty until 1994, when Arches Housing bought it to build flats.

St James’ Church Centenary
St James’ Church Centenary
St James’ Church Centenary
St James’ Church Centenary

Our Christian tradition has been maintained throughout by holding services for worship each Sunday, although the form of worship has moved from being very formal preaching to being more relaxed and collaborative now. Church membership reached a peak of 145 in 1950.

In the 1950s St James’ was greatly enriched by the arrival of immigrants from Jamaica, as many felt themselves at home in the church and have since then been immersed in the life there. We are privileged to have members from four countries in our current membership of 21 and sharing views across race and faith has added much to our life together.

The activities in St James’ have also changed over the last century reflecting the changing outlook and needs of the congregation and our local community. In the 1950s, before the main entertainment in the home was the TV, churches provided a focal point for both children and adults and, each evening in the week, St James’ ran clubs and organisations, including Girl Guides, Boys Brigade, Dramatic Society, Choir and Badminton. They were much in demand and well attended by families in the Scott Road area.

Times change and society no longer has need of such activities but the congregation still tries to look outwards and seeks ways to meet the needs of those around us. Today these include the lunch club for the elderly, who otherwise spend much of their time isolated in their own homes, and the parent & toddler group, providing a meeting place for young parents and helping the toddlers to socialise. We keep the building warm and comfortable and hope this is reflected in the welcome we show to our neighbours.

To celebrate the centenary of our building we are having an “Open Church” on Saturday, 20 October 2012 and hope to see many people who have been associated with St James’ over the years. Doors will be open from 11.00 am to 4.00pm. and there will be light refreshments. We shall have displays of photographs and other memorabilia which we hope will bring back good memories for you.

So if you were christened or married in St James’, came to the Sunday School or a youth organisation, have visited an autumn sale or dropped in to a coffee morning – please come again on 20th October – we shall love to see you.

"Open Church" - St James' Centenary
11:00am to 4:00pm Saturday 20 October 2012

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The content on this page was added to the website by Burngreave Messenger on 2012-09-29 11:56:03.
The content of the page was last modified by Douglas Johnson on 2012-09-30 12:43:00.

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