Welcome

Within Coventry Diocese we believe our primary purpose as part of the Christian Community is:
Worshipping God, Making New Disciples and Transforming Communities

St James Church is the Church of England parish church of the town of Southam, situated east of Leamington Spa in Warwickshire.

The members of the PCC (Parochial Church Council) work together to provide St James with the leadership it needs to support both the local and wider community. This friendly church has a variety of Sunday services and various weekday meetings and groups.

For the latest news and updates on what’s happening see the Church Bulletin.

You are very welcome to come and join us.  If it is your first time visiting and would like someone to look out for you then please contact us.

                                       The Southam benefice is part of the Southam Deanery in the Coventry Diocese.

To discover more about Southam and the surrounding area please have a look at the community website.

Vikki Bisiker

v1It’s funny how life can take a variety of turns and how God can weave our gifts and experience into a colourful tapestry. Before being ordained, I ran a murder mystery and medieval banquet company, and I then subsequently worked for CPAS with the Ventures & Falcon Camps department supporting volunteer leaders of Christian children and youth holidays. It was whilst working at CPAS that I felt God nudge me into ordained ministry. I trained at St Mellitus Theological College in London and  I loved being there and seeing such a diverse range of people with amazing gifts serving God in a variety of communities. Because of my own journey and experience, I’m committed and passionate about people of all ages coming to know Jesus and seeing their lives changed because of this personal relationship with Him.

Alongside parish ministry at St James’, Southam, I co-lead the Southam Deanery Mission Team. Our context is rural and part of the team’s passion is how the churches can work together and support each other whilst being geographically challenged! The market town of Southam and some of the surrounding villages are growing rapidly with new housing estates and so our churches have amazing opportunities for outreach and to build relationships with all age ranges across diverse contexts. There is some brilliant work being done by the church in the local schools and I’m looking forward to working with teams to develop and extend these relationships with the parents and carers of the youngsters and seeing people of all ages worshipping together in our rural churches.

Rev Vikki Bisiker

Assistant Curate
St James’ church, Southam

07983 402614

Latest News

PCC

The full PCC has many roles. It is responsible for the financial affairs of the church, employing staff, care and maintenance of the church building, as well as working to further our mission and ministry.

The current PCC comprises:

Vikki Bisiker – Assistant Curate and Chair

Stephen Adams – Church Warden, Reader and Deanery Synod Representative

Barry Parker – Church Warden, Vice Chair and Deanery Synod Representative.  Also Deanery Synod Lay Chair and member of Deanery Synod Pastoral and Standing Committee

Margo Grant – Diocesan Synod Representative

Together with the following elected members of the congregation:

Ruth Tresidder – Treasurer

Pat Adams

Chris Cooke

Hilary Crosby

Jan Ford – PCC Minute Secretary

Bill King

Jill Parker

Heather Shackleton

Jenny Thorne

Pastoral Care and Loving Relationships

Caring pastorally for people is an important part of life at St James. Our aim is to provide biblical, loving and practical pastoral care for every member of our church family and across our community. For more information as to how we might be able to support you please click here.

Our History

The present church dedicated to St James the Apostle was built in the 14th century.  It is constructed of Lias limestone and red sand-stone and consists of a nave, chancel, aisles and north and south porches, and a west tower with spire.  The clerestory of sixteen windows was added, possibly in the late 15th century. The first dedication is in a Papal dispensation dated 16 July 1359.  In 2004 the pews were removed from the nave and aisles, and a new York stone floor was laid throughout.

Structurally the building has not changed a great deal over the centuries; some additions have been made and some alteration carried out.  Over the next few years it is our vision that repairs to the structure will be completed, and lighting, church rooms, facilities for the disabled and a proper kitchen will be installed.  In doing this the building will continue to be a focus for proclaiming the good news of the love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The Town Churchyard at St James is divided into three areas, the oldest area that had been used for burials up to around 1800 is on the south side of the building adjoining Warwick Street and Kirkwall. The next area that was used is known as the Upper Churchyard from behind the Market Hill shops on the north side of the building down to the iron railings running from the War Memorial to Park Lane. Burials in most of this area generally ceased about 100 years ago but the last one or two took place in family graves in the 1950‘s. It now contains a dedicated area for the interment of ashes and in addition an area adjacent to Park Lane was granted permission by the Diocese in September 2004 for reuse for burials but with stringent conditions. The third area is all the remainder to the west from the War Memorial down to theRecreation Ground which started to be used in the late 1800’s and became filled with graves during 2004.

Items of interest in the churchyard are the Lych Gate built in 1938 and the avenue of red twigged limes trees leading from it down to the north porch of the church. The present trees were planted in 2002 replacing the original ones that were planted to celebrate the victory of Waterloo in 1815. The new trees were given in memory of Louisa Smith, a teenager, who died in a car accident near Marton in 1999. The Bier House with it‘s tile roof, adjacent to Park Lane opposite the telephone exchange (the Bier is no longer stored there) is constructed of concrete blocks that were made at the local cement works and is believed to be the first building in the country made with such blocks. Not far from the War Memorial, down the south side of the path to the recreation ground, is the grave and memorial of one Seth Bond who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade. The inscription reads ‘ Trooper Seth Bond, 11th Hussars, one of the six hundred served at Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman and Sebastopol; erected by public subscription in recognition of nearly 25 years faithful service to his country’. A booklet is available in the town library detailing his life. There is another Crimean memorial just east of the south porch – ‘Thomas Abbotts killed at Alma and Thomas Pratt, both of the 68th Regiment; and James Baldwin, Royal Marines. These men died serving their Queen and country when in defence of the Right, England and France waged war with Russia, 1854/5. There are a number of War Grave Commission headstones in the churchyard marking the graves of forces personnel who died in action in the second world war and one more recently in Afghanistan.

A more detailed history and guide of the church is available at the church or from the Church Office.