Over my time here as Priest here in Southam, I’ve chatted with a lot of people who have celebrated weddings, baptisms or other happy times at St James and I’ve been alongside others who turn to the church in times of grief or sadness. For many families, the church has been part of their story over generations. It is a privilege to hear some of the stories, but I know that these memories are only the tip of the iceberg. If walls could talk… For hundreds of years, generation after generation have cared for each other and have cared for this building steeped in history.
As with many other churches across the country, our ancient Grade I listed building is in need of repair. Many have asked about the church clock and why it hasn’t been fixed – the clock is ok but we had to make the decision to stop the clock to prevent damage to its mechanism from the shrubs growing from the spire. As you can imagine to remove the shrubs is no mean feat and as with most things nowadays has considerable cost and paperwork implications! It is on the schedule of works that need to be completed, but our first priority is the repair of the roof on the south side which has multiple leaks. There are other significant repair works needed too, and so we are hoping for volunteers from the community who love and value this beautiful building of our town to help in a variety of ways alongside our current faithful volunteers. The good news is everyone can be involved in some way! We are looking for help with putting on events that are fun and will bring the community together but also will raise vital funds – everyone can do something whether it’s baking or donating a cake for refreshments or coming and eating one! Your talents may be to help with the admin side of things eg grant applications, looking for quotes etc or you may be able to help practically with some of the smaller jobs that are needed to repair/upkeep the church building. Or you may wish to give a one off donation or become a regular giver to St James. If you’re able to help in any way then please contact me through the church office. Many people think that churches receive funding from the Church of England or its Diocese, but sadly this is not the case. Each church is usually reliant on just the funds raised by its congregation and community. So if you are able, or know someone, who could help with any of the above then we would be very happy to hear from you so that in generations to come the walls will have some more stories… if only they could talk!