ST JAMES TROWBRIDGE
ST JAMES' YEARBOOK
2007 – 2008
A collection of reports
on activities of Parish Groups
THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Tuesday 22nd April 2008
RECTOR Canon Christopher Brown
HON ASSISTANT PRIEST The Rev Peter English
READERS Mrs Doreen White
Mr Quin Whinton
Mr Geoff Adams
Mr Bernard Groves
CHURCHWARDENS Mrs Ros Histed
Mrs Wendy Jones
DEPUTY WARDENS Mr Ron Coleman
Mr Phil Senior
HON TREASURER Mr Michael Dobson
RECORDER Mr Robert Green
ELECTORAL ROLL OFFICER Mrs Jane Ridley
HON SEC OF PCC Mrs Anne Coates
ORGANIST & DIR OF MUSIC Mr John Horsey
CAPT OF BELL RINGERS Mrs Veronica Newman
MAGAZINE EDITOR Mr David Rickard
MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTION Mr Arthur Ransom
RECTOR’S SECRETARY Mrs Shirley Daniels
(Normally:Open 9.00am-12.00noonTuesday & Thursday
HALL SECRETARY Mr Roger Mundy
TRANSPORT TO CHURCH Mr Philip Senior
SUNDAY SCHOOL SEC Mrs Jean Potter
MOTHERS & TODDLERS Mrs Cath Senior
PRAYER HEALING MINISTRY Mr & Mrs Geoff Adams
PRAYER HEALING CHAIN Mrs Margaret Gilbert
Mrs Doreen Green
VERGER Mrs Doris Whiting
FLOWERS/CATERING - Miss Maelene Hunt
MOTHERS’ UNION Mrs Marion Thwaite
WIVES’ GROUP SEC Mrs Heather Powell
LUNCH CLUB Mrs Phyl Ash
From the Rector 3
Fabric Goods and Ornaments 4
Property Sub-Committee 5
Bradford Deanery Synod 5
St James Trust 7
Planned Giving 7
Sunday School 8
Bell Ringers 10
Transport to Church 12
Flower Arranging 13
Parish Office 14
Monday Fellowship Group 14
Tuesday Fellowship Group 14
Thursday Bible Study Group 15
Prayer and Healing Ministry 15
Prayer and Meditation Group 16
Emergency Prayer Chain 16
St James Players 17
Mothers and Toddlers 17
Wives Group 18
Mothers Union 19
Fellowship of the Needle 20
Lunch Club 20
St James Friends and Pastoral Committee 21
Catering Group 21
The Leprosy Mission 22
Bellefield School 22
Garlick and Gunning Funds 23
FROM THE RECTOR ..............................................
I commend this year book to you.
Remember to thank God for His many blessings and for all that goes on here at St
James's. God has blessed us and we would do well to reflect on this as we look back on
the past year and we look forward to the next.
I thank you for your prayers and your support over the past year and look forward to a
busy and happy year ahead.
This Yearbook is made up of reports from various groups which operate within our church
family. The fact that there are nearly thirty reports this year goes to show what an active
family we are and Ros and I are proud to act as a wardens in such a Parish.
Unfortunately, Robert has decided to retire as a deputy this year and his departure is a
great loss but hopefully he will continue to help us, as do many other ex-wardens, in the
years to come. However we are pleased to welcome Phil Senior as our new deputy
warden and thankfully Ron Coleman will be able to continue with his duties for at least
As Wardens we rotate our duties at 10.30 and 6.30 and special services but I am
embarrassed to say we usually rely on the sides persons to attend to the early morning
communion service and we are very thankful that they do this service for us.
We are members of, and usually all attend, at PCC meetings to explain and discuss
outstanding issues. We conduct an annual inventory of all the church property before the
AGM and report as necessary. After election at the AGM the new, or re-elected wardens
will attend the Archdeacons Visitation to be sworn in.
I am happy to report that the annual holiday was again a success. Thirty eight of us
stayed in Daresbury, Cheshire and visited various places of interest in the County. We
were very lucky with the weather throughout the holiday and the visit to Jodrell Bank, the
cruise down the Manchester ship canal and the visit to Arley Hall all proved very popular.
Two Coffee morning and plant sales were held last year, the first was in May at our house
the second in August at the home of Margaret and Norman Partridge
Our Outreach project “The Journey”, started in 2006, has progressed quietly throughout
the year. We try to reach out to the community with civic services, the Lent lunch time
talks and maintaining our links with Bellefield school (Parochial). We look forward to
our next away day at Ammerdown in May.
We must encourage people of all ages into the church and they can only come in when the
doors are open. They may want to sit quietly and pray or just look at the building and
learn about its History, many seek only a friendly face and a cup of coffee and to this end
our stewards do a wonderful job and Freda and her team deserve our heartfelt thanks for
this valuable service.
Once again, looking back over the year at the numerous meetings and events which have
taken place, and are subject to separate reports in this document, it is clear that the
fellowship within the family of St James is healthy and thriving and on behalf of the
wardens’ team may I thank the Rector and all the church members for the support that you
have so willingly given us.
Wendy Jones 4
REPORT ON THE FABRIC, GOODS AND ORNAMENTS OF ST JAMES
The Wardens have checked the Inventory and confirm that all the items listed are
accounted for and that the inventory has been signed to that effect.
PROPERTY SUB COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2007
The committee has met regularly throughout the year and has dealt with numerous aspects
covering the upkeep of all the properties covered by its brief.
Special attention has been focused on the requirements of the revised fire regulations and
the Health and Safety act.
Apart from the many and varied minor works which are continuous and ongoing some of
the larger projects are detailed below:-
Protection of the church windows with specially made metal grills has been completed.
Roof repairs on church toilets and a new strengthened door fitted following vandalism.
Stairs to Parvis room renewed following collapse.
New contractor appointed to maintain all fire extinguishers in church and hall.
Fire doors replaced in the old office.
Hall patio repaired following damage by a fire engine turning on the slabs
The letting and maintenance of the cottages has been transferred to the property
We are currently awaiting the Quinquennial report which has been delayed by several
months so we are not yet able to decide on any major work on the church during 2008 but
we have had to bring forward the scheduled renewal of the hall kitchen windows and back
door following a break-in recently.
J C Hollick.- Sec
BRADFORD DEANERY SYNOD
The synod has met four times during 2007
Thursday 15th February at St John's Upper Studley
Thursday 28th June at North Bradley School
Monday 24th September at St Barnabas, Beanacre
Monday 3rd December in Keevil Village Hall
The Revd Selina Deacon has been licensed as priest-in-charge of St John's Upper Studley.
The Revd Jill Perrett has been licensed as priest-in-charge of Atworth with Shaw and
The Revd Caroline Nery has died.
Canon Derek Smith has resigned as Rural Dean with effect from 31 st December 2007.
Eleanor Given has died.
Diocesan Synod and General Synod
Reports of the proceedings of the General Synod have been made to the Deanery Synod
by the Revd Maureen Allchin. Reports of the proceedings of the Diocesan Synod have
been made to the Deanery Synod by our representatives.
The Deanery Plan with objectives for the next five years was approved at the Synod in
A new benefice has been formed of Trowbridge St James and Keevil. Objections have
been received to the scheme to incorporate the parish of Steeple Ashton into the benefice
of North Bradley, Southwick and Heywood. The temporary ministry of the Revd
Maureen Allchin at the Canalside Benefice ends at Easter 2008.
Following a 2.3% increase in Share for the year, the overall payment of Share for 2007 is
likely to be close to that of 2006 (96%) for which all PCC Treasurers, Fund raisers and
supporters have contributed their time and effort and deserve our thanks.
Some £34,000 was returned to PCCs in the Deanery by Salisbury during the year
following a surplus of funds on the Diocesan 2006 accounts. Synod voted to use this
money, at individual PCC's discretion, to support Kidugli. Over £7,000 was eventually
The Synod has received presentations from:
The Revd Jane Charman on learning for discipleship.
Helen Harrison on the 'Cut the Carbon' march.
The Revd G Southgate and Fiona Hulbert on 'Feeling the Heat', which was an explanation
of the issues surrounding the 'green house' effect. An action pack was made available to
each PCC. 6
Bishop Stephen visited Shaw for a service to inaugurate the Melksham Group.
A Deanery service was held on Thursday 15th March to welcome Bishop Stephen.
The Deanery is most grateful to those parishes where meetings have taken place for their
hospitality and the arrangements made. The breaks for refreshments during Synod
meetings have been most welcome and have provided a good opportunity to meet other
members from the parishes in the Deanery.
ST JAMES TRUST
The Trust is administered by trustees appointed by the Parochial Church Council and the
Town Council. Its duty is to help people who are in conditions of need, hardship or
distress and who are resident in the town of Trowbridge and the nearby villages. It does
this by making grants to groups and organisations that fulfil this function. This ranges
from groups providing social activities to the elderly and infirm, those giving counselling
and those giving care in the home or hospices.
Since the Trust was formed in 1997, grants have been made totalling £347,035. In 2007
grants were given to thirty-six organisations to a total of £33,950.
During the early months of the year a review of our finances was carried out and it was
evident that the essential costs of St James was substantially greater than our income and
the gap was widening. As we are all aware costs have continued to increase and in
particular the ministry quota which we must make to Salisbury as our share in running the
Diocese has doubled since 2000.
To overcome this ever increasing deficit we needed an increase of at least a third in giving
from our Parishioners. It is 5 years since our last Stewardship campaign. So at the
Harvest Thanksgiving Service our Rector announced the start of a campaign to encourage
more people to join our planned giving scheme and also seek an increase in the current
levels of giving.
As a consequence of general mailing and prayers the campaign was successful and thanks
must go to the generosity of our members for the willingness to increase their giving and
also to those who, due to falling income experienced by downward financial influences,
were unable to promise any increase but have been responsible for maintaining their
giving throughout the year. To those of you who joined the scheme this year – thank you.
Robert Green – Recorder
SUNDAY SCHOOL REPORT 2007-08
The Mothering Sunday Service started the Sunday School’s first contribution to the
Church year. The children created a very special vase of flowers – each flower depicting
something that makes Mum special: her love, our home, her smile to name but three.
Small posies of primroses (picked at Brokerswood with the kind permission of Mr and
Mrs Phillips) and cards were distributed to the congregation during the Service.
We have continued to use the “Roots” teaching material, which follows the Gospel
readings providing a link to the main Church Service. Material is very flexible, enabling
it to be adjusted to suit all age ranges. During the year we had sessions on parables –
Prodigal Son, Mustard Seed, the Good Samaritan (around choices we make in our lives
too); Holy Week, Jesus’ death on Good Friday and Easter Day, the Resurrection of Jesus
and his appearances to his disciples; Peter – with Jesus asking him to ensure both Jews
and Gentiles hear the good news, e.g. the gospel is for everyone; stories of St. Paul
particularly prison with Silas and the story of Lydia; the Lord’s Prayer; our Christian
Journey, particularly the choices we make, the support we give and received from other
Christians and the fact that Jesus is with us as we make that journey of faith; the story of
the ten lepers; Jesus the Good Shepherd; creation; thanksgiving for Harvest; Christmas
and Epiphany, with consideration of King Herod’s attitude to Jesus’ birth; the Baptism of
Jesus and concluding with Lent, when we made a Lent journey map to help us think more
deeply about Jesus’ sacrifice for us. The children also continue to enjoy the whole
morning in Sunday School on the Sundays when Morning Prayer is celebrated, giving us
opportunities to make more creative items and play games to help their Christian
The children value the opportunity to contribute to some of the Church Services,
particularly the monthly Family Services and Remembrance Sunday. These services
provide good occasions for the children to be directly involved in the worship of our
Church. The quiet solemnity they display at the Remembrance Sunday demonstrates to
the congregation that they understand the sacrifice made for them and it does not go
unnoticed. This year the children carried the crosses bearing the names of those on
Trowbridge War Memorial, made a large poppy on which they wrote to name of one
soldier who died and threw poppy petals in the air.
The Easter Family Service on Good Friday was based on the Stations of the Cross with
the children placing illustrations of the fourteen stations on the carpet in the sanctuary into
the shape of a cross. The Service was undertaken with dignity and reflection. The
children created an Easter Garden on Easter Sunday and the usual enthusiasm was evident
in the Egg Hunt at the end of the service.
The children received books when we returned to Sunday School in September following
the Summer Holidays. This token of thanks from St. James for the contribution they
make to the life of our Church is greatly appreciated by the children and their families. It
also provides us with the opportunity to recognise the children’s loyalty and interest each
‘Holy Chaos’ Sunday enabled the children to tell once again the story of Jesus’ birth and
is something which both the children and congregation look forward to each year.
The Christmas workshop was productive and well attended, with many Christmas craft
items created, as well as the famous biscuit decoration. We are only grateful that parents
do not send us the dental bills in January!
The Christmas Crib Service was well attended. The theme of this year’s service was “A
Christmas Garland”. Around the Church were placed Christmas symbols and the letters
of ‘Happy Christmas’. Each letter had a short sentence related to the Christmas story, e.g.
S is for the star which appeared above the stable when Jesus was born. The children
brought out the letters and symbols and a banner was created to hang across the front
pillars of the Church for everyone to enjoy during the Christmas celebrations. A frieze
was also placed at the back of the Church with a large candle depicting ‘Jesus the light of
the world’ born at Christmas to bring light to a troubled world. Smaller candles were then
available upon which people could add the name of someone or something they would
wish light to be shined upon over the Christmas period.
The Sunday School party in February was the usual good mixture of fun and games, with
sausage/fish fingers & chips and yummy cakes & biscuits.
We hope that members of the congregation have enjoyed the Family Services we have
presented over the past year. The children have welcomed involvement in these more
relaxed services, but we do hope that the Christian message within them has held
something for everyone, illustrating the importance of our faith in a simple and
understandable way for the children to recognise.
We would like to thank Chris and the team at St. James for their continued support of the
Sunday School. The children have welcomed visits from Chris during the year when this
proved possible. A big ‘thank you’ to every member of the congregation for the support
and interest you also give to the children. The Sunday School Team consider it a
privilege to teach such a lovely group of children. We ask you to pray for each one of
them and for the Sunday School team as we try to help them on their Christian journey,
laying the foundations of their faith. We pray for God’s blessing upon them and His
guidance as we continue to serve Him in this way.
Jean Potter, Jill Hussey, Angela Giddings and Ann Cook - Sunday School Teaching Team
ST. JAMES CHURCH TOWER CAPTAIN’S REPORT 2008
2007 was another challenging year; however the band did manage to fulfil its ministry by
ringing for the majority of Sunday morning services and the Easter and Christmas
As a band we managed a total of 3 Quarter peals, 2 with a little help from our friends from
North Bradley and Gill’s brother Philip.
March 15th Plain Bob Doubles
Rung to welcome the Bishop of Ramsbury to St. James
May 10th Doubles – 2 methods
Philip Lucas (C)
Rung to celebrate the 90th birthday of Eileen Lucas and the birthday of Joanne Walton
November 7th Grandsire Doubles
Brian Coward (C)
Rung for Guild Quarter Peal week
It is difficult to identify any specific reasons for the decline in the number of quarter peals
rung during 2007. I feel that the decline is mainly due to the demands on individual band
member’s time and not lack of enthusiasm.
A Peal was rung by members of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers on 8th
September to mark its 125th anniversary.
I would like to thank the ringers from Hilperton and North Bradley who helped form the
bands that rang for weddings throughout the year as well as my daughter Joanne Walton
who dusted off her ringing skills when required.
We also entered a band in the 6 Bell Striking Competition at Holt in March.
5 groups of ringers visited us during 2007 and the Wiltshire Branch of SDGR rang 2
Quarter Peals and held monthly practices here enabling 10 or 12 bell ringing which was a
joy to hear.
The annual inspection of the bells and fittings by Taylor’s was carried out in October; no
major problems were detected although the frame needs painting. There is also some
concern about the continuing leak from the spire onto the clock housing and potential
damage to the bells. New ropes were purchased and although ordered from a firm in the
UK they were made in India and arrived with sallies rather on the fat side which
necessitated ‘shaving’. My guess is they don’t ring bells full circle in that neck of the
The annual dinner was held on November 9 th at The Bell, Rode where we were once again
joined by family and friends for an enjoyable evening. Thanks to Gill for organising the
As has become an annual fixture in the calendar, members of the band took part in the
ringer’s service and William Hughes again did us proud reading the lessons. Thank you to
those who attended.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to Louise who moved to Trowbridge and recently
joined us for practice and Sunday service ringing. What a brilliant way to start 2008!
I conclude this report by thanking every member of the band for their support in their
various guises throughout 2007, also Chris Brown and Doris Whiting who I know
recognise the importance of our ministry.
Veronica Newman - Tower Captain
CHOIR REPORT 2007
“Friday night is music night”. I used to listen to this on the BBC Light Programme many
years ago and what I liked about the programme was the variety of that music. I wonder
if any of you remember when it was introduced by Richard Baker with Sidney Torch
conducting the BBC concert orchestra. The programme has survived for 56 years and is
still broadcast, but on Radio 2.
We have our own music night each Friday as choir members brave the winter elements to
learn new anthems, psalm settings and hymns. As the seasons come round the mood of
the music changes. We move from the serious music of Lent and Maundy Thursday and
Good Friday to the ecstatic and joyous music of Easter Day. There is the reflective music
in Advent through to the wonder of Christmas and the birth of the Saviour of the World.
The choir work hard to produce new anthems as well as singing some of the old
favourites. The choir members are very loyal and their presence at choir practice and
services show this.
As I have said in previous annual reports the numbers have gone down each year. It takes
commitment to be a member of a choir and as members have either moved away, found
other interests or are just too frail to attend we, unfortunately, have not been able to
Well done to the 17 current members but a few newcomers would be most welcome.
Think about it and if you like a good sing and a challenge why not give it a try. We are
looking for more trebles/sopranos (the top line) and 2 more for the bass line. If you are
not very good at reading music don’t worry – enthusiasm will get you through.
Just as “Friday night is music night” has been on the air for many years let us hope that
there will be a choir to sing at St James’ for many years to come. I hope you enjoy the
music in 2008.
John Horsey - Organist and Director of Music
TRANSPORT TO CHURCH
We have four separate car pick-up teams who each week voluntarily deliver to and from
church those who find the journey to St James’s for the 10.30 am Service a difficulty. I
am most grateful to all the volunteer drivers involved, and I know that those transported
really appreciate their help.
We have unfortunately been affected somewhat this year with illness amongst our driver
team which has now reduced to 19 in number. As ever, we need more regular and back-
up drivers. With 5 regular drivers per team each driver is “on duty” once every five
weeks only, and it follows that the more volunteer drivers the less the number of duty
Sundays per driver per annum. Could readers of this report therefore consider helping
towards this act of Christian outreach service by volunteering to act as drivers? If you can
help please contact me in church or on 01225 754892.
This year we have been able to fill all the 10 am – 12 noon slots with stewards and the 10
– 2 pm on Wednesdays. The number of people coming into church has kept up and they
come for the usual varied reasons: the 'regulars' whom we get to know well, passers by
who come in to look around, those who come in for a time of quiet, those who appreciate
someone to talk to and because either they or their parents were married here. We are
always pleased to see church members who come in when they are in the town and have a
drink and chat. Our latest 'regular' is very quiet and well behaved. He likes a drink
otherwise he sits quietly watching all that goes on. He is a 'regular' on Sundays too. His
name is Murphy and he has four legs. We are always pleased to see him.
The holiday season will soon be on us when extra stewards are needed to fill the gaps. If
anyone feels they could do this worthwhile service please contact me and I will explain
what is involved. A big thank you to all our Stewards who have given faithful service
during the past year.
The talented band of ladies, whom we are very lucky to have, arranged some beautiful
displays for our festivals. This is made possible by the generosity of the congregation.
The Easter and Christmas flowers are partly paid for by gifts of money that are given to
me, perhaps in memory of a loved one or because the congregation take pleasure looking
at beautiful flowers.
My thanks go to the people who pay for the weekly altar flowers and to the PCC for their
yearly grant. The book sales we have during the year are a great help with the finance.
We have done extra fund raising this year towards the expenses for Salisbury Cathedral
750th Anniversary celebrations which will be taking place on June 17 th.
This year we have arranged pedestals for wedding anniversaries and funerals. We also
decorated the whole church for a wedding of one of our church members.
We like to think that our decorated church is an outreach and brings in many people who
have passed by St James Church and have never been inside.
My thanks go to the ladies (and gentlemen) who are so helpful to me.
2007 has been a relatively quiet year overall. Weekly news sheets are produced Every
effort is made to produce material that is accurate, but mistakes unfortunately do happen.
Material was produced for the Lent Lunchtime Services, the Annual report booklet and
material for our away day at Ammerdown in May.
During the year there were many special services and sheets were produced for those.
They included: The Civic Service, Veterans Service, Battle of Britain and the big one,
Remembrance Day booklets. Hymn sheets are produced for many of the family services.
The summer as usual was very quiet and there were times when there was little material
for the newsletters.
Thanks go to everyone who has assisted me in any way during the year so. It is always
good to hear from you by notes, telephone, e-mails or personal calls into the office.
The Monday Fellowship group met some 20 or so times during 2007, a number that
included four evenings devoted to Compline and three House Communions celebrated for
us by the Rector – and very much appreciated. At the express wish of members the
programme for 2008 will include an increase in the number of House Communion and
Compline evenings. Membership throughout the year has been maintained at an average
of ten per meeting and discussions – sometimes quite lively – covered a multitude of
topics, both relevant and 'red-herringish'. Due to the size of the group most meetings have
been held in the homes of only three or four members and our sincere thanks are offered
to those members for their hospitality.
TUESDAY FELLOWSHIP GROUP
The 11 of us have met regularly during the year in the homes of three of our members and
we are all grateful for their kind hospitality. We have, as we usually do, had two social
events – one in the home of another of our members, with a lovely supper, and the other
when we met in the morning and had lunch together at the College, which this year
included a birthday celebration for one of our Group. We always seek to include in our
prayers three of our former members, Jane Horton, Gwen Jolliffe and Winnie Sykes, who
are no longer able to join us.
This past year we have considered the fruits of the Spirit referred to by St Paul in his
Epistles and we have also read his Epistle to the Colossians. These, with the digressions
which either naturally (or otherwise) occur, have led to much discussion. On one
occasion we held the service of Compline which made for a more contemplative evening.
But, above all, we have continued to enjoy and benefit from our fellowship together as a
Group and in the family of St James'.
THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY GROUP
Our sincere thanks are expressed to Elizabeth and John Legge for hosting our meetings
throughout the year. Group membership has remained static at a maximum of eight
members. Using 'John for Everyone' by Tom Wright (Bishop of Durham) as our guide we
are slowly making our way through the Gospel of John and are finding it very stimulating.
PRAYER AND HEALING MINISTRY
This Ministry continues to flourish with a goodly number coming including some new
faces, to the Duke Chapel for prayer during the 5 th Sunday Holy Communion.
Of course every service is a healing service, and there have been occasions when team
members have prayed with someone in need of prayer at that time.
It has been a privilege to see how the Lord has answered the prayers. It is true to say that
no one who has received prayer has gone away disappointed. The answer to a specific
prayer has not always been answered in the way that the person expected, but God in his
great mercy has met them at their point of need at the time.
The members of the Prayer and Healing Chain have joined with us on two occasions
during the year when we have had a guest speaker come along to share with us their
involvement in the Christian Healing Ministry and how God has brought healing and
wholeness to them. This year the speakers have been the Revd Ann Cocking (Curate at
The Lavingtons, Cheverells and Easterton) and our Rector. It is surprising how each one
over the past few years has brought a new insight to God's work in their lives. And yet we
have to acknowledge that God works in his own wonderful ways to enrich our lives.
The church now opens on Wednesday lunch times to provide prayer ministry for people
who found that time convenient to them. It has been very worthwhile; sometimes no one
has come, but on one occasions there were four people seeking prayer.
Sometimes it is a member of St James'; on other occasions it is just someone who has seen
the notice on the 'A' Board outside who has come in for prayer.
Leaflets detailing the full range of Prayer Ministry are available in the church.
Geoff and Chris Adams
PRAYER AND MEDITATION GROUP
Our small group has been reduced to five for most of this year as one of our members has
been ill. However, we are back to full strength now and will increase to seven this year
which is good news. Doreen and I have continued to keep to our pattern of leading
alternately which seems to work well. We all look forward to the time of peace and
fellowship that we all share on Wednesday mornings, to learn more about God's Word and
to take away with us the message He has for us that day.
Doreen Green and Margaret Gilbert
THE EMERGENCY PRAYER CHAIN
We have been available to give prayer for those in need of spiritual support for over eight
years. Over this last year we have been asked to pray for 17 people with varying needs
and illnesses. Two members of our chain have stood down for health reasons this year but
we have gained two more dedicated Christians who now fill their places. We thank God
for prompting them to join us, thus keeping our number constant at 22. We continue to
keep to our policy of first praying constantly for the first month. These needs and prayers
are held in complete confidentiality. Further needs of that person are then re-assessed by
making contact by letter, and if further prayer would be appreciated we add them to our
on-going support prayer list which is an optional commitment for our members. Thanks
to all the members of the chain for their unwavering commitment. God has so many times
heard our prayers and we give great thanks for this.
The St James' handbell team continues to meet regularly in the Lansdown Room in the
church grounds on Tuesday evenings at 7.30 pm. A friendly group practice and play a
varied repertoire of tunes and are always very pleased to welcome new members.
Previous musical experience is not essential.
During the last year we performed to audiences at the Wingfield Home, Trowbridge
Hospital and at the St James Church Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Christmas.
Recently we were saddened at the death of one of our elder stalwarts, Lily Joyce. She will
be greatly missed, having performed with the group for many years.
Any person interested in joining our group should contact me on 01225 767098. The
group are only too pleased to offer tuition and guidance to newcomers.
ST JAMES PLAYERS
This is our 16th year of presenting challenging and entertaining drama in our parish
church. In Holy Week 2007 we performed “The Suffering Servant”, yet another original
play, to a total audience of 185 from all over the area and from many different churches.
Once again, it had a profound effect on cast and audience alike. Cast numbers are still
low – only 8 women – and it seems that there will by only 7 for the 2008 play, which is
already in rehearsal. However, enthusiasm and hard work are plentiful, and we are all
dedicated to the outreach of presenting the truth about Christ and his death on the cross
through drama in the power of the Holy Spirit, without which we could achieve nothing.
Peter English -Director
ST JAMES’S MOTHERS AND TODDLERS
Our Mothers and Toddlers group continues to thrive and is still averaging 30
mothers/carers each week, which often means in excess of 45 children between birth and
4 years old. The numbers normally reduce naturally by September, however, as children
move on to pre-school, but we said that last year! Last July we lost 12 children who were
going on to start school and we were able to present each of them with a book. Our
numbers have now stabilised at around 40 but we are registering new mothers/carers each
week. We have had three new babies born since Christmas and we are expecting more to
arrive this year!
During the past year we have paid our usual visits each term to Jungle Jacks, the soft play
centre at Westbury. The children and Mums/carers enjoy these visits, as indeed do the
organisers. The centre is opened just for us, and we are always made most welcome, with
free juice and tea/coffee. We subsidise these visits and charge £1.00 only per child aged
over one year.
Usborne Books visit us once per term, as do Phoenix Cards, and both donate to us 10% of
Our Christmas party, which was preceded this year by a well-attended Nativity Pram
Service (and we are planning another Pram Service in the near future) was as exciting as
ever. Quin again acted as Father Christmas and as always there were lots of Mums and
Toddlers attending. A few members of the St. James’s congregation joined us.
Art equipment continually needs replacement as we try to provide a variety of activities
from play dough, puzzles, threading beads and bobbins and easy sewing cards through to
“messy” activities such as glueing and sticking, junk modelling and painting. All our
equipment is cleaned, washed and disinfected before the beginning of each term.
Several changes have taken place this year. Alison Whinton retired after being involved
with Toddlers since 1999. We thank Alison for all her invaluable help over the past nine
years. We shall certainly miss her very much, but we are not losing her entirely as she has
now joined our coffee rota team.
Cath Senior 17
ST JAMES WIVES GROUP
The Wives Group is a group of ladies (not necessarily from St James) which meets on the
evening of the third Wednesday of each month for talks and social events. The indoor
meetings always open with a reading and prayers.
Continuing from last years report – in March 2007 we had a very enlightening talk by
Fran Lewis on the work of SPLITZ followed in April by an equally fascinating talk by
Ros Brown on her time with the Royal Ballet both as a dancer travelling the world and
later as a choreographer. April also saw our main fund-raising event when the church hall
rang with the sound of Land of Hope and Glory etc. as we held a celebratory St. George’s
Day supper and entertainment.
In May we all met for a “Teddy Bears Picnic ”, a very fun evening with much merriment.
In June we played skittles at South Wraxall and enjoyed a ploughman’s supper. This has
become an annual event.
In July, accompanied by a few husbands we went to the “Squirrels” at Southwick Country
Park which is part of the Hope Nature Centre, and our charity of the year, where we were
able to present a cheque for £650.
We had our AGM and supper in September when we agreed to raise money (but not on a
large scale) for the Wiltshire Bobby Van charity who will be coming to talk to us at
sometime in the future.
October found us engrossed with the recollections and memories of a lady who worked in
the Women’s Land Army during World War II. A few people met on the following
afternoon to pack Christmas gift boxes for families in Romania.
In November we had a very informative and moving account of the life of a carer and the
support that can be obtained from the local “Carers' Support” group.
In December we had a Christmas Quiz Night with eats and were eating again in January at
our annual supper party.
February found the Rectory filled with laughter as we had an evening of comic verse with
our speaker reading her favourite poems by Pam Ayres.
Our group is responsible for two flowerbeds in the churchyard and we also send out
baptismal anniversary cards for three years (with a notice about the Sunday school with
the third card) to all children who have been baptised at St James.
We meet in members’ homes whenever possible as this is far more comfortable. We
would welcome anyone who would like to join
us either as a member or for a particular meeting that they are interested in. The meetings
are always advertised in the parish magazine.
The theme for 2007 was Faith in Action. Our speakers on this theme were The Revd
Maureen Allchin on her work as a teacher and a priest; Farzana Saker from the West
Wiltshire Interfaith Group on her work with the group and her life as a Muslim; Revd
Francis and Mrs Jill Chadwick on visits they have made to Uganda, Ruanda and Tanzania
and the work of the MU in these countries; and Mr Sandy Armstrong who has worked on
the Iwokrama project in Guyana on sustainable use of rainforest.
The Rector shared some thoughts with us on the inspiration he has found in poetry and we
had two “Do it Yourself” meetings; readings, poetry and music in Lent leading us towards
Easter; and Ann Morland, Deanery Chairman, led us in a discussion of our lives as MU
members following the theme. The year finished with an Advent Communion Service.
The outing in July was to Romsey Abbey with a coffee stop at the beautiful old Wilton
church. In both places we were entertained by the MU. To celebrate 80 years of the MU
in Trowbridge, we held a coffee morning in September inviting Deanery members. This
raised £200 for the Literacy project and the Away-from-it-all holiday scheme. Other
social occasions were the August coffee morning and the Christmas tea and carols, both at
Keevil and skittles at Westwood. All these raised money for MU charities.
There were two Quiet times; one at Westwood with The Revd Ron Lowrie and one at
Great Chalfield with The Revd Ann Fielden and two special services; the Lady Day
Diocesan Family Festival at Salisbury Cathedral and the Mary Sumner Day service at St.
Andrews Church Melksham and also the Wave of Prayer in the Wyke Chapel. We now
have a monthly Corporate Communion when we join the congregation at the noon service
on the last Thursday of each month.
Eight members are now helping at the crèche at Erlestoke Prison several times a year.
Members who enjoy knitting have made small garments which have been include as
packaging around tools sent to Africa by “Tools with a Mission”. Elizabeth and Geoff
Holland and their knitters supplied teddy bears for the Isle of Wight and Durdle Door
Sadly we have had very little contact with our link branch in Harare, Zimbabwe. There
has been no reply to E-mails and the only letters we have received have been posted in
this country by friends or relatives of members visiting from Zimbabwe. We persevere
and have sent them, as requested, Mothering Sunday cards and Confirmation cards and we
all signed a Christmas card. We pray for them at all meetings.
In addition to the money raised at the Birthday coffee morning we have given money to
the CWISY fund and the Overseas fund.
This was our first year with our new leader Marion Thwaite in which we have gained 7
members; 4 having moved from other branches and 3 new members enrolled.
We look forward to another interesting year with the theme of “Time for Relationships”
We are grateful to the Rector and other clergy members who have supported us
throughout the year.
FELLOWSHIP OF THE NEEDLE
This year as we are doing some repairs, we have made a fabric banner. This replaced the
one which has served well in the side chapel that is set aside for rest, prayer and
meditation. It is almost identical to the paper banner it replaces. The word prayer is in
capital letters to make it easier to read from the back of the church. To balance the
praying hands we added a fluer de lys motif, the symbol of Mary, Mother of Jesus.
Originally this chapel was dedicated to our Lady of Gesyon, probably as it contained a
picture of the Virgin Mary in Childbed. Although frequently referred to as the Duke
Chapel, (after the reformation it belonged to the Seymour family, the Dukes of Somerset
and later Duke of Rutland), in 1935 it was refurbished as the Lady Chapel. The touches
of red and green on the banner reflect the colouring on the cross and candlesticks on the
This year we have a commission for a stole which we will be starting soon. When this is
complete we will still meet in church on the third Friday of each month, having fun trying
out any techniques or ideas suggested by those who come.
The group was also set up to do any simple sewing for those no longer able to do it
themselves, and we can embroider greetings cards for special occasions if requested. Just
speak to me or any member of the Fellowship of the Needle.
We meet of the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. The members enjoy a meal of soup,
bread and cheese, fruit and a cup of tea or coffee. Above all it is meeting people and
friendship among old friends and new.
The lunch club could not function without the help of so many people, preparing the
lunch, putting out the tables, clearing up and leaving the Hall and kitchen clean and tidy
etc. A big thank you to you all.
ST JAMES FRIENDS – THE PASTORAL COMMITTEE
This year I have sent over 50 cards at Christmas and Easter to the elderly and housebound
members of the congregation. I also sent cards to the sick and the bereaved. I would be
grateful if I could be told of anyone who is ill or in hospital so that I can hopefully cheer
them up with a card and to let them know they are not forgotten.
The Pastoral Committee meet in the Rectory to go through the Family roll and to keep up
to date with the health, worries and happiness of our congregation.
We had our 3rd Lent Lunch for which we catered for 77 people. There were 109 people
for the Harvest Lunch. Both took place in the Hall after Morning Service. On July 27 th
there was a Wine and Cheese evening. It is very helpful having members of the
congregation contributing to this by signing the food list in the church.
This year we had one tea party. I was able to bank over £100 towards our charities.
We celebrated 3 milestone birthdays. Winnie Sykes 90 th with a buffet lunch in church.
Molly Dowells 80th with a tea party in the hall. For Reg Gay's 80 th we began our Harvest
lunch with a sherry reception. We also catered for Reg and Audrey's joint 80th party.
Hilda and Eddie Maidment invited the congregation after morning service to celebrate
with them on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
Sadly we had Ken Newman's funeral to cater for. Jean is a very willing helper with our
catering and we were pleased to be able to be of service to her. This year we have a Soup
and Pud lunch. This was to be a money raiser for the Cathedral Flower Festival and was
most successful. There were 23 puds to taste. One person managed 14! There was a vote
for the best pud and the winner was The Queen Mothers Gilded treacle tart. It was
decided to publish a recipe book, profit to go to our charities. We sold our first 100 and
still there was a demand so 50 more were printed. We plan another Soup and Pud but
with different recipes.
This year we sent £400 to various charities. Hope Trust, The Children's Society, Dorothy
House and Air Ambulance. As well as collecting for charity we also buy extras for the
kitchen. One purchase has been 300 pieces of cutlery. I have been told that our kitchen is
the best equiped in the area.
I received very favourable comments which I pass on to our catering team. It is a busy
time for us but we feel we are contributing to the fellowship of our church. Without my
very capable helpers we would not be able to do so many events. I thank them for all they
do be it cooking, clearing or washing up.
THE LEPROSY MISSION
During the year of 2007, I received continued support for The Leprosy Mission from
friends of St James Church and from St James PCC, together with the cash collections
from the Family Service in March 2007.
The total amount came to £400 and a cheque has been sent to the Leprosy mission
headquarters office at Peterborough. I have now received a letter and receipt from Mrs
Sandra Holden, the Administrative Officer for The Leprosy Mission, expressing her
grateful thanks for St James generous gift for the Leprosy Mission. This gift will help
them to help so many patients, including many children in many countries with medical
healing and support, with after care nursing. Mrs Holden goes on to say that more than a
medical cure, the Mission can give leprosy sufferers their dignity and self respect. Also
the Mission continue to support patients, their families and their communities long after
Unfortunately stigma still prevails, leading to misunderstanding and exclusion – with our
help, The Leprosy Mission is changing this situation.
In addition to help from St James, my husband John was able to apply, once again, to his
Diageo Pension Fund for a grant and in response to this, they kindly sent a cheque for
£100 for the Leprosy Mission, for which we are grateful as it helped to boost the total
amount to £500.
I would like to express my thanks for kindness in all the help given by so many friends of
THE BELLEFIELD SCHOOL
Its quite difficult to get used to the new name of the school after so many years of being
associated with the ‘Parochial School’. However, Margaret Stancomb and Parochial
schools have merged to form the new Primary School, which will have a Nursery and
Children’s Centre. At present they are on the two sites while the building work goes on
and they are under one head teacher – Mrs Julie Knock – and are in the process of getting
a new uniform and logo. The school is working very closely with St James and St
Thomas’s churches and we are very pleased that that they will be taking part in the
worship at St James.
When all the building work is completed there will be an opportunity for local people to
have a look round the site. We send all our good wishes to the children, staff and
governors as they start on this exciting journey.
Ros Histed 22
GARLICK & GUNNING FUNDS
Although the stock markets are going through a difficult phase at the moment, with the
value of shares falling, our stocks have performed quite well. In the fifty years since we
received the Garlick bequest of £25,000 (and used £9,000 to build the Rectory) our
investments have now topped the half a million figure. It provides us with the necessary
money for the upkeep of the fabric of the building without asking the congregation to
contribute. So this year our portfolio has risen from £489,381 to £502,210 with a total
income of £18,872
The Gunning Fund has fallen slightly from £81,719 to £80,332 (£1,387 less) with an
income of £4,267.
As always, we want to give thanks for the generosity of the Garlick brothers and Mr
Gunning, for enabling us to make such good use of their bequests.