of us connected with St James' believe it is a very special place to worship
...and to find fellowship
with other Christians, not to mention those who are just browsing!
People come from across the
town to worship with us - will you be one of them?
us based in the Anglican tradition have a wide experience and
understanding of how we can worship God. You could say we are the Church of
England in a nutshell!
But what we all have in
common is a desire to become more like Jesus Christ every day of our lives,
not just on Sunday!
We are situated just off
the top of Plomer Hill in Downley,
which is the western most parish belonging to the wider High Wycombe Team
Ministry (read more about the churches that belong to the Team Ministry,
plus a few others, here ).
When you see the church,
you might be forgiven for thinking it's a family home because it looks like
a modern bungalow. But perhaps this is appropriate. We want St James' to
feel like home, somewhere that people of all ages will be happy to be
themselves whether they come for worship or other events. Mind you, there
aren't many family homes with such a big car park at the front!
St James' wants to be a
place where people can confidently start or carry on their journey of
faith; a place which is prayerful but not pompous, a place which nurtures
young and old alike.
logo is a scallop shell.
It is the traditional symbol for St James the Apostle, one of
Jesus' very first followers and someone who helped take the Christian faith
to different parts of the world.
why a scallop shell?
St James was a fisherman by trade
until he left his family to follow Jesus. By doing so, his life was changed
forever. Instead of fishing for scallops, he was to become, in Jesus' words
"a fisher of people".
Read more about the life of
St James here
As you might expect, our
logo is a familiar feature in church. For example, the scoop sometimes used
to pour water over the head of someone being baptised (christened) is a
silver scallop shell. In the porch, you will see a wooden sculpture in the
shape of a scallop shell. Our roadside signage and official letterhead also
carries the logo.
does the logo relate to the life of St James' Church?
Jesus told his first
followers that if they went with him, they would become fishers of people.
It was a huge step for any individual to do so but they put their faith in
him and, in turn, their lives were transformed. They kept close to Jesus,
learning from him but, most importantly, coming to the understanding that
he was the Messiah, but not just that long-hoped for leader who would lead
the people of that land out of oppression.
Through his distinctive
teaching and specifically his death and resurrection, Jesus would lead the
whole world into a fresh understanding of God. Essentially, Jesus taught
that it was possible to know God intimately and be known by him just as
deeply. He also taught that His apostles (meaning 'messengers') were
charged with taking this amazing gospel (meaning 'good news message') all
over the world. In St James' case, it was taken as far as Spain.
All of us at St James'
Church are the modern day recipients of that message. We now share in the
role that Jesus gave his apostles; that of passing on the gospel through
our words and actions. Interestingly, when Jesus invited James to join him,
he didn't say James would become a 'trawler of people', he used the simple
word 'fisher', someone who catches fish one by one.
Anyone who has done any
fishing will know that it takes a lot of patience and dedication. For
Christians, one of our chief responsibilities is to call, just as Jesus
did, people into a conscious relationship with God. But, just like fishing,
we have to do so in a way which is patient, gentle and dedicated to helping
the individual find their way to God.
We hope that you too will
want to join us in our quest to become 'fishers of people'. Yet, even if
you're "just looking", you will be made every bit as welcome.