There have been designated children's services
since the earliest days and maintaining children's interest has
always been important to St James's. The January 1910 Hampton Hill
Parish Magazine reported: "We
are commencing a new system in connection with the children’s
services. We are very anxious that the children should take greater
interest in the Church and in their lessons, and we want the parents
to help us. Stamps will be given for full attendances, and these
are to be placed in small albums which will be supplied to the children
at one penny each. Children who do not attend the Sunday Schools,
but who attend Church, may take part in the system. I understand
that it creates great interest wherever it is in use." In
1916 a children’s prayer service was held at 10.15 on Saturday
mornings in the church. “Parents
who can spare their children
for half-an-hour are asked to allow them to attend.”
In 1920, the infants’ Sunday School started their own little
service in the church room instead of going to the 11.00 service
in the church.
Several young communicants asked Revd Harvey for a celebration of
the Holy Communion at seven o'clock on one Sunday in the month.
So in September 1925, he decided to do this on the fourth Sunday
in the month. This was Church Parade Sunday for the Girl Guides
and the Church Lads' Brigade, and so with "this
additional opportunity more of the members should make their Communions
regularly in the future".
An activity at an early
The Children's afternoon Service
dropped over the course of Revd Brunt's
incumbency. However, he was keen to include the children and so
in 1956 "every fourth Sunday in
the month at 11.0 a.m. we hope that all our older Sunday School
children will be present at Matins, and that their parents will
come with them". Consequently the Family and Parade
Service regularly took place on the fourth Sunday in the month.
The following year the Family & Parade Service moved to 09.30
on the fourth Sunday. Children not
yet confirmed were welcomed at the altar rails to receive a blessing
at the service of Holy Communion at 09.45 on Christmas Day, 1961.
In 1964 "Parish Communion at 9.30
a.m. becomes central but once a month, usually on the fourth Sunday,
there will be the customary Family and Parade Service at 11.0 a.m.,
but we may adapt it in various ways to make it shorter and simpler,
and not always follow the pattern of Matins as in the past. As already
stated, on these days there will be no Sunday Schools, but the Parish
Communion will be held as usual."
The Family and Parade Service on the fourth
Sundays underwent some changes in 1976 in an attempt to make the
service more meaningful and less tedious for the youngsters. Then
the following year it was moved to the first Sunday in the month.
However, for some time it had been felt that this familiar Parade
Service and Family Communion needed to be replaced by a shorter
simpler service, more suited to the younger members of the congregation.
It was changed to a new style 'Informal Service' on Sunday 3rd March
1985. The choir started to help with the singing of the hymns, the
readings and prayers were read by members of the cubs and scouts
and the vicar called
on younger members of the congregation to assist him during his
talk. By letting the children take a prominent part in the proceedings
like this, their attention and interest was held to the end.
The ‘Spirit of Praise’
songbooks started to be used in the Informal Services.
All-age communion services were re-introduced during Revd Vannozzi's
incumbancy and so Illustrated
service booklets (shown left) were made in 2008 with photographs
and explanations of each part of the service, mainly for the youngsters,
but were found to be very helpful for all ages. A
Mothering Sunday service was started in 2010,
proving very popular with families and from then until Revd Winterburn
started his incumbancy, the services
on the first Sundays in the month were sometimes All-age communions
and other times non-eucharistic
services. From the end of 2016 the informal family services were
held more or less once a month and were non-eucharistic.
The uniformed groups have always joined in the All-age parade services
and from 1997 the instrumental group, now called the St James's
Players, have provided the music rather than the organ.
The above information covers the period from
when any records could be found until November 2016. This was when
Revd Derek Winterburn became St James's tenth vicar and from this
time onwards any new information can be found on the main site's