St James's Church, Hampton Hill

St James's vicars through the years | Revd Fitzroy John Fitz Wygram | Revd Henry Bligh | Revd Charles Robert Job | Revd Richard Coad-Pryor | Revd Frederick Pearce Pope Harvey | Revd Rupert Hoyle Brunt | Revd John Nicholas Chubb | Revd Brian Leathard | Revd Peter Vannozzi

Revd Frederick Pearce Pope Harvey, AKA

Rev. Frederick Pearce Pope Harvey

Revd Frederick Harvey

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Introducing Revd Frederick Harvey

Revd Frederick Pearce Pope Harvey was the incumbent from 1923 until 1950, having been educated at King’s College, London and at Durham University. He was ordained in 1902 and spent four years as Curate at Little Ilford in Essex, then at Jarrow Grange on the Tyne before he moved to Stretton Grandison and then to Leominster in Herefordshire. In 1911 he was appointed Curate in Charge of All Saints', Hampton before his appointment at St James's.

He had a good taste in music and maintained a high musical standard during services. He was always reminding his dwindling flock to attend the church festivals. “He was a kindly, comfortable, pipe-smoking man - a familiar short, stocky, figure as he cycled about the village waving genially to his parishioners as he met them”.

Revd Harvey’s wife and four daughters worked very hard in the parish as Sunday School teachers, guide captains and social organisers but his only son was killed in the Second World War.

Appointment and induction

To quote from the 'Birth and Growth of Hampton Hill': "There was great dissension in the village on his preferment from being curate of All Saints’, Hampton, where he had conducted services in a manner considered 'high' by St. James’s standards. As a result of a public meeting there was a deputation to the Bishop of London, and a parish canvass was held, but, nevertheless, his appointment was upheld. On coming to his new parish he gave a public undertaking to hold services in a manner acceptable to St James’s, and this he was scrupulous in doing. After this stormy beginning he settled down to a comparatively uneventful twenty-eight years." Revd Harvey was inducted as vicar of St James’s on April 3rd 1923 with a “beautiful service, much enhanced by the singing of the choir and the very tasteful decoration of the Church”.

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The old vicarage

The old vicarage, built in 1864 next to the church, was a large, elegant, gabled, typically Victorian one. It cost almost as much as the church itself.

The new vicarage

The new vicarage was built in 1937 after the old, rambling and uneconomical vicarage was demolished. The new one was more suitable and is still in use today.

Significant developments during Revd Harvey's incumbency

This whole period was overshadowed by acute money worries for St James's. Revd. Harvey's incumbency was the end of an era in which church finance was administered by the vicar and the church wardens while the necessary funds for ordinary and extraordinary expenditure was almost entirely obtained from those who rented pews. Parochial Church Councils were just beginning to operate and had not yet realised their powers or their responsibilities. At the same time the custom of renting pews was falling out of favour. Not only did this reduce the vicar's income but it also lost the select list to whom application for special funds could be made. The PCC had to realise in the end that it was now their duty to obtain funds for all purposes. The parish found it could no longer afford a curate and the church began to fall into disrepair. However, new stained glass windows were installed in the baptistry in 1923 and dedicated to the previous vicar, Revd Coad-Pryor.

The attempt to maintain the schools as church schools came to an end in 1928 because there were insufficient funds for the upkeep of the buildings. Responsibility passed into the hands of Middlesex County Council which built the present Junior School in Windmill Road. The original site and buildings, however, were owned by relations of Revd. Fitz Wygram who kindly gave them to the church. The girls’ and infants’ buildings were kept as they were for the holding of Sunday School and church clubs, etc., and the boys’ school building was turned into a parish hall that opened in 1932. Read the article The New Parish Hall.

Spire repairs in 1947

Spire repairs in 1947

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Revd Harvey sold the vicarage grounds which bordered on St James’s Road and used the money to demolish the old, rambling and uneconomical vicarage and build a new one in 1937, still in use, more suitable to the times and to his purse. “This gave rise to much bitterness in the vicinity and several old-established families left the church. In 1939 the residents of the large houses opposite were so disgusted by the invasion of their privacy that many of them gathered up their goods and chattels, held last regretful tennis parties and moved away in search of fresh fields and pastures new”. The churchyard was also extended and new lych gates installed.

It was fortunate that the church escaped damage by bombing during the war but the tip of a plane’s wing, which crashed in Park Road, knocked off one of the crosses from one of the four pinnacles at the base of St. James’s Spire. Subsequently it was found that the spire had been badly shaken but this damage was made good as the result of a parish-wide collection in 1947.

During the course of his incumbency, Revd Harvey made many changes to the patterns of worship at St James's, especially to weekday services, and was keen to support and involve the choir.

The end of Revd Harvey's incumbency

From the late 1940s Revd Harvey’s health deteriorated and so a great deal of the work of running the parish fell on the laity. Finally in June, 1950, after a long period in which he had been unable to carry out his duties, Revd Harvey retired and was thanked for his loyalty and service. Read the article Vicar to Leave. Revd A H Harper, BA, looked after the parish until a new vicar was appointed. Revd Harvey died at his sister's home in Blundellsands in February 1954 at the age of seventy-six and was buried in St James's Churchyard.

St James's Church
The Parish Church of St James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
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