|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 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”.
Significant developments during
Revd Harvey's incumbency
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.
The Parish Church of St James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
Main site: stjames-hamptonhill.org.uk