|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|
The third incumbent of St James's was Revd Charles Robert Job, who was vicar from 1893 to 1914. Revd Job came from Newington and was a conscientious, popular man, enthusiastic and diligent in looking after the welfare of his parish "so much so that he fell foul of a section of the Urban District Council by accusing them of neglecting the interests of Hampton Hill and was told by Mr Tagg that 'if he looked after his flock it would be far better'”. He found the time to go abroad quite often and gave full geographical accounts of them in the Parish Magazine and as lantern slides at the 'Annual Conversaziones' and Sunday School meetings. In 1904 Revd Job paid a visit to the Holy Land and Egypt, having been asked by the Directors of the Orient Shipping Company to give a series of lectures. He wrote about Tangier in the magazine and concluded patriotically, “that there is no better place to live in than England, and no rule better than English rule”. Revd Job’s sojourning in foreign lands led him to visit Belgium, in company with eight other Hampton Hill residents, as well as Switzerland, Italy and also Canada, when he took charge of three hundred immigrants. "He used to show lantern slides of the scenery, the natives and the towns he had visited."
He cared very much about his parishioners and in 1902, during the outbreak of smallpox in London, he urged vaccination as a duty to family and neighbours. Like the first vicar, Revd Job was a keen sportsman, becoming President of the Football Club and playing for the Cricket Club. He also enjoyed quieter pursuits and liked to contribute an occasional article to ‘The Church Monthly’. The whole Job family suffered grievous losses during the 1914-18 War, the vicar himself losing two sons. Read the article Our New Vicar.
Appointment and induction
On the Sunday before Revd Job's induction he is reported to have said that he felt “the responsibility was not a light one, when he remembered the loving labours which his predecessors had wrought. He felt that if it were not that Almighty God can use whatever men or instruments He sees fit, he would shrink from the task which lay before him.”
Significant developments during Revd Job's incumbency
Revd Job made changes to the pattern of church services by introducing extra services and sometimes changing the times to encourage more people to attend, stressing the importance of attendance at Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide. Children were encouraged to attend the Sunday School and attendance grew so much that by 1910 it became impossible to seat all the children in church. It was decided to have a separate service taken by the teachers for them in the church room at the same time as the service in church. He also found ways of encouraging candidates for confirmation and by the end of his incumbency the church was well attended.
Until 1902 the day schools were still run directly by St.James's although they underwent regular inspections which usually resulted in very satisfactory reports. The Education Act of that year meant that, although still church schools, their control now passed into the hands of a committee appointed by Middlesex County Council.
During this period the church itself underwent a variety of improvements. The roof and the whole heating system were repaired and in 1904 electric lighting was installed. Several stained glass windows were added in the north aisle and in 1913 the memorial windows to Mrs Fitz Wygram and Revd Bligh were unveiled on St. James's Eve. Read the articles Electric Light in Church, Church Repairs and Church Improvements. At a cost of £100, another two bells were added to the church in 1902 and this completed a peal of six.
Revd Job continued his predecessors' work in playing a key role in developing the well-being of the parish as a whole. As there still was no National Health Service at this time, St James’s decided to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 by providing the parish with a nurse, a “Victoria Diamond” nurse. In 1909 it was reported that the nurse had made 3,086 visits that year and that her services were still being paid for by public subscription.
The end of Revd Job's incumbency
Revd Job left Hampton in 1914 to become vicar of Bengeo, in Hertfordshire, exchanging parishes with Revd Coad-Pryor. His congregation was so sorry to bid him farewell that they presented him, not only with a purse full of sovereigns, but with “an illuminated testimonial” signed with the names of nearly six hundred of his parishioners. The parchment was beautifully decorated with designs embodying shells, to illustrate his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and with clusters of grapes and vine leaves.
"A meticulously executed water colour of St James’s occupies a place of honour above the illuminated words, while below are two pen and ink representations—one of the church interior and one of the old vicarage—his home for twenty-one years. The words chosen by his parishioners give us a good insight into Mr Job’s character: 'The whole parish very deeply regrets your impending departure from Hampton Hill after your long service of twenty years as Vicar of St James’s, and we, whose names are appended desire to record our esteem for you, and our profound appreciation of your wide sympathy and interest in our local organisations, for the spiritual, physical and social welfare. Your unfailing wisdom, tact and sound judgment in all your many difficult and multifarious duties will always be gratefully remembered'." Read the article Change of Vicar.
In 1921, after Revd Job's death, a stained glass window of‘ 'St John the Evangelist’ was installed in the chancel in his memory and a tablet of a plain black cross on a stone background was placed on the wall of the south aisle to the right of the pulpit.
The Parish Church of St James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
Main site: stjames-hamptonhill.org.uk