The Nave
 
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The Nave

The nave is the central open space of the church, the main aisle with rows of pews either side. It is the part of the church where most of the congregation sit during services. It is divided from the side aisles by ten columns which support the church roof.

The word nave comes from the Latin word navis which means ship, the root of the English word navigation. The roof timbers are like an upturned ship's hull, reminding us that St James was a fisherman. It is as though the church is a ship, the congregation are passengers in the ship, and the priests and congregation are travelling together towards God.


There are ten columns supporting the nave roof. Each is topped by a carved stone capital representing flowers, leaves and fruits. Below are four, all of which are different:


Carved stone capital
Carved stone capital
Carved stone capital
Carved stone capital

Pews

Pews are the fixed benches on which people sit in the nave. Once there were no seats in churches and the congregation stood or knelt.

Later, in some churches, a few seats were attached to the wall for old and sick people, and from this comes the saying, 'The weakest go to the wall'. Fixed seats for all the people were introduced about the 15th century.
Pews

Kneelers

The creation of a series of new kneelers (hassocks) was a millennium project for the church which involved a group of women who used their talents and artistic energy to give something lasting to St James's Church.

Some show the emblems for the guides and scouts, Mothers Union and New Start. The other designs are taken from the tiles and stained glass windows in the church. There are four kneelers that depict the four seasons. There is also a long kneeler which can be used for weddings. See pictures of our Kneelers


Kneeler
Kneeler
Kneeler
Kneeler
Kneeler

The Pulpit

The Pulpit

The pulpit is the raised, enclosed platform from which the preacher gives the sermon. It is made of stone and is hexagonal (six-sided). It is the largest piece of church furniture to show that the Word of God is an important part of the weekly service. The word pulpit comes from the Latin word pulpitum meaning stage or platform.

The centre panel shows IHS. IHS or IHC are the first three letters of the Greek for Jesus (IHCOYC) (see right).

Pulpit panel IHS

The Lectern

The lectern is the desk on which the Bible rests. It is made of brass. It is in the shape of an eagle with out-stretched wings. The eagle is standing on a ball, which represents the world, while the Bible on the eagle's back symbolises the Gospel being carried on wings to the corners of the earth.The word lectern comes from the Latin word, lectus, meaning to read, because the lectern is actually a reading stand. It is normally used by lay people to read the scripture lessons, to lead the congregation in prayer, and to make announcements.

The Lectern

The Lectern
 
The Wooden Lectern
 
The Lectern
The brass lectern  
The wooden lectern
 
The brass lectern

The Nave Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass has been used to add beauty and colour to our church. Many of our windows show biblical scenes, and these helped to teach the people about religion in the days when most of them could not read.

The separate pieces of glass each have their own colour and are set into strips of lead. The colours in early stained glass were each thought to have a meaning; for instance, red meant divine love, white - divine wisdom, yellow - faith, and so on.

See our Nave Stained Glass Windows page.

The Dove window in the nave

St James's Church Quizzes

• Print out and fill in our St James's Nave Quiz

Further Information

More detailed information can be found in the main site on the page Inside the church.



The Parish Church of St James, Hampton Hill, TW12 1DQ
Main site: stjames-hamptonhill.org.uk