All of us connected with St James' believe it is a
very special place to worship
...and to find fellowship with other Christians,
not to mention those who are just browsing!
People come from across the town to worship with us
will you be one of them?
Those of us based in the Anglican tradition have a wide experience and understanding of how we can
worship God. You could say we are the Church of England in a nutshell!
But what we all have in common is a desire to become more like Jesus Christ every day of our lives,
not just on Sunday!
We are situated just off the top of Plomer Hill in Downley, which is the western most parish belonging to the wider High Wycombe Team Ministry (read more about the churches that belong to the Team Ministry,
plus a few others, here ).
When you see the church, you might be forgiven for thinking it's a family home because it looks like a modern bungalow. But perhaps this is appropriate. We want St James' to feel like home, somewhere that people of all ages will be happy to be themselves whether they come for worship or other events. Mind you, there aren't many family homes with such a big car park at the front!
St James' wants to be a place where people can confidently start or carry on their journey of faith;
a place which is prayerful but not pompous, a place which nurtures young and old alike.
Our logo is a scallop shell.
It is the traditional symbol for St James the Apostle, one of Jesus' very first followers and someone who helped take the Christian faith to different parts of the world.
But why a scallop shell?
St James was a fisherman by trade until he left his family to follow Jesus. By doing so, his life was changed forever. Instead of fishing for scallops,
he was to become, in Jesus' words "a fisher of people".
Read more about the life of St James here
As you might expect, our logo is a familiar feature in church. For example, the scoop sometimes used to pour water over the head of someone being baptised (christened) is a silver scallop shell. In the porch, you will see a wooden sculpture in the shape of a scallop shell. Our roadside signage and official letterhead also carries the logo.
How does the logo relate to the life of St James' Church?
Jesus told his first followers that if they went with him, they would become fishers of people. It was a huge step for any individual to do so but they put their faith in him and, in turn, their lives were transformed.
They kept close to Jesus, learning from him but, most importantly, coming to the understanding that he was the Messiah, but not just that long-hoped for leader who would lead the people of that land out of oppression.
Through his distinctive teaching and specifically his death and resurrection, Jesus would lead the whole world into a fresh understanding of God. Essentially, Jesus taught that it was possible to know God intimately and be known by him just as deeply. He also taught that His apostles (meaning 'messengers') were charged with taking this amazing gospel (meaning 'good news message') all over the world.
In St James' case, it was taken as far as Spain.
All of us at St James' Church are the modern day recipients of that message. We now share in the role that Jesus gave his apostles; that of passing on the gospel through our words and actions. Interestingly, when Jesus invited James to join him, he didn't say James would become a 'trawler of people', he used the simple word 'fisher', someone who catches fish one by one.
Anyone who has done any fishing will know that it takes a lot of patience and dedication. For Christians,
one of our chief responsibilities is to call, just as Jesus did, people into a conscious relationship with God. But, just like fishing, we have to do so in a way which is patient, gentle and dedicated to helping the individual find their way to God.
We hope that you too will want to join us in our quest to become 'fishers of people'. Yet, even if you're
"just looking", you will be made every bit as welcome.