of us connected with St James' believe it is a very special place to
...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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.