ST JAMES CHURCH
There are six bells in good condition at St James’ Church in Southrepps. Learners and experienced ringers are most welcome. Expert tuition for beginners is available. There is also a recently refurbished set of handbells.
We are really short of ringers these days and find it hard to muster six to ring at St James’ on Sunday mornings. Practices are now held at Gimingham on Mondays. We have expert ringers to help with training, and anyone willing to try their hand will be most welcome.
Andrew Lubbock Mob: 07787 995097
St James is built of flint in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles. The tower, one of the tallest in the county dates from the middle years of the 15th century and is visible for miles. One could never doubt the dedication of the church because all around the base course of the tower are scallop shells, the pilgrim symbol of St James. Until the side aisles were taken down in 1791 this would probably have been one of the biggest parish churches in England.
Stained Glass Windows
Two stained glass windows in the South side were place by Archdeacon Glover and Mr. J. Carter. One on the West side to the Hon. and Rev. John Harbord, M.A., late rector 1892 –1900, placed by his widow and children. In 1897 the church was partially restored, re-floored, the nave and chancel reseated throughout, a new pulpit and carved oak choir seats for the chancel provided.
The handrail was added to the pulpit in 1996
The West Door
The West door was carved by Mrs. G. F. Buxton, daughter of the Rev. John Harbord, Rector of St. James, in 1897, in facsimile of the old.
The great West window (the largest in St James) was re-glazed in 2011 by Devlin & Plummer
At present in the tower there are six bells. Five bells were taken down and re-tuned at the Whitechapel bell foundry and re-hung on a new steel frame in 1984. At the same time the Ringers Gallery was re-installed. A scroll on the wall of the Tower room gives the names of the men who did the work. A sixth bell, caste by the foundry of ore from Australia in it’s bi-centennial year, was dedicated on Sunday 24th July 1988.
The weight and year of the bells are as follows:
Tenor - 13 cwt - 1641
Second - 6 cwt - 1641
Fourth - 12 cwt - 15th Century
Treble - 5 cwt - 1641
Third - 8 cwt - 1641
Treble - 5 cwt - 1988
Bell ringing practice is held on Wednesday evenings and we have many visiting groups of bell ringers.
The tower is open for visitors several times a year, generally when there is a special occasion or festival.
The room under the ringers gallery is mainly used for children’s activities.
The Black Angel Window
Behind the screen in the chancel on the South side there is a fine medieval stained glass window depicting a black angel.
In 1897 the 14th century font was restored and now has a carved oak cover which was presented by the parishioners and friends of the late Rev. Humphrey G. Barclay.
Rev Humphrey Barclay was Rector here on two occasions, returning after being Domestic Chaplain to his Majesty King George 6th from 1940 until 1946 . He was also Domestic Chaplain to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2nd in 1952.
The screen is of carved oak and at one time had painted panels which have almost gone.
The Lectern, a carved oak eagle was given by Sarah Elizabeth Foster Smith in memory of William Foster Smith, Rector from 1926 to 1945. It was dedicated on 29th May 1949 by Percy Mark Herbert, Bishop of Norwich.
The organ is a single manual pipe organ given to Southrepps church by relatives of Rev. H. G. and Mrs. Barclay in 1922.The electric blower was installed in May 1949 and the organ was com- pletely restored in August 1996.
A new Allen Renaissance digital organ was installed in 2001
An extension on the North side of the church consists of meeting rooms, kitchen and toilets. This was added in 1994/95 and dedicated by the Rt. Rev. David Connor, Bishop of Lynn on June 4th 1995. The Extension was funded from a legacy left to Southrepps church by Miss Judith Bartram who lies buried in the churchyard. There is a dedication plaque on the right through the extension doors. All the new carpentry work is made of English oak. The work was carried out by H. Bullen & Son, of Cromer and won the craftsmanship award from the Norfolk Association of Architects.
The carving over the West extension door was carved in situ by David Holgate.
There are 135 kneelers and one double wedding kneeler. These were embroidered by the ladies of the parish.