A Future for St. James’ Holywell?

A Future for St. James’ Holywell?

    In just over a years time the Anglicans of Holywell will be entering the 10th anniversary year of the completion of St. Peter’s Church on Rose Hill which opened in 2008. In that year St. Peter’s became a new home to many Anglicans who had long worshipped at St. James’ on the Well Hill and in the last ten years the Sunday congregation at St. James has declined even further. The average Sunday morning attendance at St. James’ is now just eight people.
    In 2007 the parish of Holywell had two Church buildings, St. James’ and Holy Trinity, Greenfield. Now, since the opening of St. Peter’s in 2008 we have three buildings. It might be reasonable to assume that with an average Sunday morning congregation of just eight people St. James’ has become surplus to requirements.
    Yet St. James is an ancient Christian site and is considered by many a beautiful and unique place of worship. It is also held in much affection by the wider population of Holywell and families who might never otherwise darken its doors often return there to mark important occasions in the life of their family such as the death of a loved one, or the celebration of a new birth or a marriage. At the same time however goodwill and affection does not pay the bills and the considerable costs of giving an ancient building the attention it requires.
    In recent weeks a small task group has been formed from within the congregation of St. Peter’s and the wider community of Holywell which is seeking to try and find a future for St. James’. We recognize that time is not on our side as the Church cannot afford to subsidize St. James’ in the long term but we do want to try and do something to preserve this building for Holywell and as a place of Christian worship. Could you help us in either of two ways?
     Firstly, we are inviting the wider community of Holywell and beyond to join the debate on the future of St. James’. We are keen to identify and link up with a possible community project that could be housed at St. James’. Ideally, any such project would be capable of helping to attract funding into the building to do the redecoration and upgrading of facilities that is required and would allow St. James to continue to serve as a place of worship. The task group has already agreed that if a suitable project could be found then all the fixed pews could be removed to create the space required by the project.
    Secondly, the task group has also agreed to create a Friends of St. James’ network inviting those who are keen to see a future for this historic and unique building to become a Friend and in so doing to make an annual subscription of £15.00. Please get in touch with the Rev’d Aidan Coleman either by phone on 01352 710010 or by e-mail on a.coleman560@btinternet.com or by post to The Vicarage, 1,Llys Bychan, the Ridings, Holywell CH8 7SX if you would like to discuss ideas for the future of St. James’ or to become a Friend of St. James’.

Posted on Sep 29, 2016 - 09:25 AM