St James’s is one parish with two Churches, St James and St Christopher. Our teaching and worshipping style draws its richness from the catholic tradition within the Church of England. At the heart of our worshipping life is the Mass or Eucharist, where we share the body and blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine. All are welcome to our services, events, courses and whenever the church is open – either to take a look at this magnificent building or to spend a few moments in quiet reflection.
The parish of St James was created in 1907 as the new town of Clacton-On-Sea grew and developed. The present building was consecrated in 1913. We celebrated each of its 100thanniversaries with exhibitions, lectures, concerts, celebratory dinners and two grand flower festivals.
The Ecclesiastical Commissioners decreed that a second parish be formed in Clacton providing that this new church would have the more elaborate services associated with the Catholic Movement, whereas St Paul’s would continue to be a Protestant, prayer book church.
The church was originally planned to be nearly twice a large, complete with a bell tower, but the building was never completed to its designs. As it stands today the church can seat approximately 400 people, and whilst the outside seems rather austere, the interior is very beautiful.
Our baptismal font was repositioned in 2001 to take pride of place at the front of the congregation. It is a more welcoming place to hold Christenings and to display the wonderful masonry work. The original location is now used as an area for quiet prayer and reading.
At St James we have a strong musical tradition. We have an excellent organist and choir master and a loyal and enthusiastic choir. We use both the New English Hymnal and Celebration Hymns.
The interior of St James, Clacton, is complemented by some equally beautiful stained glass windows. On the north side we have the St James window and on the south, a window depicting the resurrection which is quite breath-taking when the sun is shining through it.
"He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’"
St Christopher’s stands in a small garden in the heart of Jaywick and was designed as a dual purpose building, the area containing the altar being provided with doors which can be closed when necessary. It was intended as a place of worship for holidaying chalet owners.
Land had been purchased in 1928 by Frank Christopher Stedman for a mixed beach and chalet development. On 15th December 1933 St Christopher’s was dedicated by the Bishop of Chelmsford, the name being a tribute to Mr Stedman who donated the land for the church. There is seating in the hall for approximately 80 people, a small kitchen to one side of the altar and a vestry on the other. Within the church there is a memorial to commemorate the floods of 1953 and those who lost their lives on that night. There are always fresh flowers under the memorial plaque.