|St James's Church, Piccadilly|
The Church in 2011
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Dedicated||13 July 1684|
|Heritage designation||Grade I|
|Diocese||Diocese of London|
|Rector||The Revd Lucy Winkett|
|Curate(s)||The Revd Lindsay Meader|
|NSM(s)||The Revd Hugh Valentine |
The Revd Ivan Khovacs
|Churchwarden(s)||Deborah Colvin and Trevor Lines|
St James's Church, Piccadilly, also known as St James's Church, Westminster, and St James-in-the-Fields, is an Anglican church on Piccadilly in the centre of London, United Kingdom. The church was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren.
Piccadilly is a road in the City of Westminster, London to the south of Mayfair, between Hyde Park Corner in the west and Piccadilly Circus in the east. It is part of the A4 road that connects central London to Hammersmith, Earl's Court, Heathrow Airport and the M4 motorway westward. St James's is to the south of the eastern section, while the western section is built up only on the northern side. Piccadilly is just under 1 mile (1.6 km) in length, and is one of the widest and straightest streets in central London.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Sir Christopher Wren PRS FRS was an English anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist, as well as one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. He was accorded responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710.
The church is built of red brick with Portland stone dressings. Its interior has galleries on three sides supported by square pillars and the nave has a barrel vault supported by Corinthian columns. The carved marble font and limewood reredos are both notable examples of the work of Grinling Gibbons. In 1902, an outside pulpit was erected on the north wall of the church. It was designed by Temple Moore and carved by Laurence Arthur Turner. It was damaged in 1940, but restored at the same time as the rest of the fabric.
A brick is building material used to make walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Traditionally, the term brick referred to a unit composed of clay, but it is now used to denote any rectangular units laid in mortar. A brick can be composed of clay-bearing soil, sand, and lime, or concrete materials. Bricks are produced in numerous classes, types, materials, and sizes which vary with region and time period, and are produced in bulk quantities. Two basic categories of bricks are fired and non-fired bricks.
Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries consist of beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major public buildings in London such as St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. Portland stone is also exported to many countries—being used for example in the United Nations headquarters building in New York City.
A barrel vault, also known as a tunnel vault or a wagon vault, is an architectural element formed by the extrusion of a single curve along a given distance. The curves are typically circular in shape, lending a semi-cylindrical appearance to the total design. The barrel vault is the simplest form of a vault: effectively a series of arches placed side by side. It is a form of barrel roof.
Like many central London churches surrounded by commercial buildings and ever fewer local people, St James’s lost numbers and momentum in the 1960s and 1970s. When, in 1980, Donald Reeves was offered the post of rector, the bishop allegedly said "I don’t mind what you do, just keep it open."[ citation needed ] During that decade and most of the 1990s numbers and activity grew, the clergy and congregation gaining a reputation for being a progressive, liberal and campaigning church. That has continued. The "congregation" rejects that description and prefers "community". It is centred on the Eucharist, the celebration of the principal Christian sacrament. It finds expression in a wide range of interest groups: spiritual explorers, labyrinth walking, Julian prayer meetings, the Vagabonds group (a lively discussion group which takes its name from a William Blake poem and in faithfulness to that text meets in a local alehouse), a LGBT group and many others. The community has actively supported, and supports, the ordination of women to all the orders of the church, the just treatment of asylum seekers and those living in poverty. It celebrates what it regards as the "radical welcome" found in the heart of the Gospels and attested to by the Incarnation.
A rector is, in an ecclesiastical sense, a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations. In contrast, a vicar is also a cleric but functions as an assistant and representative of an administrative leader. The term comes from the Latin for the helmsman of a ship.
Liberal Christianity, also known as liberal theology, covers diverse philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century onward. Liberal does not refer to progressive Christianity or to political liberalism but to the philosophical and religious thought that developed and grew as a consequence of the Enlightenment.
Concerts are regularly held in the church.Concerts have included performances by popular contemporary musicians such as R.E.M., the folk musician Laura Marling as part of her "church tour", the collegiate Indian-American music group Penn Masala and Devin Townsend on his 2015 UK acoustic tour.
Laura Beatrice Marling is a British folk singer-songwriter. She won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards, and was nominated for the same award at the 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 Brit Awards.
Penn Masala is an American a cappella group. It is the world's first and premier South Asian a cappella group. Formed in 1996 by students at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Masala's music has been influenced by the Eastern and Western cultures that represent the group's membership. The group was featured on the soundtrack of American Desi, and has released ten full-length albums: Awaaz, 11 PM, Soundcheck, The Brown Album, Pehchaan, On Detours, Panoramic, Kaavish, Resonance,Yuva, an EP titled Vol. 1 and the compilation album Out of Stock. The group has performed at the White House, the Indian Filmfare Awards, and for prominent leaders including Ban Ki-moon and Mukesh Ambani. The group also had a cameo role in Pitch Perfect 2, released in May 2015.
Devin Garrett Townsend is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer. He founded extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad and was its primary songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist from 1994 to 2007, and has an extensive career as a solo artist. After performing in a number of heavy metal bands in high school, Townsend was discovered by a record label in 1993 and asked to perform lead vocals on Steve Vai's album Sex & Religion. After recording and touring with Vai, Townsend was discouraged by what he found in the music industry, and vented his anger on the solo album Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing, released under the pseudonym Strapping Young Lad. He soon assembled a band under the name, and released the critically acclaimed City in 1997. Since then, he has released three more studio albums with Strapping Young Lad, along with solo material released under his own independent record label, HevyDevy Records.
Hauser & Wirth, a contemporary art gallery, is running a programme of outdoor sculpture exhibitions in Southwood Garden in the grounds of the church. The first exhibition was of work by the Swiss sculptor Hans Josephsohn, running from September 2009 to January 2010.Southwood Garden was created in the churchyard by Viscount Southwood after World War II as a garden of remembrance, "to commemorate the courage and fortitude of the people of London," and was opened by Queen Mary in 1946.
Hauser & Wirth is a Swiss contemporary and modern art gallery.
Hans Josephsohn was a Swiss sculptor. He lived and worked in Zurich.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
From 23 December 2013 to 5 January 2014 the "Bethlehem Unwrapped" demonstration against the Israeli West Bank barrier featured an art installation by Justin Butcher, Geof Thompson, and Dean Willars, which included a large replica section of the wall. The installation blocked the view of the church, other than a section of the top of the tower, which was stated by church authorities to be part of the point of the demonstration.
The Israeli West Bank barrier or wall is a separation barrier in the West Bank or along the Green Line. Israel considers it a security barrier against terrorism, while Palestinians call it a racial segregation or apartheid wall. At a total length of 708 kilometres (440 mi) upon completion, the border traced by the barrier is more than double the length of the Green Line, with 15% running along it or in Israel, while the remaining 85% cuts at times 18 kilometres (11 mi) deep into the West Bank, isolating about 9% of it, leaving an estimated 25,000 Palestinians isolated from the bulk of that territory.
The Piccadilly Market was established in 1981 and operates six days a week in the courtyard of St James's Church. Monday and Tuesday: Food Market, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Wednesday – Saturday: Arts and Craft Market, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.
In 1662, Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, was granted land for residential development on what was then the outskirts of London. He set aside land for the building of a parish church and churchyard on the south side of what is now Piccadilly. Christopher Wren was appointed the architect in 1672 and the church was consecrated on 13 July 1684 by Henry Compton, the Bishop of London. In 1685 the parish of St James was created for the church.
The church was severely damaged by enemy action in 1940, during the Second World War. Works of restoration were designed by Sir Albert Richardson and carried out by Rattee and Kett.
A separate burial groundof St James's Church was developed in Camden, in use from 1790 until 1853. The cemetery became St James's Gardens in 1878 with only a few gravestones lining the edges of the park. Part of the Gardens, located between Hampstead Road and Euston railway station, was built over when Euston station was expanded in around 1887. To avoid public outcry, the affected remains were reinterred at St Pancras Cemetery. The Gardens were closed to the public in 2017 to allow the further expansion of Euston station for the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project. As of January 2019, archaeologists working on HS2 are excavating approximately 40,000 burials. It is proposed to re-bury the remains, at a site to be decided, after they have been examined by osteo-archaeologists.
Notable burials include:
Kensal Green Cemetery is a cemetery in the Kensal Green area of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. Inspired by Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, it was founded by the barrister George Frederick Carden. The cemetery opened in 1833 and comprises 72 acres of grounds, including two conservation areas, adjoining a canal. The cemetery is home to at least 33 species of bird and other wildlife. This distinctive cemetery has memorials ranging from large mausoleums housing the rich and famous to many distinctive smaller graves and includes special areas dedicated to the very young. It has three chapels, and serves all faiths.
Euston railway station is a central London railway terminus on Euston Road in the London Borough of Camden, managed by Network Rail. It is the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line to Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central. It is also the mainline station for services to and through Birmingham New Street, and to Holyhead for connecting ferries to Dublin. Local suburban services from Euston are run by London Overground via the Watford DC Line which runs parallel to the WCML as far as Watford Junction. There is an escalator link from the concourse down to Euston tube station; Euston Square tube station is nearby. King's Cross and St Pancras railway stations are further down Euston Road.
Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1st Baronet, was the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and was court painter to English and British monarchs from Charles II to George I. His major works include The Chinese Convert ; a series of four portraits of Isaac Newton painted at various junctures of the latter's life; a series of ten reigning European monarchs, including King Louis XIV of France; over 40 "kit-cat portraits" of members of the Kit-Cat Club; and ten "beauties" of the court of William III, to match a similar series of ten beauties of the court of Charles II painted by his predecessor as court painter, Sir Peter Lely.
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Matthew Noble was a leading British portrait sculptor. Carver of numerous monumental figures and busts including work memorializing Victorian era royalty and statesmen displayed in locations such as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral and in Parliament Square, London.
Captain Matthew Flinders was an English navigator and cartographer who led the first circumnavigation of Australia and identified it as a continent.
Sir Thomas Burnett of Leys, 3rd Baronet,, Lord Clerk Register, PC, MP. He was, at Stonehaven, 21 April 1664, retoured as heir to his father, Sir Alexander Burnett, 2nd Baronet who had died the previous year. The 3rd Baronet is the grandson of Sir Thomas Burnett, 1st Baronet, who completed the reconstruction of Muchalls Castle and the great-grandson of Alexander Burnett of Leys, who completed the construction of Crathes Castle.
William Neville Hart was a British banker, politician and diplomat. He was born to Denise Gougeon, the wife of Lewis Augustus Blondeau. His mother was the Under Housekeeper or Mistress of the King's Household, a position she was to hold for more than fifty years. Denise was the sister of Esther Gougeon, the wife of Daniel Cornelius de Beaufort. Hart's father held various positions at Court including that of Gentleman Usher to King George II.
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