Church of England Diocese of Manchester St. James, Thornham

St James Thornham

Welcome to St James Church Thornham. We are a friendly and active church community open to everyone who wishes to join us and explore the Christian faith. We seek to share God's love through our relationships with one another and through our service to the community.

We are the Church of England parish church for Thornham, located between Oldham and Rochdale in Greater Manchester. Please use this website to find out more about us and if you have any questions, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you and for you to join our service

Closure of churches for public worship.  The Government has ordered that places of worship must be closed, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals.

This means that our Sunday service is cancelled until Sunday 6th December at 9.00am and or Wednesday service is cancelled until at least Wednesday 9th December. Further guidance will be issued nearer the time as we know more about what will happen after the lockdown.

In the meantime, we will be open for individual private  every Sunday during lockdown from 1pm to 2pm.   All are welcome to attend, subject to the Covid-19 guidelines which include social distancing, wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitisers. 

Please do not attend if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been asked to self-isolate. We have the QR code for the NHS Track and trace on our notice board at the entrance. Please see the NHS app for details and further guidance can be found on the Manchester Diocese website at  Coronavirus guidance for churches - Diocese of Manchester.

 We are still issuing our weekly pew sheet to let people know what is happening. You can look at these by visiting our website which you can access from the main page or clicking on the Get in touch icon on the left hand side of the page.

You can also apply to join our Facebook page St James' Church, Thornham which will give more details about our church. We would love you to join.

"The Parish of Thornham: St James is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and polices and have out own Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO). The Diocese of Manchester's safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advisor PSOs. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA.  If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adult Services."

Get in touch

Roy Evans Church Warden


Every Sunday at 9 a.m. for 50m
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Thornham Lane

Due the Coronavirus pandemic our Sunday service which starts every Sunday at 9.00am will be a spoken one with no hymns. The church is Covid-19 secure and you can see a copy of our risk assessment. Places are limited to ensure social distancing.

All are welcome to attend, subject to the Covid-19 guidelines which are in the attached notes. We have space for individual worshippers as well as families. If you would like to attend please contact assistant warden Linda Fearn who will take the booking. Her contact number is 07860 618680 or email her on [email protected] The church is Covid-19 secure and you can see a copy of our risk assessment. Due the Covid-19 restrictions we are not able to offer tea or coffee after the service and our toilets are closed. There is currently no Sunday School, mother and toddler or crèche facilities.

Returning to Worship
Although we are beginning to return to public worship in church, this is not a return to normal. So that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not now is the right time for you to return and, so you know what to expect, please take time to read the following details carefully. We intend to start public worship on Sunday 9th August at 9.00am.

Who can attend?
• You MUST NOT attend if you have any symptoms of coronavirus or are having to isolate.
• You SHOULD NOT attend if you are in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category.
• While those at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone.

Physical Distancing
• We will be strictly observing 2 metre physical distancing at all times unless totally impossible. This limits the number able to attend church to 18 households/bubbles. This means that a pew will be reserved for an individual worshipper or up to a family/bubble of 6. There will be a booking system in place.
• To maintain the 2-metre social distancing some pews have been roped off with red ribbon and cannot be used. Pews that can be used are marked with green ribbon. A steward will be available to assist you in finding a suitable pew.
• Those attending a place of worship should not socialise with people they do not live with.
• We will be having one service a week at present, on Sundays at 9.00am but this will be reviewed after 2 weeks depending on the numbers to see if a midweek service is needed.
• In view of the complex arrangement needed to have communion and availability of clergy, it may not be possible to have eucharist every week.

• Hygiene Measures
• Hand Sanitisers are available and must be used on entry and exit. There will also be hand sanitiser available at the front of church which can be used prior to accepting the host or blessing.
• In line with current government policy, face masks must be used in church unless you are in an exempt group. (See Government guidelines for details.

Test and Trace
• Although not compulsory, you will be asked to provide a name and contact number per household/bubble in case it becomes necessary to track and trace. A copy of the privacy notice regarding this will be available.
• The Service
• It will be a simple, said service with no singing, no servers, no processions, no flowers, and no physical sharing of the Peace. The toilets will be closed.
• We will not be passing the collection plate round but it will be available at the back of church for you to leave a donation.
• We will be using a paper service sheet along with the lectionary sheet and pew sheet on the reverse. Please take these home with you, so we do not have to dispose of them in church.
• Holy Communion will be available in one kind as previously happened although the Presider will take bread and wine personally. They will sanitise their hands and wear a mask.
• Each family/bubble will come up to accept the host or blessing and return to their pew before the next ones come up. This is to maintain social distancing. There will be sanitiser available at the front of church for use immediately before accepting the host.
• The Presider will drop the wafer into communicant’s hand. Should they inadvertently touch, then both will have to re-sanitise their hands.
• At the end of the service please remain in your pew until directed to leave. You must exit by the side door straightway using the hand sanitiser. There will be no refreshments in the hall. Any interaction with others should take place outside, be physically distanced and kept to a minimum.

Children and Young People
• Attendance is not currently being recorded or counting towards school admissions.
• There is no Sunday School, creche or Parent and Toddler area.
• Children must remain with their parent(s)/guardian in their seating area. We recognise this will be hard for some children. Under normal circumstances we are happy for the children to move around but it is not safe at the moment.

Reserving a Pew
• To reserve a pew, please contact Roy Evans churchwarden by phone, number 07413 985731, email, [email protected] or via our Facebook or WhatsApp pages. Booking will open on the Monday for the service next Sunday, i.e. Monday 3rd August for Sunday 9th August. When the churchwarden is away there will be a nominated deputy. As I am on holiday, please contact assistant warden Linda Fearn who will take the booking. Her contact number is 07860 618680 or email her on [email protected]

Alternatives to public worship
• Should you decide that returning to public worship is not for you at this time and we totally accept and understand this, then we recommend you join in with the many online services that will continue to take place. Details can be found on our Facebook page or the Church of England website.

Questions of Further Information
• If need any further information please contact Roy Evans churchwarden by phone, number 07413 985731, email, [email protected] or via our Facebook or WhatsApp pages.

Common Worship Event held in a Church

We now accept card donations on line. Please consider donating to our church especially now we care closed due to the Co-vid 19 Pandemic.

28 Apr 2020, midnight