Welcome . . . .
Welcome to St James' Church web pages. We are a local village church near Goole serving the villages of Rawcliffe, Rawcliffe Bridge and the surrounding area. We believe God loves everyone and so our aim is to be open to all and we warmly welcome anyone of any age and background.
If you are not used to coming to church or have questions about any aspect of the Christian faith (or maybe used to attend church but stopped at some point) we want to engage with you as much as we want to welcome those who already have a lively faith.
We also believe that God brings healing, wholeness and direction to our lives, so our focus is on being a Christian community where fullness of life can be known, experienced and encouraged for all people whatever their life story. We operate in such a way that our church life brings transformation for good in our lives,in the life of of the local community and the wider world.
Our worship style, small groups and other activities are wide ranging. We use traditional hymns and well used prayers alongside contemporary music and up to date language sometimes in the same act of worship. We have weekly Praise n' Play sessions for pre-school children as well as Bible Study and fellowship groups for adults. We regularly run a course for "enquirers" - people who have questions about or want to talk about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, what Church is, or have deeper questions about the meaning and purpose of life. We also have regular coffee mornings where people can talk, eat homemade cakes and biscuits and share together. Numerous other activities are held which enable and support our work, including fairs, special services and other social events.
We are happy to pray for the needs of anyone (if you have a prayer request please either contact us by email or use the prayer tree at the back of church writing your prayer on one of the leaf slips provided). We also aim to provide pastoral support to those in need (in the first instance contact the vicar). Please also contact the vicar to request a baptism, wedding, funeral or any other special service.
If you want to know more, please do come to one of our regular services or to a coffee morning and ask. All our services and events are listed in the "Events" section of the web site. Alternatively, please contact us by telephone or email.
A brief history. . . . . .
Rawcliffe is an attractive village, dating from about the 12th century and often referred to as "The Queen of Villages." Many of the streets and lanes remain as they were originally laid out and St. James' Church occupies a magnificent position on the village green in the centre of the village.
Records suggest that there was small thatched-roof chapel on the current church site in the 14th century, however it is not known who built it. In 1691 a more substantial church was built known as the "Chapel of Ease". The Boynton family of Rawcliffe Hall were very generous to the church and they were responsible for the building of the church.
The Chapel of Ease was only very small and the Revd. Lloyd felt a larger church was needed and at a Select Vestry meeting chaired by the squire, Ralph Creyke, on 20th November 1841, it was proposed and carried that a new and larger church should be built. At 2.00pm on the 19th March 1842, a foundation stone laying service was led by Revd. Lloyd, with Ralph Creykes laying the stone. Work to build the church commenced immediately and by the end of the year it was almost finished.
The church was designed to seat 700 people having galleries on three sides (two of which have now been removed). The total cost was £1,840 with a quarter of this amount being donated by the Creyke family. In 1876 a new set of three bells were installed and in 1908 the church was enlarged with a red brick chancel added to the nave at a cost of £3,000 donated by the Squire. This extension includes a small chapel known as the Creyke Chapel.