St James is a friendly local church, with Eucharist-centred worship and a varied social and service programme. The church dates from 1830 and is a good example of simple late-Georgian architecture. Thornes Parish Church was built in 1830 to provide for the spiritual needs of our growing population. The Industrial Revolution was just beginning to gain its full momentum in the West Riding and in the next 40 years the population was seen to double. St. James was one of the many Churches built in our part of the world between 1830 and 1880.
Mr. Benjamin Gaskill applied for a grant from the Million Fund, a fund established after the battle of Waterloo as a thank-offering, and used to assist in the provision of places of worship where the need arose. A grant of £1000 was made towards the building of a church at Thornes and apart from a few donations the remainder of the expense was covered by the Gaskill family.
On Sunday 17th October 1830 the newly completed Church was opened for divine service under the licence of Vernon Harcourt, Archbishop of York. The morning service was conducted by Reverend S. Sharp, Vicar of Wakefield, and the afternoon service by Reverend Joseph Twentyman who became the first Vicar of Thornes. The consecration of the Church took place on October 12th in the following year.
There is a Parish Eucharist at 10.00 a.m. every Sunday, a service of Evening Prayer with Hymns on the second Sunday evening in the month, commencing at 5.00 p.m. and a Contemporary Service of Readings, Songs, Prayer and Reflection on the 4th Sunday in the month, commencing at 5.00 p.m.
There are three main fundraising events held annually, i.e. Coffee Morning and Plant Sale in May; Thornes Market in September and the Christmas Fayre in November. Other Coffee mornings are held on the 4th Saturday in the month, from April to October, 10.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. Proceeds from the Coffee Mornings are sent to a number of charities throughout the year. The Church is registered under the Places of Welcome initiative and is open every Tuesday afternoon from 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. A warm welcome awaits and refreshments are served. There is also a Chat and Craft Group who meet in Church on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in the month, 2.00 p.m. until 3.30 p.m. New members will be most welcome. The Church stays open on Wednesday mornings following the Said Eucharist at 9.30 a.m. for Bible Study.
A full list of events for the year will be added to this page in the near future.