PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Our original parish church of St James’ Hatcham was consecrated in 1854 and it is a testament to the faith and foresight of the Christians who have gone before us that we are still serving God and the people of New Cross and Deptford today. We believe it is our people – past, present and future – who keep the church doors open and welcoming to any who wish to celebrate God with us. The church sits at the centre of the Goldsmith’s University of London campus in New Cross and also has oversight of the neighbouring St James’ Hatcham Church of England Primary School.
The people of St James’ have never been slow to respond to the changing needs of our church family and the local community. In 1982 we moved out of the original Victorian building and into the church hall next door which was smaller, more modern and much easier and cheaper to run. It served us well but in 2008 a smouldering candle on an advent wreath led to the whole downstairs of the church being covered in black soot. The fire crew said it was a miracle the wreath didn’t catch fully alight and burn the church to the ground and we, of course, agreed. In 2010 we took the opportunity to redevelop the site into the bright, flexible, worship space we enjoy today. During the two years our church was a building site, we were welcomed by the teachers and pupils of St James’ School. The familiar articles for worship – a small cross, communion chalices, candles, etc – were lovingly transported every Sunday from the vicarage to the school hall in what became known as the ‘holy wheelbarrow’. Since the church was rededicated in 2012 it has provided our church family with a home which is both beautiful, prayerful and fit for purpose.
Our sister church, St Michael’s, was the result of a vision to create an ecumenical centre in the heart of the Milton Court Estate, Deptford. As well as the worship space, it was built as a community centre, including three flats, one of which is for the use of St Michael’s clergy and the other two bringing in valuable rental income. Consecrated in May 1971, St Michael’s was the first ecumenical union of two churches and it remains a collaboration between St James’ and St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Brockley. St Michael’s has a small and faithful, congregation. As the needs of the local community change and resources dwindle, much prayer is being devoted to how best to uphold the vision of service St Michael’s represents.
We are currently in vacancy and you can find out more about us and view our parish profile at https://www.stjamesandstmichaelshatcham.org.