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St James the Great, Shirley was originally built as a chapel of ease for St Alphege, Solihull in 1832. Since then it has grown, just as Shirley has grown. It is now one of the three churches that form the parish of Shirley in Church of England Birmingham, the Church of England diocese that covers greater Birmingham in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom. The other two churches in the parish are Christ the King, who worship in Widney Junior School, and St John the Divine, Tidbury Green. Together, the three churches are committed to knowing Christ and making him known.
Worship shapes our vision of being an open, welcoming and hospitable community of Christians. At the heart of that vision is the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, where we hear words of life from the Scriptures, we meet with the Lord Jesus in the breaking of the bread and in one another. We begin Sunday with a celebration at 8.00 am. This is a said service with an address, usually a modern version, though we offer a traditional language service on the first Sunday of each month. The 10.00 am celebration of the Eucharist is a modern language service, with hymns and afterwards refreshments in the parish hall across the road. Once a month, usually on the 3rd Sunday we offer an informal, family focussed time of worship with a variety of activities for the children and an informal celebration of the Eucharist, before sharing a simple meal together. This is called the 4.00 O Clock Log In and begins, as the name suggests, at 4.00 pm.
During the week there is a celebration of the Eucharist at 9.45 on Tuesday, at 10.30 on Thursday (with hymns and refreshments afterwards) and on the last Wednesday of every month our prayer group meets at 4.00 pm. Other services take place from time to time: local schools hold services at St James's and of course there are weddings, funerals and other life events. Baptisms take place on most Sundays at midday.
Please contact the parish office to enquire about any of these services and to find out about the many events that takke place in the parish.
The church is open every day, from about 9.30 until dusk and everyone is free to come and go, to spend time in prayer, reflection, or looking at some of the features of the building. These features include the statue of the Lamb of God on the east wall of the nave. This was made especially for St James's by Josefina de Vasconcella, whose work can also be seen in places such as Coventry Cathedral and Stormont Castle in Northern Ireland.
The Memorial Chapel in the south transept houses the original parish memorial to the fallen of World War One and standards belonging to the Royal British Legion, with whom the parish has a long and valued relationship.
We are privileged to support a number of charities, among them Christian Aid, the Childrens' Society and the Narthex in Sparkhill, Birmngham. This local charity provides advocacy and practical support to vulnerable people and operates a foodbank which provides a lifeline to hundreds of people every year.
Church Road (Shirley)
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