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St James the Less, Pangbourne

August 2, 2014

St. James the Less, Pangbourne

DSCN0166The church is on a busy road and it is not easy to park (one advantage of a motorbike is that it can be put almost anywhere). There is a nice clear sign board outside which gives details of Sunday services and church life but nothing about being open in the week, but open it is and worth visiting.

St. James is a homely place with a nice atmosphere. It is obviously well loved and kept neat and tidy. There is a free guide, which is good to see. This tells the visitor that there are only 26 churches dedicated to St. James the Less – he was the son of Alphaeus and gets mentioned as an apostle in Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels. He is called ‘the less’ to distinguish him from the other James, Jesus’ brother.There is a good selection of the excellent Diocese of Oxford leaflets available as well as a ¬£1 guide booklet.

There is a nice welcome notice in the porch as well as instructions about parking on Sundays. I found an interesting display on a project to improve access to the church and to upgrade the war memorial here. There is a folder about the memorials in the church and another about a notable family, the Breedon’s.

DSCN0170The East Window is a stunning piece of work produced by Karl Parsons as a memorial to the son and nephew of Sir George and Lady Armstrong who were killed in World War 1. It also commemorates all those from Pangbourne who lost their lives during that awful conflict. There is an explanation panel about this.

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Some of the memorials are labelled as well which is a good idea. A small display of children’s work about Moses and the Burning bush had been laid out on the grand piano. This is always a good idea as it shows visitors that both children are involved and that the things they have been doing are valued by the church community. Only 2 visitors in the book during July! Parking might well put off some casual visitors but it is a job to see what could be done about that. There could do with being some way of leaving prayer request here and I rate this church as OK for visitors. There is half a website on http://www.pangbournechurches.info/index.html – if you have a look you will see what I mean! It could do with being finished.

DSCN0174One final thing that caught my eye was a ‘Peace Candle’ the picture is here and if you click on it it will enlarge so that you can read it. A very good idea, badly needed in this violent world.

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