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150th Anniversary for St. James' Burnopfield

Last weekend, St. James’ Church in Burnopfield marked its 150th anniversary which saw the whole community come together in celebration.

St James Church in Burnopfield was opened in the summer of 1873, built in the newly formed parish of Burnopfield. Sunday services had previously been held in the Church of England school opened by the Lintz Colliery Company. 

The first vicar was the Rev Thomas Stirrup who served from 1872 to 1891 and he has since been followed by 14 successors.

During the last 150 years, the church has undergone a range of developments, including the vestry extension and the creation of a Garden of Remembrance.

To mark the anniversary, an exhibition was organised, to share photographs and other memorabilia through the decades. This was attended by pupils from the local primary school and members of the community.

On Sunday November 26, Bishop Paul presided over an anniversary eucharist.  He also blessed two gifts:  a painting of the church by local artist and church member, Anne de Vries, and a hand-made glass cross mounted on oak, donated by Sandra Partington,  one of the two churchwardens,  and her husband, Phil Partington.

The church was packed for the service - a lot more than at the original service as Bishop Paul pointed out. In an attempt to re-create the atmosphere of the first service in 1873, some of the church members even dressed in suitable period clothing.

 In the last 150 years at St James’, vicars have come and gone, service styles and times have changed and congregations have evolved but St James’ Church remains a key prayerful and spiritual part of the village of Burnopfield.

First published on: 28th November 2023
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