News from our Church Wardens - November 2019

Churchwardens’ reflections

Every five years the church and churchyard undergo an extensive inspection conducted by an Architect who then presents a Quinquennial Inspection Report to the PCC recommending areas that need action to be taken either immediately or within the next couple of years. It’s always a time of trepidation waiting for the report and then going through its findings to see what needs to be done and then obtaining quotations for the work involved.

Our last Quinquennial Inspection revealed some extensive and expensive work needed to be undertaken on the spire, which has unfortunately been taken over internally by parakeets causing much damage, the church roof, where some tiles are missing or have slipped down, and repairs to the guttering. The spire needs to be completely re-shingled, which is going to be extremely costly and will require fund-raising and applications for grants. However, the roof tiles and guttering can be dealt with now and work was due to begin in late October. We also discovered a leak from the roof into church during the very wet weather, and this could be dealt with at the same time.

The work will require the use of scaffolding by the roofers. As the pathway through the churchyard is close to the church, the PCC decided for safety reasons to close the access whilst the work is being undertaken. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience to all those who use the pathway but hope you understand the need to keep everyone safe.

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The church was recently visited by Nigel Morgan, Emeritus Honorary Professor of the History of Art, University of Cambridge, and photographer Chris Parkinson, who is working on the volume of the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi for the County of Kent to be published by the British Academy, which will provide a detailed catalogue of all Medieval and Early Modern (up to 1700) stained glass in Kent.


St James Church is very fortunate in having some beautiful 17th century stained glass which was photographed and catalogued. Professor Morgan kindly explained some of the detail in the glass to me and I intend to use the information and photographs in a new booklet about St James Church and the churchyard we are planning to publish next year. If anyone has any interesting historical information about the church and its interior, please contact me via email –

Maxine & Suzy, Churchwardens

 Printable Version
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