The Church of St James the Great was built in 1831. As the community of Shirley has grown and developed over the years the building has been much modified and extended to give us the beautiful building we have today. We never lose sight, however, that the church is far more than the building. In reality it is all those who meet to worship God, to pray to him and to thank him for all his blessings. We try to make our worship accessible to all and you can be sure of a warm welcome as you join us.

St James School has always had close links with the church and we are pleased that those links continue today. When asked about the Christian ethos of the school one of the children recently responded by saying that the school had its own church!

Members of the church regularly run lunchtime clubs in the school where children use arts and crafts to learn from Bible stories. The Vicar, Rev Paul Day, also regularly leads collective worship both in school and for the school in church. We are looking at building on these links even further in the months and years to come. Paul Day and one of the licensed lay ministers, Sarah Penfold, are school governors.

The churches in the Parish put on many activities geared towards children and young people. Our Stay and Play group Jimmy Tots meets weekly in term time, and our Messy Church which meets monthly gives a great opportunity for children and families to have fun as they make things together and worship God together. Each year children from schools across Shirley are invited into church for our Journey to the Stable at Christmas and the Easter journey where we share the great truth of Christmas and Easter in drama and various enjoyable activities. More details of these and other activities can be found on our website

We and aim to keep the building open every day during the daytime for anyone who wishes to pray or reflect on life. People across Shirley celebrate baptisms and weddings in the church and it is also a place where we can remember the lives of our loved ones. We see St James as very much church for all the people of Shirley!