St James the Less,

Kingston

Service times.

We are open every day of the year from approximately 9am until dusk. Do come along and visit.

Sunday services are held every week. Revd. Matt Rowland leads a communion service at 11am on the third Sunday each month, while Lay Readers and occasionally members of the congregation lead family services at 9.30am on the other three Sundays.

More about us.

We have a wonderful peal of six bells and a thriving bell ringing team. A dedicated teams of volunteers keep our Church clean, well maintained and beautifully decorated with flowers. Our Living Churchyard Project is in its early stages; wildflower seeds and bulbs are being established and we have a hedgehog in residence.

Visit us.

Please do come along and join our church family, everyone is very welcome.

There is disabled access to our Church, including a ramp into the Churchyard and small portable ramps are stored just inside the door to get into the Church itself. There is always someone who can help. We also have a hearing loop during services.

Please be aware there are no toilets in the Church at the moment. On Sunday mornings we have access to the Kingston Reading Room opposite which has WC (with disabled access); during pub opening hours, the Dolphin Inn (just next door) facilities are available.

Friends of St James the Less.

The Friends of St James the Less was established in 2015. It is aimed at the wider community who have an interest in the survival of the Church in Kingston, its history and traditions and as a community resource, as well as a place of worship.

Our Friends help us to raise funds for the preservation of the fabric of the building, its furnishings and the upkeep of the Churchyard. The Friends is run through a sub-committee of the Parochial Church Council including three members nominated by the PCC.

Further information can be found in the Church including application forms and from Don Kelly.

History.

St. James the Less Church has been the heart of the Kingston community for six hundred years, but only recently became a parish church in its own right. Kingston was a daughter Church of Ermington until the 20th century, transferring to Ringmore in 1934. While consecrated for baptisms and marriages, burials were not permitted until the 15th century, parishioners having complained to the Bishop of Exeter that carrying bodies to Ermington was a ‘great inconvenience’. Finally on May 1st 2013 the new ecclesiastical Parish of Kingston came into being and St James the Less became a Parish Church.

The oldest part of the Grade II* listed building may date from the late 13th century. Originally cruciform, it was altered early in the 15th century to incorporate the arcaded north aisle. The south porch has the original heavy oak door, possibly erected in the 14th century when the tracery on some of the windows was created. The granite font, probably late 15th century is of a type rarely found in Devon. During the 18th century the Church was in a dangerously neglected state. Despite extensive repairs it was decided in 1891 that a complete restoration was urgently needed. The Church re opened in 1893, although the full restoration was not completed until 1914.

The church originally had a peal of four bells, the oldest dating from 1430. In 1979 the bells were retuned and two new ones added. The bells play an important role in the life of the village. During the World War II they were silenced so they could be used for warning of invasion. Later they were used to summon the volunteers of the Kingston Branch of the Fire and Rescue Service.

There is a Grade ll listed Cross in the Churchyard retaining some early medieval elements, but mainly restored in 1902, with an inscription linked to the coronation of Edward V11.

Kingston War Memorial (pictured) Grade II, is in the churchyard and there are three other memorials inside the Church

The PCC.

The current members of the Parochial Church Council are:

Brian Alloway - Church Warden - 01548 810692

Robert Beard - Church Warden - 01548 810500

Jeanne Curtis - Church Warden Emeritus - 01548 810718

Judy Alloway - Treasurer

Don Kelly

Michael Jarvis

Deirdre Seeley

Vanessa Walker

Margaret Birch - Safeguarding - 01548 810521 - email: hcrib@hcrib.plus.com

Our Safeguarding Policy was adopted in November 2020 - click here to view

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