St James the Less and St Helen Church, Colchester facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsSt James' Church
|St James the Less and St Helen Church|
|Former name(s)||St James the Great Church
St James the Less Church
|Dedication||James the Less and Helena|
|Architect(s)||Joseph John Scoles|
|Groundbreaking||3 March 1837|
St James the Less and St Helen Church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in Colchester, Essex, England. It was built in 1837 and designed by Joseph John Scoles. It is situated on Priory Street between the junction with East Hill and St Thomas More Catholic Primary School in the town centre. Next to it is the church hall which was built in 1911 and designed by Alexander Scoles.
At the end of the eighteenth century, the Roman Catholic community in Colchester consisted of exiles from the French Revolution. In the early nineteenth century Irish Catholic soldiers were stationed in the town. In 1814, a French priest, Fr Amand Benard, served the community and the local garrison.
In 1831, a building was provided for the local Catholic community near North Hill. It was given by William Dearn, a former soldier and local tradesman. A priest would come from Witham to say Mass there.
The site for the present church was donated by James Hoy, a farmer from Stoke-by-Nayland. The church mission there was funded by Alfred Stourton, 23rd Baron Mowbray. On 3 March 1837, the foundation stone for the church was laid by the Vicar Apostolic of the London District, Thomas Griffiths. Construction of the church cost £2,750 in total. The architect was Joseph John Scoles. He designed the church in the Romanesque Revival style reminiscent of the nearby ruins of St Botolph's Priory. Scoles later used a similar plan when he designed St John the Evangelist Church in Islington four years later. The church was originally dedicated to Saint James the Greater. Also it had no external statues or images, to lessen any hostility from the local non-Catholic community.
In 1861, to make more space for the soldiers in the increasing number in the congregation, the church organ was removed from the church gallery. From 1902 to 1932, the parish priest was a Canon Bloomfield, who oversaw the enlargement of the church. In 1904 the north aisle and sacristy were added. In 1907 the south aisle was added. The architect for these additions to the church was Charles Edward Butcher. They cost £2,000 and were paid for by Dean Lucas.
In 1911 the church hall was built next door, with the architect being Canon Alexander Scoles, the son of Joseph John Scoles. It was opened by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Francis Bourne. It was renamed as the Cardinal Bourne Institute.
In 1975, the church was reordered. In 1987, stained-glass windows were added to the Blessed Sacrament chapel in the church. They were taken from a redundant church and were originally designed by Augustus Pugin.
The nearby churches in and around Colchester are served from St James' Church: St Cedd and St Gregory's Church in West Mersea, St Joseph's Church in Mile End and St Theodore of Canterbury Church in Monkwick. Each of these churches has one Sunday Mass: St Cedd and St Gregory Church at 8:30am, St Joseph's Church at 9:15am and St Theodore of Canterbury's Church at 10:15am.
St James' Church has five Sunday Masses: 6:15pm on Saturday, as well as 8:00am, 10:30am, 2:00pm (in Polish) and 6:30pm on Sunday.
St James the Less and St Helen Church, Colchester Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.