About St James the Great Colchester

The Parish of St. James and St. Paul, Colchester.

Our Lady of Walsingham

The Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham at St. James the Great invites all Christians

to join us at

the Mass Saturday 2nd February at 9.30am.


Talents Evening

There is to be a Talents Evening on Saturday 30 March 2019 at 6.30pm at St James’ Primary School in Guildford Road. The artistes will be pupils and teachers from St James’ School and from the St James’ Church community.
Please support this event and offer your talents. I organised a similar event 10 years ago which was great fun; it was amazing the variety of talents offered and enjoyed. Suggestions: singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument individually or in a group, juggling, reading a funny story, telling jokes, performing a playlet. I am sure that you have your own entertaining ideas too.
Posters will soon be on display at the School and Church for you to enter your name and your particular talent, so that a programme can be compiled.

Adults £5 and accompanied children £1, will be available from The Rectory, Tel: 01206 860419; St James’ School (payable in the same way as for School lunches etc) and from Pat French, tel: 01206 862118, or at church.
Light refreshments will be served during the evening.
Proceeds from this evening will be for St James’ Church funds.

Bible Course

The Bible Society Bible Course starts Tuesday 19th February 2pm and repeated Thursdays 7.15pm. An 8-session course helping you explore the world’s bestseller. Accessible and interactive, it will enhance and inform your ongoing Bible study, whether you are new to the Bible or want to go deeper. Using a unique storyline, the course shows how the key events, books and characters all fit together. You’ll get to see the BIG picture and discover how the Bible applies to your life. See the February Edition of the Church Magazine and further notices to find out more and book yourself onto the course by signing the sheet at back of church. You will need to order via Fr James a Bible Course Manuel – cost £4.99. Payment to ‘St. James PCC’. The sessions are designed to last 1 Hour. See also our church facebook page.



2nd February is the Feast of Candlemass. We shall celebrate this ‘Feast’ on Sunday 3rd February. It often referred to as the “Purification of Mary” and is also a Christmas feast since it points back to the Solemnity of Christmas. Many Churches practice the tradition of keeping out the Nativity (Crib) scene in church until this feast

All Souls 2nd November 7.30pm

Friday 2nd November the church keeps a very important date in its church calendar ‘The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed’ or ‘All Souls’ as it is commonly called. It is a custom of the wider church to invite church folk, family members, relatives and friends of loved ones who have died to this particular Christian Requiem Mass for the service of All Souls that starts at 7.30 p.m. It will be followed by refreshments served at the back of the church for those who wish to stay.

During the service there will be an opportunity to light a 7 Day Candle which will be labelled with the name of your loved one/s and be a continuation of your prayers and will burn continuously for seven days. During the service you will be invited to place the lit candle/s in the Sanctuary. The candles will remain lit throughout the week and people can continue to visit the church, to pray as and when it is open throughout the week.

It is always a poignant act of prayer and Christian remembrance. Remembrance is important, for our loved ones do not die and disappear without a trace. They matter to God! It was Saint Dominic who lay on his deathbed surrounded by his sorrowful brethren, he consoled them saying, “Do not weep. I will be of more use to you in Heaven.” Dominic’s words offer Christian hope a Hope that comes from the Saviour Jesus Christ.

*We want to remember your loved ones so if the cost of the candles is a problem, please speak to Fr James McCluskey.



I will be bringing ………… (State number) family and friends with me to the All Souls Mass on Friday 2nd November 2018 at 7.30 p.m.

I enclose payment for . . . . . . (Amount) candles [£5 per candle] by cheque made payable to ‘St James PCC.

I would like the following names on deceased loved one/s on the 7 Day Candles: [Capital letters, please]




Please return completed form by Tuesday 28th October 2018:
The Reverend James McCluskey SSC,
50B Priory Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2QB.

Holy Hour

Dear friends, since being installed as the new Rector of St. James the Great, a lot of good things have happened in a short amount of time. However I do want to encourage you on a service that the church calls ‘Holy Hour’. This hour is on Saturday morning 10am -11am. Those that consistently attend this hour will testify of a prayerful time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which is an intimate, prayerful watch and gaze on Jesus as we watch Him, we sense His gaze upon us.
Speaking of ‘us’ quite clearly there are deep, historic, patterns of worship among us at St. James the Great. Most people attend Church once a week, a few maybe twice, even less three times. Some though want to do more than go to Mass each week. . . . As such, I know that an hour spent before God, with Jesus present during Eucharistic Adoration is a powerful outpouring of God to the window of my soul. This opportunity to come and pray is a new pattern of worship for St. James the Great. One thing you can rely on with old historic patterns of worship is familiarity. However, the transforming presence of Christ is a renewing presence and a renewed faith, a renewal that brings regeneration of one’s faith, along with a fresh energy and a new commitment, vibrancy, even animation of faith.
This commitment from me, as the Parish Priest, the Rector of St James, is a weekly commitment and I kindly invite you to join me at 10am for one hour.
You may be reluctant to commit to anything outside of your normal pattern of worship, but I believe in the transforming presence of Jesus Christ, and I would suggest to you, that the stillness of this time in church, will be an hour with the Lord, that you will grow to look forward to it. It will transform your faith. You never know, you may even make this hour a priority in your week or month.
Others who do attend regularly this ‘Holy Hour’ can speak about their experience of their time in church, and how much they are simply blessed. Moreover, they can testify, to the times they are emotionally moved during ‘Holy Hour’ as it is seemingly the most peaceful hour of the week. One ‘Holy Hour, when one can pray, and settle the issues with God, whilst receiving such peace, joy, and inspiration of faith and sense Our Lord’s love for us
. It is an hour, free of all the business of life, no phone, no computer, no shopping trolleys, no washing and cleaning, no work. It is just you and the Lord, conversing. It is such a quiet time to just look and listen and speak with the Lord’. 1 Samuel 3:7-11.


Pilgrim Course:

What is Pilgrim?
Pilgrim is a major teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England. It aims to help every local church create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day.
Pilgrim takes a different approach to other Christian programmes. It approaches the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion with a group of fellow travellers.
Pilgrim is comprised of two stages: the Follow stage for those very new to faith, and the Grow stage for those who want to go further. Each stage contains four short six-session courses which focus on a major theme of Christian life.
Pilgrim’s approach
It starts at the very beginning
Pilgrim assumes very little understanding or knowledge of the Christian faith.
It focuses on Jesus Christ
Pilgrim aims to equip people to follow Jesus Christ as disciples in the whole of their lives.
It flows from the Scriptures
The primary focus of each session is a group of people engaging with the Bible together.
It draws deeply from the Christian tradition
In the Early Church, the Christian faith was taught by the transmission of key texts which summed up the heart of the Christian message. Pilgrim restores this approach for the twenty-first century.
It honours the Anglican way and its many streams
Pilgrim has been developed as a specifically Anglican resource which aims to cater for every tradition in the Church of England.
Father James will facilitate a Pilgrim Course for St. James the Great once the Parochial Church Council and wider church have seen a presentation. In the meantime do visit the following web site for more information
For more information visit.


The Bible Course

An 8-session course helping you explore the world’s bestseller.

Accessible and interactive, it will enhance and inform your ongoing Bible study, whether you are new to the Bible or want to go deeper.

Using a unique storyline, the course shows how the key events, books and characters all fit together. You’ll get to see the BIG picture and discover how the Bible applies to your life.

A typical session includes:

• Welcome from the Course host
• 15 minute teaching video
• 25 minute discussion time
• 15 minute teaching video
• 10 minute personal reflection to finish
• Daily readings between sessions

The content of the course over eight sessions includes:
• Introducing the Bible
• Creation & Covenant
• Exodus & Promised Land
• Judges & Kings
• Exile & Prophets
• Jesus & the Gospels
• Acts & the Church
• Revelation & Review

The Bible Course is ideal for 1-2-1 coaching, small groups and larger gatherings and can be used anywhere from homes, workplaces or prisons. It can also be used by older youth groups, student groups and in churches. The course is accessible for people new to Christianity, ideal as a follow-on from courses like Alpha or for mature Christians wanting to increase their understanding of the Bible.

Do it

It’s simple. Each group needs at least one set of the course videos, and each participant needs their own copy of the course manual.
Visit the following website

Father James will be leading a course, a sign up sheet will be available soon