|The Minster and Parish Church
of St. James, Grimsby
|Location||Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire|
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Dedication||James, son of Zebedee|
|Past bishop(s)||Rt Rev David Tustin|
|Heritage designation||Grade I listed building|
|Archdeaconry||Stow & Lindsey|
|Bishop(s)||Rt Rev David Rossdale|
|Vicar(s)||Reverend David Shenton|
|Director of music||Anthony Pinel, ARCM, ARCO|
Grimsby Minster is a minster and parish church located in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, England. Dedicated to St. James, the church belongs to the Church of England and is within the Diocese of Lincoln.
In 1114, an existing religious building was transferred to Robert Bloet, the Bishop of Lincoln. The following years he supervised many renovations and developments to the building, resulting in St. James, a church containing a nave with six bays. The central tower was added in 1365. In 1586, St. James became the parish church of Grimsby, after John Whitgift united the parishes of St. James and St. Mary's. The parish church of the latter had been located on Victoria Street.
In 1856, Canon Ainslie began a complete restoration of St. James, which included lengthening the chancel and the rebuilding of the South transept. Later works included the installation of new windows with stone tracery, and the installation of new oak roofs. The next key event in the history of the church, was the opening of the James College in 1883. The predecessor of today's St. James' School, it was founded by Canon Young. It is the only choir school in the UK to be attached to a parish church.
The news that the church was to be granted minster status was announced in the Grimsby Telegraph on 15 April 2010. The Minster-making ceremony took place on Sunday, 16 May 2010 and was led by the Lord Bishop of Lincoln, and the Bishop of Grimsby. The Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor John Colebrook, accepted the official declaration of Minster status on behalf of the Borough.
It is in a group of parishes which includes:
- St. Hugh's Church, Grimsby
- St. Martin's Church, Grimsby
- St. Mark's Church, Grimsby
The church has two pipe organs. The West End Organ is by J. W. Walker & Sons Ltd and dates from 1951, built to replace an earlier instrument destroyed by enemy action during World War II. Parts of the pre-war instrument were incorporated within the new organ, notably soundboards and some pedal pipes. A specification and pictures of the organ can be see on the National Pipe Organ Register. The Walker organ was rebuilt by J.W.Walker in 1976, with significant tonal modifications being made at this time.
Given the significant distance between the West End of the Church and the Choir, a second organ was installed on the North Side of the Choir in the 1970s, by Johnson. This two manual and pedal instrument is used for choral services to accompany the Choir. The specification and photographs of this instrument, too, can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.
Former organists include
- Edwin Brammer ca. 1872
- James Forbes Carter ca. 1896
- John Stanley Robson 1924 – 1953
- Eric Arthur Conningsby 1954 – 1955 (formerly organist of Llandaff Cathedral)
- Dennis Townhill 1956 – 1961
- Martin How 1961 – 1964
- Michael Dudman 1964 – 1968
- Robert Walker 1968 – 1973
- Christopher Weaver 1974 – 1979
- Patrick Larley 1982 – 1987
- Andrew Shaw 1987 – 1993
- Andrew Cantrill 1994 – 1996
- Steven Maxson 1997 – 2003
- Adrian Roberts 2003 – 2006
- Anthony Pinel 2006 – present
- E Charles Hopkins 1956 – c1958
- Philip Cave 1968–1971
- Anthony Marwood 1971–
- Stephen Maltby 1979 – 1982
- Barry Whitfield 1991 – 2006
- Steven Maxson. 2006 – present
Grimsby Minster is known for being the only parish church in England to have its own Choir School, St James' School. Founded in 1880 as St James' Choir School by Canon James Peter Young to educate choirboys, it is now a co-educational school of the Woodard Corporation and a member of the Choir Schools' Association. Choirboys are still educated at the school as scholarship holders. The choir sing 5 services a week:
- Tuesday Choral Evensong, 5.30pm- Choristers
- Thursday Choral Evensong, 5.30pm- Choristers
- Friday Choral Evensong, 5.30pm- Choristers & Gentlemen
- Sunday Parish Eucharist, 10.00am- Choristers & Gentlemen
- Sunday Choral Evensong, 6.00pm- Choristers & Gentlemen
The Minster has 10 bells hung for normal full-circle ringing. They weigh a total of 4.3 tonnes, the tenor (the largest bell) weighing 18.25cwt and having a diameter of 4 feet. They are tuned to the key of E flat. They date from 1830 when three of them were cast by William Dobson, and several bellfounders have cast the rest since then, including John Taylor and Co and John Warner and Sons, the newest bells (the two lightest) being cast in 1962 by Mears and Stainbank. Frank Kennington (born 26 December 1933) was taught to ring at the Minster in 1945 by his father and became Tower Captain in 1955. He gave up the post in 2012 after 57 years because the stairs leading to the ringing room were getting too much for him. The ringers are Matthew Jeffery (new captain), Lorraine Jeffery, Jane Willerton, Vic Pope, Bethany Chapman, Carla Westfield, Jordan Westfield and Fern Robinson.
- Extract from Lincolnshire Life Magazine
- White's History, Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire, 1872, p.208
- Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire, 1896, p.234
- Who's Who in Music. Shaw Publishing Co. Ltd. London. First Post-War Edition 1949–50
- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (478765)". Images of England.
- Photographs of Grimsby Parish Church
- Grimsby Parish Church group on Flickr