St James' Church, Islington
|St James' Church, Islington|
|Location||Islington, London, N1 8PF|
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Functional status||Parish church|
|Architect(s)||F. W. Porter|
|Parish||St. James with St. Peter, Islington|
|Archdeaconry||Archdeaconry of Hackney|
|Episcopal area||Episcopal Area of Stepney|
|Diocese||Diocese of London|
|Vicar(s)||Fr John Burniston|
|Churchwarden(s)||Hilary Roden and Isabel Nisbet|
St James' Church, Islington is a parish church in the inner London borough of Islington. It is located on Prebend Street between Essex Road and the New North Road. The parish is bounded by Essex Road between the New North Road and Upper Street, Upper Street to The Angel, Islington, City Road to Wharf Road, Wharf Road to the Regent's Canal, and the Regent's Canal to the New North Road.
The Clothworkers' Company of the City of London built St James' Church, Islington at the same time as it built the surrounding Packington housing estate.[when?] The land on which the church and the rest of the estate were built originally belonged to St Paul's Cathedral (hence St Paul's Street, Mary Street, Bishop's Street, Canon Street, Prebend Street and so on) but these 'prebends' were stripped from the cathedral at the time of the Reformation and were sold to the Clothworkers' Company, which shortly afterwards were bequeathed an additional 60 acres of land by Dame Ann Packington on her death in 1563 which had been used for archery practice. The church was designed by the Clothworkers' Company's architect, F. W. Porter  and was consecrated in 1875 in order to serve the surrounding estate which had been built by around 1850. The church was endowed with a set of bells by Lady Burdett-Coutts. The full name for the church is St James' with St Peter and St Philip, Islington as the parish includes that of the former St Phillip's the Evangelist, Arlington Square, which was consecrated in 1857 but which was demolished in 1954 after a falling congregation made it redundant  and that of St Peter which was located in Devonia Road but which was closed in 1981 
The church was built as the successor to the 16th century Lambe's Chapel, formerly St James in the Wall, in Monkswell Street in the City of London. Today the west wall of St James' Church, Islington contains a half figure of William Lambe, dated 1612, after whom Lambe's chapel was named. William Lambe acquired St James in the Wall, an ancient hermitage, on 30 March 1543, became Master of the Company of Clothworkers in 1569  and in 1574 bequeathed the chapel to the Clothworkers' Company. The original Lambe's Chapel was pulled down in 1825, after which a new chapel was built, together with a number of almshouses, only to be finally demolished in 1872. The British Museum has a watercolour sketch dated 15 May 1851 of the same half figure of William Lambe from when it was located in the "Chapel of the Clothworkers' Almshouses, Cripplegate".
The church is built in the style of 13th century French gothic, and Pevsner's architectural guide notes the "Good E[ast] window by Lavers & Baraud" at St James' Church, Islington, and that the window in the north chapel contains "four Flemish roundels, from Lambe's Chapel".
On 14 December 2018 the church was used to film a short sequel to Four Weddings and a Funeral for Comic Relief which was aired on BBC Television in the UK on Red Nose Day, Friday 15 March 2019. The piece featured, amongst others, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Lily James and Kristin Scott-Thomas.
On 16 December 2018 the church was visited by a 'mystery worshipper' from the Ship of Fools website who gave the church a broadly positive write-up, rating the sermon 8/10 and the likelihood of a making a return visit 7/10.
Today the Islington Proms organisation holds an annual series of mainly classical concerts exclusively at St James' Church, Islington.
On Mondays the church provides a soup and sandwich lunch for members of the street community in its church hall.
The congregation of St James' Church, Islington is extremely diverse, reflecting the community in which it is based. A part of the Church of England, the style of worship is 'modern catholic', with a balance of familiar and more contemporary hymns.
- "Timeline". Clothworkers Company. 11 May 1941. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- pp. 655-656, 'The buildings of England - London 4: north', Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner
- The Squares of Islington, Part II: Islington Parish, by Mary Cosh, Islington Archaeology & History Society, 1993
- St James' Church, Islington - A History, by Peter Baugh
- The London Encyclopaedia, edited by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert
- "Clothworkers Company - Timeline". Clothworkers.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Image gallery: drawing". British Museum. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "WebCite query result". WebCite (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- "Directory". Diocese of London. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2017.