St James the Less

St James the Less, Pangbourne


We are a Christian community that worships in three villages in a variety of ways.

St James is our largest, built in 1866 and we hold traditional and contemporary worship here as well as events and celebrations.

All ages are welcome throughout the week with particular focus for older folk or preschools and babies and carers on different days.

We are open to everyone.  Seekers of Christian heritage and religion please come and explore.

We would like to share our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ with you.



Services & Activities
Our services enable people to worship together in a variety of ways.  Many people participate in the services, leading worship, reading scripture, leading prayers and serving at communion.  Coffee is served at the back of the church after services. We hold seasonal and annual services which often fill the church to capacity

We have some wonderful volunteers who undertake particular tasks including welcomers, readers, coffee rota, cleaning, flowers, churchyard maintenance as well as those who help the pastoral team, prayer chain, Noah's Ark and Tuesday Tea Club.



The Building
St James the Less is a Listed Building, grade II*. The tower was built in 1718 with a clock dating from 1789 and a peal of 6 bells (rung every Sunday morning and Thursday evening); the nave, chancel and aisle, were re-built in 1866.

Inside there is a tomb in sculptured chalk of Sir John Davis, dating from Jacobean times and several memorials to local families including seven hatchments from the Breedon family; others include links to Jacobean poetry, the Indian Mutiny, and the very early history of the University Boat Race. The most notable feature is the east window, predominantly a nativity scene, surmounted by a Crucifixion and with supporters and allegorical details.  It was commissioned from Karl Parsons by Sir George and Lady Armstrong in memory of their son and a nephew who died in World War I. In 1992 the angel’s head featured on the second class Christmas postage stamp.  See above

The nave and chancel underwent extensive re-ordering in 2001 to provide a raised floor, carpeted for the most part, with a nave altar and altar-rail.  The new lay-out incorporates most of the old pews but opens up the west end of the nave to provide space for meetings, lectures, social occasions and, most importantly, for a weekday service for parents with very young children which has turned out to be the most well-attended of our regular services. The re-ordering was completed with the installation of a new system of overhead lighting, which provides a number of different programmes for use according to the particular service or function being held.

The re-ordering and the lights were entirely financed by gifts from the congregation and local community. Encouraged by this support from the wider community we subsequently formed The Friends of St James the Less, now registered as a charity, designed as a vehicle by which non-church members can be involved in care of the building. The Rector is a Trustee.

The organ is a particular asset of the church. Originally built in 1882 it was re-built between 1983 and 2002. It is now an electro-pneumatic instrument of 30 stops, and is used regularly for services and from time to time also for recitals, when it has earned praise from visiting organists.  

St James the Less leaflet