Vicar: Simon Kirby - 01993 702155 -

Assistant Curate: Nick Pike - 01993 200843 -

Parish Office: (Sara & Judy) 01993 779613 -

Church Wardens: Howard Chirgwin - 01993 706557 -
Angela Nightingale - 01993 200061 -
Angela Nightingale - 01993 200061 -

St. James the Great

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Our Vicar

We are delighted to have Rev. Simon Kirby as vicar to the Parishes of St. Mary's Cogges, St. Mary's North Leigh and St. James South Leigh. Simon is married to Sue and has two sons; Tom and Luke.

Simon, Sue, Thomas and Luke Kirby have previously lived in North London, where Simon was initially the youth worker at St. Barnabas Church, Woodside Park. Simon remained on the staff at St. Barnabas for nine years during which time he trained for ordination and served his title post. For the last six years they led a 'Fresh Expression of Church' which was planted from St. Barnabas. At the same time, Simon has worked as a school Chaplain in a Diocesan sponsored Academy, and served as associate priest at a local Parish. He and Sue had a rural up-bringing so will be familiar with issues in rural communities. Sue is now a Teaching Assistant at North Leigh school. The family have a labrador named Odo - after a Bishop rather than the Star Trek character I believe! - one of the many benefits of moving to a more rural parish.

Saturday, 30th September ~ South Leigh Village Hall
7.00pm for 7.30pm
£10 adults
Children under 14yrs £5
Join us for a traditional harvest meal.
Book your place by ringing Liz on 01993 703534
email Karen

SERVICES: 9.30 - 10.30am on Sundays
Our monthly services follow a set pattern, occasionally changing for special celebrations and festivals. Cockleshells & Winkles, our Sunday school, is during the service on the first and second Sundays of the month.

1st Sunday: Morning prayer with Sunday School
2nd Sunday: Holy communion with Sunday School
3rd Sunday: Gathered for worship
4th Sunday: Family communion
5th Sunday: Village breakfast
If a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention, call the emergency services on 999. If there are concerns about their immediate welfare, don’t delay: call Children and Adult’s Social care on 0345 050 7666 or the MASH Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833408. Also, please immediately inform our Parish Safeguarding officer,
Karen Wilson.

For other safeguarding concerns please inform Alan. You can also email concerns to If you are unsure or worried about how serious a situation is, contact one of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers: Stuart Nimmo, on 01865 208290 or Sophie Harney on 01865 208295.
St. James has three refuse bins. Two for green compostable waste and one grey for landfill. Please put only green compostable waste in the green bins. Funeral wreathes often have plastic bases and Christmas wreaths often contain a metal frame both of which the refuse collectors refuse to take. Put those in the grey bin. Please put all paper, plastic, ribbon and cellophane in the grey bin.
I would like some help with the church flower rota please. The Sunday morning worship is at 9.30am and so flowers may be put in the church any time to suit you on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. You do not need to have any 'flower arranging' skills. There are plenty of pots and vases in the cupboard in the vestry. Flowers from the garden or market with a bit of greenery will look lovely. Please look at the St. James flower rota to choose a date, perhaps in memory of someone dear on a birthday or anniversary. The rota can be found
here or on the notice board in the church porch.

Please contact Liz Ashwell - or 01993 703534.
Thieves have been at work taking lead from churches in Oxfordshire. If you see anyone working on our church, we would be grateful if you could contact us to verify their presence is known about.
We have signed up to a fundraising scheme called '
easyfundraising'. You can find out about how it works here. If you are planning to shop online please consider going via our own link and of course please also ask your family and friends to do so too.
It doesn’t seem long since I was writing to thank you all for your great response to our fundraising for the church roof repairs. However I think the years are just flying by. We have just had another Quinquennial inspection and have also started planning our next project to bring our church into the 21st century.  We had to put our plans on hold five years ago to raise the needed funds for repairs but have decided to try again to get water, and a toilet at the church and to develop the North Isle to provide seating and a reading area and to improve accessibility to the village millennium map. We also need to do work to improve drainage around the church and to upgrade the path to the church. This will be expensive to do but will be worth it.
We will be applying for grants and Lianne and Richard have organised a wonderful music festival for 4th - 6th July which is a sell-out.
We have signed up to the fundraising scheme called 'easyfundraising'. You can find out about how it works
here. If you are planning to shop online, for example reserving an item from Argos, please consider supporting St. James - South Leigh and of course please also ask your family and friends to do so too.  We have raised over £378 so far and some of us also raised funds for the village hall as well.
A brief history of the church can be seen on the 'Sacred Destinations' website
here. Additionally, you can find all sorts of information about St. James the Great here. Click on the following links to find out about other churches in the Benefice: St. Mary's, Cogges and St. Mary's, North Leigh.
There is a very good web site where you can find out more about the church and its history
here. On it, there are also links to other sites from which you can learn about the medieval wall paintings and many other things besides.

The Witney Gazette published a feature on 10th January, 2018 entitled 'The preacher and the poet'. You can see that article by clicking the button below.

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Rev. Nick Pike

On 26th October, 2016, Bishop Colin joined us at St. James for a service to licence Nick as our Associate Minister. We are very fortunate to have Nick supporting Rev. Simon Kirby in leading our worship in the parish, taking weddings, baptisms and funeral services for the village and beyond. The congregation are delighted that Nick has completed his Curacy. Nick would like to thank everyone for their support and kind gifts.
Photo © Anne Peake.
The Friends of St. James has been launched with the aim of developing the links between the parish church, the regular congregation and the wider village. It is a way for our numerous visitors to be connected to St. James and to the wider life and ministry of the church community.

In return for a small annual donation, Friends will receive an annual newsletter sent by email, be able to attend an annual meeting including a historical talk, a tour of the church and afternoon tea, and have an information page on the South Leigh website, including advance warning of activities in the church such as the Music Festival, Art Festival, concerts etc.

Friends will also be invited to take part in major fundraising activities, supporting the congregation in the repair, maintenance and restoration of the church and the churchyard. Funds raised by Friends of St. James will not be used to support the day-to-day ministry of the church, but will be targeted solely at the building and the churchyard.

Our church here in South Leigh is a real treasure, from its medieval wall paintings to its Victorian pews and famous pulpit. We recently finished having restoration works done to the church; we raised around £80,000 towards work done to the tower and roof. Like all ancient buildings, the work doesn't stop there and we constantly need to find funds for the up-keep of the church. Our current project is an adventurous one where we plan to provide basic amenities such as toilet facilities and running water as well as relocating the vestry and storage. We would like to provide space to meet, pray and study our beautiful building or find out about our village life.

If you would like to join the Friends (minimum annual subscription £24, life membership £240), please let Nick know and he will give you an application form.

If you would like to support our church we have a number of ways you can give. You can use the methods below if you do not live locally. In the church itself you will find 'Giving' envelopes on each of the pews which can be used for your donation which should then be deposited in the churn.

Other payment methods are:
  • by cheque, made payable to 'South Leigh Parochial Church Council'.
  • by online BACS payment direct to our bank account, the details of which are:
  • Account name: South Leigh Parochial Church Council
  • Sort code: 40-47-07
  • Account no.: 30769533
NB: If you pay online, please also email a remittance advice to (Please replace the 'xxx's' in the email with the amount of your donation and your name.)

Regardless of payment method, please consider gift aiding your donation as we can then claim the tax back too - you can download a Gift Aid form
here. Please send the completed form to:
Karen Wilson, 21 Lymbrook Close, South Leigh OX29 6XL
We are very fortunate to have a good number of children in our congregation at the moment. We are delighted to have Vicky looking after our younger children (Winkles) in Sunday school, while Anne continues to lead our school and youth group (Cockleshells).

All children are welcome to join our Sunday school which runs from 9.40am to to 10.30am in the Village Hall. Parents may bring and collect them from the Village Hall or the Church.