Known to many as “The Church on the Hill”, St James enjoys the privilege of occupying one of the most prominent positions in Muswell Hill. We can be seen from miles around and the building is a bit of a local landmark – a good meeting place and a reference point for local people and visitors, as well as of course a place to worship and find out about faith.
However, we’d love for it not to be just our building that stands out. We are a community of people sharing a faith and ultimately our aim is to show and share that faith in our local community. Our aim, To Live as Jesus Lived; to Love as Jesus Loved challenges us to show Jesus’s love in all we do and to serve those around us in the way that we believe he would.
Our weekly community café is an example of how we try to make the most of our great geographical position and offer something to local people. Each Tuesday morning between 10am and 12 noon we open up the front doors, and invite in anyone who would like to join us, to chat to make new friends or simply to enjoy a quiet break (with coffee, tea and cake, of course) away from the bustle of the street.
Rachel Elliott, who heads up the church’s community involvement says: “What I really love about Tuesday mornings is meeting the variety of people who come along – young and old, locals and visitors, some needing a quiet moment during a busy morning alongside others who feel isolated and needing company – London can be a lonely place and not everyone is busy despite popular belief.
“With such a mix of people, there is a great dynamic and some good conversations – mostly people chat and generally catch up, but there’s sometimes a local story to talk about or more weighty discussions about what’s in the news that day. We enjoy our fair share of laughter too, as well as being open to talk about faith and deeper issues if people would like to. We also love to offer prayer when people would like that- or just be a listening ear.”
The café has helped us meet people on our doorstep and forged links with other local communities; we now regularly welcome volunteers from Tree House School, for example, who come and do work experience in the care and often provide us with delicious homemade cakes.
So, please come and give the Community Café a try – we promise you a warm welcome. We even dare to hope this year we might achieve our aim of holding the café outside in front of the church over the warmer months, great British summer permitting! We’ll see…………
Our bookshop is open from Monday to Thursday 10am – 5pm; Fridays 10am – 1pm and Saturday 10am – 12 noon. All welcome to browse or pop in for coffee.
Gaz Daly, Associate Vicar