The parish church of St James the Great in Radley was built in 1290. It is a beautiful building with the original, and rare, wooden pillars still standing. In the Civil War a battle in and around the church led to the destruction of the north aisle and transept, giving a rather lop-sided feel to the church. There is a fine peal of bells and some interesting stained glass windows, many of which represent the connection with royalty established when the present rectory was a hunting lodge. The canopy over the pulpit came from over the Speaker’s Chair in the House of Commons during the Civil War.
The Church was closed between June 2008 and February 2009 to allow urgent work to repair damage caused by death watch beetle. Church reopens
Contact details for the churchwardens and other church officers are available on the church’s website. Please contact the vicar if you are interested in being confirmed or if you have an enquiry about a baptism, wedding or funeral.
Radley Church and Parish: A Brief History
This illustrated booklet compiled by Radley History Club gives information about the Church and the village.
Available for sale in the Church, at the Post Office and at the Village Shop.
The pattern of church services each Sunday is:
- 8 am Holy Communion
- 11 am Holy Communion (Family Service first Sunday in month followed by short Communion)
- 6 pm Evening Service – 1st Sunday Holy Communion, 2nd Sunday @Your Service (informal service using film, music, drama or a speaker exploring a current theme), 3rd Sunday Sung Evensong, 4th Sunday Iona Service (quiet and meditative service using music from the Iona community), 5th Sunday Songs of Praise
Full details of the services in the current and following weeks are given on the church’s website. After the 11 am service, coffee is served in the Church Room at which all the congregation are welcome.
A Prayer Group meets on Saturday mornings in the church. Coffee is served between 8.30 and 8.45 am followed by prayers until 9.15 am. All welcome. Contact Yvonne Milward (01235 543087) for more information.
There is much provision for children:
- The Sunday Club is held during the 11 am Sunday morning service (term-time only) in the Church Room. Members join in the Family Service on the first Sunday of each month.
- There is a creche in the Church Room under the 11 am service for under 3s (contact Sally on 01235 535954 for more information).
- The Friday Club (church youth group) also meets in the Church Room and is for all children aged 8 to 13, whether from church-going families or not.
The YPs Club for people of senior school age meet for 25 minutes during the 11 am service on the same Sundays as the Sunday Club to discuss issues relevant to teenagers.
Monthly events for adults include:
Exploring Faith groups meet regularly every fortnight at various times during the week either in people’s homes to study the Bible and share views and thoughts. Contact the vicar (Tel: 01235 554739) who will put you in touch with one that fits with you and your lifestyle.
See the church’s website for details of these and other groups.
The well appointed Church Room next to the church is available for village and church functions.
The Parochial Church Council has published a Radley Parish Local Information Handbook.