Welcome to St James' website. You'll find information here on our ancient and beautiful church,
our services and organisations, and the ways in which we try to serve this community of Norton,
Batemoor and Jordanthorpe , along with our ecumenical partners at Meadowhead Christian Fellowship ("Unit 3").
Norton was once a large parish, taking in Norton Lees, Woodseats , Greenhill and Hemsworth: everything
northwards up to the Sheaf and the Meers -brook. The village centre was never very populous, for it was
along the rivers on the edges of the parish that water-powered iron industries developed, particularly
the manufacture of large blades (scythes, sickles, etc) and nails. Dairy farming was also important until
very recently, and it will be remembered that as a boy about 1790, the sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey used
to take milk, butter and eggs into Sheffield on his donkey. He attended Norton Free School - somewhat
irregularly - and its very modern successor still shows our commitment to education in this parish.
Today we are fortunate in retaining something of a village aspect, thanks largely to Graves Park (the old
Norton Hall estate) and Oakes Park . The remote Jordanthorpe where Chantrey grew up has lent its name to a
modern housing estate, but even so we are bounded on the south and east by rolling open country leading down
to the Moss-brook.
St James' and the Chantrey Centre on Matthews Lane are here to serve the whole
community. We are now engaged in an extensive process of consultation and
planning to preserve the amazing heritage of our parish church, but also to
enable it to be used more fully by the community as well as the congregation.
One of the first-fruits of this campaign has been the restoration of Sir Francis
Chantrey's grave, for which a generous donation was received from the Royal
Academy; however, within the next few years we hope to see the development of
the west end of the church, with facilities for the disabled, a kitchenette and
much-needed storage space, as well as improved lighting and long-delayed
decoration. You can read more about our plans for the future on our Upkeep page.
You are very welcome to come along to any of our services, which take place on weekdays as well as Sundays, when our fine
choir sing at both the 10.30am Sung Eucharist and the traditional Prayer Book Evensong at 6.15pm. Unfortunately, the church
cannot be left open, but visits outside services can be arranged: by appointment.
We hope to see you sometime in the future.
Yours in Christ,
Geoffrey B. White, Rector.