St James’ Church is a listed building of historic and architectural interest. This means that we have a duty to maintain it or the benefit of the whole community even though only a small proportion of the community are active worshippers. Some of those volunteer their time to clean the church regularly.
The rest of the community can share in the upkeep of the building by becoming a members of the Friends of Quedgeley Church
Tithes from the church went to Llanthony Secunda Priory in 1137 to which it belonged until the Dissolution. The Augustinian Priory had been founded in Gloucester in the previous year after the monks fled from the original Priory Norman oppressors in South Wales following a local revolt.
There are still medieval sections of the Church, namely the tower and the South Aisle, close to the entrance. The rest of the Church was restored in 1856, involving rebuilding almost from the foundations, to designs by Henry Woodyer . The Church was re-opened in 1857 (on 27 August) and today it is considered a good example of Victorian Gothic architecture.
Over the years much effort has been made to ensure that the grounds around the church are in good order. The result is an attractive and well maintained Churchyard with none of the jungle that can sometimes surround churches.
In order to maintain the order the Diocese and the PCC have set rules about the use of monuments. There are also fees associated with the setting up of new monuments and commemorative inscriptions.
The tower is 14th Century, with an octagonal broach spire and remains almost unchanged.
There is a peal of eight bells .
South Entrance Porch
This timber structure was added in 1856 and was restored in 2006 at a cost of over £5000. It leads into lower part of the 14th Century tower and thence to the nave.
The nave was re-built in 1856/7 to a design by Henry Woodyer. His style has been described as muscular gothic and owes something to Pugin. His style was medevial in intent and strives to be sympathetic to the much older medieval tower and South Aisle. The cradle roof timbers were possibly re-used. The carved oak fittings were cleaned and restored in 1856.
The ceiling of the chancel is panelled, the eastern panels having carved bosses. There is a side passage from quire to South Aisle and squints give views into organ chamber. The sanctuary is paved with Minton encaustic tiles. Originally in plain brown varnished wood, the ceiling was painted as can be seen in the photograph. This action transformed the area giving a sense of light and space.
South Aisle – Lady Chapel (Field Court)
This dates from the 14th Century. The deal pews were added in 1857. It was the scene of a dispute over the right of one Richard Barrow of Field Court (Hardwicke) to attend Quedgeley Church, involving one John Porter in 1512. In the 18th Century this South Aisle belonged to the Barrows and shortly afterwards it became associated with the Hayward family. Several monuments exist to members of the Hayward family. It has a panelled roof with carved bosses and coats of arms of the Arnold and Barrow families. currently the Elizabethan panelled ceiling is giving cause for concern as it seems to becoming unstable and in danger of collapse. Further exploratory investigation in the near future will determine the scale of the problem and the nature of any repairs. Inevitably any solutions will be expensive. It is a fine example of its style and cannot be allowed to disintegrate further.
This was added to the church in 1856, to house the increased population of the village. The pews are of a simple structure.
This was added between 1887 and 1891. An inscription on the vestry walls reads:
The nave and chancel of this Church were re-built and the North Aisle added in the year of Our Lord 1857.
W.F.E. Knollys – Rector; J. Curtis-Hayward & James Browning – Churchwardens.
Organ Chamber and Organ
This was added in 1888. The organ chamber was built to designs by E. Gambier-Parry. The organ, built by Mr Willis of London, comprised four stops in the great, three swell, pedal bourdon, three couplers and two composition pedals. It was a two manual instrument. The entrance to the chamber is by two ‘shoulder arches’ supported by one shaft.
In May 1995 it was decided that the Willis organ would be superseded by an modern electronic organ with speakers at the back of the church. This enabled all members of the congregation to be able to hear the organ which had not been the case with the Willis organ. The organ has now been removed to provide a meeting room and kitchens.
There is a stone reredos, a sculptured representation of the Last Supper, a gift of the Revd T Peters of Earlington for the re-opening of the church in 1857. Mrs Curtis Hayward presented a rich altar cloth at the same time.
The East Window was made by Messrs Hardman , as a memorial gift, and representing the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Another window in the chancel, also painted, is in memory of the Revd W Adams.
The East Window in the south aisle contains ancient medieval glass in restored tracery. The North Windows in the North Aisle are by Woodyer and the West Window is by Kempe.
The Medieval brass in memory of Arthur Porter’s two daughters placed by him in the Church in 1532. There are several Bazett family brasses on the S W wall of the nave.
There is an early memorial to Rychard Berow dated 1562 over the main entrance inside the Church. In the South Aisle is an elaborate mural monument, dated 1696 to William Hayward.
The font is a cylindrical 12th Century font encased in an octagonal ashlared casing with panels of gold and coloured tessarae, including blue forest stone. This was given by Revd Winstone Hayward for the re-opening of the Church in 1857.
Incorporates Jacobean woodwork, carved.
Many in oak, richly carved, some are Jacobean. More recent pews include simpler carved features.
These date from 1559 and are complete apart from 1751-1812.
This includes silver Alms dish, 1674, silver chalice 1694, paten 1697. These are all held in the bank.