Dorothy Bone is honorary secretary of the Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust at Emsworth Museum
UP until 1789 the inhabitants of Emsworth had to take the long walk across the fields to Warblington to attend church services.
Even after St Peter’s Chapel was built in The Square in Emsworth they still had to go to Warblington for weddings and funerals.
As the population of Emsworth grew, St Peter’s Chapel which charged pew rents, became too small and a new solution was soon required.
St. James’ Church, for both rich and poor, was built in 1840 mainly by local craftsmen.
The total cost was £1,900 and the people of Emsworth raised over one third of this amount.
The original structure, described as Byzantine Romanesque, is built of Sussex flint with ashlar dressing and has been extended several times over the years.
The addition of a vestry in 1894 completed the building and more recently new glass doors were added to the west front.
The exhibition in Emsworth Museum, North Street, Emsworth celebrating 175 years of St. James’ Church, continues until August 31.
At the opening the exhibition on August 8, Rev. Julie Price said that she was grateful to Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust for inviting the church to celebrate this milestone which allows them to display artefacts that are normally hidden away from public view.
Emsworth Museum, an independent museum, is run entirely by volunteers and funded by subscriptions, fundraising and donations, is administered by Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust and supported by Havant Borough Council who leases the property to the Trust at a peppercorn rent.
The Trust is grateful to the Church Wardens who prepared and set up this excellent exhibition and is pleased to work with other local community organisations to put on exhibitions of this nature.
The museum is open on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Monday 10.30am – 4.30pm, Sundays 2.30pm – 4.30pm and for this exhibition only on Fridays 2.30pm – 4.30pm.
Admission is free. Stairlift available.
Visit emsworthmuseum.org.uk for more information.