“Living to love God and serve our local communities.”


Welcome to St James’s Church! We are a warm, inclusive and outgoing Christian family of all ages from all parts of the community, which is delighted to welcome new people. Everybody has a place in the worship of our great God and Father; all are welcome at God’s communion table, at the gatherings on Sunday and midweek and at our social meetings and parties. We love children and the noise they make reminds us of their value! There are children’s groups to join and toys and books are available at the back of the church. We would very much like to welcome you for coffee or tea after the services, to help ensure that you are included in our vibrant church and community life and have the opportunity to learn more about our faith.

We would invite you to take a virtual tour around our church, though it is much livelier when it is full of members of our church family

We are looking for a new vicar

Our vicar has retired and our church is in what is called a vacancy. We now have the permission from the Bishop to advertise for a new vicar to guide us as we go through a period of change, as we grow in our faith through Bible based teaching and learning how to be more effective in taking the gospel of Jesus Christ into our communities by word and deed. The advertisement is below:

bishop of st albans

     The Bishop of St Albans wishes to appoint a


for the benefices of Kempston and Biddenham (held in plurality)

The benefices are looking to appoint a vicar who will

  • Through Bible based teaching enable the church and each individual to grow spiritually.
  • Value and develop our diversity in worship and  music
  • Prioritise mission and outreach in a growing and changing community
  • Have the energy, vision and enthusiasm to nurture and lead us through change
  • Inspire, communicate and empower lay ministry
  • Encourage and develop our work with children and young people
  • Work with the Church Army Mission Ministers in new housing areas

Situated to the west of Bedford on the banks of the River Ouse, these benefices serve both rural and growing urban areas and have good transport links and leisure facilities.

The closing date for applications is Friday 20th May 2016 Interview date: Thursday 9th June 2016

Enhanced DBS Disclosure is required

 If you are interested in applying for this vacancy or would like further information, please contact:

The Venerable Paul Hughes, Archdeacon of Bedford, 17 Lansdowne Road, Luton, LU3 1EE                                           Tel: 01582 730722 or email: archdbedf@stalbans.anglican.org

If you would just like to see our parish profile please email Edwin Martin or Laurie Hurn the churchwardens on:

edandpete@hotmail.com.   or


Meanwhile here is a summary of our vision:



We are benefices in a period of transition:

  1. For years we have been two comfortable, warm parishes having many admirable features and serving an area of settled housing.
  2. We have been caring communities with a faithful core of members and full churches at the Christian festivals. We have had well maintained churches and a strong choral Eucharistic culture and active Sunday schools.
  3.  But the world around us has changed. We are now surrounded by areas of new-build estates and a new village populated largely by un-churched residents looking for community. More generally we have an increasingly secular and consumerist culture where the preferred activities on Sundays do not include going to church. People have little knowledge of the Christian faith and therefore reject its validity.
  1. churchyard carols

We recognise that we have to change:

  1.  We need, with the help of our Vicar, to learn more about our faith and to increase our commitment to Jesus Christ and knowing Him as Lord and Master, so that we can take the Gospel out both into our traditional areas and into the new-build estates.
  2.  We must develop an enthusiasm about our faith; otherwise nobody will listen to us.
  3.  We have to train and work with our Vicar and our Church Army Community Ministers so we are effective in doing this task.
  4.  We have to order our church so that what goes on is understandable to people with an interest in the faith.
  5.  To do all this we seek a visionary leader who is a Bible based teacher, who is passionate about mission and who will encourage us, challenge us and walk with us during the highs and lows of this project, so that we once again have churches full of people who know why they are worshiping our Father God.


On 29th February our vicar and friend Stephen Huckle left his post as our vicar to start  a well earned retirement with his wife Elaine. Please will you  join us in praying earnestly  to our Father God to send us a suitable godly and enthusiastic man or woman to be our vicar, teacher and guide. There is a prayer meeting for this every few weeks. The next one will be at 15 Church End Biddenham at 8.00 pm 22nd May. Do please come and join us


The retirement of our last vicar and guide

A thank you letter from Stephen and Elaine

Great Hale,


Dear All,

It is only two weeks since our Farewell Service and yet it seems much longer because we have been occupied with a series of contractors, renewing a bathroom, having new doors, a cupboard and bookshelves, having a new fire installed and having the whole place painted. That’s not to mention opening removal boxes and unwrapping various items and putting up pictures – there are still plenty more boxes to open. We went to our local church on Mothering Sunday for a very friendly and informal service, a variation on Messy Church, but this morning we went to the Boston Stump for a more dignified Sung Eucharist, with the emphasis on making their church a place of hospitality – this is quite challenging as it is the biggest parish church in England and you can’t help feeling a bit lost in it, but there was a friendly welcome.

However, the purpose of this letter is to thank you all most sincerely for our tremendous and memorable send-off at the last service, with its kind words about our time with you and the extremely generous gift for my retirement, which is a big help with all we have to buy for the house and garden. We were also incredibly appreciative of the peal of bells, the wonderful organ playing and the singing of the joint choirs and the gorgeous refreshments in the hall afterwards. Most of all, it was a great encouragement to both of us to see so many of you there at this service marking the end of my full-time ministry. We shall miss you all, but we will always be pleased to see old friends, even as we have to make a new life with new friends and fresh opportunities for ministry here in Lincolnshire.

It just remains for us to wish you well in your search for a new parish priest.

With every blessing,

Stephen and Elaine.


Problems with the cedar trees in the southern courtyard are finally solved


We are happy to report that the work has been done to make the cedar trees in the front churchyard safe. We hope that once again you will enjoy walking round the churchyard. We would like to thank Mr Laurie Hurn for all the work he has done to sort out this problem