Where is St. James Located?
We are a true in-town church with a proud history of nearly 120 years and located in the heart of Birmingham. People who work here often tell us that our church bells are part of the ambience of the city.
You will find us on the corner of Maple Road (15 Mile) and Chester Street with convenient on street parking and two hour free parking in the Chester Street deck during the week and all day on Sunday.
St. James is easily accessible from all major surface streets...Maple Road, Woodward Avenue and Southfield Road. Please link to our map for more details.
Where do I park?
It’s easy and convenient to park for Sunday services. Parking is free on Sundays at City of Birmingham parking decks and metered spaces. The Chester Street parking deck is located just across the street from St. James on the west side of the building. Street parking is available on Maple, Chester and Martin Streets - all adjacent to St. James.
The handicapped entrance to St. James is located on Martin Street, the street south of the building. Handicapped parking is available under the overhang at the St. James Martin Street entrance and the Chester Street parking deck has handicapped spaces located next to the elevators.
What should I expect when I arrive?
As you enter the West Maple Road doors of St. James on a Sunday morning, an usher will greet you and give you a service leaflet prepared for that day. This is your guide to the service. You will note that hymn numbers are listed in the leaflet. The blue books in each pew are the hymnals or song books. Our rector often refers to the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) which is the red book in the pews. Most of the service, contained in the Book of Common Prayer, has been duplicated in the service leaflet. When you are asked to use the BCP, you will be guided to the page number. To learn more about worship at St. James, we encourage you to go here.
Where do I sit?
Please sit where you feel comfortable. You can enter the pews from the center or side aisles. If you are concerned about where to sit, an usher will be happy to help you find a location. We have a space for coats in Centennial Hall on the lower level of the church. An usher can give you directions.
How long will the service last?
Sunday worship services take place at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The 8:00 a.m. service usually lasts for a little less than an hour. The 10:00 a.m. service generally has a higher attendance and lasts for a little more than an hour. Wednesday worship takes place at 7:00 a.m. and lasts for less than one-half hour.
What if I have children?
Children are part of the community of faith. They are always welcome during worship and to receive Communion. Nursery care is available for infants and toddlers up to their third birthday. The door closest to the nursery is the Chester Street entrance to the building. Children’s worship kits at the back of the church contain age appropriate materials for children to use during the liturgy. Please ask an usher if you need assistance finding one.
Here at St. James we take our Baptismal Covenant seriously and work to help continue the teaching of the apostles during our time with our youth, ages 3 through High School every Sunday. We use the Seasons of the Spirit curriculum, a resource that nurtures faith through liturgy, ritual and imagination and encourages Christian growth through worshiping, learning and serving together.
Each Sunday at 10:00 a.m., our young people start the day in the worship service with their families. After the opening prayers they go to the chapel with their teachers where they hear the scripture of the day, share their joys and concerns, and begin the day’s lesson before they head off with their classes.
At about 10:45 a.m., teachers escort our classes back to the sanctuary where they join their families to participate in Holy Communion.
The St. James Episcopal Church School is led by our Minister to Youth and Young Adults, Chris Gannon and a staff of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers. We welcome you to stop in and observe one of our Sunday morning classes. For more information, contact Chris at 248-644-0820 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior High and Senior High youth come together several times a month for fellowship and outreach opportunities as we seek to continually fulfill our baptismal covenants as a community of faith. Check out our schedule of events on this site, our Facebook page or contact Chris Gannon for information.
How To Take Communion
All baptized Christians are welcome at the Lord’s Table. Come forward to the altar rail as the ushers direct you and take the next available place. You may kneel or stand. Receive the Communion bread from the priest in your open right palm. You may choose to receive the wine directly from the chalice by gently guiding it to your lips as the Eucharistic Minister presents it to you, or you may intinct (dip the wafer into the wine). If you choose not to receive the wine, simply cross your arms on your chest after you have received the wafer. You may return to your pew and enter it from the side aisle following your taking of Communion. If it is physically difficult for you to come to the altar rail, please tell an usher and we will bring Communion to you where you are seated.
Receiving a Blessing
If you or your children would like to receive a blessing from the priest at the altar rail, come forward just as you would to receive Communion and cross your arms over your chest. Ask your children to do the same.
You are cordially invited to join us following the 8:00 a.m. or the 10:00 a.m. worship service for coffee, refreshments and fellowship. It’s a great way to meet others and learn about some of our outreach activities. There’s a special table of refreshments for children too. We gather in Centennial Hall on the lower level of the church.
Please feel comfortable asking questions and seeking information. Ushers and Greeters are present on most Sundays to assist. There is also a welcome table in the Narthex (the entryway at the back of the church by the Maple Street doors) where we encourage you to pick up a newcomers bag full of information and some other goodies. You will also find our guest book there. We encourage you to leave your contact information. One of us will be in touch. Of course, we welcome your direct inquiries also.
We have many opportunities to get involved at St. James, and we welcome newcomers as they bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to our activities. Whether your interest is becoming a reader during worship services, participating in one of our community projects, bringing your skills to one of our ministries, such as finance or communications, or singing in the choir, we would love to hear from you. If you don’t know who to talk to about a specific ministry, we encourage you to reach out to Fr. Josh or Ellen in the office.