Parish Life

There are many ways in which the Parish of St James’ contributes to the life of the city of Sydney and supports organisations in the city, elsewhere in Australia and abroad, and there are many ways for you to be involved.
Please fill in the form below to enquire about the activities listed here. The New Parishioner / Parishioner Update Form is located at the bottom of this page.

Bells and Bell-Ringing

In the year 2000, a group of people started to look into putting in a ring of bells at the behest of the then Rector, Richard Hurford. The tenor for the church was donated through the Keltek Trust. This bell, a 10cwt 1785 Rudhall casting, had previously been hung in the former church of St Paul, Bristol. Bristol was notably the former home of St James’ architect, Francis Greenway, and has always been a noted centre for bell-ringing. The remaining seven bells were cast by Taylor’s Bell Foundry in Loughborough, Leicestershire. Due to the configuration of the steeple, the bells could not be hung in what normally would have been the belfry. Instead, the bells were hung one level lower, behind the roof of the church, in what would have been the ringing chamber. The ringing room is in the antechamber to the gallery. A nicer environment for ringing, this level has stained glass windows and doors into the church so the ringers can see what is happening in the service. It is one of the most accessible ringing chambers in Australia with a lift to the church level, and a staircase to the ringing room. The bells are named after people of the early settlement and the early days of the church. The names and weights of the bells are as follows:

On Sunday, 27 July, 2003 on the Sunday in the Octave of St James’ Day, in the presence of His Grace, the Most Reverend Ian George, Archbishop of Adelaide, the Rector, Father Peter Kurti, dedicated the Bells to the glory of God. Later, at a Parish Luncheon, certificates were presented to major donors to the project. Following the luncheon, a quarter peal of St James the Great Delight Major was rung.

The bells are usually rung prior to the 9:00am and 11:00am (pre-COVID-19), or 10:00am (during COVID-19) Sunday services, at some Evensong services, and at special festival services. The bells can be booked for weddings, funerals and other special occasions by arrangement.

The St James’ Guild of Ringers is growing and practises regularly. Beginners and experienced ringers are always very welcome.

Christian Meditation

English Benedictine monk, Dom John Main (1926–82) revived the ancient Christian tradition of meditating on a single sacred phrase. Using such a phrase creates a means of turning our attention beyond our thoughts, our concerns, and ourselves. The phrase which John Main recommended is “Maranatha”. It is in Aramaic, the language Jesus himself spoke, and means ‘Come, Lord’. It is probably the most ancient Christian prayer: St Paul ends Corinthians with it and St John ends Revelation with it.

Three groups usually meet for meditation at St James’ each week. They are affiliated with the Australian Christian Meditation Community (ACMC) and the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). You can quietly join with the group and slip away afterwards or, during the week, stay on for lunch or a cup of tea at Jardin St James.

When and Where (February to December)

Tuesday 1:10pm – 1:50pm Church

Wednesday 7:45am – 8:30am Crypt

Friday 1:10pm – 1:50pm Church

Cost: There is no charge.

Further information: or

During COVID-19, the Tuesday and Wednesday groups meet online:

The Tuesday Christian Mediation group meets via Zoom at 1:00pm. If you would like to receive the link to attend, please contact Michael Dowling on dowlsmj(at)

The Wednesday Meditation group meets via Zoom at 7:45am. To go on to his group list or to discuss other ways of joining, please email Richard Cogswell at richardcogswell(at)

Counselling at St James’

In response to a need expressed by our local community, St. James’ Church offers a socially inclusive and non-faith based professional counselling service with Loretta King as part of its new outreach ministry to the city.

Loretta King BA Grad Dip MCAP (Couns & Psych) is a graduate of the University of NSW and the Jansen Newman Institute of Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy. She is a clinical member of the NSW branch of the Counselling & Psychotherapy Federation of Australia (PACFA NSW). She is experienced in working with individuals, couples, families and groups (of all ages) in areas of mental health, relationship counselling, and life coaching. As an extension to her psychotherapy practice, Loretta conducts singing therapy workshops to facilitate stress reduction, self-empowerment and creative expression.

To make an appointment, please fill in the form below or phone the Parish Office.

The Guild of St Raphael

The Guild of St Raphael is a fellowship originating from within the Anglican Communion. It is dedicated to promoting, supporting and practising Christ’s Ministry of Healing as an integral part of the life and worship of the Church, particularly at the local level; working for the wholeness of the person and of the communities in Christ, through prayer and intercession, the use of the sacraments and other healing actions; and through theological education and research, in co-operation with the medical profession and others engaged in the work of healing.

At the Eucharist, the names of people seeking help are read out and offered to God. Our prayers are not just for physical healing but for wholeness – the healing of body, mind and spirit. Physical healing may not take place but God will certainly be with that person. Should the person seeking help wish for confidentiality, their name will be placed on the altar and not read out aloud. Members of the Guild of St Raphael intercede daily for those asking for prayers. In order to put a name on a prayer list, the clergy need to be advised either personally or through special forms which can be filled in and placed in a marked box, all of which can be found at the entrance to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Anointing and/or the laying on of hands is offered after the 12:30pm Eucharist every Thursday.

The Guild of St Raphael Healing Service takes place on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:15pm.

Please note: During COVID-19 restrictions, an Evening Prayer service is held online via Zoom, on the first Tuesday of the month, from 5:00pm until 6:00pm. Please visit the What’s On page for further details.

Home Visits

Home or Hospital visits by the clergy can be arranged by appointment. Please fill in the form below or phone the Parish Office if you require a Home or Hospital visit by one of the clergy. It is essential to remember that you have to make your needs known before any help can be offered.

Hospital Visiting Team

A team of volunteers visit Sydney Hospital on a rostered basis, continuing the ministry of care to those within the Parish of St James’.  If you wish to volunteer as a St James’ Hospital Visitor, please fill in the form below or contact the Parish Office and you will be put in contact with the Hospital Visiting Coordinator.  Training is provided.

Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, this service is suspended.

Kids @ Church

kids@church is a Sunday School programme for any children and young people attending St James’, whether they are ‘regulars’ or just visiting. The children come to the opening of the 9:00am service in church and shortly after the beginning of the service, the children are welcomed and move downstairs to continue the programme in the Crypt. A short lesson usually taken from the Gospel of the day is read, and then we follow with a craft activity―which is a special (often chaotic!) time of fellowship that the children have with each other. At the end of our session, we return to the church and the children receive a Blessing during Communion, if they wish.
On the first Sunday of each month, a full Eucharist in the beautiful Children’s Chapel is celebrated by one of our Clergy. The children participate in this service by reading the Gospel and leading the prayers and they may be invited to assist the celebrant to prepare for the Communion. All children and parents are welcome at this service.
We have no set age limits and we regularly have children attending from pre-schoolers to teenagers; we only ask that a parent/carer attend until the young children are comfortable to be on their own (but, parents/carers are most welcome any time). We meet each Sunday, except for the four Sundays immediately after Christmas.
During COVID-19, kids@church meets via Zoom. For more information or if you’d like to join in via Zoom, please contact John Wiltshire via the form below.

Men’s Group

The St James’ Men’s Group meets five times each year and has the purpose of providing fellowship and support for men in the congregation and for their friends. It operates without an overlay of specifically Christian practices, so that it is immediately accessible for newcomers.

The meetings comprise a BBQ lunch and a guest speaker. The speakers usually talk for about 10 to 15 minutes and the meeting is then opened for discussion. The speakers have occasionally been members of the St James’ congregation, reflecting the fact that our members have diverse interests and are often involved in interesting activities. A nominal charge is made to cover the cost of food.

Men’s Group meets online via Zoom. To join the mailing list please fill in the form below, or join using the link on the What’s On page.

Outreach and Mission Projects

In addition to the groups around the Parish that support various causes and charities, there are many individuals who commit themselves to supporting causes close to their hearts. Information about these other works can be found in the pew sheets and St James’ Connections.


Tony Naake (an 8am and 10am parishioner)  undertook a challenge to raise $50,000 for the ABM (Anglican Board of Mission) Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene Project in Myanmar. You can read about the project in these extracts from St James’ Connections.

He is currently involved in raising funds for the ABM Myanmar Emergency Response for people who are unable to access their own monies from banks and financial institutions, due to the worsening civil conflict in the country. There is urgent need for money to buy basic food items. ABM was advised that 50AUD would feed a family of four for 2 weeks and ABM is seeking to raise funds to send to the church as soon as possible. This is a private fundraising due to sensitivities in-country. For more information please call ABM 02 9264 1021 or visit and select Myanmar Emergency Response from the drop-down list. An article about this was published in St James’ Connections in the October/November 2021 edition, which you can read here.

IFAGE (Institute for Faith and Gender Empowerment)

St James’ has partnered with the Institute for Faith and Gender Empowerment in western Kenya. Parishioner, Nicky Lock has travelled regularly to East Africa to support The Rev’d Domnic Misolo in his work on gender inequality. Read about this work in an article from St James’ Connections here. Nicky was recently invited to attend the consecration of Kenya’s and East Africa’s first female bishop, Dr Emily Onyango, but is sadly unable to accept the invitation due to COVID-19 restrictions. Read about this wonderful event here.

On Tuesday 9 November 2021, The Rev’d Domnic Misolo posted an update on his Facebook page about training workshops for men and male leaders in his community.


Three teams of volunteers provide and serve refreshments followings the services on Sundays.  Please fill in the form below or contact the Parish Office if you would like to be involved. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, refreshments are served on an ad-hoc basis or after specific services.

Resting Space

Resting Space, has the following aim: allowing God to work in us through historic and contemporary Christian disciplines. At each meeting we incorporate silence, meditating on scripture and sharing the eucharist to open ourselves to the transforming love of God.  During COVID-19 restrictions, we meet fortnightly via Zoom from 7:45pm until 8:45pm on Tuesdays.  In addition to this, a Resting Space dinner and face-to-face session takes place once a month. Details are published in the pew sheets. To join please fill in the form below and select Resting Space.

Sister Freda Mission

Founded in 1899 during an economic depression by Emily Rich (Sister Freda) and other members of the Order of the Sisters of the Church, the Mission has been providing hospitality to disadvantaged people for over one hundred years. Since the Mission’s beginnings the clergy and congregation of St James’ have been closely associated with it.

The Sister Freda Mission provides a lunch each week for the needy every Sunday at 1:30pm; since 1954 this has been in the Crypt but at the moment, the lunch is held in Queen’s Square.

A team of parishioners prepares and distributes sandwiches, cake, fruit, tea and coffee to about 80 people, and in the cold weather soup is served. Once a year in December, a full Christmas lunch with turkey, ham, Christmas pudding and ice cream is provided. About 250 meals are distributed on this day. The people who come each week have many needs, some of which are satisfied just by the food provided. The opportunity to meet friends is another important need, as is being served by friendly people who are willing to listen to their problems.

Many hands make light work. We need committed teams of people to help each week. Please fill in the form below or contact the Parish Office if you would like to join one of the groups.

The Sister Freda Mission relies on donations from parishioners and members of the wider community to continue this necessary work as well as the physical help and support from the team of parishioners every Sunday. If you would like to support the Sister Freda Mission, please make a donation by sending a cheque made payable to ‘St James’ Church (Sister Freda Mission)’ to the Parish Office.

St Laurence House

Established in 1978, St Laurence House is a collaborative activity the parishes of St James’ King Street and Christ Church St Laurence and the NSW Department of Community Services.  Its purpose is to provide care, support and accommodation for homeless young people in Sydney. It also aims to equip them with the personal, social, and living skills necessary for getting on with an independent life.

St Laurence House is financially supported by a combination of NSW Government grants, the parishes of CCSL and St James’, and people who make private donations and give material assistance. The St Laurence House website can be found here:

The late Rev’d John Spooner was a supporter of St Laurence House, and all proceeds from the sale of his book, The Afterlife, are donated to St Laurence House.

Who Is My Neighbour?

The group known as ‘Who is my neighbour? came together in 2013 in response to several challenging sermons at St James’ and the policy decisions being made by Australian Governments around the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.  The group communicates via email an an update on current issues and activities is sent about every six weeks.  During COVID-19, the group has also had occasional Zoom meetings.

Who is my neighbour? has several aims:

  • To inform people about issues through emails, articles and information meetings.
  • To propose a Refugee Family to come to Australia.
  • To advocate for asylum seekers and refugees.
  • To support asylum seekers and refugees already in Australia.
  • To support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters

To join or to find out further information, please fill in the form below. Read St James’ Connections articles about the Uluru Statement here.

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