01423 772735

Commemorative Supper Concert: this event will be held in memory of Kate Clarkson and Ian Paxton on Saturday, September 14 at 7.30pm. Music will be by Charles Edmonson (piano and organ) and friends. For further details of the programme please watch out for posters out soon. Please put this date in your diary to commemorate these two very dear former members of our congregation here at St James’s.

Le Tour, Le Church, La Welcome: Monday, September 30, at 7.30pm is the date for a Tour de France meeting for churches at Christ Church Harrogate. Bishop James hosts the meeting with Gary Verity and Le Tour Yorkshire team. A presentation will be followed by discussion and ideas for churches preparing to welcome the Tour. Anyone interested, especially those representing churches on or near the route, are welcome. More information, Canon John Carter (07798 652707) or see

Birstwith History: the following extracts are from A Short History of St James’s Church Birstwith by Geoffrey W Manock and published in 1998. ‘Birstwith in the year 1800 was a very different place to what is seen today. The main access into the village came from the Skipton Harrogate road, passing Menwith and down the church bank to what is now the village green. The road to Hampsthwaite was but a track suitable for horse riders. It was improved in 1821 to take a horse drawn hearse and it was not until 1879 that it was given passing places in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The road from Clint continued into Nidd Lane with just a track leading down to a ford at Wreaks Mill. Wreaks Bridge was built in 1811. Upstream, at Newbridge or the Packhorse, there was a wooden structure and the present stone bridge was built in 1820 and is still called Newbridge. So Birstwith was isolated. The people with few exceptions were very poor. It was an era hard to imagine these days when it was the custom for child labour, long working hours, poor health and cramped living conditions which were all part of the Industrial Revolution. Visitors to Birstwith in 1998 look with envy at the sweet little cottages and no doubt think how lucky to live there or even own one for holidays. Back in the 1800’s they were cramped with large families, sometimes more than one, disease was rife and life was cheap.’