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Messy Church 7th March 2020 -
Fishers of Men

St James Church, Stalmine

Hello, and welcome to our website, and to St. James'.  We are an Anglican parish church, situated in the Over Wyre village of Stalmine, about 8 miles north-east of Blackpool.  Our services are spirit-filled, often informal and always friendly, and visitors are always offered a warm welcome.

The Vicar for the five Over Wyre parishes is Father Andy Shaw, to whom enquiries should be directed.

Please see the "Church Activites - Calendar" tab for details of services and other events.  Also, see the "Prayer" tab for details of the monthly prayer diary.


In 2007, the church building was extended, and we now have much more space that includes a parish office, kitchen, toilets, larger meeting rooms and extra facilities for our young people. There is a crèche in church, a loop system, a good sound system and  a video projector screen. We are child- and wheelchair-friendly and have extra facilities for those with special needs, such as disabled toilets and ramps.  We have recently re-carpeted and redecorated the main meeting room, and provided it with new chairs, so it is looking really smart.

The village Post Office operates from the Parish Office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (apart from Bank Holidays.)

We hope you find this web site interesting and helpful, and enjoy learning more about our church and area.  Come and join us, you are most welcome.  (If, in your view, the web site could be improved, please let us know!)


With every blessing in the name of Jesus.


Things are continually changing but the situation at the time of writing (September 29th) is set out here.  This takes into account the ‘new’ restrictions for Lancashire and Blackpool, which were largely aimed at social gatherings, and the subsequent briefings from Blackburn Diocese.


With effect from today, the numbers permitted at services has changed.  Also, please note that, with immediate effect, the wearing of face coverings, throughout the service, is a legal requirement for everyone apart from the minister/lay leader, readers of bible passages while they are reading, intercessors while they interceding, organists whilst at the organ, and choirs while they are singing.

I have set out below what the new restrictions are and this supersedes any information/instructions/guidelines that may have been issued previously.  Some of these rules may seem inconsistent and you may not agree with them but they are taken directly from the Church of England Coronavirus Guidance, as updated on Friday 25 September, and must be adhered to.

The maximum number permitted will vary from church to church depending on size and layout.  It will also vary depending on whether people are in households/bubbles or come as individuals.  However,  churchwardens/sidespeople must ensure that everyone is seated according to social distancing rules.  This means that they should be two metres apart from other households/bubbles but, if necessary, they can be  greater than one metre apart as long as they wearing face coverings. 

The total number allowed to attend a funeral in church is thirty.  This assumes that the church can accommodate thirty people socially distanced.  If it can't, the number would have to be reduced accordingly.  
This figure does not include the minister/lay leader, the verger, or the organist but it DOES include the choir and anyone reading or eulogising.  It also includes any funeral directors' staff, apart from while they are actively helping (e.g. carrying the coffin).
The rules regarding face coverings is the same as for general worship above with the same exceptions plus anyone giving a eulogy is exempt whilst they are giving the eulogy.

The total number allowed to attend a wedding in church is fifteen.
This figure does not include the minister, the verger, or any musicians but it DOES include the bride and groom.
The rules regarding face coverings is the same as for general worship above with the same exceptions plus the bride and groom are exempt from wearing them.
Rings can still be blessed and exchanged between the couple but the minister must not touch the rings while blessing them.

The total number allowed to attend a Baptism in church is six.
This figure does not include the minister, verger/churchwarden, or Baptism Coordinator who assist with the service.  It does include parents, godparents and any musicians.  I  have asked the diocese for clarification on whether this includes the person/people being baptised and will let you know as soon as I am able.
The rules regarding face coverings is the same as for general worship above. 
The child must only be held by the parents for the baptism.  The water should be poured from a suitable vessel that only the minister has handled.  Oils cannot be used as this would involve contact with the child.  People may not dip their fingers in the font to cross themselves.

Although we cannot be certain about how long these revised restrictions will last, the Prime Minister said that it could be for up to six months. 

If you want any further clarification please don't hesitate to contact me.


Small choirs/music groups can sing during worship.  Arrangements will differ from church to church because of numbers/layout.  Congregations may not sing.



We are unable to have two morning services in our churches at present because of the cleaning that would be needed in between.  I apologise to those who are deprived of an early service. 


When attending Sunday services, you will need to:

- Use sanitiser as you enter/leave

- Give your name and telephone number for Track & Trace purposes

- Wear a face covering as you enter/leave/move around in church but you may remove it when sitting down, if you remain socially distanced from people outside your household/bubble. 

(The use of face coverings is MANDATORY but these do not have to be clinical grade masks, just material that covers mouth and nose.)

- Stay in your seat/pew unless you need to leave church or are asked to move by a churchwarden/sidesperson

- Do not gather at the back of church and do not gather outside in groups of more than six, unless your household is more than six.


We are being given special treatment by having our acts of worship made exempt from the rules associated with social gatherings and it is important that we do not abuse that privilege.


As we look forward to All Souls, Remembrance, Advent and Christmas, we need to accept that things are not going to be ‘normal’ and many of the traditional services will have to be cancelled or significantly altered this year.  I am having discussions with colleagues in all the Over Wyre churches, with ecumenical partners, and others, to establish what that pattern of services will be and will make that information available as soon as possible.  In the meantime, I ask for your prayers and patience please.  The Sunday services for September, October and November are on the "Calendar" tab.


If you want to know more about any of these issues, please ring Fr. Andy on 01253 799895. 

Please see the Covid-19, Practical Help and SSRA tabs for further, up-to-date information.

Thank you, and may God bless you and keep you, your families and those you love, safe and well.