Our Story

The congregation met in a local school from November 1969 until February 1974 when we were blessed by the opening of the purpose built church centre building .

At this time St James was part of the parish of St John the Evangelist, Woodley. As the congregation grew the need for an extension to the building became necessary and this was completed in 1984.  Even with an enlarged building we soon realised we were short of space and used a large portacabin in the car park for our children’s work.



With the continuing growth of the congregation we required a further extension in 1991 to increase the size of the worship area  and provide better facilities for the congregations and other groups who were making use of the church centre,  including a lounge which doubles up as space for children’s work. During the building work we had to move out of the building and when we returned it was not only to a new building but with the desire to use it in new and different ways.


In 1992 St James became a parish within the newly formed Woodley Team Ministry; and since 2009 has been the Benefice of Southlake St James in the newly created Group Ministry of Woodley.


On April 1st 2012 changes in the ecclesiastical boundaries of Woodley came into effect, with the new Benefice of Southlake St James covering the southern half of the town. Emmanuel Church was part of the benefice with its own area of pastoral responsibility. In 2018 further re-organisation and parish boundary changes took place and Emmanuel Church became a parish in its own right. With those boundary changes one of the areas gained by St James was the Woodley Shopping Precinct.


Addington School   Dundela Close   Quentin Road
Ambleside Centre   Earley Station   Reading Road, odd numbers
Ambleside Close   Fairwater Drive   Rickman Close
Antrim Road   Fawcett Crescent   Rosewood
Arundel Road   Fosters Lane,  odd numbers   Roslyn Road
Ashwood   Grays Crescent   Rushbrook Road
Beaufield Close   Harding Road   School Drive
Beech Court   Hazel Drive   Seaford Gardens
Beechwood Avenue   Headley Road, even numbers   Shelgate Walk
Beechwood Primary School   Highgate Road   Silver Fox Crescent
Bibury Close   Highwood School   Southlake Court
Bideford Close   Howth Drive   Southlake Parade
Bodmin Road   Jerome Road   Southlake Primary School
Bruce Road   Kingfisher Drive   Sussex Gardens
Bulmershe School   Larch Drive   Sycamore Close
Burgess Close   Library Parade   Temple Mews
Caldbeck Drive   Linden Road   Wallace Close
Campbell Road   Livingstone Gardens   Walton Close
Carlton Close   Loddon Bridge Road,               odds 245-299   Wheble Drive
Carrick Gardens   Lynton Close   Wingate Road
Cartmel Drive   Lytham Road   Woodlands Avenue
Chequers Way   Malone Road   Woodlands Court
Chestnuts   Manners Road   Woodley Park Estate
Cobham Road   Mulberry Close   Woodley Library
Corbett Gardens   Nightingale Road   Woodley Shopping Precinct
Cottesmore Road   Norwich Drive   Woodwaye
Crockhamwell Road, 37a-53, 50-90   Oak Way   Yeoman Place
Dartington Avenue   Penrose Avenue    
Douglas Bader Court   Plymouth Avenue    
Duncan Road   Portrush Close