St James’ Centre to host first public event as £700k project completed

Rev Jonathan Swindells, Rector of St. James Church, is handed the completion certificate for St James' Centre by architect Richard Meynell and Trevor Couzens from T Couzens Builders.
Rev Jonathan Swindells, Rector of St. James Church, is handed the completion certificate for St James' Centre by architect Richard Meynell and Trevor Couzens from T Couzens Builders.

The new community centre at St James in Birdham will have its first public event on Saturday in remembrance of those who fell in the First World War.

Generous practical and financial support saw £700,000 raised to complete the construction on schedule.

The modern two-storey building is located alongside the 700-year-old village church and includes a large etched glass window designed by local artist Mel Howse.

The centre, measuring 225 sq metres has a link corridor to the church as well as its own separate entrance with full disabled access.

Rector Jonathan Swindells said: “This has been an amazing effort bringing together the very best professional and volunteer skills, dedication and dogged determination to bring to life a vision in which our rural community can have access to a wide range of helpful activities and services.

“Above all we want the centre to be a hub where anyone can gather to meet each other informally and to reduce the sense of isolation which can so easily affect modern life.”

On Saturday, a concert in the centre at 3pm will be followed by a 1918-style tea party. Entry will be free, with donations to the British Legion and Help for Heroes charities.