St James 
West Tilbury, Essex    
© Nigel Anderson - St James Trust


St James blog is intended to look at some of the more important - and

sometimes funny - events that occur at the church. If you have any

anecdotes, or items that you think would be of interest, please send a

note to

Friday 12 August 2016

After nine years (and lots of dancing) Richard Crewe has completed his very last building commission at the

church. The rather magnificent, and splendid restoration of the original John Moore clock mechanism, which

now holds pride of place in its purpose built cabinet at the centre of the Nave.

St James and I are certainly going to miss Richard …. or it may be more to do with Margaret’s marshmallow

rice-crispy cakes.

Saturday 26 June 2016

After a lot more climbing up big tall ladders and clambering through small roof spaces, to install the wiring, the CCTV at St James is now in

place - yippee!!!

Friday 25 June 2016

After the torrential rain storms, a number of flints have (again) fallen off the tower to smash yet more roof tiles. With more rain forecast over the

weekend there was little choice but to clamber up on the roof and replace the damaged tiles - a total of nine on this particular trip. 

Tuesday 25 September 2015 The church has its first film credit, for the Sacha Baron Cohen Film “The Brothers Grimsby”. After a week of preparation some 100 extras are filmed in the church graveyard for the burial scene ……. unfortunately the location was chosen more for its view over looking Tilbury Power Station, rather than for the splendour of its Victorian tower. Wednesday 15th July 2015 The church hosts rehearsals for three of my fellow trombonists, from the Harmonie Wind Band. One of the musicians, a first time visitor to St James, commented that he was pleased that “it still smelled like a church”. Friday 30th May 2014 Friday night sees the church grounds used to harbour four ponies that had been dumped (what is wrong with some people) in Rectory Road while the police try to get hold of the RSPCA to collect them. Lucky that the new gates and fencing had been installed otherwise the containment would have been a tad more than challenging. Saturday 16th November 2013 A light aircraft flies over the church, producing some lovely aerial photographs - thanks again Andy Hind. 24 October 2012 A swarm of bees decides that the church would make a nice new hive …. fortunately the local village bee keeper - Alan Jones - is on hand to deal with the problem ….. I hope he will be sharing around any honey. June 2013 The village has a top of the tower “Cocktail Party” in aid of ……… well actually do we need an excuse. Sunday 13th May 2012 The annual church Rogation Service takes place around St James. Canon Paul Robinson gives the dedication with music supplied by the excellent Grays Town Band - all followed by tea and cakes at the village hall. Saturday 5th November 2011 It’s bonfire night at the church (to raise funds for the village hall) with a magnificent bonfire  being built in front of the church and mulled wine available for all participants. Villagers enjoyed a candle-light procession from the village hall, with sparklers and a rather splendid fireworks display courtesy of Mr. Jones. Any resemblance of Alan and Andy to characters in the horror film “The Wickerman” is purely coincidental (I think). Saturday 5th June 2011 The fabulously talented John Barnes visits St James to record some classic Jazz tracks. Playing piano, banjo and supplying vocals, the session was recorded over the afternoon using the Cubase music system - the only weak point being my rather amateur engineering and production abilities. Monday 22nd March 2010 Randal Bingley published his new book “Behold the Painful Plough” a review of the country life in West Tilbury between 1700-1850. The detailed notes on St James and other important characters make up a large section of this website and without his encouragement and help large segments of the history would be missing. The picture shows Randal signing his book at the publication launch in Thurrock Museum. Wednesday 10th March 2010 The first burglary at the church, with the out buildings being raided and some of the all important gardening equipment stolen. Luckily the insurance covers the losses and now we have updated security, doors, locks and flood lighting. Thursday 17th September 2009 The Lych gate, after being in a dreadful state of repair, is finally re-roofed by my good friend Tony - at last a dancing partner to keep Richard company for the week. Now it is only the oak sole plates that need replacing - I had better start saving my pennies. Monday 22nd June 2009 The project to clear the graveyard starts in earnest, with a week of hard labour, bonfires and a new hatred for brambles (despite the lovely blackberries). Thanks must go to the support of Andy Hind whose skill with a chainsaw is second to none. As you can see from the pictures below the team are a happy bunch and without doubt on the cutting edge of fashion. Monday 16 April 2007 Its Richard Crewe’s first day working on the refurbishment of St James. I dont think he suspected that  he would be living here (during the week) for the next nine years - although I’m sure he has enjoyed the 1,500 odd days of dancing around Kent and Essex. Monday 3 July 2006 After 14 months of trying to dispose of the house in North Weald, I have eventually managed to move into the church permanently, just in time for a most glorious summer. Thanks to Stephanie Tozer for all your help with the move and especially for looking after the Goldfish.

Sunday 27th August 2005

Church Jive, sees 200 dancers descend on the church for an afternoon BBQ, with trips up the tower and tours around the graveyard all

followed by a great night of dancing to the music of Jon Brett. Thanks to Andy Hind, Sarah Waterhouse and Phil Pagne without whose help I

could never have got things organised.

Friday 1 April 2005

St James is purchased by Nigel Anderson from James & Sue Shilling. Organising the funding and sorting out the legal bits and pieces has

taken us nearly seven months to organise, which is one of the challenges with these ancient buildings.