1. Invite and Welcome:

To be a beacon for all as a neighbourhood and destination church where we invite and welcome friends, family and strangers into our midst.
Liaison: Pat McSherry; Reece Wrightman

Coffee Hour Hospitality

coffee hourMandate & Mission

To provide refreshments after 10:30 am High Mass in order to foster conversation and fellowship among parishioners. For many, this ministry offers a gentle introduction to serving in the church and getting to know others.

Approximately eight times a year “Fellowships Sunday” replaces Coffee Hour. The point of the “Fellowship Sunday” is to create a more in-depth opportunity for parishioners to socialize, and enjoy one another. We began this initiative during 2014 in response to feedback from the Parish Review.


2. Prayer and Formation:

To deepen our life of prayer and formation in Christ
Liaison: Leslie Arnovick, Brian Rocksborough-Smith

Flower Guild

DSC02640Flowers have always been an integral part of Christian worship, especially in the Anglican tradition. Mass at St. James’ is always honoured with beautiful flowers in the sanctuary and other parts of the church, reminders of creation and God’s love for all. On feast days such as Christmas and Easter, the church is especially filled with their fragrance and beauty.

Members of the Flower Guild work in their ministry of beautifying God’s house. If you wish to donate flowers in memory of someone, write your name in the Narthex flower chart, then please contact the church office.

Holy Faith Library

Mandate & Mission

To maintain a parish library, which provides materials for study and reflection.

Music Ministry

Mandate & Mission
To lead the gathered faithful in the worship of God through music by adding to the sense of transcendence inherent in our worship. We sing the musical portions of liturgies at St James’, drawing on the finest possible sacred choral music.

For those who wish to enjoy the many spiritual, social, and physical benefits of choral singing, including the opportunity to sing some of the finest choral music ever written. The High Mass Choir rehearses and sings at liturgies from September through the Feast of Corpus Christi (usually early- to mid-June). The choir is on duty most Sunday mornings during that period, on feast days, and occasionally for Choral Evensong on the last Sunday of the month. Women and men of the choir alternate some Sundays, to give time off during the year. Some choral experience is necessary, as is an ability to read music at some level. Typically, there is a probationary period of about a month, during which an new singer and the Organist & Choirmaster can determine whether the singer and choir are a good fit for each other.

Admission to the choir is by interview and audition with Gerald Harder, the Organist & Choirmaster.


Prayerlink is a group of parishioners who commit to praying daily for members of the parish, and issues throughout the world. Members are approved by one of the clergy, and are committed to a confidentiality agreement to preserve people’s privacy. People must agree to be prayed for, or the concern is in the public domain already, i.e. on the prayer list, or common knowledge. A list, and updates are circulated mainly by email, but also by hand if necessary. St. James’ is known as a praying church.

Readers & Intercessors Guild

The St. James’ Readers and Intercessors Guild began its work in 1998. A group of dedicated and talented readers are responsible for the Bible readings and intercessions or prayers of the people on Sundays at the High Mass at 10:30 am.

Sacristy Team

Information on Sacristy Team to come.

Sanctuary Guild

Mandate & Mission
St. James' tapestryThe Sanctuary Guild is committed to the worship and the glory of God by preserving the heritage and traditions of St. James’ Anglican Church in caring for the linens, sacred vessels, furnishings and vestments. The Guild meets on Saturday mornings as a general rule, and members are free to adjust their weekly attendance as it suits their individual schedules.

Servers' Guild

Servers are boys, girls, men, and women who assist the Celebrant at the celebration of every Mass, as well as other services such as Evensong.

When servers were almost all boys they were referred to as “altar boys”, or very traditionally as “acolytes”. In the Anglican Church, as well as most Roman Catholic parishes, girls and women also serve, so the term “server” is comprehensive.

Servers are usually members of the laity, although some servers are seeking Ordination, and they are called “postulants”. Whatever their title, the role of servers has long been considered important and significant. Many priests have served at the altar when young. Serving at the altar can enrich and deepen one’s faith.

Christian Formation

Spiritual formation means committing to practices which deepen our relationship with God in a daily and regular way. These practices draw us inward to reflection and contemplation as well as outward to works of compassion and self-giving.

The family nurtures our sense of belonging, of place, and of who we are. In the Church family, sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Marriage are the outwardly visible celebrations of that belonging. And in the final days of life, we turn to the church to ease our passing and celebrate our heavenly birth.

The tradition at St. James’ includes a rich number of prayer practices, confession, scripture reading and study, following the example of the saints, regular worship, devotion to Mary, intellectual inquiry, and developing a rule of life. They are all intended to draw us into the heart of God, develop a relationship with Jesus Christ, and enkindle a desire to work for a more just and peaceful society, particularly in our neighbourhood.

Formation on Sundays

An opportunity for us to gather as a community of faith, by God’s grace, to develop “an inquiring and discerning heart” (Rite for Holy Baptism, BAS p.160). And in the words of the baptismal covenant, it may be our response to the question: “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.” Formation on Sundays sessions are held Sundays at 9:30 am, from autumn until spring.


3. Relationships and Fellowship:

To develop relationships and fellowship in open, honest and spiritual ways among parishioners, with our neighbours, and those in need
Liaison: Pat McSherry; Betty Carlson

Anglican Church Women

The main objective of the ACW is to support outreach offered through various church ministries. Through book sales, garage sales, soup sales, etc., St. James’ ACW has been able to support financially the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the Sisters of St. John the Divine (towards their new building in Toronto), St. James’ Community Service Society, St. Jude’s Home, Mission to Seafarers, the WA Memorial House and its outreach projects.

St. James’ ACW coordinates gifts to Save the Children Fund, and they support one child. The ACW collects from the parish and other ACW branches in the diocese the Christmas ‘hot sox’ and toques for seafarers. They work with the Women’s Guild to ensure that these gifts are wrapped and delivered to those seafarers who are far away from home at Christmas.

The ACW also provides warm jackets and blankets for St. James’ Community Service Society and for Fr. Matthew Johnson’s Street Outreach Ministry.

Anyone who would like to help out in any way, from knitting toques to assisting in other activities, are most welcome. Meetings are held four times a year at WA Memorial House, near Vancouver City Hall, on Monday evenings.

Women's Guild

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 1916, the earliest Bargain Sale on record, the Women’s Guild raised funds to pay the tax debt. Since that time, twice yearly, thousands of dollars have been raised to support various missions and projects. In addition, funds have been provided to purchase equipment for the Bishops’ Room kitchen and refurbishment of the Rectory. Fundraising also includes a Christmas Bazaar, for which members make jams, chutneys along with knitted and baked goods.

In 2013, the Guild donated funds to Mission to Seafarers, Vancouver School of Theology, St. James’ Outreach, and The Bloom Group (formerly St. James’ Community Service Society).

Other activities include the making of palm crosses and with ACW (Anglican Church Women) wrapping hundreds of pairs of socks and toques each year for the Flying Angel/Mission to Seafarers. On request, the Guild will host funeral receptions for the families of members of the congregation.
An open invitation is extended to women of the parish to join members at their monthly meetings held at 11:00 am, the first Friday of each month, except June, July and August.

Mothers Union

The Mothers’ Union is a Christian organization which promotes the well-being of families worldwide. We achieve this by:
      developing prayer and spiritual growth in families;


      studying and reflecting on family life and marriage and their place in society;


    resourcing our members to take practical action to improve conditions for families, both nationally and in the communities in which they live.

These aims lead branches to take on a variety of functions relating to family life in their parishes, depending on need. MU at St. James’ are responsible for baptismal preparation and receptions, fundraising for the Northern Clergy Families’ Fund; and the MU Overseas fund. This fund pays salaries to MU workers in third world countries, very often the backbone of their communities. MU workers help with sewing, cooking, agriculture, health and nutrition, youth training, moral guidance, Bible teaching, and AIDS counselling. The MU Literacy Program, the Family Life Program and the Parenting Program have changed the lives of women living in Africa. They have given them confidence to manage their family accounts, start micro industries to buy needed supplies for their villages and to discuss the sharing of responsibility of parenting with their husbands, hitherto unknown in their community.



4. Justice and Mercy:

To pursue and practice justice and mercy for the imparting of the Kingdom of God within and beyond the Parish
Liaison: Jerry Adams, Brian Rocksborough-Smith

The Coming Home Society

The Coming Home Society description forthcoming.

Click here to read the Coming Home Society newsletter.

Primate's World Relief and Development Fund

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) works in partnership with organizations in Canada and throughout the world to support people-centred development that improves the quality of daily life for vulnerable populations, promotes self-reliance, and addresses root causes of poverty and injustice.

Visit the Primate’s World Relief and Development Site

St. James’ Music Academy

“The moment a child in poverty learns to play an instrument they are no longer poor; they become a child in progress.” Maestro Jose Abreu, founder of the El Sistema music movement

St. James’ Music Academy is the story of one person’s determination to give children a better chance in life. When cuts to public school funding during an economic recession meant that Vancouver’s inner-city children had limited or no access to quality music education, long-time Downtown Eastside area resident Kathryn Walker decided to do something about it. She began a two-year process of building alliances and support in the community for a music academy that would not only teach music but use music as a means of reversing the negative social forces that neighbourhood children commonly face. SJMA opened its doors in September, 2007 with 45 enrollments and a budget of $37,000. Since then, the Academy has grown rapidly each year, touching the lives of many hundreds of children. Today there are 170 children in the core after-school programs and another 250 children in outreach programs.

Our Mission Statement

We believe in social transformation through the power and love of music. Through the inspiration and joy of collaborative music making within the framework of our orchestras and choirs, we give young people in the Downtown Eastside and beyond the opportunity to explore their creative potential, gain self-confidence, get an academic head start, and become role models within their family and community. Go to the SJMA website here.

Social Justice Group

Reconciliation walkThe pursuit of justice within our parish and throughout the world is the crux of our concern because the God of the Bible cares about the earth in all its munificence and the people in all their diversity. We interest ourselves in the systems that shape communities and our lives together. God cares about justice and so must the church.

We prepared parish members for full participation in the Truth and Reconciliation National Event in Vancouver in 2013 through a series of actions. We continue to pursue ways for healing, resistance, reconciliation and justice for residential school survivors and others.

We support the Street Outreach Initiative of St. James’ by organizing volunteers to greet and be present with “street involved” people at every Sunday coffee hour and on the front steps. We continue to recruit volunteers for this ministry and we provide training for those who are interested.

We cooperate and join in with other organizations working for the common good in our neighbourhood and Diocese like the Eco-Justice Group, the North Shore Ecumenical Working Group, the DTES Roman Catholic Parishes, the Carnegie Community Centre, Servant Partners, Jackson Street Co-op, St. Thomas Anglican Church, all of whom, like us, are members of the Metro Vancouver Alliance, a broad-base community alliance for social change. We see the importance of congregational development in our pursuits of justice through effective community organizing and working with other likeminded organizations.

We take seriously that faith is not primarily about belief, but about “beloving God.” The pursuit of justice is in doing that. We attempt to hold the tension between corrosive cynicism and irrelevant idealism. We live in the tragic gap between reality, the world as it is, and what we know is possible.

Street Outreach Initiative



DNW High Reslogo - cross only

A Priest on the Street
The Street Outreach Initiative deploys an Anglican Priest, Fr. Matthew Johnson, on the sidewalks and streets of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (DTES), in the heart of the Parish of St. James’ Church, Vancouver.

Street Involved Adults
The Street Outreach Priest provides pastoral care to street-involved adults struggling with poverty, homelessness, trauma, mental illness, addiction, and other challenges.

Our Priorities
In the midst of various challenges, our mandate is to embody and live out — with God’s help and to the best of our ability — the following Apostolic Priorities:
o    to seek and serve Jesus Christ in all persons
o    to respect the dignity and autonomy of every human being
o    to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Jesus Christ
o    to love one’s neighbour as oneself

What We Provide
o    frontline pastoral care on the streets and sidewalks
o    referrals to survival services
o    listening
o    pastoral counseling
o    selective short-term counseling interventions
o    pastoral visits at hospitals, psychiatric, palliative, detox, and custodial facilities
o    an invitation to Sunday or Weekday worship at St. James’ Church
o    a welcome to those who come for worship
o    the sacrament of Holy Anointing
o    the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
o    the sacrament of Reconciliation
o    the sacrament of Holy Baptism – and Baptismal Preparation
o    Christian formation
o    resources for prayer and spiritual growth
o    liaison with and referral to indigenous Teaching Elders
o    a measure of personal accountability to survivors of the Church-run Indian Residential Schools – in particular by bearing witness to their stories
o    referrals to proven medical and counseling specialists
o    burial of the dead
o    memorial services at community residences and shelters
o    support for 12 step program participants by hearing 5th steps
o    room and home blessings

A Welcoming Church
Neighbourhood members who respond specifically to the invitation to worship at St. James’ Church, are welcomed, and invited to participate fully in the mysteries of the Holy Eucharist, Daily Prayer, and Holy Baptism. Lay ministers receive and include newcomers, in a coordinated welcome that begins on the front steps of the Church, and progresses through the Liturgy, on into coffee hour.

Over the years, numerous neighbourhood visitors have joined the worshipping community, and have been active participants in the ministries of St. James’ Church.

Our Partners 2014
The Street Outreach is made possible by a three-way funding partnership between:
o    Members of St James’ Anglican Church (25%)
o    Diocese of New Westminster & Care & Share &  Anglican Initiatives Fund (25%)
o    Community Partners — Individuals and Family Foundations (50%)

You are invited to contribute to the funding of this apostolic outreach by clicking on the “Donate Now through CanadaHelps” button. On the drop down menu choose “Street Outreach Initiative.”

Contact UsSOI logo from Chris
Street Outreach Office – 604 685 7522 (If we miss your call please leave a message)
St. James’ Church Office – 604 685 2532
Street Outreach Initiative
303 Cordova St East
Vancouver, BC, V6A 1L4


5. Financial Equilibrium:

To maintain financial equilibrium, develop our reserves and optimize the use of our assets to ensure the preservation of our sacred space and ministry from generation to generation, to the everlasting glory of God.
Liaison: Vacant, Treasurer; Betty Carlson and Reece Wrightman

Envelope Secretary

The envelope secretary handles all manner of donations to the Church, including intended donations, envelope offerings, credit card contributions, online donations and is responsible for banking duties. The Envelope Secretary reports to the Treasurer and the Stewardship Committee.


Mandate & Mission

To support the liturgical guilds by accurately processing the weekly collection, ensuring that donations are recorded on a report for the Envelope Secretary, and are directed to the appropriate ministries.

Anyone may join, but experience in handling cash and preparing bank deposits is useful. Four teams of counters rotate.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is constituted of members of the parish, and those seeking to support its mission of worship and service. They are appointed on the basis of recommendation and voluntary commitment of time and talent to St. James’; such voluntary service does not require specific financial expertise but an intelligent understanding of relevant budgetary process and oversight of church investments.

The primary mandate of the Committee is to be an advisory party to the Board of Trustees, intending to be an effective steward of the parish financial resources so that its worship and service is sustained. Committee members are tasked with bringing their expertise and experience to the ongoing oversight of the parish finances, from nurture of its investments to optimum budgeting in terms of income and expenditure. A particular task is assisting the Treasurer with the preparation of the annual budget for presentation to the parish in November.

The Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Trustees, chaired by the Treasurer and appointed by the Rector. Thus it operates in an advisory capacity with respect to matters of financial strategy, and is subject to the determination of the congregation by Vestry and Diocesan guidance.

The Committee meets on a regular basis, normally four times annually, but can be further convened as might be required. The deliberations and recommendations of the Committee are reported by the Treasure to the Trustees, Wardens and Rector.


Stewardship, broadly speaking, is the care and management of resources; in our case, church resources. Bible references are often used to illustrate giving, often about sowing and reaping, and the Parable of the Talents, where the expectation is to multiply the resources we are given. The task of the Stewardship Committee is to develop a plan for giving that is suited to our parish and to encourage giving both for present needs and to ensure that we have a solid foundation for the future.


Support Ministries-Reporting System

Custodial Staff, Buildings: Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe
Office Staff: Pat McSherry
Music Ministry, Clergy: Brian Rocksborough-Smith


Mutual Responsibilities Between The Board of Trustees and the Heads of Guilds and Ministries

Maintain regular contact in order to celebrate successes, resolve incipient problems, and encourage creativity and new ideas.

Ensure that all communications are respectful in nature.

Focus on engagement, so that those in and beyond the Parish feel welcome to join in our worship and take an active part in our ministries.