St James the Greater Church, Eastbury


The population of the village of Eastbury is currently around 265 and Eastbury is a typical downland village in the Lambourn Valley of the Racehorse.

At the heart of the village stands the church of St. James the Greater which was built in the mid 1850’s and designed by the English architect George Edmund Street. The church was commissioned by Robert Milman, the vicar of Lambourn at the time, and the majority of the cost was met from Milman’s private fortune. According to the publication “Eastbury: A Berkshire Village” 2003, he attended with great care to those employed in the stable yards. He later became Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan India. The basic church is much the same as originally planned by Street and little has changed over the years. However, of great interest is a window that attracts many visitors to the church, dedicated to the memory of the Anglo-Welsh war poet, Edward Thomas and his wife, Helen. This window is a modern, plain glass window beautifully engraved by Laurence Whistler in 1971.


Major improvements were completed in 2015 and we owe grateful thanks to all who have supported us, in particular the Greenham Common Trust, the National Churches Trust, the Fred and Marjorie Sainsbury Charitable Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Sackler Trust and the Racing Foundation. We have also received very generous donations from others, including private donors. These works consist of the installation of a new heater in a planned extension, together with W.C. facilities and a mini-kitchen so that refreshments can be served after church services, community meetings and social events.

In 2022, St. James the Greater became an A Rocha UK EcoChurch Bronze Award winner. In 2023 the church completed its energy audit to provide a pathway to energy efficiency and net-zero carbon by 2030. For more information on how we are responding to the environmental crisis facing our planet please click on this link, or on our award badge.

St. James’s Church offers not only worship under our vicar, Revd Julie Mintern but also a peaceful retreat, companionship, a Sunday School for children and support to all. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to anyone at any time.

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