The church dates from the 13th century and borders the River Soar with extensive views over the Soar valley. It has a river frontage and is well known in the area for both its setting and its history as a boatman’s Church.
The building is cruciform in plan and has a central tower with a broach spire. The clerestory in the nave was added in the 15th century. The font is 14th century, with tracery panels. Above the chancel arch are the royal coat-of-arms (Stuart) of Charles II dated 1683, most unusually made of plaster, and erected by Samuel Sanders, Lord of the Manor whose own arms are depicted below and to the right; those of his wife sit below and to the left.
There are fine monuments to Frances Willoughby 1606, and another to W Willoughby of 1636. A well-used public footpath forming part of a network of paths through the village and surrounding countryside crosses the churchyard.
The Church exists to provide a focus for worship, for ministering to the spiritual needs throughout the parish, and to spread the Gospel. It holds services on Sunday mornings, and other special services such as Taizé services; and conducts weddings, baptisms, funerals and burials. The ministry is normally led by a vicar who shares this duty with his ministry in Sutton Bonington. At the moment, following the retirement of Revd Michael J Brock, we welcome retired clergy to take our services, until a new vicar is appointed.
Church services are generally held at 9:30 am each Sunday, but have a look at Parish Lines, the website Calendar or the Church Notice Board for details of special services. On the first Sunday of each month, there is a service of Morning Prayer. Normanton on Soar Choir give us some wonderful musical items at this service, and you have the opportunity to join in some lively hymns - both old and new. On the second, third and fourth Sundays, there is a service of Holy Communion. If there is a fifth Sunday in the month, we join other Churches in our Cluster for a joint service, sometimes held here in Normanton. There is a lovely friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the Church, so we hope that you will come and join us. The services always end with a cup of coffee/tea (and sometimes sherry!), which gives us time to chat.
There is a house group which meets from time to time in Normanton on Soar or Sutton Bonington. This is often linked to a special season in the Church's calendar (eg Lent).
The building is basically sound but it needs continual maintenance to ensure that its present condition is maintained. These needs and other commitments to the wider church, (e.g. clergy salaries and pensions, diocesan overheads, giving to charities) are met as far as possible from a programme of regular contributions which was renewed in 2014. Several events are held through the year to raise money for specific capital projects and to meet any shortfall in regular giving.
Ensuring that children and young people as well as adults are kept safe whilst in our care is an integral part of our church life. If you have any concerns about safeguarding, please contact:
In the Parish of Normanton on Soar: J A Austen & J B Mather, Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators, Telephone contact – 01509 646687 or 07557 158508
In the Diocese: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the safeguarding team on 07917 693285
Out of Hours for Children & Adults:
Nottinghamshire: 0300 456 4546
Nottingham City Council: 0115 876 1000
Church Opening Times
The Parish Council has decided to open St James Church on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and on Sundays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Outside these times, the key can be obtained from 75 Main Street.