St James - Harvington Church
As you walk into the church, you will notice that it is carpeted, which adds a softness and warmth, at least visually, to the look of the church. It is nicely unexpected. One might say the same of the welcome when first meeting the church community. There is a warmth to the welcome based on a love of God and a respect for all humanity – no matter what one’s background or appearance, all are made welcome.
The regular congregations are a mixture of all ages, from people in their 90s to just months old and everything in between. We enjoy a family feel to our worship and friendship.
We have two services on a Sunday: 9.30 am and 6.30 pm, and on Wednesday mornings at 11.00 am, we have a Book of Common Prayer service of Holy Communion.
What's the difference between the Sunday services?
In the mornings, we follow the pattern:
First Sunday: a Celtic Style of worship;
Second Sunday: we have a Church of England (Anglican) service of Holy Communion;
Third Sunday: a Family Service;
Fourth Sunday: another service of Holy Communion.
In the evenings, we offer a traditional style of worship from the Book of Common Prayer:
First Sunday: service of Holy Communion;
Second Sunday we provide a variety of different experiences including Taizé, Healing Services, Creation, Prisons week, Lament and Meditation;
Third and fourth Sundays: Evensong.
Following a recent refurbishment (finally completed in 2011), we have a smooth entry into the church and only one step up to the altar. In addition, we have a PA and loop system installed in the main congregation seating area.
Toilet facilities are not yet installed. We do have an understanding with the “Coach and Horses” pub across the road who allow their facilities to be used when the pub is open.
125 in the congregation area, plus a choir. A maximum of 169 can be seated, including the choir stalls and all available chairs.
On the road next to the church and also the pub car park, but if using the latter, please park at the back in case one gets in the way of customers or other pub visitors.
HISTORY OF HARVINGTON CHURCH
Although now the largest of the four parishes in the benefice, in 1086, "Herferthun cum Wiburgestoke" was listed in the Domesday Book as having a population of only 10 households, smaller than any of the Lenches settlements and only slightly larger than Abbots Morton. Today no trace of Wiburgestoke remains. The name Harvington derives from the nearby ford over the river Avon and may have started as Herverton, Hereford or Herefordtun, the "farmstead near the ford [suitable for the passage] of the army" where "tun" indicates a farmstead or enclosure and "here" is the Old English word for army. The ford over the Avon can still be seen, although it is no longer open to traffic.
19th and 20th centuries: Transport and education
Unlike the other villages in the benefice, Harvington could be approached by river and by rail. During the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, the village had a wharf on the River Avon, probably situated somewhere near the modern lock. There was also a ferry across the river, close to the site of the ford.
The Evesham and Redditch Railway Company brought the railway to Harvington in the 1860s, and the village was served by a station on the Evesham-Alcester line, part of the Midland Railway. The railway closed in the early 1960s, and the station has now been converted into a private house.
The village school was established during the middle of the 19th century, at the instigation of the Revd. A.H. Winnington-Ingram. The exact date when the school opened is uncertain, but it was between 1850 and 1855: the Worcestershire Records Office possesses papers dated 1847-1851 concerned with the establishment of the school, while a Gazetteer of Worcestershire compiled in 1855 lists Harvington as possessing a "modern-built National School" with around 40 pupils.