St James Church

In the early 1900's Stantonbury/New Bradwell was a small working class village, with a strong christian community. In this early part of the century there was a strong expectation for you to belong to a faith, and many peoples lives were focused upon the church, they looked to the church for guidence. The local school at this time was sponsored by the church, and was situated right next door, it had been built and paid for by the same railway company as the church.
A sketch of the original plans for St. James Church,

built in 1858

Such communities at this time were very sensative to change, and the parishioners of St James Church had always been use to what they called low-church practice within this Church of England Church. There was only one common book of prayer being used at the time, which all services were based on. The alters and church were kept very basic and vicar would have delivered the service standing at the end of the alter, wearing just a black cassock with a white surplus preaching scarf.
So With the arrival of Rev. A. N. Guest in 1908, who was known for his high-church beliefs, there is no surprise with the amount of controversy he caused. Rev. Guest had moved up from London, which like many large cities was use to change and many of the new church's had been built with this new catholic revival. He brought in many changes, his services were not based around the common book of prayer. Prayers like the Hail Mary were used, pictures and statues of Mary were brought into the church, which were not normally excepted by the Church of England church. The alter and church had been decorated with candles and flowers, incense was frequently used in mass and Rev. Guest delivered his service in front of the alter with his back to the congregation. He would wear coloured vesments and biretta hat favoured by catholic priests.