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OSJ (UK) - Supporting you:

We want to help where we can and make it easy, relevant and understandable for anyone seeking our assistance.

                             + Ian as visiting priest conducting a service at the Holy Family Church, Harrogate, UK.

Sometimes, people need access to the traditional services offered by churches at key or transitional points in their lives but, because they are not members of those churches or can't comply with the conditions asked of them, they are often denied.

That shouldn't be the case.  Members of the Order of St James Ministry Team are there to help if they can and individually offer a number of different forms of service and unconditional ministry to those in need.

All OSJ services can generally be tailored to meet pastoral and personal needs although some restrictions may apply where sacramental and theological integrity might be compromised.

Services currently offered* but not limited to by individual members may include:

 Baptisms and Christening**      


  
  Confirmations   
 Wedding Blessings***
 Renewal of Vow     



 Funerals 
 Celebrations of Life
 House Blessings  


  
 Home visiting   
 Home Communion
 Prayer and Healing Ministry    


                                                                
 Prison Chaplaincy and visiting
Pastoral Counselling
 Hospital Chaplaincy and visiting 
Community Support 
 Bible Studies
Trauma Counselling   
 Prayer Groups 
The Sacrament of Forgiveness and Peace
Reconciliation Services   



General Training Courses   
Ordination Training Courses   


                                                              *     Most of our services are offered without charge but some may incur service fees (e.g. Wedding Blessings, Funerals) or require costs covering.  Please ask for details.

                                                              **    We provide an ecumenical form of baptismal certificate as evidence of baptism but these are not always accepted by faith schools as part of their admissions procedures and policies even though we use the agreed and accepted formula of wording for the sacrament of baptism. Please be aware.

                                                              ***  Under the provisions of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, OSJ members are exempted from conducting same sex marriages/wedding blessings as OSJ holds the biblically founded and traditional view that marriage is between one man and one woman and is intended to be for the procreation of children.   

                                                                    For further information, please click this link 'Same Sex Marriage' 


For those for whom it matters, the Order's Episcopal line of succession is unbroken going back to St James, the first bishop of Jerusalem, and we express our faith in the same terms expressed in the Epistle of St James, simply and openly.




OSJ (Worldwide) - Supporting Others:

Charitable giving (not just funds but time, talents and skills) is a key part of the way we all express our faith in both words and actions. 

The Order of St James is a self supporting voluntary organization and, although we have very limited financial resources and have huge demands made on us, we try to do our bit too. 

We are not a registered charity, nor wish to take on that role, but any donations we do receive are immediately redirected straight to the point of need, and are fully used to support projects in the communities we serve. 

100% of donations are passed on, OSJ (UK) covering any transfer fees.  We do not keep funds in reserve.


                Row 1:      Images from OSJ Philippines where a school feeding programme has been put into place.

                Row 2:      Images from OSJ India and the inauguration of the Open Door Mercy Homes by +John.



Current projects supported by OSJ provinces include:

                                                              The Kitale orphanage, OSJ Kenya,

                                                              The Open Door Project, OSJ India,

                                                              The Schools Feeding Programme, OSJ Philippines,

                                                              The setting up of a free online education University based in the US by OSJ Pakistan.

                                                              A church building programme in Pakistan.

                                                               .


Previous UK sponsored projects have included:
                                                              
                                                              Fishing boats for India,

                                                              Solar panels and a safe drinking water source for the Kitale orphanage in Kenya,

                                                              Provision of computers in other OSJ provinces,

                                                              Various project grants,

                                                              Start-up grants,

                                                              Training grants in the UK for young people,

                                                              Building refurbishment grants,

                                                              Chernobyl's Children Project (Leeds Branch),

                                                              Save the Children.

                                                              
Please e-mail for details if you would like to support any of these projects.  There are currently no new OSJ sponsored projects planned for the UK given present commitments.  Please note that OSJ is not a registered charity.





OSJ (Worldwide) Administration:

National directors head OSJ communities (jurisdictions) in other countries and they are elected or appointed according to local need and tradition.
 
These OSJ jurisdictions are largely self-governing within OSJ as a family, and each is quite different.  Currently OSJ operates in 11 countries.


                                Current OSJ International Provinces: (with contact details)

 OSJ UK  fr.ian.osj@gmail.com Bishop Ian WaltonOSJ Executive Bishop (currently overseeing all European interests and OSJ Worldwide)
 OSJ Wales  davidbennett0@icloud.comBishop David Bennett OSJ National Director Wales
 OSJ India   osjindia@gmail.comBishop John Nakka,OSJ National Director India
 OSJ Philippines  john.ruffle@yahoo.com Rev John Ruffle, OSJ National Director Philippines
 OSJ Pakistan drsamastle@hotmail.comRev Doctor Samson AstleOSJ National Director Pakistan
 OSJ Kenya  kiberaslum_ministries@yahoo.comPastor Patrick Kimawachi,OSJ National Director Kenya (currently looking after all African interests) 

                                                                               ,                         
Countries served by OSJ members include England, Wales, Italy, Switzerland, USA, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi. 




OSJ (UK) Administration:

Structurally, nothing complicated. The Order has an executive bishop (+Ian), a newly appointed assistant bishop (+David Bennett), and an Executive Council made up of OSJ members, who collectively direct the overall ministry and organization of the Order. Their role is simply to make ministry possible. 

The Order's 'Rule of Simplicity' is more about vision and attitude, about what you can do rather than what you can't do.  We want you to succeed in the things God has entrusted you to do because that benefits everyone and it glorifies God.

That is it other than making sure we comply with current safeguarding requirements.




OSJ (UK) Contact:

E-mail:                          fr.ian.osj@gmail.com             (Fr. Ian Walton, OSJ, Executive Bishop)  

Website addresses:     www.orderofstjames.info        www.orderofstjames.co.uk

Address:                      The Order Of St James (UK) Office

                                    10 The Rowans

                                    Wetherby

                                    LS225EB

The Order's spiritual centre of ministry is St Leonard's Chapel, Hazlewood, North Yorkshire, LS24  9NJ and is in the grounds of the beautiful Hazlewood Castle.




Newsletters:

Newsletters are the way we communicate centrally and pass information on.  Anyone can access them and they are freely available to all who are interested in what we do, or wish to see that OSJ is 'for real'.

Our latest newsletter, previous editions going back to 2012 and the Order's key documents including the Order's 'Rule of Simplicity' can all be downloaded by clicking this link:  https://sites.google.com/site/orderofstjamesuk/home

Information about the Editorial Team can be found on the 'About Us' page.





OSJ:  Following the teachings of St James - Serving Christ and Community. 


The work of the Order is four fold:

                                                    i.     Plant           - to faithfully and effectively plant and/or bring to fruition the Gospel of Christ

                                                    ii.    Minister      - to be available as an Order to minister to any person in need, regardless of their faith background or social circumstances,

                                                    iii.   Support      - to be available to work supportively with individuals, churches, Christian groups and the local community, where ever needed and when ever needed,

                                                    iv.   Empower   - to encourage and support others in the exercise of the ministries and spiritual gifts they have been entrusted with.

Our purpose is to encourage and make Bible based and Spirit led Christian ministry accessible at the time, point and place of need, and to make it quite simply and unconditionally available to all, no strings attached.

We may be a small group in the greater Christian family but with over 260 members working in 11 countries we do truly serve Christ and community. 






OSJ:  Each person matters.

Community begins with the individual.  It only takes one person to make a difference.  That means that each person matters.

Set that person free and they can change the community, especially if that person truly knows Christ.

That person might just be you, or someone you know. 

Everyone (regardless of whether they go to church or not) is entrusted with spiritual gifts according to their faith and these gifts need discovering, appreciating and using for the benefit of all people. 

Ask yourself, do you know what your gifts, talents and skills are?  Are you being encouraged to use them?

Without them, the Church is poorer and the community you are a part of suffers.

Every person has something to offer, something to give.

We believe: the Gifts of God, for the people of God, and not just the chosen few.






OSJ is about 'people', not 'organizations':

'Organizations' (including 'churches') have their place, but they also have their limitations.  They sometimes forget what they are about and, instead of becoming a means to an end, they become an end in themselves. 

They fail when they think they (or their rules or traditions or practices) are more important than the people they were meant to be serving.

It is 'people' that really matter, and when an organization places itself of more value than the individual it seeks to serve, it has ceased to be of any value or relevance. (See Luke 15 v3-7)



So is 'OSJ' just another 'organization'? 

We sincerely hope not. 



OSJ does things a little differently.  We encourage people to do what is right rather than blindly following 'the rules and regulations' of religion (the collective and socially controlled and formulated expression of a particular set of beliefs).

We encourage those who those who can think beyond denominational limitations, those who have a mind of their own and don't want to accept second best.  We like visionaries and people that 'don't quite fit the norm'.

We are more about faith, personal Christian integrity, deeply cutting honesty and spiritual fulfilment, and a reliance on the Holy Spirit rather than the compliant observance (however well intended) of religious rules and behaviour patterns.

We do follow some church traditions but our actions are not dictated by them.  We will break 'the rules' when needed, especially when they keep people from the presence and love of God. 

We know the importance of forgiveness, reconciliation, healing and giving people a second chances.  We all make mistakes - no person or Christian community is perfect.

We also don't do 'denominations' - we are simply 'Christian', and whilst we appreciate the value of ritual, tradition, liturgy and canon we are not restricted, governed, led by or divided by these things. 



Although we do have a small number of mission churches because we do support worshipping communities, all of our priests and lay members work in and as part of the local community, both offering and encouraging all forms of open ministry.  For all, by all.

We encourage all members of OSJ

                                                         (1) to pray, not just for the Order of St James and its members, but for all the communities in which they serve, 1 Thessalonians 5:  v16-1 (ESV) "....pray without ceasing, .... for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 

                                                         and

                                                         (2) we encourage all members to be actively involved in appropriate ministry whenever the opportunity arises. 2 Corinthians 3:  v6  (NIV)  "He has made us competent as ministers .... the Spirit gives life."


As an Order, we simply want to support and encourage everyone we come into contact with in their walk with God and help them succeed in their ministries.  That benefits everyone.





OSJ's Biblical Basis for Ministry:


We aim to serve God rather than serve organizations.1 

We also want to set people free for God 2, to be the people they were created to be and to use the gifts, talents and skills they have been entrusted with by God 3, with recognition, support and encouragement  4, for the benefit of all.


All our work is built up on a foundation of faith, prayer and service, and we know that everyone also has a part to play, something to offer and something to value. 5

We do not rely on other groups to give us authentication, recognition or legitimacy either, especially those that are essentially divisive and excluding. 6

We don't hide behind canon, tradition or liturgy.  We stand or fall by our love of God and the ministry it generates, and need no other validation.  7


In Luke 17: v21, Jesus said, "....the Kingdom of God is amongst you...."   We can all make it so and perhaps we would no longer be needed as an 'organization'.  



                                                                                                                      1         Colossians 3:  v23-24  (NIV) "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, .... It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

                                                                                                                      2        John 8:  v32  (NIV)  "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

                                                                                                                                                                          3        1 Corinthians 12:  v1-11 (NIV)  "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."

                                                                                                                     4         John 13:  v35   (NKJV) "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

                                                                                                                     5        1 Corinthians 12:  v11 (NIV)  "All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."

                                                                                                                     6        Mark 9: v38-40  (NIV) “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”  “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us."

                                                                                                                     7        Matthew 7: v15-20  (NIV)   "You will know them by their fruits."



Your Membership of OSJ: a quick guide.


If you like what you have read or like the way we do things, you may be thinking about joining the Order.

We will never ask you for money.

We will never ask you to do things that are contrary to Holy Scripture.

We will never ask you to compromise your conscience or act unlawfully.

We will never ask you to leave your church or fellowship as part of your membership.

We will ask you to use your discerned gifts, talents and skills responsibly, honestly and freely in the service of God and His people.

We will give you our support and encouragement.




Membership Alternatives:

                                  Membership is open to all who truly love God as Christians

                                  and who wish to serve beyond the traditionally maintained denominational boundaries. 

Because we all have busy lives, membership comes in two forms to allow for different levels of commitment.  We view both as being of the same importance and value in the life of OSJ, neither being greater or less than the other.  We all serve God in whatever way we can.




(1)    Ministry Team: (MT)

Application for Ministry Team membership is intended for priests, ministers, pastors and lay workers with defined, existing licenced or specialist ministry. 

A detailed application form is designed to help applicants discern whether they are called of God to this form of open ministry under the OSJ banner rather than in a denominational setting. 

Prospective members will be interviewed and independent references will be required.  A current CRB check and full disclosure are both mandatory. The Order's Safeguarding policy applies at all times.

As a Ministry Team applicant, you may also be asked to obtain a letter of consent for your application from the pastor/minister/priest of the church or Christian community you belong to.




(2)    Ministry Support Team: (MST)

Application for the Ministry Support Team is simple and straight forward. 

It is intended for those people who wish to offer their support for OSJ through prayer, fellowship and promotion without necessarily taking on full time or additional ministry. 

Where applicable and/or appropriate, the Order's Safeguarding policy should be observed.




Membership Costs: time and effort only

The Order of St James does not require any form of membership fee. 

We feel that member's support and time are sufficient in themselves. 

All our members are self-financing volunteers who give of their own time and resources so that they can make ministry available where and whenever needed.

Members are expected to take full responsibility for their actions given the freedom they are given to minister within their local community under the support, direction and authority of the Order.




Recognising All Christians:

OSJ recognises and celebrates the communion of all Christians and makes no distinction regarding denomination.  We are all brothers and sisters in faith even if we express our faith in different ways.

Denominations have their place but no one denomination or group represents or speaks for the whole Church. They are members of a bigger family, the 'one (inclusive) Church with Christ as its head'.  (1 Corinthians 12)

There are however those churches and Christian communities who find it difficult to accept this simple bible based principle. 

They don't recognize other churches or groups who do things differently to them and don't accept 'outsiders' or other communities like OSJ. 

As a consequence, it can be tough going for members of the Order.




Membership Qualities:

It  therefore needs a special kind of person to rise above the rejection and negativity they will receive, a person who loves God so much that they will not give in, a person who wants to make a difference and knows in God they can.


Members therefore ideally need to be

                    
unstoppably enthusiastic and prayerful Christians,

                        be Spirit filled and have a good grounding in Bible wisdom,

                            and with determination, humility and compassion

                                have a overwhelming desire to serve both God and His people .



Members may also might find some of the following attributes useful: 

                     being self-motivated,

                         independent,

                             honest and have unrelenting integrity,

                                 free and spiritually imaginative thinkers,

                                     confident (they will have to take some hard knocks),

                                         be totally committed and financially self-supporting,

                                             and be prepared to get involved personally.


                            Based on Luke 10 v25-37
   

If you consider you have at least three of the above listed qualities, Ministry Support Team membership may be a good stating place if you would like to be a member of OSJ..

If you think you may have six or more of the above listed qualities, Ministry Team membership may be for you.

However, the most important quality any member of OSJ should have is humility.  We all need to see ourselves as God sees us.





OSJ: A summary.

OSJ is not about rules or regulations, denominations, liturgies, titles or dressing up in vestments. 

It is simply about service to God.























Other Groups linked to OSJ.





      The Order of St James sponsors the 'Chaplains at war (UK)'  website which is predominantly dedicated to those ordained men of peace and faith who went unarmed to war. 

      Their faith and achievements in the face of extreme adversity and man's inhumanity to man should never be overlooked, but be an inspiration to others. 'Lest we forget!'

 

                           'Chaplains at War (UK)' has two purposes:
 
                                    1.  To honour military chaplains and, by doing so, mark the contribution they have made,
 
                                    2.  To act as a forum for those interested in researching, recognising and/or promoting the work and role military chaplains.
 
  


 
 
                       'Chaplains at War (UK)' welcomes interest from all responsible parties and individuals who subscribe to these simple purposes.
 
                        'Chaplains at War (UK)' is sponsored and administered by The Order of St James (UK) for educational and research purposes only. 
 
                        'Chaplains at War (UK)' is non-political in outlook and is an educational non-profit making volunteer group.
 
                        It is not the intention of the 'Chaplains at War (UK)' web site, whether explicitly or implicitly, to give a general assent to armed conflict as a primary means of resolution. 
 
                        It does not and will not support or condone the incitement or promulgation of acts of terrorism, extremism, religious fundamentalism or the repression of basic human rights and freedoms.
 
                        'Chaplains at War (UK)' does not support armed conflict originating or resulting from religious difference, intolerance or persecution, or using religion as a means of promulgating or justifying war, terrorism or other armed social upheaval.
 
                        'Chaplains at War (UK)' does not and will not support the denial, covering up or the deliberate misinterpretation of fact concerning war crimes, acts of terrorism, subjugation, mass murder, crimes against humanity and genocide. 

                                                                          Human consciousness should be led towards enlightenment by learning the truth and acting upon it, not driven into further darkness by deceits, lies and untruths.