There is a wide range of groups in which parishioners can develop their interests and talents, or simply gain knowledge and friendship. Here you will find a brief description of the purpose of each group, meeting frequency and someone you can contact for further details. Unless otherwise indicated, groups meet in the St James’ Community Centre.

CATENIANS Irregular meetings
The Catenian Association is an international brotherhood of practising Catholic laymen who meet socially, at least once a month, in local branches, known as Circles.  Members refer to each other as ‘brother’.  This reflects the strength of the mutual support they give to each other and their families, which is based on the shared values of their Catholic belief and practice.  Several parishioners are members of local branches (known as Circles) of the Association, which have monthly meetings.  Circles hold social events, including families, provide fellowship and support on beliefs and moral values to fellow members and maintain contact with other Circles worldwide.
CATHOLIC WOMEN’S LEAGUE Last Monday of the month at 8.00pm
St James’ parish has a thriving section of the Catholic Women’s League, which meets in the Community Centre.  Its activities are social, charitable and spiritual, including an annual day of recollection and a day at Aylesford.  It also provides valuable support to the Parish Priest.  Fundraising goes to support various national and local charities.  New members are always welcome, especially young women who play an important and significant role in the CWL nationally.
FIRM BELIEVERS Tuesdays 7.00pm school terms
The St James’ Inter-Church Fun Fitness class is open to all ages, abilities and fitness levels.  A mixture of aerobics, pilates with some core and stretch working and dance. Improves all aspects of fitness, flexibility, muscle strength, toning and general well-being.  Run by Jo Gallier, a local fitness instructor.  It’s just £5 a time, no need to book, just turn up! All welcome.
CHILDREN’S LITURGY During 9.15am Mass, except 2nd Sunday of the month
Children from pre-school age, ideally 3 years old, and up to 7 years old are welcome.  They should be happy to go into the Community Centre without their parents, as the only adults present are the designated leaders and helpers.  The Liturgy of the Word is celebrated and explained at an appropriate level of understanding for the children.  An activity follows, usually related to the Gospel story.  Anyone interested in becoming a leader or helper is most welcome to enquire for more details.  The sessions do not take place during the summer holidays.

New parents guide

DAD AND ME 3rd Saturday each month, normally 10-11.30am
This playgroup meets monthly in the Community Centre, welcoming all dads and their children ages 0-7 years for fun playtime – toys, crafts and music – with bacon sandwiches, coffee/tea/juice and biscuits guaranteed!  The cost of each session is £2.00 per family.  While most playgroups are focused more on mums, this group is specifically aimed at bringing dads together to get to know each other more and build the sense of local community, while their young children play and have fun.  Any new ideas for playtime activities are welcome too.
MONDAY CLUB Mondays except Summer holidays, 1.30-4.30pm
Everyone is welcome to join others for friendship, laughter, crafts, exercise (table tennis, curling, etc.) and board games.  This is a well-established group that is open to new ideas and encourages people aged from 1-101.
Meets every 4th Wednesday, except Aug and Dec
This group’s primary responsibility is to raise awareness of social issues and produce a Parish response to them.  Since its formation in 2008 the group has been involved with many initiatives and projects, including liaison with CAFOD, collections for the local Foodbank and Manna Centre, climate change, Traidcraft, the LiveSimply award, supporting victims of injustice, and initiating parish overseas projects.  These projects are selected every two years and aim to assist poor communities around the world, so far reaching Tanzania, Bangladesh, Zambia, Peru and The Philippines.  The current project supports a home for the disabled elderly, including some the result of leprosy.  St Clare’s home is located in Ghana at Ahotokurom.  All parishioners are warmly welcome to attend meetings and get involved, or if preferred just to help occasionally.
KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA Meets 7.30pm every 3rd Wednesday
The Knights of St Columba is the largest Catholic men’s organisation in the UK and in 2019 celebrates the 90th anniversary of its foundation in Glasgow.  It is a fraternal organisation based on the three principles of Unity, Charity, and Fraternity to promote the spiritual, intellectual, and material welfare of its members and their families and the Catholic community in general.  Its main aim is to help the clergy, raise money for charities, and support causes in the community.  At most of the great Catholic celebrations, for example the major pilgrimages at Aylesford, the Knights are called upon to provide stewarding duties so that processions and ceremonies are carried out with dignity.  Men of St James’ are invited to join the Petts Wood/Orpington Council in its work for the community and the Catholic Church.  Further details available through the contact address above.
GUIDE GROUP Thursday evenings
This Group is open to girls and is made up of three sections: Brownies (7-10), Guides (10-14) and Rangers (14-18).  To add your daughter(s) to our waiting list, please register at under the section “Parents”.  Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK.  It builds girls’ confidence and raises their aspirations.  It gives the chance to discover their full potential and encourages them to be a powerful force for good, as well as giving them a space to have fun.  For more details please use the contact address above.
SCOUT GROUP Friday evenings
This Group is open to Catholic children and is made up of three sections: Beavers (6-8), Cubs (8-11) and Scouts (11-14).  After reaching 14, Scouts can progress to Explorer Scouts, and the Group has strong links with the Explorer Scout Unit, also meeting at St James’ although it is not formally integrated with the Group.  The sections all seek to assist their members, to make good use of their time, enjoy their time as members of the world wide brotherhood of Scouting, learn general citizenship skills, and to make new friends.  As a sponsored Catholic pack, members of all sections are committed to attend the monthly church parade, which takes place at the 11.00am Mass on the second Sunday of each month.  Children wishing to enrol must be committed to attending these Masses with the group.

For any waiting list enquires please contact Currently there are no vacancies in any sections.

PARENT AND TODDLER Fridays 1.30-3.00pm school terms
This group provides a welcoming place for parents and carers to meet, make friends, and feel supported.  Children 0-5 years can play, learn and interact together in a safe and happy environment.  Children will be entertained and stimulated by a wide variety of toys and activities, with a matted baby area for non-crawlers.  Come and play!  Mums, dads, grandparents, childminders are all very welcome.  For further information please email the address above.
The Community Centre bar is open after 11.00am Sunday Mass, and at other times as appropriate.  Coffee and tea are served after 9.15am and 11.00am Sunday Masses and after the 9.30am Wednesday Mass.  If you would like to help with the bar or serving other drinks, please email the address above to volunteer.