St James the Great was a fisherman who became one of the first followers of Jesus. He was the first of the apostles to die, beheaded in Jerusalem in AD44.
St James' body was said to have been miraculously transported to Santiago de Compostela in NW Spain in the early middle ages. His shrine there became the third most popular place of pilgrimage, after Jerusalem and Rome, and remains today a great centre of pilgrimage from all over Europe.
St James is the patron saint of pilgrims; his symbol is the scallop shell and is worn by his pilgrims. It is possible that this church was associated with the pilgrimage route from Worcestershire which ran down the Cotswold Edge and over to Spain via Bristol.