The Church Buildings

The church and churchyard in the spring

The Church

As with most churches, St James's was built with the altar end facing east towards the rising sun. The architect was W. Wigginton of County Chambers, Cornhill and the contractors were Messrs Bond of Hackney. It was built in Gothic Revival style with the main walls of yellow stock brick and stone dressing around the corners and windows. The spire was made of stone and the roof of slate on a timber structure over the nave and chancel, apart from the two aisles which were covered with copper in 1963. 

There are various symbols in the carvings, embroideries and stained glass of the church and even outside the church. A symbol is something that makes us think about something else. It is said that early Christians did not think it reverent to write the names of God or Jesus in full, so they made different symbols for them. The page Symbols in the Church show some of these.

The Chancel, comprising the choir and sanctuary, is at the far west end of the church and is where the high altar and organ are situated. It is the part of the church where the service is conducted, as distinct from the nave, where the congregation sits. 

The Nave, the main aisle, where the congregation sits during services makes a large open area, not only suitable for services but also other events and activities. 

The Side Aisles, south and north, run either side of the nave.

The Stained Glass Windows now mostly show biblical scenes which originally helped to teach the people about religion in the days when many of them could not read. However, the original windows were made of plain glass. 

The Baptistry, at the east end of the church, leads up into the tower where the belfry can be found. 

The Vestry is on the south side of the chancel and there are two entrances to the church through the west and south porches.

The Tower & Spire at the west end of the church are most striking and characteristic external features of the church.

Other Buildings

St James's Church Hall, the Fitz Wygram Hall, was specially designed and is adjacent to the church. It is suitable for parties, meetings, evening classes, etc.

The Vicarage was built in 1937 and stands next door to the church and hall in St James’s Road.

The Properties Team 

The Properties Team has the responsibility to the Parochial Church Council for the maintenance, upkeep and care of the church, the hall, the vicarage, the garage, the shed and all other structures.

Find out more

The History of St James's Church Buildings
The History of St James's Churchyard
Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports (these documents contain the annual reports of the various church teams or groups associated with St James's Church. Scroll down the document of the year you are interested in to find the report you want) 


Bryan Basdell on 020 8979 2040

The Foundation Stones

The foundation stone, on the outside of the east wall, for the church was consecrated in 1863.
The pink granite foundation stone for the tower and spire, on the south side of the base of the tower, was laid by the vicar’s only son, Edward on the 20th of June 1887. One each of every coin in the country, from a farthing to a guinea, was placed behind this stone. 
The last foundation stone, that for the church hall, on the west side of the porch, was consecrated by the Bishop of London, David Hope, during the St James’s Festival on the 4th July, 1993.

Foundation stone Foundation stone Foundation stone
Foundation stone
for the church

'To the glory of God
St James Church
Consecrated AD 1863
North Aisle built 1874
Chancel enlarged 1877
South Aisle built AD 1879'

Foundation stone
for the tower & spire

'To the glory of God and in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the accession to the throne of his servant Victoria, Queen of the realm by public subscription on foundations laid by Fitzroy John Fitz Wygram, first Vicar of the Parish. This stone was laid by Edward Bligh on the 24th June 1887. Henry Bligh Vicar, xxxx Churchwardens,. xxxxx Architect.'
Foundation stone
for the church hall

'This stone was blessed
David Bishop of London
4th July 1993'


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