History of St James
The Heitage and Hope project aims to bring together the rich heritage of our building, with our passion and hope for the area and its future. For the latest news on the project please vist the Heritage and Hope Facebook page.
For the series of 'little films' on the history of St James please also go to the Heritage and Hope Facebook page.
In May 2010 St James was officially handed over from The Churches Conservation Trust to Liverpool Diocese. The Grade 2* listed church had been closed since 1972, is on the 'buildings at risk' register and remains in a semi-derelict state of repair. St James congregation have erected a marquee inside the church to enable regular worship and have a vision to renovate the building and connect with the growing residential population and the huge transient population who work, socialise or attend university in the city.
St James Church, was opened for its first service on June 4, 1775. To local historians, it is of huge interest as one of the oldest standing churches in Liverpool and the oldest remaining building in Britain to use cast-iron columns. St James is a much-loved treasure and a link to history with a long-standing association as ‘the slave church’. Of the nineteen monuments inside the church, many are to the memory of people connected with the slave trade. The registers of St James feature the names and origins of people from all over the world, including several who were black people.
In December 2010 essential safeguarding works were carried out to ensure the building could withstand the 10/11 winter. At this time we carried out further investigations into the condition of the building and prepared a 'Findings Report' document. These investigations informed the scope of the next phase of most urgent repairs which are focused upon structural repairs to the Nave and Chancel roof including trusses, complete renewal of slate roofing, parapet gutters, rainwater goods and associated flashings.
Work on the roof started Monday 19th March 2012 and was completed just in time for our Christmas Carol Service. During this period our weekly 4pm services were held in the Concert Room in the Cathedral. We had a lovely time there, but were very excited to return to our home in the ever-improving tent.