Try me, O God, and know my heart. Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me, and lead me in the way of peace. (Psalm 139: 23, 24)
Happy is the man who finds wisdom. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3.13, 15)
Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12. 1-2)
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4.32)
“This is my resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it; I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout for joy.”
St. James Church can claim these words of the Psalmist for herself. Ever since it was consecrated in 1884, its presence as a parish church has stood the test of time. Being high Anglo Catholic in tradition, all who have found this place of worship for themselves and their families have never experienced the desire to move because of the warmth this church generates. Both clergy and laypersons over the years have played great roles to ensure it remains this way. As I pen these words, I can go back at least three generations to testify to this truth in our family. Being a young person who was offered to the diocese as a prospective ordinand from this very parish only males it extra special for me to come back as it’s Vicar with the passage of time. Even my wife, Deepa, shares her roots in this parish and this makes the parish and it’s concern very special to us. We’re comforted to be are surrounded by people who share the same love and zest for the church. We’d love to see this parish church grow and flourish providing its people succor for their lives in God. The challenges are in plentitude but I’m confident that as a parish we can be over comers standing on the promises on God. On the occasion of this Patronal Festival there couldn’t have been an opportune time to revive this platform to serve the church and the community around it. May every member be marked by devotion, sacrifice and jubilation as we remember our Patron, Saint James!
Revd. James Gomez
Presbyter-in-Charge – St. James’ Church
Saturday 03-AUG-2019 SJC Patronal Festival Pensioners’ Lunch – 11:30 AM in the St. James’ Church Meeting Room.
The historic St. James’ Church was built in 1864 on the present site at 167, A.J.C. Bose Road, Kolkata – 700014 six years later, after the original Parish Church of St. James’ Church situated near Amherst Street got into a state of disrepair and the roof collapsed on 23-AUG-1858. The project of building a new church and a school had the full support and backing of Archdeacon Pratt, a keen educationist, who, with his influence, was able to acquire the garden house of Mr. Coates together with its spacious grounds for this purpose. The foundation stone of the Church and the school was laid on 07-JUN-1862, by the Hon’ble John Peter Grant, acting Lt. Governor of Bengal; and in two years’ time the church was consecrated by Bishop Cotton on “St. James’ Day”, 25-JUL-1864.
The outer walls of the Church are firmly supported on all sides by well-proportioned buttresses. There is a spacious Carriage Drive Porch with two pointed arches on the eastern and western sides are at the west end. Above the Porch is an ornamental gabled frontage surmounted by a Cross and flanked on both sides with double-tier turret towers from where comes the local name “Jora Girja” over which rise the lofty spires which are surmounted with large metal Crosses. On the upper portion of the lower Southern tower is a double – dialed clock facing west and south. The edifice, which is one of the largest in the city and unique in its architectural expression is a prominent 19th Century early English Gothic Church with traces of Norman details and twin towers, grounded on the minds and soil of Calcutta 177 years ago in the shape of a cruciform, the top of which is the “Sanctuary”; the arms being the “Transepts”, the foot, being the “Nave”. The semi-circular Norman apse at the far end completes the plan of the Church.
The restoration and refurbishment of the church began on Sunday, 18-APR-2010. The restoration was done by the Heritage commission’s reputed Engineering firm M/S MASCON. The Rededication and Thanksgiving service of St. James’ Church was held on Sunday, 11-DEC-2011.