st. James church, one of the oldest churches, Kolkata

St. James'
St. James' Church, also  known as Jora Girja (Bengali: literally meaning twin church for its twin spires in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, built in 1862, is one of most impressive churches in the city, and the largest protestant church that can accommodate about 600 people at a time in its prayer hall. The present church,  replaced  the  older one of the same name which was situated in Nebutolla Lane, near Amherst Street. This earlier church was  built using  St. Thomas’ Church as model in style and design  and was consecrated by Bishop Reginald Heber on 12 November,1829. The twin spires of the St. James' Church dominated the  Kolkata's skyline. The church became unsafe for divine worship due to poor maintenance, lack of funds, etc and at one state, the wooden beams and other important structures were heavily damaged because of sustained termite attack. On August 23, 1858, when the restoration work had just begun, the roof caved in, causing heavy damages As the church was too damaged to resume restoration work, the church authorities decided to have a new church built in a new locality along with a school for children. The historical church in the past had  prominent vicars such as  Basil Manuel and John Perumbalath, currently Archdeacon of Barking in the Church of England.
Archdeacon Pratt, a keen educationist, gave full support to the new project and through his
St. James' Church,Kilkata,
influence  acquired the garden house of Mr. Coates together with its spacious grounds for the new church. A smaller house in the grounds was also acquired for the residence of the Chaplain.  John Peter Grant, acting Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal graced the occasion by laying foundation on 7 June, 1862.  A marble tablet  displayed on the eastern wall of the south transept reads –

The first stone of this Church dedicated to
St. James, was laid June 7th, 1862.
Consecrated by Bishop Cotton 25th July, 1864.
The Rev. Dr. Jarbo, Chaplain

The church  was designed by East Bengal Railway architect Walter B Granville, who also designed the Calcutta High Court, the GPO and the Calcutta University Senate Hall. The gothic type of architecture is attributed by two lofty spires
pillars, flying buttresses and arches.The  church is characteristic of  beautifully decorated black mahogany woodwork on its lofty ceiling. The altar is placed at the top of the cross, the people sit in body of the cross. The choir  may sit either on the right side  of the cross  or on  the left. The church is located on Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road.