St. James' Church of Kolkata, 1862 - an elegant colonial church built by the British

 There are many majestic churches in Kolkata, mostly built during the colonial time to serve the European community settled there and one among them is  St. James' Church,  Also locally known as  Jora Girja,   it was built in 1862. It is a land mark structure in this part of the city with its impressive and elegant  twin spires that  dominate the  skyline. What is special about this church is it is one of the largest in the city and stands as a fine example of gothic style, an  architectural expression much prevalent  and followed in the early 19th Century by the English churches.

St. James' Church in Entally, Kolkata wiki

An old church with the same name  was  in Nebutolla Lane, near Amherst Street., built on the model  and plan of St. Thomas’ Church, Free School Street,  was consecrated by Bishop Reginald Heber on 12 November 1829. Incidentally Bishop Reginald  Heber (21 April 1783 – 3 April 1826)  unfortunately died in April 1826  on a visit to Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu   subsequently he was  buried there at St John's church in that city.

On 23 August 1859 the old church's roof caved in due to severe termite act  on the wooden beams, etc.,  and prior to that the church  had been in a state of disrepair.  As the damage was beyond  repair and conservation,  the current church St James came up  for divine worship in a safe and spacious building in a better locality  that could  be easily accessed without hardship..  A school was also built close to the church. 

St. James' Church  Kolkata

The new church was constructed  in a  site - garden house  owned by  one Mr.  Coates. An additional land was also acquired to build a Chaplain.  Honorable John Peter Grant, acting Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal laid the foundation stone of the new Church  on 7 June 1862, 

St. James' Church  Kolkata 

St. James' Church in Kolkata 

St. James' Church in  Kolkata

St. James' Church in Kolkata

The church is built  in a cruciform in  Gothic style with elements of Norman details and twin towers, much common in those days in  conservative England. For extra safety to the large  outer walls  of the Church,  well-proportioned buttresses were built. The  spacious  Porch with two pointed arches on the eastern and western sides are at the west end. Above the porch lies an  ornamental gable  surmounted by a Cross and flanked on both sides with double-tier turret towers.  Lofty spires  surmounted with large metal Crosses rise above the towers.  On the upper portion of the lower Southern tower  there is a double – dialed clock facing west and south.  

The church was restored and repaired in 2010 and  Rededication and Thanksgiving service of St. James’ Church was held on Sunday 11 December 2011.  A marble tablet placed 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 Revd. Dr. Jarbo, Chaplain.''