History

A short history of St James’ church:
In 1883 Mr Frederick Hartop Holt honorary assistant curate in All Saints’ Church, Falsgrave Road, Scarborough had the idea of a local mission hall, and personally set about purchasing land and commissioning the work with the blessing of his vicar. Thus when the building opened for worship on St James’ Day 1885, it was not as St James’ Parish Church, but as a mission chapel to All Saints’ Church. 

The Mission Chapel was about half the size of our present church.
Before the Mission Chapel could be consecrated as a parish church it had to be enlarged to seat 350 people instead of 200. Work was started in 1893 to add our two side aisles and the front extension containing the vicar’s vestry and a much larger porch. On St James’ eve 1884 the building was consecrated as St James’ Parish Church by the Archbishop of York (William Maclagan).

St James’ was designed by the Lancastrian firm of church architects, Paley and Austin, and has some excellent stained glass windows by Shrigley and Hunt. This window shows the calling of James and John.

Originally there were rooms to the south of the church, as shown in this illustration from the early 1900s. This building became infected by dry rot and was pulled down in the 1960s. Our present church hall was opened in 1953 and extensively refurbished in 2006.

Holy Trinity Church, Westbourne Grove dated from 1880, but closed at the end of the 1980s. In November 1990 St James Church was rededicated as the Parish Church of St James with Holy Trinity by the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd John Habgood.

St James’ continues to build on its roots as a mission church. Much of our recent activity has been aiming at closer links with the local community through the provision of an Arts Centre and café created 2004 – 6 by major refurbishment of the church undercroft and next door Parish Hall.

The photographs show a soirée in the Parish Hall and a small workshop in progress in the Undercroft Activity Room. For more photos of our church rooms have a look at the ‘rooms for hire’ section