Introduction

The St. James’ Church was the first church to be built in Delhi in the year 1836 A.D. This church is built in a Greek cross plan with a fine colonial classical architecture and a Florentine dome. This structure not only speaks volumes about the associational value, but also about the introduction of a new style of architecture in Delhi. The dome rests on an octagonal arcade and the circular space under it, is where the congregation sits. Above the altar are two stained-glass windows — one on either side of the cross, depicting the crucifixion and ascension.

St. James’ Church (previously also known as Skinner’s Church) is the oldest worshipping Church in Delhi, India, commissioned by Colonel James’ Skinner and consecrated in 1836. It is a part of the Diocese of Delhi, The Church of North India (CNI). It is situated near Kashmiri Gate, at the intersection of Church Road and Lothian Road. It was the church that the Viceroy of India attended until 1931 when The Cathedral Church of the Redemption, was built. The only other church of that era, under The Society for Promoting Gospel (SPG), was the St. Stephen’s Church, at Fatehpuri, Delhi (consecrated in 1867). Behind the church is the bungalow of the British Commissioner of Delhi, William Frazer, who is also buried in the church graveyard.

St. James’ Church has played an important part in the life of the city. Many important people have visited, prayed and have been married here. Queen Elizabeth II visited the church in 1961. The Archbishop of Canterbury visited in 1995 and the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby also visited the Church in 2015.