St James is a state heritage listed church.
In February 1869 Rev Charles William Morse, the newly appointed “Officiating Minister of Yankalilla”, called a meeting at Glenburn (now Delamere) “to consider all matters concerning the establishing a church service at this place”. The result was that in April the following year another meeting resolved unanimously that a church should be built and that James Cole’s offer of half an acre of land for that purpose should be accepted with thanks.
The foundation stone was laid on 19 September 1870 by the Very Rev Alexander Russell, Dean of Adelaide. Although the church was not quite completed, the dedication was performed by Bishop Augustus Short on Thursday 4 May 1871 in the presence of five hundred people, including the Governor Sir James Fergusson. After the morning service the Bishop consecrated the burial ground attached to the church. The first person to be buried in this cemetery was the original donor of the land, James Cole.
The South Australian Register, reporting on the consecration, gave a description of the church:
This handsome church – which is not yet finished externally – consisting of a nave and chancel with vestry, was designed by Mr. W.F. Anderson, C.E., and is seated for 200 people. The roof – which is lined internally with stained deal boards, laid diagonally up to the ridge – and the fittings – which are of solid cedar – are the work of Messrs. Klopp & Roads, of Yankalilla, while the plastering and moulding are by Messrs. Waymouth & Son, of Victor Harbour. The conscientious manner in which both these contracts have been carried out reflects the greatest credit on the contractors.
Church of St James, Glenburn, soon after completion.
The Register newspaper also reported on some of the early items given to adorn the church. These included pews, chancel fittings and lectern, altar vessels and linen. Later other treasures were added.
TThe stained glass windows at the east end depict Christ with James and John. They were created in 1889 by Ferguson & Urie, of Melbourne, and were given by the Gerrard and Lord families in memory of the first Mrs Grundy (nee Rosalie Lord), who died at the age of 22 years. Other stained glass windows were added at later dates.
The font was given to St James’ by Canon Morres, the Vicar of St Peter’s, Britford in the Diocese of Salisbury, England. The gift of the font was arranged byArchdeacon Morse during his visit to England in 1876, and he reported to the vestry meeting the following year that the font had been in use in St Peter’s Britford for 200 years.
Minton tiles were discovered in the sanctuary in 1989 when a carpet was removed, which had covered the tiles since about 1930.
The beautiful blackwood reredos was dedicated by Archbishop Clampett on 23 November 1923 to the memory of soldiers who fell in the first world war. It replaced an earlier reredos, which was given to St Thomas’ Church, Inman Valley, and can today been seen in that church, which is now located in the Yankalilla Historical Museum.