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St. James Church
St. James Church
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St. James Church

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St. James Church
Located at the intersection of Church Road and Lothian Road, St. James Church was built by the famous Colonel James Skinner in a Greek cross design. Consecrated in 1836, the beautiful church was said to be an imitation of St Paul's Cathedral in London but according to Percival Spear the church was actually modeled on a church in Venice. With its beautiful gardens and peaceful atmosphere, the church was once situated in Delhi's best European shopping area. The church is designed in a cruciform plan with the altar facing towards the eastern direction and entrance towards the western direction. A ball and a cross surmount the dome of the church. The original ball and the cross were damaged during the 1857 fighting and were later replaced by their replicas. The center of the church is octagon in shape with circular columns supporting the dome and the main seating arrangement being in the central portion of the dome.

In the early 19th century, James Skinner who fought for Marathas after being declined an entry into British army due to his mixed blood was once badly wounded in a war. He was left on the battlefield and the possibility of his survival was very bleak. He prayed to God and vowed that if he escaped the assault of death, he would build a church to commemorate his faith in God. Thus he built the St James Church. Later, Skinner raised a cavalry regiment known as Skinner's Horse or the Yellow Boys and won many battles. Known for his courage in battle, his regiment was finally made the part of the regular army and he was made a Lieutenant Colonel. He died in mid 19th century but a regiment of the same name still serves the Indian Army.


St. James Church


The grave of James Skinner is located in the complex of St James Church just in front of the altar. To the north of the church lie the graves of Skinner's family. Apart from the several graves of victims of 1857 war, the God's acre contains the grave of one of the finest British Commissioners of Delhi, William Fraser near the large Memorial Cross erected in memory of the victims.

A brochure is available about the church and the life of James Skinner at nominal rate


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