Sites and Monument Record: St James Church (SMR 122)
The Gothic red sandstone building of St James Church stands on the corner of Thornhill Road and Firs Street. It was opened in 1900 and was designed by G Deas Page, Falkirk, with the mason work by George Sanderson, Falkirk. The total cost was £4749.
The main facade fronts Thornhill Road and is well articulated - consisting of the 90ft tall tower at the north end, the gables of the church and hall, and a porch in the link between them. The red stone came from Locharbriggs Quarry, Dumfries (the greystone from Eastfield Quarry having run out). The main buildings are covered with blue Craiglea slate, which contrasted with the red tile on the spire of the tower - the latter now clad with slate. The stone on the facade is rock-faced snecked ashlar with fine dressed detailing such as the large traceried windows. The principal entrance porch is at the base of the spired and parapeted tower at the corner next to the road junction. The tower is set back slightly to accommodate the porch. Gargoyle-like carvings at the eaves course are carved with animal and human heads.
In plan the church has a nave 27ft wide by 64ft long, with transepts on both sides, which, along with the 10ft wide aisles, are separated from the nave by six lofty arches springing from columns with moulded stone caps and bases. The roof of the church was open bound. A gallery was provided for future use at the east end of the nave, accessed by a wooden stair. At the west end is the chancel with the communion table and elders’ seats. Its floor is raised and laid with marble mosaic, whilst the walls were panelled to a height of 8ft. The vestry adjoins the chancel. An organ occupied one of the transepts. The hall lies parallel to the nave and has the customary range of rooms behind it, viz lavatories, retiring rooms, meeting rooms and a kitchen.
The gallery opened in 1925.
The chancel window was replaced in 1970 by a stained glass one depicting Mathew, Mark, Luke and John on the side panels, and a centre panel showing the Holy dove descending on the cape, staff and satchel of St James. It was donated by Jenny and James Nicol, cost £1200.