St. James’ Episcopal Church was the first church in Fair Haven built east of the Quinnipiac River on what soon became Church Street (now East Grand Avenue.) The Rev. Dr. Harry Croswell set the cornerstone on July 8, 1844 on a plot of land
donated by Captain Isaac Brown. Workers chose the beautiful sandstone used in completing the Gothic structure from Captain Brown’s quarry. Bishop Thomas Church Brownell, founder, and first president of Washington College (later renamed Trinity) in Hartford consecrated the Church on June 17, 1845.
Throughout its history, St. James’ has undergone many changes to both the structure of the building and the make-up of its congregation. The first decade of the new century also brought a parish paper, called St. James’ Chronicle and formation of both the Young Girls’ Choir and the Men and Boys’ Choir — considered one of the city’s finest. With the beginning of the First World War came the dissolution of this talented group. In the famous hurricane of 1938, the church’s tower was nearly demolished, so modifications lowered the original height. It was not until the sixties that the church saw any major changes with the building of a rectory.
In the decades since, St. James’s saw a distinct change in the community, and fluctuation in membership. Today it is a revitalized church that is reflective of the community in which it exists — a mix of cultures and ethnicities, and a place of intercultural and inclusive church community where everyone is welcome.
We are a community of christian fellowship that offers a combination of traditional and contemporary styles of worship and music for the Fair Haven community.
Please join with us on our continuing journey.