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St James' Church, Sydney
St James, King Street
St James' Church in about 1890, by Henry King
33°52'10?S 151°12'40?ECoordinates: 33°52'10?S 151°12'40?E
Founder(s) Governor Macquarie
Dedication St James
Status Parish church
Heritage designation Significant
Designated 3 September 2004
Architect(s) Francis Greenway
Parish St James', King Street
Rector Andrew Sempell
Assistant John Stewart; Martin Davies
Director of music Warren Trevelyan Jones
Organist(s) Alistair Nelson
St James' Church, commonly known as St James', King Street, is an Anglican parish church in inner city Sydney, Australia, consecrated in February 1824 and named in honour of St James the Great. It became a parish church in 1835. Designed in the style of a Georgian town church by the transported convict architect Francis Greenway during the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie, St James' is part of the historical precinct of Macquarie Street which includes other early colonial era buildings such as the Hyde Park Barracks. The church building is the oldest one extant in Sydney's inner city region. It is listed on the Register of the National Estate and has been described as one of the world's 80 greatest man-made treasures.
The church has maintained its special role in the city's religious, civic and musical life as well as its close associations with the city's legal and medical professions through its proximity to the law courts and Sydney Hospital. Its original ministry was to the convict population of Sydney and it has continued to serve the city's poor and needy in succeeding centuries.
Worship at St James' is in a style commonly found in the High Church and moderate Anglo-Catholic traditions of Anglicanism. It maintains the traditions of Anglican church music, with a robed choir singing psalms, anthems and responses in contrast to the great majority of churches in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney where services are generally celebrated in styles associated with Low Church and Evangelical Christian practices. The teaching at St James' has a more liberal perspective than most churches in the diocese on issues of gender and the ordination of women.