St. James' Episcopal Church (New York City)

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James CoE Madison & 71 jeh.jpg
Madison Avenue entrance.jpg
St. James' Church, New York City
Denomination Episcopal
Located Madison Avenue and 71st Street
New York City
Founded 1810
Rector The Rev. Brenda G. Husson
Diocese Episcopal Diocese of New York

St. James' Church is an Episcopal parish church located at the intersection of Madison Avenue and 71st Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City.

Founded in May 1810 as a summer chapel for New Yorkers with country homes north of the then city, it has grown into one of the largest Episcopal churches in New York City. In addition to worship, it has programs for children and young families, youth and young adults, as well as a music program and a devotion to mission and service in the community.[1]

Worship & Music[edit]

St. James' Church worships in a variety of styles within the Anglican tradition. Four services of Holy Eucharist are celebrated every Sunday.[1]


In 2008–2009, the parish installed the St. James' Bicentennial Organ, built by Schoenstein & Co. Organbuilders (op. 156 & 157) in San Francisco. The organ contains a total of 5,538 pipes, with 4,407 pipes in the chancel organ and 1,131 pipes in the gallery. The new organ was dedicated in October 2010.[2]

Recent History[edit]

Panel on global reconciliation.jpg

In 1996 St. James' called as rector the Rev. Brenda G. Husson, the first woman chosen to lead a parish of such size and prominence in the diocese.[3]

Under Husson's leadership, St. James' received a large private grant to establish the Partners in Mission program. The PIM grant currently supports ongoing partnerships with the Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi in Africa,[4] three Episcopal parishes in Haiti, as well as regular work with the Osborne Association's outreach to children with incarcerated parents in New York.[5]

St. James' was invited to participate in the Lilly Endowment's nationwide Transition into Ministry program for the mentoring of new clergy. The position of 'Lilly Fellow' was created in 2003 to train new priests in all aspects of parish life.[6]

St. James' celebrated its bicentennial year in 2010. The parish welcomed Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, for a festive service marking the culmination of the bicentennial year on November 14, 2010.[7]


In Popular Culture[edit]

  • The 5:00PM St. James' Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols was broadcast over the local WOR and WQXR radio stations in New York City as early as 1934, and then annually from the early 1950s through 2000.
  • St. James' Church was the site of funerals for both John Steinbeck and Edward R. Murrow.[8]
  • The exterior and interior of St. James' have been seen in Gossip Girl (CW television series).[9]

See also[edit]

Episcopal Church
Anglican Communion
Book of Common Prayer

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

James Elliot Lindsley. A History of St. James' Church in the City of New York 1810–1960.
Francis J. Sypher, Jr. St. James' Church in the City of New York, 1810–2010. (New York: St. James' Church, 2010).



  1. ^ a b ""
  2. ^ New York City Organ Project, American Guild of Organists, ""
  3. ^ James B. Simpson, "Out of the Shadow of St. James': The Rev. Brenda Husson takes charge of a prominent church on New York's upper east side," The Living Church, June 15, 1997, ""; Charles W. Bell, New York Daily News, "Making Herstory at St. James'," January 25, 1997. ""
  4. ^ Matthew Davies, "Listening: Southern Malawi bishop acknowledges partnership," Episcopal News Service, May 11, 2006, ""
  5. ^ The Osborne Association: Children and Youth Services. ""
  6. ^ Fund for Theological Education: Transition into Ministry Program. ""
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Edward R. Murrow, Broadcaster And Ex-Chief of U.S.I.A., Dies," The New York Times. April 28, 1965. ""
  9. ^ ""

Coordinates: 40°46′16″N 73°57′57″W / 40.77108°N 73.96572°W / 40.77108; -73.96572