St James has been a place of worship since the 12th Century.
The building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and was part Sir Christopher Wren’s building program. The steeple could have been built by Nicholas Hawksmoor. The ceiling is the highest of any city church and its bright open space has meant it has been given the name ‘Wren’s Lantern.’
The church is likely to have gained its name from the Garlic that was sold locally on the banks of the Thames. It is likely to have stood on Garlick Hill since Anglo Saxon times.
Six Lord Mayors are buried in the medieval church and plaques commemorating them can be found on the north wall. St James holds some of the oldest registers, the first entries made in 1535.
St James is the church of the Intelligence Corps and holds the Book of Remembrance. Famous people to have attended here include William Boyce the composer, who was baptised here on 11th September 1711.
St James is perhaps most famous for being haunted. A mummified body, nicknamed Jimmy Garlick was found in 1830, in the chancel. The mummy is said to haunt the church since its discovery. Visitors claimed to have felt a presence in the building.
Sunday and daily services are drawn from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, a tradition they started in the 17th century. The building is also home to the Royal Jubilee Bells, cast in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Keep up to date with the latest news ...