St James' Anglican Church Thornbury
St. James Anglican Church by Norm Appleby
St. James was built in 1917 on portion of the original land purchase in 1839 by Michael Pender a Northcote pioneer. His name lives on in the Penders Grove Primary School, the nearby Penders Park and Pender St. Located on the cnr. of Newcastle and Pender Sts., St. James started out as a daughter church of Holy Trinity Thornbury (Now St. Georges Antiochian Orthodox Church) and served by various curates from Holy Trinity including The Revd. Joseph Briggs. He became the first vicar when St. James was instituted as an independent parish in 1924.
The small congregation struggled in the early days having to cope with building the church during the first world war and the later building of a vicarage. They had initiative in providing for a hall. In1923 they purchased the old Myrle Shoe Factory located opposite and transferred it on drays onto the church grounds. It served the parish until 1977 when it was destroyed by fire.
In 1966, Because of dwindling congregations, the Anglican Diocese decided to close the adjoining parishes of Epiphany and its daughter church St. Aidan. Epiphany was sold to the Macedon Bulgarian Orthodox. The St Aiden’s and St. James congregations merged and the St. Aiden’s site in Victoria Rd. sold and, in 1969, the proceeds used to build the existing church.
In 2001, St. James, together with All Saints Northcote and St. Pauls Fairfield merged to become the Anglican Parish of Sth Darebin.