St James Anglican Church

At the top end of Franz Josef village, sits the beautiful, serene St James Church


St James Church is a valuable, free destination, a short walk in the Franz Josef Village.

The visitor book is testament to the many visitors that pop in each day to have a look around and enjoy the setting.

St James is illustrative of the religious history of small New Zealand communities and their desire for a church of their own. Set in West Coast bush, in an area praised for its natural beauty for centuries, the church is visually appealing, and was designed by architects J.S. Turnbull (1864-1947) and P.W. Rule of Timaru (1888-1953) and built in 1931.

Here you will see the use of plate glass windows behind the altar is unusual and frames a view of Franz Josef glacier. This view came to symbolise peace for New Zealanders when it was reproduced as a postal stamp in 1946.

St James is also associated with the Graham brothers, among the more notable mountaineers produced by New Zealand. The church is still held in public esteem and this was clearly demonstrated in the discussion over its removal in 1996.

Images courtesy of

All visitors are welcome to join the fortnightly services on the first and third Sunday of the month, usually at 5 pm, during the summer and monthly over the winter period.

Christmas Eve and Easter services are also held. Regular services are also held at Hari Hari, Ross and Whataroa.

Check the church / supermarket notice board for times or Facebook page for times

Parish Priest: Vivien Harber

Parish Warden: Adam Haugh


Waiho River, West Coast 7886, New Zealand
Things to See & Do