It was at a public meeting on 30 October 1815 that Admiral Sir James Saumarez, later Lord de Saumarez, conceived the idea of building St James.
The church was to provide a place of worship for the British garrison in Guernsey , where services could be held in English. At that time, services in the Town Church were held in French.
The building was completed in 1818.
After a full life, which included its use as the Elizabeth College chapel for many years, the building finally became redundant in 1970 and fell into partial decay.
In 1981 The Friends of St James association was formed to achieve St James’ restoration and then to administer the building as a concert and assembly hall. The States agreed to pay for this restoration in 1983 and the building was officially re-opened on 5 July 1985 by HRH the Duke of Kent.
Following intense fund raising the single storey tin-roofed annexe, built during the 1930’s, was demolished and in 2002 the three storey Dorey Centre comprising meeting rooms, café and administration offices, was completed.
St James now provides the island with unique and versatile venue for concerts and events covering a broad range of tastes for both residents and visitors as well as the business community.