While writing about the History of St. James Church what first comes to one's mind is that it is the oldest church in Delhi.
The History of the St. James Church is very interesting. Its builder was James Skinner, son of a Scottish father and a Rajput mother. He was brought up in India.
He wanted to join the British Army. However he was refused admission to the British Army because he was not a son of the English soil. On being rejected he decided to fight for the Marathas.
He was a valorous soldier and proved his courage. He went on to form a cavalry regiment that was named after him as Skinner's Horse. This regiment popularly referred to as the Yellow Boys emerged victorious in many battles and were finally incorporated into the main army. Skinner himself was promoted to the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel. Interestingly a regiment with the same name is there in the Indian Army even now.
James Skinner was once severely wounded in the battlefield. There was very little chance of his survival. He prayed whole heartedly to God and did not give up hope. He made up his mind that if he escaped death he would surely build a Church. His deep faith in God and his near mysterious recovery led to the construction of the St. James Church.
The place where this church is located was once the prime shopping area for Britishers. The Church was visited by the Britishers who stayed in Delhi at that point of time.
However this beautiful monument which displayed remarkable architectural skills was badly affected at the time of the Great Revolt of 1857. The bullets which were shot created many holes in the dome. The ball and the cross that could be seen on top of the dome were damaged and they had to be replaced. The ones that are now seen are not the original ones.
The St. James Church is emblematic of a valiant soldier's belief in the existence of God. On reading the History of the St. James Church one will certainly be interested in visiting it.