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The foundation stone of the first St James' Church was used as the foundation stone of the new St James' at the corner of Kent and Davison Streets, Richmond, laid by Archbishop Carr on August 26th 1900. His Grace blessed and opened this church on December 16th 1900.

There was to be one Mass each Sunday, the priest coming from St Ignatius'.

In 1920 the Jesuit Provincial asked Sr Patricia Campbell for the Sisters of St Joseph to teach at the North Richmond school of St James', in Davison Street. As a result of this request, five sisters came to teach at St James' school and its offshoot - St Louis', in Burnley.

The first convent was a substantial house with a tower at 94 Burnley Street. Edward Rowland Priestly had built this house in 1871. Priestly was a hide and leather merchant and a member of the Richmond Council in 1877 and 1878. The house had twelve rooms, including a forge, billiard room, a bathroom and a cellar.

One of the nuns who lived there in the 1930s, Sr Jeanne has described how the sisters used the house:

The tower was three storeys high, and had a reputation for being haunted. Two nuns slept in each storey. The houses over the river in Kew could be seen above the shops on the opposite side of Burnley Street. Inside the Convent was a Chapel, a Community Room, a Music Room and a Classroom. The Classroom held about 30 to 35 grade 3 children. There was a sleep-out near the front of the building which was wooden boards up to about a height of three feet, and then above the boards was wire netting. There was a garden in front with steps leading down to the iron gate opening to Burnley Street.

ISt James' Church.  Photographer: Unknown.n 1922 St James' was made into a separate parish with Fr Cuffe SJ as Parish Priest. The new parish recorded the first baptisms of local babies Margaret Mary Trainor and Alexander James Tropp and the first marriage - Mary Towers to John Heffler.

In March 1924 St James' School and Hall were blessed and opened. The first parish ball was held in this year. In 1931 the Jesuits handed over the parish to the diocesan clergy in the persons of Frs John Donovan and John Carr.

St James' Mothers Club started in 1947 with Mrs Watson as first President.

Between 1948 and 1954 a new floor and seats were put into the church. The confessionals were added and a window with the symbols of St James' was placed over the porch - the initials S J for Saint James, the sword for his martyrdom, the crozier for his episcopacy, and the Bible for his preaching.

In 1956 the new convent for the Sisters of St Joseph was opened and blessed by Archbishop Mannix. This convent had been built in Davison Street, next to St James' School. It was a two-storeyed cream brick building.

Between 1970 and 1972 the church and parish buildings were renovated and the old presbytery demolished and a new presbytery blessed.

Since then the Sanctuary has been completely renovated, and a beautiful carved wooden crucifix donated by the builder, Mr Fred Dixon, was placed over the altar.

In 1997 the Convent was declared unsafe for habitation and demolished, and in August 1998 St James' once again became the responsibility of the Jesuit Community in Richmond.

Source: The History of the Second St James' Church Richmond by Sr Philomena McGuigan.