Thursday Doors- The Red Church

Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

In the Sierra foothill town of Sonora CA. there’s a beautiful little church called St James Episcopal. I’ve photographed it a couple of times but, as He-man and I were driving to Baby Girl’s house for Christmas I saw it lit up for Christmas for the first time and knew I had to go back and photograph it.

Here I’ll share 3 views from that photoshoot.

St James Episcopal Church

I did a little online search for the history and here’s what their website says,

Saint James Episcopal Church was first established in 1859. The current building was completed in 1860. St. James was part of the Episcopal Church until 2007. A schism occurred over various theological issues and a number of the churches in the diocese dissolved their affiliation with The Episcopal Church. They accepted oversight by the Province of the Southern Cone, in South America.  A number of Episcopalians wished to remain with the Church. These faithful, with the assistance of the governing bodies of The Episcopal Church, reorganized the diocese. On March 29, 2008, a Special Convention was held, led by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori. The Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb became our first provisional bishop. 
On that day St. Mary in the Mountains, organized in January 2008 by The Rev. Martin Risard, and his wife Alice, was formally recognized. Our first home was in a small room in the Senior Center in Sonora. Fr. Martin retired in 2010 and the Rev. Stan Coppel became priest-in-charge of the congregation.
 In July 2011, after several weeks of backbreaking labor to get the building ready, we moved to our next location in Jamestown. Our first service coincided with the first visit of our new provisional bishop, the Rt. Rev. Chester Talton, who consecrated the building for use as our church. After much time, litigation, and negotiation, St. James, popularly known as “The Red Church” returned to the Episcopal Church. The first service held upon the return of the church was on July 7, 2013.
Currently, St. James Sonora, is part of Diocese of San Joaquin

St James Episcopal Church

The bell is casted in the late 1800’s.  It is rung announcing each service.    It is also rung to announce the beginning of Mother Lode Round-up Parade, and the Sonora Christmas Parade.~

St James Episcopal Church

The church has a Flentrop Pipe Organ made by Flentrop Orgelbouw in Holland. It was installed in 1973.

I really have to give a shout out to my grandkids, and Baby Girl who waited patiently with me for the lights to come on. We waited 30 minutes, I think it was worth it! Not sure they did, but there were ohh’s and ahhs when the lights finally came on. 😀

This post is part of Thursday Doors a weekly feature run by our host Dan Antion of No Facilities blog. Click here to be taken to his site to see all the other doors people are sharing from all over the world this week.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 24-120mm| PS CC 23.0.0

more to come…

39 thoughts on “Thursday Doors- The Red Church

  1. Your enthusiasm shines through for this tranquil church, Deborah, in your words and stunning photos. And the best part of the story is your family waited 30 minutes with you for the lights to come on. So very lovely.

  2. Well, I wasn’t out there waiting with you, but I think it was worth it. The lights are amazing. I love the way they hung them to highlight the details of the church. This is a great building, Deborah and your photos are wonderful. Thanks for including the history of the church and the bell – that’s a lot of ringing.

    1. Thank you so much, Dan! I should have mentioned the door at least! 🤦‍♀️ Hopefully, the image I made of the front door with the lovely warm light and wreath suffices.

      I love the way they highlighted the building with the lights too. I’m glad they’re ringing that bell. I hope one day to hear it. If I do it’ll be by sheer luck! 😂

      1. I love doors, Deborah, but sometimes, the whole building is the attraction. I think this is one of those times, especially with the care with which they hung those lights.

  3. Those are pretty pictures of a pretty church, Deborah! I like the name: the Red Church. That’s how one names a beloved building. I looked up Flentrop orgelbouw. Somehow it’s in my mind that church organs are antique and worn like the tusks of an old elephant. But of course they are still built, in Zaandam! Crisp and shiny new. I hope the organ in the Red Church sounds as good as the church deserves.

    1. I had the same thought about organ pipes and organs being old…really old! So it surprised me too. I’d love to pop in during a service to hear the organ. Maybe one day I’ll get that chance.

      Thank you so much, Peter!

  4. What an extraordinary history, Deborah – one that confirms that we continue to evolve our belief systems. My thanks goes to your grandkids and Baby Girl for waiting patiently.

  5. The church’s history is fascinating, so many schisms when it comes to organized religions. The bell from the 1800s is amazing. I like your photo of the church.

A penny for your thoughts...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.