At this historic site you will find our cloister and campus re-designed for accessibility, expansion and environmental improvements. The Courtyard incorporates permeable paving and uses recycled materials including old bricks, decorative tiles, fencing, and cast-iron window grates repurposed as gates. Most existing trees were preserved. New plants were selected from native species and heirloom varieties. A customized fountain was inspired by the church’s baptismal font. Collectively, these features achieve another key project goal: the reuse and retention of the historic church’s character-defining features.
The cloistered courtyard captures and infiltrates more than 125,300 gallons of storm water below-grade each year. The churchyard is a call to remember death and the communion of saints as you make your way to pray. As part of a master campus plan process by MM Architects and RGS Associates the cloister was better integrated as part of the churchyard, children’s garden and campus. Using elements of a tree, a path, a fountain and gate to connect aboveground a major stormwater abatement project below ground. In the Abrahamic tradition, a fountain is a symbol of many things: life, renewal, love, mercy and salvation. The project was paid for by a congregational capital campaign.
Please feel free to walk through our cemetary where you will find gravesites of signers of the Declaration of Independence and other patriots. At Saint James Episcopal Church we have a strong belief in the responsibility to care for the earth as we pass from generation to generation.
See if you can find our preserved sycamore tree. Did you know that a mature sycamore can take up 400 gallons of water a day? A healthy 100-foot-tall tree has about 200,000 leaves. A tree this size can take 11,000 gallons of water from the soil and release it into the air again, as oxygen and water vapor, in a single growing season. Amazing!
Please find a peaceful place on our grounds to prayerfully reflect: “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11 verse 28