St. James

St. James


This church has been removed from sacred use.  As such there are no liturgical services conducted here.  All services are now provided at Immaculate Conception Church, 98 Summer St. 

The Parish Office, once located on this campus, has moved to the 845 Woodbury Avenue location as of November 2017.

Directions to this parish campus

For Google map directions, click here.

For narrative directions:  To St. James Church, 2075 Lafayette Rd., from I-95

From north or south

Exit 3 for NH Route 33 east/west.

At the end of the ramp, turn right to head east.  Travel approximately 1-1.5 miles (the distance will depend on which ramp you exited I-95) whence you will see our Calvary Cemetery on your right.  At the end of the cemetery, turn right (Peverly Hill Rd.)  Proceed on Peverly Hill Rd. approximately 1 mile to the second traffic light (Lafayette Rd./US Route 1.)  Turn right and proceed approximately .75 miles to St. James Church on your left.

A brief history of this parish/church:

During and after World War II, and with the opening of Pease Air Force Base in 1956, Portsmouth grew tremendously, especially in the southeast sector toward Rye.  The spiritual needs of the expanding population were recognized and so St. James the Greater Parish was established on May 18, 1958.  Rev. Thomas Duffy was named first pastor.  Fr. Duffy selected St. James as patron to honor three pastors of the Immaculate Conception Parish: Rev. James Brennan, Rt. Rev. James McCooey, and Rt. Rev. James Happny.

The first Mass of the new parish was celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, 1958, in the auditorium of Portsmouth High School, which served as a temporary church during construction.  In July 1959, Mass was celebrated in the basement hall of the new church and eight weeks later in its unfinished sanctuary.  The solemn dedication of the church was on Memorial Day, 1960; the rectory was constructed and occupied in February, 1962; and in July 1962, the sanctuary was completed and altar consecrated with the relics of martyred Saints Justin and Victorine sealed in the sepulcher of the altar.

One hundred forty two acres of surplus land were sold in 1971 and the territorial domain of the parish was reduced in September, 1979 with the formation of St. Theresa Parish in Rye.  In 2005, during a period of parish consolidation in the Diocese of Manchester, the parish was “twinned” with St. Catherine of Siena Parish. In June 2006, St. Catherine, St. James, and Immaculate Conception were merged into a single, united Catholic parish in Portsmouth, Corpus Christi Parish.  On April 28, 2017, St. James was removed from sacred use.  The church and rectory have been sold.  The parish offices, collocated at St. James Church since June 2006, will be moving to the St. Catherine campus, 845 Woodbury Ave.