The church is a ‘noble edifice in the early English style of Gothic architecture’from which the view is beautiful, over Worsbrough reservoir to Wortley, Stainborough Park and Worsbrough Park.
The church, which was originally built as the Anglican Mission of St James in 1902, to the designs of TH & F Healey of Bradford, fell into disuse in the 1960s and lay empty for several years, growing more and more derelict as it became affected by mining subsidence and vandalism.
From 1902, Catholics in the District of Worsbrough Bridge had worshipped at weekends in a chapel of ease / school. The school closed in 1961 but the chapel remained open for worship.
In 1964 the new parish of Our lady, Worsbrough was created with Fr Lawrence Waller the first Parish Priest. In 1973 the Catholic community of Worsbrough purchased the property but by this time only two of the original stained glass windows were intact and the altar and marble font were among the broken rubble.
Eventually the church was restored, the font which had been rescued from the wreckage repaired, a new granite altar designed by church members was installed in the chancel and a new presbytery and parish hall built. In August 1975 the building was registered as a Catholic Church in London and Rome and the church officially reopened as Our Lady & St James on 15th June 1976 when the altar was consecrated by Bishop Moverley.
The simple Gothic Revival styled interior has heavy trussed roofs and fine wall paintings by Powell Brothers over the chancel arch. The lychgate, built and designed at the same time as the church and in the same style, carries the inscription ‘BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD AND NOT HEARERS ONLY’, with a shield above carrying the insignia of St James, and symbols of pilgrimage as used by pilgrims to the shrine of St James at Santiago de Compostela.
The name of Our Lady & St James was chosen to combine the old Anglican and new Catholic titles.