St James’ Church, originally known as Franklin Village Chapel, was built in 1845. From the early 1800s, Long Meadow (known as Franklin Village from 1837) had become a thriving colonial settlement and there was a demand for a place of worship to serve the needs of the local population and of the boys who attended the school established in 1842 and run by Mr William Keeler Hawkes. The first Bishop of Tasmania, Francis Nixon, agreed to a request for a regular Sunday service provided there was a suitable place for the conduct of church services.
An acre of land was given by Mr Britton Jones, licensee of the Sir William Wallace Inn, for ‘a school and for the celebration of Divine Worship according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the United Church of England and Ireland and for a place of burial’. The foundation stone was laid on 12 October 1844 and the building opened just six months later on 15 April 1845. The first Rector was the Rev’d William Stackhouse of Perth. At various times St James’ has been attached to the parishes of St Leonards, St John’s Launceston, and Launceston South. Launceston South merged with the parish of Holy Trinity Launceston at the beginning of 2019 and St James’ continues to serve the needs of the local community with a small congregation meeting on Thursdays at 11.00am.