A West Michigan church will be closing after serving West Michigan's West Side for nearly 150 years until the pandemic hit.

St. James Church - Grand Rapids/Facebook
St. James Church - Grand Rapids/Facebook
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What church is closing in Grand Rapids?

The Basilica of St. Adalbert & Saint James Church announced that the Saint James church property will be put up for sale following one last public mass on June 7th.

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The church, rectory, parking lot, & parish center located at 733 Bridge NW will be sold as the church announced that it can not maintain two parishes any longer.

Why is the Saint James church in Grand Rapids closing?

In a notice to parishioners, the church says that declining attendance is primarily to blame:

So many factors have influenced
the need for selling the property,
not the least of which is the sad
reality that fewer and fewer
people over the past 30 years are
going to church. The number of
people committed to the Catholic
faith continues to decline each
year, which makes it impossible
to provide buildings that are
maintained properly and safe for
worship/use.

St. James Church - Grand Rapids/Facebook
St. James Church - Grand Rapids/Facebook
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When was the closure of St. James Church in Grand Rapids announced?

Comments online note that the church has not held mass in over two years, likely due to pandemic precautions along with the declining attendance, but an official announcement was made in a bulletin sent to members of the church and then posted on social media sites.

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Who is buying the St. James Church in Grand Rapids?

At this time no official buyer has been announced, but many have noted that the land itself may be considered a prime location for development.

About St. James Church via BasilicaGR.com:

In the spring of 1872, the Rev. James P. McManus was sent from Detroit to assist Father Pulcher at St. Andrew’s. Father Pulcher was given his choice of remaining at the older parish, or going to St. James as pastor. He chose “St. James and the poor people,” he said, and in June of 1872, he was made pastor of the newly erected West-Side parish. On July 21, 1872 the new church structure was completed at a cost of $38,000. Bishop Borgess performed the dedication ceremonies, and after the blessing, the first Mass in St. James followed.

 

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