This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
Built in early 1897 this impressive church is an excellent example of the use of Kauri as both a structural and decorative element. Designed in the Gothic manner it has a fine tower seen to advantage on the corner site. The interior is noteworthy for the splendid use of Kauri panelling and also the rare form of stained glass in the lancet windows.
St James' Church makes a valuable contribution to the streetscape of Thames being sited in the main street in the busy commercial area. Historically it is important for its links with the town's gold mining industry. http://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/details/131