St James (Grade II Listed) is the largest place of Christian worship in the village of Bulkington, and a church has existed on the current site since the early 13th century. The earliest patronage of Bulkington Church is dated 1258. The church has an attractive profile in a prominent site on the main road in the centre of the village.
St James is dominated by the 15th Century grey sandstone tower, which houses a peal of eight bells. The tenor bell is of the 16th Century, and three other bells were added from 1605 to 1676. The remaining bells are more recent additions. St James has an enthusiastic team of ringers, and the bells are rung before Sunday Services, on request at weddings, and on other special occasions.
There are a number of features within the church which are worthy of particular mention:
The distinctive font is a carved bowl of Numidian marble, surrounded by figures to depict the Baptism of Christ, and supported on four feet enriched with panels containing dolphins.
The font stands on a single drum from an antique column of Carrera marble. The column and font were imported from Rome in 1798 by Richard Haywood of Weston Hall. Richard Haywood was a master sculptor, and there are other examples of his work in the church, and commissioned pieces of his work can be found in Westminster Abbey, Arbury Hall and Virginia USA.
On the wall of the chancel there is a coat of arms in oak, dated 1629.
The attractive east window (placed there in 1893) contains the figures of the four evangelists, and of Abraham, Moses, David and Elijah.
The church is surrounded by an extensive churchyard, which is still open for burials. There are areas of the churchyard to the north of the church building dedicated for cremated remains. The churchyard is a focal point for many villagers, and many memorials are visited regularly. There are a number of significant tombstones, two are listed (which have now been laid flat due to their unstable condition), and there are four commonwealth war graves. Two characters mentioned in George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss are buried in a vault near to the entrance of the porch.