The Carlisle Patriot on 24th September 1897 reported the re-opening of St James’ following a closure of seven weeks for renovation: ‘The whole of the church has been cleaned, coloured, and the wood-work of the roof, the nave,and the aisles, stained and re-varnished. The seating has been specially treated and stained a green shade and re-varnished. The effect is most pleasing and tasteful, and in singular harmony with the sacred nature of the building. This part of the work has been carried out by Mr R. S. Kirk, Lonsdale Street. The apse and chancel work, which is highly decorative, has been done by Messrs Leach and Sons, of Cambridge.’
Frederick Leach records two trips to St James’ church in Carlisle in his memo book at the end of July 1897.