St James Church at Franz Josef is illustrative of the religious history of small New Zealand communities and their desire for a church of their own. Set in West Coast bush, in an area praised for its natural beauty for centuries, the church is visually appealing. It is an example of Turnbull and Rule's ecclesiastical design, a firm more commonly known for its domestic and commercial work. The use of plate glass windows behind the altar is unusual and, since 1994, again frames a view of Franz Josef glacier. This view came to symbolise peace for New Zealanders when it was reproduced as a postal stamp in 1946. St James is also associated with the Graham brothers, among the more notable mountaineers produced by New Zealand. The church is still held in public esteem and this was clearly demonstrated in the discussion over its removal in 1996.