The floor plan of the building is shaped like a cross consisting of a large nave with side aisles and two short transept wings containing vestries. To the southern end of the nave is an apsidal sanctuary. To the north an indented porch sits between two rooms which contain confessionals. One room contains stairs that access a choir gallery above the porch. The building is entered via a flight of steps to the front entry porch or to doors on each side of the nave. The eastern door is also accessible via a ramp.
The nave that rises to a gable roof is flanked on both sides by lower skillion roofs extending over the nave aisles. The brown brick parapet walls of the church which feature rendered architectural elements rise from a darker brick base. Rendered pilasters, which divide the walls into bays, rise to a rendered entablature that is crowned with a metal flashed coping. Each bay of the nave features a single timber framed round arched window. Crowned with a hoodmould, each window comprises a leadlight pivoted window and fixed fanlight. Twin pilasters line the clerestory walls of the nave defining wall bays that feature a circular window framed by a rendered surround. Circular windows also feature in the walls of the vestries and sanctuary, the later containing stained glass. These generally have rectangular, round arched, rendered surrounds. Lunette windows to the southern end of the aisles are covered internally with rendered panels.
The two tier front facade of the building features a central indented porch divided into three bays by two large columns. These three bays continue into the upper tier brick wall past a rendered entablature. Defined by pilasters, each bay features an arched clerestory window. This front wall is crowned with a rendered entablature and a brick triangular pediment with rendered capping, apex cross and central circular vent. Reached by a grand flight of stairs, the porch is flanked on both sides by a single wall bay containing a typical arched window and crowned with an entablature and sloping parapet.
The side entry porticos of the nave have a rendered triangular pediment with apex cross supported by two large columns. Large timber panelled doors which access the nave have a rectangular leadlight fanlight and rendered cornice and are typical of the other main doors in the building.
The concrete floor of the front porch and its sloping fibre-cement ceiling lead into a spacious nave. The nave's timber floor, which consists of two different species of timber laid alternately, is carpeted to traffic areas. The raised sanctuary floor is of marble that is continued up the walls slightly in the form of a skirting. Arcading, comprising rendered columns and semi-circular arches extends along each side of the nave, clearly defining the side aisles. Identical arches span from these columns across the aisles, which have a gable ceiling clad in diagonally laid timber boards. The nave roof is supported by hammer beam trusses that are largely hidden from view by a flat ceiling. The ceiling comprises of timber boards laid length ways or diagonally with cover strips. It extends into the sanctuary that is framed by a large arch, where the cover strips are arranged in a decorative pattern. Above the nave arcading, simple rendered panels sit within each wall bay below each circular clerestory window.
Above the front entry porch, the timber gallery is cantilevered into the nave beyond the porch wall. It has a solid timber balustrade comprising of tongue and groove, vertical joint boarding. Below, the internal walls of the confessionals are plywood. Each wall is crowned with a semi-circular leadlight window.
The building is extremely intact with only minor changes evident. Some cracking to the front pediment has occurred.
This two storey Federation Style brick dwelling has a hipped roof clad in corrugated iron with a gable extending towards Kirkland Street over two storeys of bay windows. Verandahs line three sides of the dwelling on both levels. These have been enclosed at some stage with weatherboard cladding and louvre windows, some having ugly external aluminium awning type blinds. These changes have been to the detriment of the building, overwhelming its brick section. They are the most noticeable part of the building as viewed from Old Cleveland Road. According to old photos these verandahs were once the building's most notable feature. A small one storey, timber framed section stands to the rear of the building.
The original St James church according to early photographs, was a timber framed building with a central nave and surrounding verandahs. It was set above the ground on timber stumps and had a gable roof. A small porch extended from the front verandah that was reached by two flights of stairs, one to each side. Currently used as a school, the verandahs have been enclosed, the front porch removed and the building's undercroft enclosed. The steeply pitched gable roof with a quatrefoil vent to each gable are the building's most distinguishing feature identifying its previous use as a church.