James hails from Saskatchewan. He is married to Annette Hubbard and they have two adult sons, Sean and Brent.
He attended the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad in Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan where he obtained a B.A., followed by an M.Div from Nashotah House, Wisconsin in 1977. He was made a Deacon in 1976 and was ordained a Priest in 1977 in the Diocese of Qu’Appelle; over a period of 20 years he served three parishes in that Diocese and was an active member of various diocesan and national committees.
He came to the Diocese of British Columbia to take up the position of Diocesan Executive Officer in 1997 and continued involvement in national and diocesan committees. He was elected Bishop of the Diocese in 2003. He was consecrated then installed as the 12th Bishop of British Columbia on 25 January 2004.