History of St James’s

St James the Great, Dollar.

An Episcopal congregation began worshipping in Dollar in April 1863. At first, services, taken by the Reverend A.W. Hallen, Rector of St John’s, Alloa, were held in Tait House, Dollar Academy, but in November 1863, thanks to the kindness of the Deacons’ Court of the Free Church (later the West Church, now converted into houses) the congregation was able to use the Free Church on Sunday afternoons. Early in 1864, part of the newly-built Atheneum (latterly the Strathallan Hotel, now converted into flats) was offered for the congregation’s use, and they worshipped there until 1882. Land for the church was given by Sir James Orr of Harviestoun and the building was designed by Alloa architect Thomas Frame and Son. Work began in the autumn of 1879 but was halted on 28th December that year, the night of the Tay Bridge Disaster, when the storm caused the main gable to collapse. Because of financial constraints, building did not resume until 1881 and was completed by July 9th 1882, when the church was consecrated; the vestry was added in 1934 and the porch, designed by local architect Colin Campbell, in 1957.

Rectors of St James

(where available)
Dates of Ministry in Dollar
Neville G.M. LawrenceTo start with the Episcopalian presence in Dollar was a simple Mission, and in 1852, Neville Lawrence appears to have been Priest of the Dollar Mission. His later status is unclear. He was ordained in 1852 and by 1855, he was the Incumbent of St. Paul’s Forebridge, Staffordshire when he was present at the opening of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee.
He was Incumbent at Forebridge from 1853-1872. This doesn’t mean he actually lived or worked there, however, (merely that he collected the income from the Parish) and it appears he sent the curate from Dollar, Albert Eschelbach, to actually minister in Forebridge. Lawrence himself may have continued to minister in this area as he conducted St James’s first wedding in 1870.
Later on, Lawrence served as curate at All Saints Edinburgh from 1872-1876.
He later moved to Weymouth, Dorset.
.Albert EschelbachRevd. Eschelbach served in Dollar from 1866-1868. He was an Assistant Curate of the St. James’s Mission appointed by Revd. A W Hallen, Rector of St. John’s. Alloa. He was educated in Gottingen, Germany. He was ordained priest in 1866 by the Bishop of Edinburgh. By 1868 he was Curate in full charge at St. Paul’s, Forebridge, Stafford
Alexander TroupAlexander Troup M.A
He probably came from the North-East and was Rector of Strichen, Aberdeenshire 1854-1855 and of Buckie, Moray 1855-1871. Worship took place in the St. James’ Chapel or Hall. Alexander Troup was Convenor of the Building Committee which planned the current church. He died in office in 1878. His obituary described him as “ of a modest, retiring disposition…his many good qualities and real worth was known only to his more intimate friends”[Alloa Advertiser 16 Mar 1878]
Henry MaskellHenry Edward Maskew
Born in 1825 in Hampshire, he was Chaplain to the Armed Forces during the Crimean War and was based in Zante, Greece before coming to Dollar. He was Rector at the time of the consecration of the church on June 6th 1882. He died in 1915 in Ealing, Middlesex, England.

William Clements Gwyther M.A.
William Gwyther was born in 1866, educated in London and Keble College, Oxford. He was ordained in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales in 1896, was a Chaplain at St. Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth, then followed his time at St. James’s He moved on to become Rector of St Mary’s Dunkeld and later was also Dean of this diocese and a Canon of the cathedral until his death in 1940.
William LewisWilliam L Lewis
Before he came to St. James’s, William Lewis was Chaplain to the Marquis of Breadalbane at Taymouth [Devon Valley Tribune 5 Nov 1912]
John Wood-SmithJohn M Wood-Smith
In 1926 The Dundee Courier reported that John Wood had given an address on “The Ethics of the League of Nations” to the Dollar branch of The League of Nations Union. He left Dollar in 1932 to become the vicar at Watford, Northamptonshire, England.
Hay SutcliffeHenry Sutcliffe Hay M.A.
He was born near Bradford, Yorkshire in 1893 and educated at Dollar Academy. He came to St. James’s from being vicar of St. John’s, Yeadon, near Leeds. In 1939 he moved on to become Rector of Christ Church, Morningside, Edinburgh.
John Leslie StretchJohn Leslie Stretch L.Th.
John Stretch was Rector from 1939-1959 and 1953-1970. He had been Priest in Charge of St. Catharine’s Church, Bo’ness, West Lothian. After 10 years in Dollar he moved on to St. Mary, Newport, Fife but returned to St. James’s after the untimely death of Rev Patrick Broun. He was a Canon of the Cathedral from 1951.
Patrick BrounPatrick Broun
He came to St. James’s from St. John’s Forfar, Angus where he had been Rector for 18 years. He died in a car accident in February 1953 near Dundee at the age of 42.
John Leslie StretchJohn Leslie Stretch
John Stretch served twice as Rector of St James. He died in post in 1970.
Michael PaternosterMichael Cosgrove Paternoster M.A.
He was ordained at Southwark Cathedral, London in 1961. St James’ was his first post as Rector. In 1975 he moved to be Rector of St. James’s. Stonehaven, and in 1989 to St. James’s, Aberdeen. He was made a Canon in the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney in 1981. He published two works: “Thou art there also” (1967) and “Stronger than Death”(1972).
Henry Cecil CrooksHenry C. Crooks
Henry Crooks had a career in the Army from 1939 until 1970. He then studied at Edinburgh Theological College and was ordained priest in 1971 and was Rector of St. Paul’s Kinross with St. James’s, Dollar. He retired to the Diocese of Bristol in 1981.
William Leng GlazebrookWilliam Leng Glazebrook
William Leng was Curate 1975-1982 under Henry Crooks and then John Shone. He, too, had a career in the Army and then in 1974 studied at Edinburgh Theological College and became a non-stipendiary minister. He lived in the Rectory and was in charge of the day to day running of St. James’s. After leaving Dollar he went to All Saints, Glencarse, Perthshire and then to Oxfordshire. He retired to Perth and died in 2012.
No photo availableJohn Shone
Rector of St Saviours’ Bridge of Allan from 1969-1986. He was in charge of The Hillfoots Team Ministry under which Bill Glazebrook was the resident Curate from 1975-1982 and then followed by Hugo Petzsch. The Hillfoots Team Ministry included St. John’s Alloa, from 1977-1985.
No photo availableHugo M.D. Petszch
Curate 1983-1986 under John Shone. After leaving Dollar he was a vicar in New Zealand for 3 years before returning to Scotland to be Rector of Alyth, Blairgowrie and Coupar Angus, then Chaplain to Glenalmond College. In 1999 he became Deputy Headmaster of Benenden School, Kent. He died in 2021.
Gregor MacGregorGregor MacGregor
Rector 1987-1990. From 1961-1973 Gregor MacGregor was a Minister in the Church of Scotland. He became an Episcopalian priest and held several posts before coming to Dollar in 1987. He left to become a Mission Priest at St. Luke’s Wester Hailes, Edinburgh. In 1994 he was elected Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness. In 1998 he resigned feeling that his use as Bishop of the diocese was completed. He returned to Edinburgh and died in 2003. He was a member of The Society of St Francis. You can find out more about him from his Wikipedia entry.
Charles SherlockCharles P. Sherlock
 Rector 1991-1997. He was ordained as priest in 1978. Much of his ministry has been in Ethiopia between periods in the U.K. He initially went there in 1984 under the auspices of the United Society Partners in the Gospel to be assistant priest at St. Matthew’s, Addis Ababa and was the founder and director of the Jerusalem Association Children’s Homes. For 18 months until August 2020 he was interim chaplain at Glenalmond College, Perthshire.
Gottfried GrunewaldGottfried J. Grünewald
 Rector 1998-2005.He was ordained in 1969 and much of his ministry was in youth and student chaplaincy and ecumenical and retreat work in Denmark. He came to Scotland to be Priest in charge of St Anne’ Episcopal Church in Dunbar before coming to St. James’s. After his retirement in 2005 he returned to Denmark.
Jeremy AuldJeremy R. Auld
Rector 2006-2010. He entered the ministry after a career in Law in Edinburgh and Fiji. St James’s was his first post as Rector. In 2010 he became Provost of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee and in 2020 moved to become Rector of the Benefice of Woodstock and Bladon in Oxfordshire. In 2024, he took up a position in Nice, France.
Andrew R. Frearson
 Rector 2010-2018. He was ordained as priest in 1984 He served first in the diocese of Birmingham. For 10 years he was part of the clergy team at Christchurch, Norcross, Georgia, USA. He returned to England to be Team Vicar at St Andrew’s Bracknell, Berkshire and came to St. James’s in 2010. Since leaving he has spent some time in the USA and is now living in Gloucestershire.

Christopher Lowdon
Rector from 2019. He qualified as a Barrister in 1994 and worked as a wine merchant in London before being ordained in the Diocese of Derby in 2006. He subsequently served in Derby and the Isle of Man before moving to Scotland in 2019. It was announced in early 2024 that he will be moving to Upper Caldecote, near Biggleswade in the Diocese of St Albans.
St James’ currently has no Rector.

Other Clergy of Dollar

Duncan Finlayson
Duncan Finlayson was technically a curate in Bridge of Allan, but was licenced to St James’s as well as St John’s, Alloa.
Fianach A.M. Lawry
Self -supporting Minister 1994 until her death in 2013. Fianach was in the first group of women to be ordained in the Scottish Episcopal Church on 17th December 1994 at St. Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth. She was for many years a Chaplain at Glenochil prison. Her career was in publishing and she was responsible for the design of the “Blue Book” the 1982 Liturgy.
Hector I. Soga
Self Supporting Minister (Non Stipendiary Minister ) 1989-2014. Most of his career was as a German teacher at Dollar Academy. He was ordained priest in June 1989. He is currently the organist at St. James’s.
Roger E. Carman
Self Supporting Ministry. 1998- until his death in 2006. Roger studied for the priesthood after a career in Electrical Engineering. He was ordained as a priest in 1998.