HISTORY

The recorded history of Episcopalianism in Callander goes back to 1856, when the Rev George Robert Gleig, Chaplain-General to the Forces and son of the famous Bishop George Gleig (1753-1840), used to spend his summer holidays in Callander and held services in the back room of Mr Forbes' shoemakers shop. There may have been small groups of Episcopalians worshipping in this quiet way in the town before the Penal Laws were revoked in 1792.


It seems that the Laird of Cambusmore, John Buchanan Baillie-Hamilton, was a keen member of the faith and persuaded local landowner and businessman David Carnegie of Stronvar, in Balquhidder Glen, to donate money and building expertise to raise an Episcopal Church on land given by Lady Willoughby De Eresby, the feu superior of a great deal of Callander. St. Andrew's Church was built in 1857 by the stonemason at Stronvar, who had worked under architect David Bryce on the parish church of Balquhidder in 1853, although some published architectural guides attribute the Callander building to the architects J, JW and WH Hay.


The church was consecrated in 1859 and the charge was a Summer Mission (Callander being a popular Victorian holiday resort of letting villas) until it was raised to the status of an Incumbency in 1871. The first Rector was the Rev Hardwick Shute, although he may well have been ministering to the congregation for some years before that, and the longest serving was the Very Rev Thurstan Irvine (1948-1966).


In 1886 the Church was enlarged by the addition of transepts, at a cost of £400, which was raised by a bazaar the previous year. In 1891 the Church Hall and Vestry were formally opened by J.B. Baillie Hamilton of Arnprior, who was Church Warden for some 40 years.


The Organ, built by Abbott and Smith of Leeds, was installed in 1898 and was the gift of Mrs Campbell of Ardnacreggan "and a few friends". Electricity was only connected up to the church in 1930. Miss Meg McAlpine was organist from 1946 until almost up to her death in 1991.


 

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