The parish history of Cruden goes back for over a thousand years. The present Saint James’s was opened in 1843 and was the first commission of the architect William Hay (1818-1888). Its tall, pinnacled tower and spire can be seen for miles around. The church is on Chapel Hill in the countryside a mile and a half from the village of Cruden Bay.
The baptismal font dates from 1012 and came from the chantry chapel built by a Scottish King and a Danish Prince after a battle on the beach at Cruden Bay, which marked the end of Viking involvement on the north-east coast of Scotland.
The present church replaced a previous one, which was built on the same site in 1765. Before then, during the years of persecution of the Episcopal Church after the Battle of Culloden, the congregation met among the sand-dunes on the beach.
Today Saint James’s congregation meets each Sunday for the Parish Eucharist at 9-30am. During the week there are home meetings, and a Thursday celebration of the Eucharist.