James Hay Upcher

James Hay Upcher


James Hay Upcher (7 January 1854 – 17 March 1931) was Archdeacon of Mashonaland from 1925 until his death.

Upcher was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge was ordained deacon in 1877 and Priest in 1878. After curacies in Halesworth, Sudbourne, Barnham Broom and Bury St Edmunds he held incumbencies at Sprowston, and Sculthorpe. In July 1892, Upcher arrived in Pretoria with Alfred Dykes Sylvester and travelled up to Rhodesia. Sylvester went to Fort Victoria while Upcher travelled to Salisbury, arriving in September the same year.

In Salisbury, the diocese of Mashonaland was in disarray. Upon Upcher’s arrival, he established a site for a new church and organised for the erection of a brick building, the Church of All Saints, dedicated in January 1893. Upcher was well received in Salisbury and congregations to services grew. He also began a service for the Mashona. He and his assistant, N.C. Panilod, started the first school in Salisbury in 1894.

In the same year he started the first school, Salisbury needed a new Bishop. Upcher was offered the position but wanted to focus on Missionary work. He was a missionary at St Bernard’s Mission, Selukwe from 1923 to 1925; and Priest in charge of St Mary, Huyani from 1927 until his death.

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