From 1786 to the present, St. James’ has been blessed by rectors who have tended the flock faithfully, and helped it to maintain St. James’ role in the life of the community, the state and the nation. Today’s rector is The Reverend Scott B. Neal, a graduate of The General Theological Seminary in New York City.
Scott was born in Lincoln Nebraska. At the age of three his family moved to New Hampshire, then to Maine and finally to Vermont. He is the oldest of three children. He grew up in Northfield, a small town in central Vermont. Scott was raised in the Episcopal Church, where he served at the altar as an acolyte, lector, chalice administrator, Eucharistic minister. He also served as his church choir director for 24 years. He loved nature, gardening and music as a child and his love for these things continues to this day. His undergraduate work was completed at the University of Maine at Orono in Plant and Soil Sciences.
Scott has had many different career paths including retail horticulturist, computer programmer/analyst and floral designer/shop owner. At age 46, he headed off to The General Theological Seminary, in New York City, unable to resist God’s call to priesthood any longer.
Scott and his wife Beth were high school sweethearts and were married shortly after graduation from college. They raised their two girls in Northfield. After his graduation from seminary in May 2007, Scott accepted the position of rector at St. James’, Arlington in December of that year. Scott and Beth reside in the rectory.