James Gilchrist was born on the 22nd July 1910, in Battersea, to Alexander Fitzmaurice Gilchrist, solicitor to the Supreme Court of Judicators, and his wife, Beatrice Margaret Osborne, of London and Grove Hill, Starston, Norfolk.
James was educated at Ely Cathedral in 1937, from then he held a curacy at St. Edmund's Downham Market until 1940 when he joined the Army. During his army service he was at one time service chaplain in the Middle East to an Indian Armoured Division. From 1946 he was vicar of Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, where he held many other offices including president and chairman of the local British Legion branch.
On the 12th January 1939, in London, James married Norah Brigstock Frere, youngest daughter of the late Rev. H.L. Frere and Mrs Frere formerly of Roydon. They had 3 children, Jeremy F. (born 1940, Downham Market), ? and Robin A.F. (born 1948 Chipping Sodbury)
On 17th July 1949 James was instituted to the vicarage of Hoxne and Denham. During his 6 years at Hoxne he raised enough money to re-roof the church.
In August 1955 James and his wife left Hoxne for Dennington. James was to become Rector of Dennington.
James died on the 2nd November 1988 in Norwich.