St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Linlithgow
53 Blackness Road, Linlithgow. Telephone: +44(0)1506 842145


Welcome to the Website of St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Linlithgow, Scotland. Canon Paul and the parishioners warmly welcome new parishioners and visitors to our church. In this Web Site you will find details of our services and information related to the Parish.


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DonationsMass Times

Important update in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

Public Mass on Sunday is at 9:15am (which is livestreamed) and 11.30
There is no obligation to attend Mass on Sunday.

To join visit the link or scan the QR code or below stmichaelslinlithgow/live/

Refer this guide for instructions:

--->> PC users click here <<---

-->> IPad users click here <<--

If you have a Facebook account and have"liked" the Parish Facebook site, you will get a notification and will be able to watch the live stream of the Mass on Facebook. A recording will also be made available on Facebook. This is a new facility so please bear with us, it may take a couple of weeks to fully sort out any issues.


You can still watch the broadcast even without a Facebook account by cancelling the the Log in prompt by clicking 'Not Now'

FB login

Feedback and Queries please contact us at email

Weekday Mass - Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am.

The church is now closed on Mondays and the afternoons of Saturday and Sunday. The church is open for private prayers Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm, On Saturday 9am to 1pm and on Sunday, the church will be closed after the 11.30 Mass.

Weekly Newsletter


Newsletter archives in Dropbox

2014 - 2017

2018 - Current


Very Rev Canon Paul Kelly M.A., D.Phil, Our Parish Priest

St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church is situated in the historic and picturesque town of Linlithgow. The present church is situated at the East end of the town near the Low Port (entrance to the town). St Michaels RC ChurchIt is located beside the banks of Linlithgow loch and close to the old palace where Mary Queen of Scots was born. Next to the palace is the Parish Church of St Michael's the original seat of the Catholic Church prior to the reformation. This brief history chronicles the Catholic Church in Linlithgow from inception to the present day. The historic town of Linlithgow has a long association with Catholicism in Scotland. Although the present church has been in its current position by the side of Linlithgow Loch for a few years more than a century, St Michael has been associated with Linlithgow since the 13th century. St Michael's Parish church, in the centre of the town next to the remains of Linlithgow Palace, had a long association with the Stuart Kings and Scotland's most famous Queen; Mary Queen of Scots. Mary Queen of Scot's was born in Linlithgow Palace towards the end of 1542 and was baptised in St Michael's Church.

Records of the charter of David 1, in which he gifted not only the church but also "its chapels and lands, and all other rights belonging thereto", indicate that even in 1138 St. Michael's Church of Linlithgow was of considerable size and influence. Indeed, long before 1242 when David de Bernham, Bishop of St. Andrews, officially dedicated this beautiful medieval church it was known as a mother church. Located atop the mound and beside Linlithgow Palace the building stands testimony to the power and influence of pre-Reformation Roman Catholicism. The hierarchy of the Church of St. Michael's Linlithgow did without doubt exert great influence on the daily lives of the population of Scotland although much of this influence was secularised through its links with the Establishment.

However, it must not be forgotten that the church was built by local people as a permanent dedication to the greater glory of God. By the 16th century the Church was beset on all sides with calls for reform of various degrees of severity. Moderates, justifiably, wanted internal reform to rid the Church of much that was corrupt. One such was Linlithgow priest Ninian Winzet, who courageously stood up to more militant reformers who wished to see an end to Roman influence. Others were much more militant, for example, John Knox "whose "rascally multitude" desecrated the church of St. Michael's Linlithgow, among others" . To put it mildly feelings were running high and the outcome was the radical reformation of worship throughout the land

Roman Catholic worship at St. Michael's ended in 1561 when Patrick Frenche, who had been instated in 1559, was replaced by the Protestant minister Patrick Kinloquhy. It is thought that Patrick Frenche fled the country along with his fellow believer Ninian Winzet who was "...expelled, banished, and shut out of my kindly toun of Linlithgow and my tender friends..." . The post-Reformation era saw Roman Catholicism in disarray and the 1567 Act of Parliament criminalising the saying or hearing of Mass means that there is little record of how the faithful met for worship. It is known that there were travelling priests who must have visited the town but little is recorded until much later when the arrival of large numbers of Irish families highlighted the dearth of religious care in Linlithgow.

Details of Catholicism in the area remain scarce until around the middle of the 19th Century when, as a consequence of the famine in Ireland, there was a large influx of Irish Catholics to Scotland. Many worked in the farms in and around the Royal Burgh during the spring and summer months. However the development of the Shale Oil industry in West Lothian heralded the development of a permanent Catholic population in the town. Click here to continue reading...




(Chosen and called)

















(Children's version)




It is the responsibility of all of us, clergy or lay to ensure that our church is a safe and welcoming place for everyone and to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected.
Safeguarding in the Catholic Church means doing everything we can to protect our children and vulnerable adults; firstly, by having a safe system of recruitment for clergy, religious, employees and all our volunteers; which includes PVG checks, references and safeguarding training; and secondly, by having a reporting system so people can come forward with their concerns, be listened to and have their concerns acted upon. Safeguarding also includes care and support for survivors. The Church in Scotland has a mandatory reporting policy. This means that if an allegation of abuse is received it is immediately reported to the police.

The parish Safeguarding Coordinators are Morag O'Dwyer ( and John McCormack (  Morag and John work alongside Canon Paul Kelly to  ensure the safe recruitment of volunteers working with children and vulnerable adults in the parish. We also do an annual safeguarding audit to assess the safeguarding work being done in the parish, to identify any weaknesses and opportunities for improvements.

Safeguarding advice and materials are available on the Diocesan website and Scottish Catholic Safeguarding service 

Please contact Morag or John if you have any concerns about a safeguarding matte

For more information and resources click here


Live Streaming
Pastoral letter on the Covid-19 crisis (1st October 2020)


Click on the image below to read a copy of the latest Pastoral letter on the Covid-19 crisis issued on 1st October 2020

Pastoral letter 1st October 2020

The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelisin mission of the Church

The ecclesiological reflection of the Second Vatican Council, together with the considerable social and cultural changes of recent decades, has resulted in various Particular Churches having to reorganise the manner in which the pastoral care of Parish communities are assigned. This has made it possible to initiate new experiences, enhancing the dimension of communion and implementing, under the guidance of pastors, a harmonious synthesis of charisms and vocations at the service of the proclamation of the Gospel, which better corresponds to the demands of evangelisation today.

Click here to continue reading the full text


The Society Of Saint Vincent De Paul Linlithgow

Founded in Paris in 1833 by Blessed Fredrick Ozanam and his companions, the society is an international, Christian, voluntary organisation dedicated to tackling poverty (both material and spiritual) and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to those in need - irrespective of ideology, faith, ethnicity, age or gender. Placed under the Patronage of St Vincent de Paul, it is inspired by his charism and works and seeks, in the spirit of justice and charity, to help people who are disadvantaged or in need of support

Click here to learn more about the SVDP society or our work

Justice and Peace Scotland - October 2019 Newsletter

In Hong Kong, Chile, Haiti, Catalunya, London, and Lebanon people are on the streets. Each place, and each protest is calling for different things, but they all are demanding that governments listen to what people are asking for. At the start of 2019 in his letter for Justice and Peace Sunday Bishop Nolan wrote about the importance of engaging with our political process. With Brexit dominating the headlines this can feel like more like a penance than an opportunity, but what we have seen through the Extinction Rebellion and Climate Strike events over the last year is that it isn't impossible to bring other important issues back into focus.

Click here to continue reading

125th Anniversary of the Church Celebrations - 06th May 2018

The Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews & Edinburgh, The Most Reverend Leo William Cushley, came to the parish on Sunday 6 May 2018 to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of the building of St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Linlithgow. Sharing some pictures taken during the spiritual occasion.

125th Church Anniversary

Link to the Album

Your Sponsor A School Report | Mpangiseni Primary School, Dowa, Central Malawi | Sponsored by St. Michael's RC Church

Through your incredible generosity, you have enabled many children living in one of the world's most impoverished countries to come school, receive a nutritious daily meal and gain an all nutritious daily meal and gain an all nutritious education.

Click here to continue reading

Bishops urge Catholics to "be active participants in shaping a better society"

In a letter which will be read in all of Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes this weekend (9/10 April 16) Scotland's eight Catholic Bishops will urge parishioners to "be active participants in shaping a better society" not simply "passive spectators" they will also encourage greater participation in the political process, suggesting; "you might well consider it worthwhile to join a political party" while reminding Catholic voters that "Only if you use your vote can you make a difference and influence our political leaders".

Click here to continue reading

St Michael's Organ Afternoon for Beginners

St Michael's held an organ afternoon for beginners, and those helping them, on Saturday, 28 May, led by parish organist Dr Evelyn Stell. There were fourteen participants altogether, representing six different parishes in our archdiocese, which was quite a lot for this sort of event. Two of them were even playing three-manual instruments on Sundays. Five of our own beginners were there, and everyone seemed very enthusiastic and keen.

Father Paul started the session off with a prayer. We then looked at the nature of the organ itself, touched on the things to remember when leading the people, and, I regret to say, spent some time on an item called 'shortcuts and surgery', which told people how to cheat their way through a difficult or inadequate hymn setting; perfection is not the name of the game here. Working with chords was also a theme, with the emphasis on being simple and smooth. You can't strum the organ.

Click here to

A Theological reflection on the McLellan report - By Fr Paul Kelly

The scandals involving abuse in the Catholic Church are only too well known. As a result, rigorous safeguarding procedures have to be in place in every parish. There are staff working at this at the diocesan level, at the national level of the Church in Scotland, as well as at parish level. Volunteers working with children and vulnerable adults have to be cleared through the PVG scheme. This is indeed a legal requirement with which the Church must comply.

Click here to continue reading

Notes on the history of the catholic mission at Linlithgow - By Fr Paul Kelly

The most authoritative account of the history of the parish is William Hendrie's St Michael's Catholic Church, Linlithgow, 1893-1993, published on the centenary of the building of the church. The mission (as it was before it became a parish) was first dedicated to St Joseph. It was changed to St Michael in 1887, though the school, built just before the church, was dedicated to St Joseph. These notes are derived from diocesan archives at present deposited in the Scottish Catholic Archives, Columba House, in Edinburgh, and from the valuation rolls in Linlithgow Public Library. Click the link below to continue reading...

Click here to download as a pdf

Notes for the Liturgy of the hours
  • This is also known as the Breviary or the Divine Office.
  • Consider how our prayer life has developed or has it since our childhood?

A bit of background.

The early Christians would have gathered in the morning and evening for prayer and praise and recited psalms and scripture in a recurring cycle. By tradition the Book of Psalms is considered an essential ingredient of the Liturgy of the Hours as psalms had an honoured place in Jewish piety. Click the link below to continue reading...

Click here to download as a pdf

Bacon Rolls - We appeal for new volunteers

Individuals, couples or a complete family team would be most welcome. The more the merrier! If you would like to help us serve the parish then please contact Stevie Gallacher via phone 07925-143350 OR email


If you are already a member click here to view the latest rota


St Michael's is a Fairtrade Church and belongs to a Fairtrade diocese

This means that we have undertaken to use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all meetings for which we have responsibility, move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit and Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. Fairtrade ensures farmers and workers receive an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in developing their communities.



The FAIRTRADE Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on UK products as a guarantee that they have been certified against internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. It shares internationally recognized Fairtrade standards with initiatives in 20 other countries, working together globally with producer networks as Fairtrade Labeling Organisations International (FLO). The Mark indicates that the product has been certified to give a better deal to the producers involved - it does not act as an endorsement of an entire company’s business practices.


The FAIRTRADE Mark gives a guarantee to consumers that the farmers and workers have been paid a fair and stable price which covers the cost of sustainable production. for more information