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


Sunday Mass Times:

9 am | 11.30 am | 4.30 pm

Sacrament of Reconciliation

(Confession) after Mass on Saturday

Weekly Newsletter


Newsletter archives in Dropbox

2014 - 2017

2018 - Current


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

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Welcome to the Website of St Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Linlithgow, Scotland. Father 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.

St Michaels RC Church

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). It 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... Click here to read more


Justice and Peace Scotland - February 2019 Newsletter

It may be an odd thing to say, but the place I associate most with my job isn't in Scotland. The port town of Calais more than anywhere else is what I think about, and indeed speak about in this job. Calais is a very small piece of a global picture of migration, and given all the current discourse (Pope Francis on one side, rising right-wing populists on the other) a very important one for us to engage with. I think it's because the day I interviewed for this job was the same Monday that the demolition of the camp, known as 'the jungle' started...

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SSVP Newsletter December 2018

As you will know from previous newsletters our SSVP society was Founded in Paris in 1833 by Blessed Fredrick Ozanam and his companions, it is international, christian and voluntary dedicated to seeking out those in need of material and spiritual support (irrespective of ideology, faith, ethnicity, age or gender) and providing them practical help. Under the Patronage of Saint Vincent and inspired by his charism our parish team operates this remit locally within Linlithgow whilst contributing nationally and internationally to the society's efforts...

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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