The Society of Friends of St. Michael’s Church, Linlithgow
The Society was formed in 1942 to commemorate 700 years since the consecration of St Michael’s in 1242. It is now a registered Scottish Charity (number SCO 03911) and it draws its members from people in the local community and farther afield who wish to further its objects.
The objects of the Society are:
- The care of the church and its continued preservation.
- The further adornment and furnishing of the church.
- The safeguarding of the amenity of the church and the beautifying of its approaches and surroundings.
The Society is governed by an elected committee of 12 members each serving a term of 3 years and of whom at least 4 must be Elders. The committee is chaired by the Parish Minister and also has an Honorary Secretary and an Honorary Treasurer.
Her Majesty the Queen is Patron of the Society.
The office bearers are:
- The Chair of the Council is the minister of the Church, ex officio
- Honorary presidents
- An honorary secretary and an honorary treasurer
- Twelve members of Council, of whom at least six must be members of St Michael’s congregation, including at least four elders
Members of Council serve terms of three years.
Queen Mary became Royal Patron shortly after the founding of the Society. The present Queen, who visited the Church in 1955 and 1989, became Royal Patron in 1980.
Many additions and improvements to the Church have been made by or through the Society over the years, in some cases by specific gift or by legacy. They include the Crear McCartney stained glass window in St Katherine’s aisle, which was commissioned by the Friends to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Church in 1992. This was a major undertaking which required financial support from the congregation and the wider community. It is a wonderful and beautiful work, modern and yet in harmony with its historic surroundings.
The Queen’s Aisle is also worthy of specific mention. Designed and crafted locally, it provides an intimate atmosphere in a modest space within the vastness of the whole Church. The Aisle is particularly appropriate for the holding of small services and for prayer and meditation by individuals.
The gates at the south porch of the Church are the most recent addition by the Society. The area within the south porch was being used for various undesirable purposes, requiring a great deal of often unpleasant clearance and maintenance. The process of getting permission from all the interested parties for an acceptable design which could be suitably attached to the existing building was a project in itself.
Designed and manufactured by local firm, Ratho Forge, the gates are made of mild steel in an intertwining grape and leaf design representing the true vine. The Rev Ian Paterson, former minister of St Michael’s, whose original idea the project was back in 1999, returned to dedicate the gates in April 2009.
According to the constitution, membership is available to “those who hold the Church of St Michael in their affection and are willing to take some part in its loving care”.
- Life membership costs £100
- Annual Subscription costs £20
- Over sixties, students and juniors annual sub is £15.
- Family membership (annual) £50
The honorary treasurer is: Gregor Macdonald, 44 Deanburn Park, Linlithgow, EH49 6EZ (Tel: 01506 844856). Cheques should be made payable to “Society of Friends of St Michaels”
You can download a membership application form. You can also download a gift aid form, if desired and appropriate. Please complete the form and return it to Gregor Macdonald at the address above, or to the Church Office.