"Jesus came not to be served, but to serve"
“St Michael is kind to strangers” is the motto of the town of Linlithgow, and St Michael’s has played an active part in the community for centuries. Our crown spire, a modern representation of Jesus’ crown of thorns, and a symbol of hope, can be seen for miles around. We play an active role in the annual Riding of the Marches and the Children’s Gala Day each June, and community leaders gather in St Michael’s on Remembrance Sunday each year. St Michael’s is a place of comfort for the bereaved, and of celebration at weddings and baptism.
Our church banners on Cross House let the community know what is happening within our walls, we also work hard to be a church without walls. We work closely with the Linlithgow Young People’s Project, West Lothian Foodbank and Bethany Trust.
Much of what we do is on our website and you may have heard a lot about it, however a lot of our work is invisible. For example we have a team of church visitors who are out and about visiting those who are often housebound. We also offer bereavement support and there is a small support group for those going through IVF.
Each year at the end of October, we hold a service for memory and thanksgiving for all those who have suffered loss, to which everyone is welcome to attend. Please be in touch with us if we can be of assistance to you.
Living through Grief.
Grief is a natural healing process, not an illness. The death of someone we love can be devastating and is the most painful and complex loss we are ever likely to experience. Sooner or later grief comes to us all. Then we have to journey through the grieving process which can include shock, numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, physical and emotional pain and chaos of thought, until we sense a new beginning.If you are interested in finding out more, the contact details are below.
Who Are We?
St Michael's Bereavement Support Service is run by a team of specially trained and supervised people.
It is a confidential service.
Free of charge.
All are welcome - no need to be a member of the church.
What do we offer?
Post funeral visiting
One-to-one bereavement support
Positive Pathways is a group of bereaved people who, along with members of the bereavement support team, meet informally to share their thoughts and feelings and who are seeking a way forward. The group meets on alternate Thursday evenings from 6.30pm to 8pm in the Adam Room, Cross House. There is no magic formula which will take away the pain, but by listening and sharing with others, it is often possible to lessen the sense of isolation, chaos and despair felt after the death of a loved one.
For further information on any of the above and date of next group meeting please either email Sheila Rae
or telephone mobile on 07719966273.
Caring for those living with memory loss and their carers.
In our Kirk Hall on the second Thursday of each month from 12.00pm til 1.30pm. Join us for a light lunch and then an hour of singing for memory. All welcome. No church connection necessary. Further info from Norma Costley 01506 843255 or the Church Office on 01506 842188
In Acts 20:28 Paul says,
"So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God which he has made his own through the sacrificial death of his Son."
The mission statement of St. Michael's Pastoral Care Team states our aim is to provide relevant, effective and accessible pastoral care and support services based on Christian commitment, insight and values and operates to the highest standards of ethics and practice to the members of St. Michael's Parish Church, Linlithgow and also to non-members residing within the parish, irrespective of faith, cultural background, ethnic origin or life choices.
Sharing the joys and sorrows of people is one of our greatest privileges as it mirrors the love of Jesus for all those whom He met. Thus, the care of members of the congregation and people who live in the Parish is one of the most important acts in the life of St Michael's, and something that we take very seriously.
There are several ways in which this care is provided.
The Ministry Team is often the first to know about and address pastoral needs, whether by visits in the home or hospital to those who are ill or bereaved or troubled in any way.
The parish for church/care purposes is divided up into districts, and each district has one or two elders whose priority is to visit and get to know all the people connected with the church who live in their district. We hope that the district elders become friends of those whom they visit, and can be a support to them, especially in times of need.
In addition, we have a Pastoral Care Team (PCT), which works alongside the Ministry Team, caring for those in the parish who are bereaved, or in need in any way. This team also assists the ministers in taking communion to those unable to attend church.
The PCT also supports our team of Church Visitors who visit people who are unable to get out. These visits take place wherever people happen to be, at home, in hospital or in a care home. If the person could get out if accompanied, then the visitor can arrange to take the person out. The Church Visitors also deliver recordings of the church services to people unable to get to church for whatever reason and this is a greatly valued service. Within our team of church visitors, we have people experienced in helping young families as well as the ability to offer support to older people.
The PCT support, train and supervise our bereavement support team. For the full range of our bereavement service, please follow the separate link.
Flower Ministry - the PCT deliver posies of church flowers to those who's names have been added to the flower list kept in the church office.
Prayer Ministry - click here for more info.
Because sometimes we do not learn quickly enough of the needs of the congregation and parish, we place cards in the pews. There, people attending church services may write information about anyone in need of a visit either at home or in hospital and pass the cards on to one of the ministers or duty elders.
And then there are the people who visit the church, whom we do not know, but who find the atmosphere of worship and prayer helpful to them. Many just sit quietly, and that is enough. Others find it helpful to put a request for prayer in the prayer box in the Queen’s Aisle, where a quiet time is held every Wednesday at 12.30 p.m. and these requests are mentioned in prayers that day. Anyone wishing to come to this time of prayer would be made most welcome. Members of the congregation are encouraged to leave their requests for prayers regarding their concerns about church members and others that they know. People can also ask for the prayer chain to pray through any concern. Contact the church office for the telephone number. We have a team who offer confidential prayer in the Queen's Aisle and at Springfield after each morning service.
Thus it is our hope and prayer that the love of Jesus spreads out from St Michael's to all, especially to those in need.
Further details of the Bereavement Support Group are given here
Remit of the Pastoral Care Team
To assist and support the Ministry Team and Eldership in the provision of pastoral care to the Church congregation and Parish.
Main Areas of Responsibility
To develop pastoral care policies for St. Michael’s Parish Church.
To implement and evaluate pastoral care polices following agreement from the Kirk Session.
To maintain an up to date pastoral visiting list.
To assign Church visitors, including those delivering service recordings and those visiting people in homes and hospitals.
To develop, train and support Church visitors and the Bereavement Support Team.
Carry out short- term projects as agreed by Session.
Co-ordinate activity with other Session Teams.
Monitor budget and expenditure and liase with the Treasurer on any anticipated or actual difficulties.
Specific Tasks and Activities Overseen
Development, training and support of our Church Visitors.
Development, training and support of our Bereavement Support Team.
Sending of bereavement cards on first anniversary of death.
Sending of first wedding anniversary cards to those married in St. Michael’s Parish Church.
Updating of Cradle Roll.
Support of our Prayer Team who offer confidential prayer in Queen's Aisle after each morning service.
Oversight of Funeral Support Team.
Any other matter pertaining to Pastoral Care.
Pastoral Care Training
Please check this page regularly for information regarding training events. All training is open to church visitors, elders, members of the congration and any other interested person. For further information or to book an event please email Sheila Rae
St Michael's works in conjunction with Quiet Waters Charitable Trust
in Falkirk who provide training in Pastoral Care.
This service for the bereaved is held once a year at the beginning of November. Music, prayers and readings with an opportunity to light a candle in memory of the one you love. The service is followed by teas and coffee. All welcome. Crèche available for young children.
The Caring Cafe provides a meeting place in the heart of our community that gives people with dementia and their carers a chance to meet others in a similar situation.
Our church volunteers help at the cafe and there are staff from Alzheimer Scotland on hand if you would like to get information and advice about dementia. The cafe meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from 10 am to 12 noon at
Queen Margaret's Hall
53 Blackness Road
Contact us on 01506 845137 or email Coordinator@linlithgowlink.org.uk
(open 9.30 to 12.30 Monday to Friday) for more information.
This is a group for people who are able to attend safely on their own or who are accompanied by someone to support them.
This takes place within Linlithgow Care Home on the first Tuesday of each month .
Further info from Val at the Church Office – 01506 842188.
is a song filmed in St Michael's for Alzheimer Scotland.
The words are by Rev Cheryl McKellar Young and the music is by Andrew Sutherland
Toddlers provides a warm and safe environment for local families with babies and pre-school children to meet, to make new friends and to feel part of our church family.
We are open on Tuesday and Friday mornings between 9.30am-11.30am during West Lothian school terms, in St Michael’s Parish Kirk Hall. We have lots of toys to play with and provide tea, coffee, and biscuits.
For more information, please join our Facebook page:
You can also contact Fiona McCracken, Early Years Worker on M: 07549014575
or E: email@example.com
The Help Centre Website www.helpcentre.org.uk
seeks to provide information and support for anyone with a problem, which is proving difficult for them to resolve.
Perhaps it is a family matter, caring requirement, health concern, citizens advice topic, bereavement, childcare - whatever the concern, we try to offer information, local and national, on organisations or groups, which may be helpful to you. No commercial organisations are included.
The Help Centre is a joint initiative of St. Michael’s Parish Church and St John’s Church.
We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.
Linlithgow Young People’s Project (LYPP
) is a youth project which was planted in the heart of the community, more than 25 years ago in partnership with the churches in Linlithgow. It’s fundamental purpose then, as it is today was to support the young people of Linlithgow and the surrounding areas in all aspects of their development. Our primary focus is to foster a sense of ‘hope’ in the lives and circumstances of young people we come in contact with.
Today this is done by engaging them in a range of activities which enable them to express themselves in a wide variety of ways and by creating opportunities for them to learn about themselves and develop new skills. The project has grown in size and scope over the years, and has gained support from the churches, the community and wider networks and organisations including the Rank Foundation, West Lothian Council and the Faith in Community Scotland Action Fund.
The mission of each of the churches in Linlithgow is to proclaim the Christian faith, and to encourage its members in living out their faith in their daily lives.
Representatives from each of the churches meet together twice a year, at the Linlithgow Churches Forum, to discuss joint events and how we can help and encourage each other in our service of Christ. The Forum aims to support the Ministers, Pastors and Priests and to facilitate the churches in working together as much as possible.
The Linlithgow Churches Website can be found here