Our Ministry Team


Rev Dr Stewart Gillan

Rev Dr Stewart Gillan was inducted as Minister of Linlithgow, St. Michaels on Thursday, 17th May 2004.

He hails from Nova Scotia where he was a minister with the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He studied at Edinburgh University for his doctorate in philosophy. While studying at Edinburgh, Dr Gillan also served as a pastoral locum at Falkirk Old and St Modan’s Church in Falkirk.

Like the last two previous ministers of St Michael’s he has an Africa connection. He was for 11 years minister of a parish which covered five congregations in different townships around Johannesburg in South Africa.

Born in Newfoundland, Dr Gillan was raised in Cape Breton. His roots are Scottish. His mother’s people were MacAulays from North Uist who sailed from Lochmaddy for Cape Breton in 1828. His father’s folk were coal miners who emigrated from Larkhall in 1903.

Rev Cheryl McKellar-Young

Rev Cheryl McKellar-Young is our Associate Minister. Cheryl was born and grew up in Edinburgh before she moved to live and work in Italy, as a lecturer, translator and interpreter. While in Italy she also studied for her Bachelor of Arts in Rome with an emphasis on Religious Studies. In 2005, after almost twenty years in Italy, Cheryl returned to Edinburgh to enter full time Ministry of Word and Sacrament.

She studied Divinity at Edinburgh University New College with an emphasis on Biblical Languages. Her Postgraduate studies were at Glasgow University in Healthcare Chaplaincy.

Alongside her Ministerial duties Cheryl leads Seedlings (a Tots and Toddlers Church on a Thursday), a Bad Girls of the Bible study group and Dementia care in the community. Cheryl is also a UK Board Registered Chaplain. In her spare time Cheryl enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and son and loves travelling.

Rev Thom Riddell

Rev Thom Riddell is Auxiliary Minister at St. Michael’s. He was born in Airdrie, and has lived in Linlithgow since 1980. Thom is a Chartered Chemical Engineer, taking early retirement in 2008 from working full-time as an Occupational Safety Specialist for Ineos (previously BP) in Grangemouth. Having served Christ in various ways such as BB officer, Sunday School teacher, elder and lay Reader, he was ordained to the ministry in 1993. He served at Livingston: Old before coming to St. Michael’s in 1994.

Thom is Superintendence Convenor of the Presbytery of West Lothian. He serves on the General Assembly’s Social Care Council and the Judicial Proceedings Panel. He is also a National Assessor for candidates for ministries in the Church of Scotland.

Thom and his wife, Joyce, enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren. In his ‘spare’ time Thom is a member of the Rotary Club of Linlithgow Grange, enjoys Scottish Country Dancing and plays the occasional game of golf.

Rev Ian Paterson

Rev Ian Paterson was minister of St. Michael’s from 1977 until he demitted office on 4th May 2003. Before that he was chaplain of Stirling University and a missionary in Kenya. He was appointed one of Her Majesty’s chaplains in 1997. Kirk Session invited Ian to become Minister Emeritus on his retiral.

Russell Shields

Russell Shields is our Children’s and Youth Worker and has been part of the team since 2012.

Born and raised in Haddington, Russell then spent the best part of a 4 year Gap Year working at the Abernethy Trust centre in Nethy Bridge. During this time he also graduated with an HNC in Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Pursuits from the SAC in Ayr.

He then moved to the southside of Glasgow where he spent 4 years working as a student youth worker for Eaglesham Parish Church and graduated from the International Christian College with an Honours Degree in Youth and Community Work with Applied Theology.

Outside of work Russell enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 sons. They all enjoy swimming and walking. Russell is also very fond of films, games and most things technological.