Centenary year is rounded off in fine style at St Mary’s

Church members and invited guests at the St Mary's Centenary service
Church members and invited guests at the St Mary's Centenary service

A year of centenary celebrations at St Mary’s Parish Church in Motherwell was rounded off with two special events last weekend.

On Saturday evening 300 members and friends of St Mary’s attended a centenary congregational dinner in Motherwell Concert Hall.

And on Sunday the centenary anniversary service took place in the church itself.

The programme on Saturday evening was introduced by Bill Simpson, chairman of the Centenary Action Team.

Guest speaker was the Rev Edward V Simpson, a former member, and the reply was proposed by Session Clerk Allan Joyce.

The evening was interspersed with a number of audio visual presentations depicting the church from the early beginnings to the present day and also a sequence of greetings from former members and others associated with the church.

Entertainment was provided by well established music group The Inbetweeners, under the direction of Karen Maxwell.

The evening was brought to a close by St Mary’s minister the Rev David Doyle. Guests attending included former ministers the Rev Ian B Doyle, Rev John W F Harris and Rev A Cameron Mackenzie.

Sunday’s service was also conducted by David Doyle who welcomed a large congregation which included former members, invited guests from all the main political parties, local councilors and Dalziel High School.

Taking part in the service were the Rev Harris, Rev Frank Gibson, Rev Lawson R Brown, Rev William Ewart, Rev Ian Doyle and the Rev Mackenzie who preached the sermon.

Following the service a buffet lunch was served to all in attendance.

Although a Church of Scotland was first set up in the Watsonville area of Motherwell at the end of the 19th century, it quickly out grew its first meeting place, a converted house in a miners’ row. Under the care of Rev William Smith, the congregation quickly grew and in 1902 moved to a larger building seating 240 but it soon became clear that an even larger building was required.

A site in Avon Street was found and the fine new church was opened in December 1914, having taken a year to build at a cost of £4,333.

Four years later, St Mary’s became a full Parish Church in its own right and has remained at the heart of the local community ever since.