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Holytown Parish Church

THE INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH Holytown Parish Church
As you sit in the church prior to the Service do you ever let your mind wander back through time?  Do you think of the men and women who once worshipped here? – many are no longer alive, others have emigrated to perhaps the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and yet others live in other parts of the United Kingdom.  Men and women have been worshipping here since October 1837 and each generation has left its own legacy.  The first worshippers would have rejoiced that the church for which they had worked so hard was at last open.  Subsequent generations have made changes and added their own individual touch to the furnishings.  Let me now try to make at least one or two of these people come to life for you. The light coming through the stained glass windows at the rear of the chancel will have caught your attention. The inscription on the centre window reads “And lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world” Underneath are the words “To the glory of God Gifted by the late William F Young In memory of his sisters, Margaret and Helen 1953” The windows from left to right depict Saint Mary, Jesus Christ and Saint John. Who were Margaret, Helen and William Young?  Miss Margaret Young (even today remembered affectionately as Maggie Young) was one of the first ladies to be a member of the Congregational Board.  For very many years she taught faithfully in the Sunday School and played for the hymns.  Her class was for many years the “last” class for 13-14 year old girls.  (Yes, young folks did not leave Sunday School until they were 14 years old).  Her final class left the Sunday School in December 1945.  After being ill for a number of months she died in October 1946.  Her sister, Helen, was not so well-known because she tended to be in the background.  She died in June 1947.  From 1918 to 1920 William Young was Clerk to the Board.  While walking up the brae, he was always reminiscing on the old days when a shop called “The Emporium” seemed to be a magnet for shoppers.  In his will William F Young left a sum of money for a memorial to his two sisters.  This was used to install the windows and the panel below on which the words “Nec tamen consumebatur” and a burning bush are carved.  This is a reference to God speaking to Moses from within the burning Bush (Exodus 3:2-5), as well as being the emblem of the Church of Scotland. In 1946 the three chairs at the communion table were dedicated.  The large chair was gifted by Miss Helen Gardner, Whittagreen Farm, Newarthill, in memory of her mother.  Miss Gardner’s connection to Holytown Church goes back to her grandfather and the very early days of the church.  Her father became a trustee in 1883.  Although not active in the Sunday School when I knew her she was among the contributors when the Primary chairs were bought.  She also gave teaching aids such as beautiful pictures, some of which adorned the walls of the Church Hall for a number of years. The two smaller chairs have the inscription “Gifted by Mrs David Wright in memory of her husband. Mr David Wright, who was 12 years an elder in this congregation.  1946” Mr David Wright was the step-father of Mr James McCulloch who was for many years an elder in Holytown Church.