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THE E.U. UNITED REFORMED CHURCH IN BATHGATE.

A BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY.

The first paragraph in life and Time With Christian a history of the church in Marjoribanks Street, Bathgate it’s states that the elements which went into the formation of the Craigmailen congregation may easily be traced back to the times of The Solemn League and Covenant’s. This claim was made by Bisset, local historian, at the beginning of the twentieth century in his History of Bathgate and District. The roots of the present day E.U. U.R.C. church in Bathgate stretch back to that same Craigmailen church which was founded in May of 1742.It was built in ground just below Upper Craigmailen Farm where the Preachin Stane of 1739 is sited at a precursor of this early church. Using these and other dates as signposts or milestones, what follows is a summary of the history of The Evangelical Union United Reformed Church in Marjoribanks Street, Bathgate.

The 1742 church prospered until 1807 when the rudimentary building was in need of repair. The main elements in the congregation came either from Bathgate, three miles to the south, or Linlithgow, three miles to the north. They decided to go their separate ways and the Associate Presbytery in Edinburgh in1807, formed the Bathgate people into a Congregation, raising a building for worship where the present day one stands. It took till 1812 before a full-time minister was in place, when the Rev. Robert Morison was inducted. On 14th February1816 James Morison was born in the manse and eventually followed his father into the ministry. By the beginning of the 1840 this son of the manse was preaching the new views of sacrificial atonement which led to his suspension from The United Secession ministry in 1841.His father in Bathgate met the same fate in 1842 and with others of similar minds, the Morisons met in Kilmarnock on 16th May1843 and founded The Evangelical Union (E.U.) There is a plaque in the church to the memory of James Morison acknowledging him and this church as founder members of The Union. 1893 saw collections being gathered towards a new church building. This was designed by award winning architect T Graham Fairley and on 15th August 1895 the new church opened its doors. In that same year union with the Congregationalists was being discussed. This was realised on 1st January 1897 when this congregation became the Church of the E.U. Congregational Union.

For the next hundred years the Church served the community, one way being for fifty of these years, with the Church annual Dramatic Club production of a Scots comedies. The 1994 Assembly decided, for Charitable Status reasons, to rename the Union Reformed Church Those who did not agree formed themselves into a Federation. This congregation went with The Church. Hardly had the dust settled on that affair when union with The United Reformed Church was mooted. This came into being on 1st April 2000. Despite these changes the church in Marjoribanks Street did not sever its roots with the past in its new union and proudly continues to proclaim itself The E.U.United Reformed Church in Bathgate. The present minister is Rev.John Bremner (MA) It has variously been called The Temperance Church or Wolfe Church (after the local industrialist family benefactors of the Church) but above all it is still affectionately referred to by all as The E.U.