At St. Mary’s you will find a lively and caring Catholic community motivated by the presence and teaching of Jesus Christ. Our vibrant parish is brought together by daily worship and is assisted by a willing team of volunteers.
Our Parish Priest
Rev. Andrew Forrest, born in 1933, was ordained to the priesthood on 14th March 1959. He is the longest serving parish priest St. Mary’s has had. Fr. Forrest came to Bo’ness in 1995, and has served the parish ever since.
In his time with us, our parish community has marked a number of important milestones with him. Highlights include celebratory Masses in 2009 for the golden jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood, and 2013 on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Fr. Forrest followed an interesting road to the priesthood:
- St. Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen (1946-1951)
- Séminaire St. Sulpice, Paris (1951-1953)
- Grampian Sanitorium, Kingussie (1953-1954)
- St. Andrew’s College, Drygrange, Melrose (1954-1959)
- Ordained by Archbishop Gordon Gray at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh.
To contact Fr. Forrest, speak to him in the sacristy after Mass or call 01506 822339.
In 1886 the Bo’ness parishioners rented a hall in the town and invited a priest from Linlithgow to celebrate Mass for them whenever he was able to do so. This situation continued until 1889 when the parishioners were able to purchase the United Free Presbyterian Church on Providence Brae. The church, called “The League of the Cross Hall,” seated four hundred people. It was put under the patronage of Our Lady of the Assumption and was blessed and opened by Archbishop Smith on Sunday 11th August 1889.
In 1959 the parish received communication from the Archdiocese informing them that there were now outline plans showing proposals for a new church. The architect chosen was Mr. Coia from Glasgow. Work went ahead and Archbishop Gordon J Gray opened the new church in 1961.
The beautiful new church was a disaster from the beginning. Despite receiving architectural acclaim and awards, it failed in the basis requirements to be wind and waterproof. This led to its demolition in 1990.
Another new church, our existing building, was designed and built by Fleming Architects and Builders. All of the original fittings from the demolished church were refitted.
At St. Mary’s, we have a hall and kitchen which is available for community hire. Tables and chairs are also available.
For further information or to check availability and book our hall, please get in touch by calling us on 01506 510678. If there is no-one available to answer the telephone, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.