THE lights are not going out any time soon at St Michael’s Church in Linlithgow after bright sparks came up with a £170,000 upgrade plan.
Fundraising has now started after the lighting project was approved by the church’s kirk session, and it is hoped that work will begin next spring.
Peter Russell, convener of the kirk session’s business team said: “The idea of upgrading the lighting in the church has been floating around for years but other projects always came up which demanded immediate attention.
‘‘However, recent failures prompted us to have a full inspection and the conclusion is that most of the electrical wiring in the church needs to be replaced. It seems only sensible to upgrade the light fittings at the same time.”
A number of fittings are now considered inaccessible and scaffolding has to be erected just to replace a bulb.
In the new plan, existing fixtures will be replaced with modern fittings that use LED technology to provide improved lighting, while also reducing electricity consumption.
Rev Dr Stewart Gillan, minister of St Michael’s, said. “St Michael’s was consecrated in 1242 and over the centuries changes and additions have been made to the ancient building.
‘‘The crown of thorns on the tower was a contribution from the 20th century, and this lighting project will be a first contribution from the 21st century.
“I am sure that the new lighting will enhance the experience for the many overseas visitors who come to St Michael’s.”
The Kirk session has created a project board to oversee the work as approval is needed from a number of bodies, including the local presbytery and the Church of Scotland, and various fundraising ventures planned.
Ideas include a flower festival in the church and a family ceilidh in the marquee during Linlithgow’s Civic Week.
It is hoped that members will do sponsored activities and local residents will also be able to “buy” light fittings, sockets, lamps or lengths of cable, to contribute to the project.