West Kilbride Parish extends more or less half way to Ardrossan, half way to Dalry and part of the way to Largs taking in part of Fairlie and also the Cumbraes. The church is named after St. Bride - Kilbride meaning cell or church of Bride. Legend has it that St. Bride landed on the shore near West Kilbride in 500 A.D. and established a church. She died on 1st February 525, and most of her remains were later buried with St. Patrick and some of the remains of St. Columba at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick. Her skull is enshrined in a special chapel near Lisbon. In the middle of the 16th Century, at the time of the Reformation, there were three chapels in the parish. One stood on Cumbrae, one at Southannan and the other one at Chapelton. Kilbride Parish was eventually renamed West Kilbride Parish at the beginning of the 19th Century to distinguish it from the other Kilbride Parish, now known as East Kilbride.
In the 19th Century, a combination of the potato famine in Ireland and the need for workers as iron stone miners and coal miners to supply the growing iron industry resulted in an influx of Irish families, both catholic and non-catholic, moving into the Auchinleck and Dalry areas. Dalry soon became the centre of Catholic activity in the north of Ayrshire but the need for labourers on farms and for workers in many small industries in the West Kilbride area resulted in Catholic families taking up residence there too. West Kilbride was at that time part of the Parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Saltcoats. In 1907, Father Francis Cronin of St. Mary's purchased the land on which St Brides now stands and the church was erected being completed in 1908. On 3rd May 1908, the church was opened and Father William Keogh celebrated the first Mass. In January 1947, St. Bride's became a Parish in its own right with its own resident Parish Priest, Father Michael O'Carroll. Later in 1947, it was decided that the Diocese of Glasgow had become too large and cumbersome and some areas were transferred to other Dioceses. This meant that St. Bride's, then still part of the Diocese of Glasgow, was transferred to the Diocese of Galloway. To commemorate the Golden Anniversary of the Church in 1958, a Marian Shrine was created in the church garden. The statue has now been transferred to the front of the chapel where it's readily available and can be seen more easily.
In the 61 years since St. Bride's became a parish in its own right, one priest and two nuns have come from the Parish. Father Gerald Muir from Seamill was ordained in 1954 and is presently Parish Priest at St. John the Evangelist in Poulton Ie Fylde in the Diocese of Lancaster. The nuns are Sister Jean Byrne of the Cistercian Order, and Sister Rosemary Kean of the Order of the Good Shepherd. Canon Sam McGinnis served St Bride's until his death after a long illness, in February 2009. The current parish priest is Father Joe Boland who took up his position at St Bride's in October 2009.