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E-Newsletter – 15th November 2020

When I was an Army chaplain one of the regiments I served with had  its own Kirk Session. One of its young elders was an absolutely  fanatical Glasgow Rangers supporter. In a year when Rangers came  second best to city rivals, Celtic, I introduced the hymn, At the name of Jesus  every knee shall bow, by saying that verse three was especially for one of our  elders. Verse three begins – “Humbled for a season….” 
I’m not sure I was forgiven until the following season! 

I thought of humbled for a season given sporting events this week. Finally, after a  twenty three year gap, Scotland will appear at a major international football  tournament. Not even a goal for Serbia in the ninetieth minute of the game could  deny Scotland’s eventual victory in a penalty shootout. Ten major international  competitions have come and gone, with no Scotland. Next summer that will change.  Stand by for the Tartan Army heading for Wembley in June – Government  Guidelines permitting.  In Psalm 90, set for worship this weekend, the Psalmist reflects on time, comparing  our own brevity with the vast sweep of God’s eternity.  
“For a thousand years in your (God’s) sight  
are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.” 
A wise person remarked to me this week: “We rarely have the big picture. We can’t  always see what God is doing, or where God is acting.” Sometimes we just have to  wait; sometimes we just have to keep hope alive. But then sometimes, there are  moments of great rejoicing! Let us enjoy and celebrate them when they come. 

See you on Sunday 


Live Streaming of Worship  

The live stream service continues this Sunday at 11.00am. Music begins from  10.50am. The service can be watched via the church website, https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live-stream. To access the live stream from the homepage (front page) click the Menu button in  the top right-hand side of the page and scroll down and click on “Live Stream”. This  will bring up the live stream to the church. The act of worship of approximately 60  minutes, includes include prayers, a sermon and music. The words for the hymns  will be on the website. 

For those without internet, the Dial-In facility continues. Many people comment that they do have a sense of worshipping together, even if invisible to each other. While current regulation  forbids singing in the pews, the live stream strongly recommends  singing in the sitting room! 

Dial into Sunday Service 

If you are aware of church members or friends who do not have access to internet  please inform them that they can now phone in to join the Sunday service. No  visuals clearly, but at least they can hear the service.  

Those interested should follow:  
Step 1: At 10.40am call phone number 0203 051 2874.  
Step 2: You will be prompted to enter a meeting ID. Please type (using your  telephone keypad) 266 883 5072# 
Step 3: You will then be asked for a participant number - simply press the #.
Step 4: Enjoy the service! You will hear Ben's organ music from 10.50am. 

Church Office 

Office Hours 9am to 4pm. 
Contact details; 
Tel: 020 7584 2321 
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Website: www.stcolumbas.org.uk 
Facebook: @stcolumbaschurchpontstreet 
Twitter: @LondonKirk  

Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271 Maintaining Community and Supporting Each Other 

Everybody can play a part in maintaining contact with others via telephone, e-mail or  letter, especially those who are particularly vulnerable. Our Elders are encouraged to  make contact with those in their districts, and church members are welcome to  contact the church office to request a contact from their elder or the Minister. 

Congregational Offerings 

Details on the many ways you can support St Columba’s can be found here  https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/giving/supporting-st-columbas 

Offerings to St Andrew’s, Newcastle can be made via:  
Account - Church of Scotland 
Sort code - 40-34-18 
Account number – 11310747

St Columba’s Adherent 

We are sorry to announce the death of St Columba’s adherent Liz  Fergusson. Liz and her husband Colin have worshipped at St Columba’s for a number of years and were well known to many. Liz  worked with the Night Shelter and was a trustee and chairwomen of West London  Action for Children for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Liz’s  husband Colin and their families at this difficult time.  

Annual Bereavement Service Sunday 22nd November 

Each year we are very aware that the approach to Christmas can be a particularly  poignant time in which we remember those who have died. Each year, therefore,  we hold our Annual Bereavement Service. We write to those who have experienced  the death of a loved one, and whose service was conducted by one of the St  Columba’s ministers, in the last seven years, and invite family members and friends  to attend this annual service. (This year we also include the names of St Andrew’s,  Newcastle members.) To mitigate the uncertainties of changing Covid19 regulations  and reduce the risk of travel, the service will not be attended in person, but made  available via our website from 3pm on Sunday 22nd November, at  www.stcolumbas.org.uk The service is designed to be quiet and reflective and will  last about forty five minutes. 

During the service we remember by name those whose funeral or memorial services  we have conducted in the past year (1st October 2019 – 30 September 2020). As a  congregation we pray for the family and friends of all whose funerals we call to mind.  Relatives and friends who have attended in previous years have found the service to  be helpful.  

Particularly this year, with all its difficulties, though we will not be physically together,  I hope that people can draw strength and comfort from knowing that loved ones are  being remembered and prayed for. 

St Columba’s Book Club 23 November 7.00pm 

The November meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will take place on the 23rd at  7pm (via Zoom). This month’s book will be “Someone in the Distance” by Dorothy  Whipple. New members are very much encouraged, please get in touch with the  Church Office for more detail.  

Zoom Coffee Mornings 

Lockdown 2.0 is in full swing here in London and throughout England. To try and  break the week up for those who are at home, working from home or need a little something different in the week (and some friendly faces on the screen) I have organised some Zoom coffee mornings. 

Join us for the first, on the 20th November at 10.30am with my Dad,  Andy Machell. Andy had a long career in the RAF and is now a full  time reservist. His current focus is training across the services in Mental  Health First Aid. Andy will be talking about how to look after your  mental health in lockdown and the things you can do to manage anxiety.  

Looking ahead we will be joined on the 2nd December at 10.30am by The Rt Revd  Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In  what would have been the moderatorial week in London, Revd Fair will join us to  talk about his “odd” year as Moderator and how COVID had changed things for the  Church.  

If you would like to join us for any of these sessions please email me in the office  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and I shall send you the joining details.  

Christmas Appeal 

Due to the current restrictions, unfortunately we will not be able to do our usual Sox  & Boxers collection. 

As an alternative way of contributing to the Christmas Appeal, you may like to  consider making a financial donation to either Glass Door or to Borderline. Thank  you, Mission Committee. 

Glass Door 


Cheques payable to 'Glass Door Homeless Charity' and post to:
Attn. Ian Foster - Fundraising Managing 
Glass Door Homeless Charity 
155a Kings Road 
London SW3 5TX 



Cheques payable to 'New Borderline' and post to: 
Attn. Andrew Ellison - Fundraising Manager 
22 City Road 
London EC1Y 2AJ 

Lent Appeal 2021 

The Lent Appeal 2021 will be the turn of a small UK charity. If  you are involved with such a charity, or know of one that you would like to nominate for consideration, the Mission Committee  would love to hear from you. To nominate a small UK charity and/or for  more information in regard to next year's Lent Appeal, please contact:  Naomi Donaldson by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the Church  Office. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 17 November.  Mission Committee. 

London Prisons Mission Volunteers  

In October we marked Prisons Week. London Prisons Mission offer these words: “There is an urgent need for additional volunteers to undertake regular work within  prisons, or in support of London Prisons Mission’s (LPM) activities in this field.  Introductory visits are arranged to explore and discuss the wide range of needs and  opportunities available to match the skills, experience and available time of suitable  volunteers. Relevant training and regular support is provided and new volunteers  never function alone. The role of regular volunteers is challenging, interesting and  working in the prison system, if often frustrating, is invariably very rewarding. We  expect each volunteer’s home church to engage informally with the LPM, receive  regular reports from volunteers and from time to time inform the congregation about  developments and some of the issues involved.” 

Anyone interested in exploring this, please contact the Minister, via the Church  Office. 

The Denis Duncan Lecture 2020  
Where Healing and Reconciliation Meet 
Speaker: Ruth Harvey (Leader, Iona Community) 
7pm, Monday 16 November 2020  

Communities across the globe are under immense strain. The economic, social  and environmental rifts opened up by Covid-19 expose the gulf in our society  between the rich and the poor, those with access to power and choice, and  those without. What offerings of healing and reconciliation do faith  communities have to make today? 

Drawing on her experience as a mediator and her lifetime commitment to the  Rule of Life of the Iona Community, Ruth will explore the places where healing  and reconciliation meet, bringing hope in a divided world. 

In collaboration with the Guild of Health & St Raphael, this event will also mark  the launch of the Healthy Healing Hub project in Scotland, which aims to  resource and support churches to carry out the command of the Lord to make  disciples and to heal. Tickets via Eventbrite

Opening Hours

The office is open from
9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m,
Monday to Friday.

There is a 24-hour answering machine service.

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Find us

St Columba’s is located on Pont Street in Knightsbridge in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The Church is within easy reach of three London Underground stations – Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line), South Kensington (Piccadilly, Circle and District Lines) and Sloane Square (Circle and District Lines).

St. Columba's
Pont Street
London SW1X 0BD
+44 (0)20-7584-2321

Getting here by tube

Knightsbridge Station

Take the Harrods exit if open (front car if coming from the East, rear car if coming from the West). Come up the stairs to street level, carry on keeping Harrods on your right. Turn right into Basil Street. Carry straight on into Walton Place with St Saviour’s Church on your left. At the traffic lights, St Columba’s is to your left across the street. If the Harrods exit is closed, take the Sloane Street exit, turn right into Basil Street. Carry straight on past Harrods with the shop on your right, into Walton Place as before.

South Kensington Station

Come up the stairs out of the station and turn left into the shopping arcade. Turn left again into Pelham Street. At the traffic lights at the end of Pelham Street cross Brompton Road, turn left then immediately right into the narrow street of Draycott Avenue. After just a few yards turn left into Walton Street. Carry on walking up Walton Street until the traffic lights at the corner of Pont Street. Turn right and after a few steps you will be at St Columba’s!

Sloane Square Station

Cross over the square into Sloane Street. Walk along Sloane Street until the traffic lights at the corner of Pont Street. Turn left into Pont Street. St Columba’s will then be in sight.

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