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E-Newsletter – 1st November 2020


I was sent these words at the start of this week: 

"Christian faith does not assume a life (or world) of continuous security and  familiarity. It is fed by scriptures that speak of transience, mortality, provisionality,  interruptions and leavings. But, they also whisper that the endings are always  beginnings - the leavings, open a door to arrivals that could not have been  experienced otherwise. In other words, the loss can be seen as a gift - what Walter  Bruggemann calls 'newness after loss.' Peter Millar 

November is traditionally the month where we are reminded of our shared humanity  and mortality. We mark All Saints Day on 1st November, Remembrance Sunday on  8th November and our Annual Bereavement Service on 22nd November. But as the  quotation above suggests, though experiencing sorrow and loss, for ourselves or  others, we try to see it in the wider context of lives held by God – in this life and  beyond. We try to live with a sense of the promise described in the reading from the  Book of Revelation, set for this Sunday 

They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any  scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and  he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear  from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16-17 

May this November be a profound month for us all, but one that also holds glimmers  of light and joy. For those who are grieving, may we make especial prayer. 


Along with much other news, we share for a final week, the message from the  Stewardship Team  


Weathering the storm 

We live in strange times. Many people, and many churches, have suffered greatly  through the pandemic. While there have been significant bumps in the road for St  Columba’s over these last few months, we have been blessed in many ways.  Though we have lost around £55K in hall hire bookings since April this year – in an  ordinary year, a considerable source of income for us - a generous legacy we  received in 2019 has allowed St Columba’s to weather the storm so far in 2020. Many churches don’t have this  level of financial support to fall back on, and we are very  grateful to all those who give to St Columba’s in their will.

Despite the difficulties we have been through, we have worked  together and supported each other as a community. There is still much  work to be done, however. The Church has aimed to cut discretionary  spending as much as possible this year. We did, however, need to  upgrade the fire alarm system as a matter of urgency, and that is costing around  £40K. The new system will be fully implemented by the end of the year. Many  churches would struggle to cover this cost. 

There were also some set-up costs involved in organising the provision of live streamed services in 2020. This was a vital investment: the live stream has been  so important to so many throughout the pandemic, allowing us to continue to  worship together and maintain our community. We are grateful to all those who  make the live stream possible each week, and we give thanks that this investment  will be available in future. 

We are also very grateful to our office and support staff, who have been kept very  busy planning the reopening of our Church for the many support groups who rely on  our space, where possible and when it is safe to do so, in line with government  guidance. 

St Columba’s has weathered the storm so far, but your support is needed to ensure  we do so in the future. Whilst understanding that many are in difficult circumstances  just now, we invite you now, as we do each autumn, to review prayerfully your giving  to the Church if you are able, and to continue your support through the weeks and  months ahead. 

A prayer for good stewardship  

Gracious and loving God,  
all I have comes from your hand.  
You call me to be a steward of your abundance, a caretaker of  everything entrusted to me. 
Teach me always to use your gifts wisely  
and share them generously.  
Send your Spirit upon my church family  
that working through us all,  
we might carry your love to those we serve,  
and in the giving, so receive.  

Thank you for your continuing support.

Worship at St Columba’s 

For all the details about the upcoming 11am services at St Columba’s health and safety precautions, mask wearing etc. please visit https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/worship-during-covid.  

Live Streaming of Worship  

The live stream service continues this Sunday at 11am. Music begins from  10.50am. The service can be watched via the church website, https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live-stream at 11am. 

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. 

We believe it is really important to continue to live-stream the Morning Service under  its current format i.e. for the benefit of those joining worship from afar or those as yet  unable to make the journey to Pont Street. 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.

Remembrance Sunday 8th November 10.45am 

As Sunday 8th is Remembrance Sunday, the service begins at 10.45am. Due to  current circumstances there will not be the annual London Scottish Regiment Church  Parade on the afternoon of Remembrance Sunday. However it is hoped the London  Scottish will be represented within the morning,  congregational Remembrance Sunday service.

Congestion Charge 

If you are travelling by car, please be aware the London Congestion  Charge is now in operation throughout Sundays. Although the Church  is not within the congestion charge zone you may need to check your  route through London to see if you need to pay the charge or not.  

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 

Families’ Newsletter 

As it is Half Term, there is no Families’ Newsletter this week. But, we are planning  for two Sunday School meetings before Christmas - Sunday 8th November  (Remembrance Sunday) and Sunday 13th December (Nativity Sunday.) Families  are of course very welcome to attend any Sunday morning service, even while there  is no Sunday School provision. Activity sheets are provided. We are looking forward  to welcoming back the children, but mindful that all arrangements are of course  subject to change in accordance with Governmental Guidance. So, worth checking  ahead. 

Christmas Card Competition 

This year Angus and Lucy are running a Christmas  Card Competition. We would like the children of St  Columba’s to design a Christmas card. If you can use the  theme of love, hope and togetherness and/or your favourite thing about Christmas and send your pictures to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the 8th November 2020. 

There are two prizes up for grabs for those whose designs are picked  to be made into our Christmas Cards, one for 7 year olds and under  and one for 8 years +.  

We are looking forward to seeing your designs!  

Happy Hour Wednesday 4 November 2020 6.30 - 7.30pm 

For a few years we held twice yearly services in the City jointly with Crown  Court. Looking to the future and perhaps with changing patterns of worship ahead,  are there other initiatives we might develop to promote the Church of Scotland in  London? 

Happy Hour’s next (Zoom) session on Wednesday 4 November from 6.30 pm to  7.30pm will consider this, as well as catching up with each other. All welcome; just  email Kate on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to the Zoom invitation. 

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 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. If there are other names you would particularly like remembered at this  service please pass the details to the Church Office and we will seek to include  them. 

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. 

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. 

Caledonian Lecture: Jane Haining, Scottish Heroine 

There is still time to view this year’s Caledonian Lecture.  

The link to view the Lecture is: https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/caledonianlecture 

“Pride of Britain” Award for Young St Columban 

And finally, here is some wonderful news from the Williams family. Last year, mother,  Suzanne, had a very severe accident in the hills of Scotland, while walking with her  family. A dramatic rescue was required. All members of the family were involved but  son, Sebastian played a particularly significant role. He has been honoured by being  included in the ‘Pride of Britain’ show this year. It is on ITV on Sunday evening at  9pm and he has received a much deserved award. The amazing Oban Mountain  Rescue team and helicopter crew are in the filming and the rest of the family all  feature. A prequel was on ITV London news on Monday. Well done Sebastian – we  are mighty proud of you!

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.

Connect with us

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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