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E-Newsletter – 23rd October 2020

A gentle reminder that the clocks change this weekend, permitting that  extra hour for R & R! As the light shortens most of us feel a shift in the year; and  thoughts of hibernation come to mind. In the media there is much advice on how  to survive the winter in the year of Covid. A warm coat and getting outside for  some fresh air is the oft-repeated advice. In addition to that piece of common  sense, maybe we can add the companionship of our church community and the  strength and belief of our faith. At the heart of our faith is the consolation that we  are not alone, and that we are loved, even when we don’t particularly feel it. At St  Columba’s, Pont Street and St Andrew’s, Newcastle I hope our shared faith will  keep us making the effort to stay in touch and enquire after others. I hope too, our  shared faith will inform the work that is undertaken by staff and volunteers to feed  our homeless guests over the coming weekends of winter or the many alternative  ways that we seek to love God and our neighbour as ourselves. 

Along with the other bits of news, we share for a second 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.  
Amen  

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. (Note: This will not be public worship that everyone can attend,  but an offering of prayer and praise, on behalf of us all.) 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.

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 

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:  

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

Families’ Newsletter

Following summer break we have reinstituted the Families’ Newsletter. We are  currently hoping to establish two Sunday School meetings before Christmas. More  detail to follow. Families are of course very welcome to attend any Sunday morning  service, even while there is no Sunday School provision. Activity sheets are  provided. Please know that you are always welcome, even on Sundays when there  is no specific Sunday School provision. 

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!  

St Columba’s Book Club 

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.  

St Columba's Tennis Club 

The Adults' Coaching programme has been updated for this Autumn, with sessions  on offer for players of every standard. A new, 6:00pm Tuesday evening session starts this week (from 15th September) for intermediate/club standard adults, while beginners/'rusty racquets' are encouraged to join the Saturday  session at 1:30pm. 

Saturday morning Junior coaching has been split into more groups to  reflect both the standard and ages of players. This includes a new  group for 11 years and over at 10:30am and a Teen Squad session (13+)  from 11:15am. The first sessions started this weekend (12th September), so do  contact David to book a place or email him a completed Juniors' Autumn 2020  Coaching Form. 

David's full programme of coaching can be found on the Club website  http://www.stcolumbastennis.co.uk/, under Tennis/Coaching. Please note that all  sessions need to be pre-booked with David, as numbers may be limited.

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
office@stcolumbas.org.uk

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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