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E-Newsletter- 3rd September 2020

DOORS OPENING at ST ANDREW’S, NEWCASTLE & CHANGES COMING TO SEPTEMBER SERVICES at ST COLUMBA’S

It is a real pleasure to report that this Sunday coming (6th September) the doors of our linked charge, at St Andrew’s, Newcastle open for worship for the first time since lock down. A lot of hard work and organisation has gone into that, and Irene Wilkinson (Session Clerk) and her team of helpers are to be congratulated on carrying everything to this stage. One wonderful part of the service will be the celebration of a 70th Wedding Anniversary for Peter & Mary Cartwright, marked by renewal of vows by Reverend Dorothy Lunn. To all who are able to gather on Sunday, we wish them a day of great blessing.

Also, there is good news for St Columba’s. In early August, we reopened the doors for worship with the Early Service at 9.30am, with the (unattended) live-stream Morning Service at 11am. We had planned to maintain that throughout September, but the Out of Lock Down Working Group now feels able to speed up our “new normal.” Starting on Sunday 13th September, the 11am Morning Service will continue to be live-streamed, but will also be open to those who wish to attend. (Note: The Early Service will cease after Sunday 6th September.)

Welcoming worshippers back to church for the 11am Morning Service feels like a real step in the right direction. Please be mindful however, that for the coming weeks it will be subject to the same modifications that we have used for the Early Service. We are observing the guideline that a maximum of fifty people is permitted in the church during service (which includes minister, organist and stewards.) To avoid the disappointment of arriving and not being permitted to enter, because the church is “full”, we ask for those intending to come, to register with the Church Office in the week leading up to each Sunday. Giving details in advance, for Track & Tracing, also speeds up safe entry into the building on Sunday morning. While these procedures may feel a little clunky we hope that you will bear with them patiently, and appreciate it is done in the best interests of all. Even with modifications, I hope you will find the sanctuary undiminished as a place of welcome, peace and prayer. Another happy sign of life returning, is a service of baptism for young Maximilian, brought by parents, Lucy and Alex, on Sunday afternoon. It will be the first baptism since the beginning of lock down.

Thinking of our young people, many children, parents and teachers will either just have returned or will be preparing to return to school. This is a good weekend to keep them all in your prayers.

Finally, as school holidays draw to a close, one inspiring moment to consider and be thankful for. In October 2019 St Columba’s member, Suzanne Williams while climbing with her family, fell 100ft down a gorge on Ben Cruachan. Oban Mountain Rescue and the Coastguard helicopter team saved her life with a brilliant and very technical rescue, together with son, Sebastian’s cool head sounding the alert and the amazing medical teams in both the Glasgow Queen Elizabeth hospital & Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Suzanne’s recovery has been amazing - from multiple broken bones and not being able to move, to climbing Ben Nevis with her family and Oban Mountain Rescue at the end of August. 

“I to the hills will lift mine eyes;

From whence doth come mine aid?

My help, it cometh from the Lord,

Who heaven and earth hath made.”

(Psalm 121, Scottish Psalter)

 

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday,

Angus

 

Worship at St Columba’s, Sunday 6th September 2020

9.30-10.00am Early Service. (Attendance, maximum 50 people)

11.00am-12.00 noon Morning Service (Live-streamed; unattended.)

Both services will be led by the minister in the main sanctuary.

[Early Service, limited numbers in the sanctuary and social distancing; masks to be worn; music, but no hymn singing; Track & Tracing details requested; refreshments not served.] 

Worship at St Columba’s, Sunday 13th September 2020

11.00am-12.00 noon Morning Service (Live-streamed & attended;’, maximum 50 people. Service led by the minister in the main sanctuary.)

No Early Service

Prior to Sunday worship: Notifying your intention to attend

Over the coming Sundays, we request that if you wish to attend the 9.30am Early Service (Sunday 6th September) or the 11am Morning Service (from 13th September) you contact the Church Office each week, to add your name to the list of attendees. You can telephone 020 7584 2321 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Giving your details in advance will ensure you have a place for Sunday service that week, and speed up entry to the building, while completing Track & Tracing procedures. Prebooking attendance at worship certainly feels odd, but we want to avoid people arriving and finding there are no seats left.

Sunday Early Service: Arrival & Entry to the Building

Please observe physical distancing inside and outside our building. There may be a small delay getting people inside. Allow plenty of time to arrive before service. For the Early Service doors will be open from 9.00am. If required, the socially- distanced queue will be from the front door round the Lennox Gardens side of the building.

Sunday Early Service: Safety & Hygiene

Anyone is welcome to attend St Columba’s, but please do not, if you have any COVID19 symptoms. If you are feeling unwell, please follow the steps on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Government advice is that you must wear a face mask while you are in the building unless you have a health or disability reason not to. Please come with and wear your own face masks while in the building. (A small supply of masks will be available if you do not have/ forget your own.) To observe good hygiene, hand sanitiser stations are on site. We ask that you use these to keep yourself and others safe. Ladies, Gents and Disabled toilets will be open, with a one in, one out system of use. The lift will be in operation, for those who require it.

Sunday Early Service: Inside the Sanctuary

As you enter the entrance vestibule a member of the stewarding team will check your name off the attendance list and indicate to follow arrows marking the staircase designated for going up to the sanctuary. There will be a one way system in use for going up and coming down, between entrance vestibule and sanctuary. Inside the sanctuary you will see that two out of every three pews are roped off. The remaining “open” pew will have markings to indicate where worshippers should sit. There will generally be three marked spaces in each pew. Members of the same household can sit together. Please be understanding if you are shown to a seat that is not in your usual place. To adhere to government regulations the sanctuary has been cleared. The pew cushions, bibles, hymn books, Gift Aid envelopes and the Children’s Quiet Corner have been removed to reduce contamination and assist post-service cleaning.

Sunday Early Service: Content

The Early Service, 9.30-10.00am will include prayers, bible readings, a sermon and musical interlude. Unfortunately there will be no congregational singing.

Sunday Early Service: Departure

At the conclusion of the service we ask that worshippers leave the building via the designated one way system and maintain social distancing, particularly at narrow points and exits. We are not able to offer refreshments after service. We know how valuable time to talk and catch up is; we encourage you to phone/Zoom etc, the person with whom you would normally have coffee. Some people may wish to remain in the sanctuary after service for a moment of quiet. While encouraging that, the sanctuary will require to be clear by 10.15am to enable sound checks and preparation for the 11am live-streamed Morning Service.

Sunday Early Service: Givings

For the moment there will not be an offering at the Early Service. Currently, medical advice discourages the use of cash. We continue to encourage people to give electronically, either via the Donate Button on the website www.stcolumbas.org.uk or via the planned giving programme (details in E-Newsletter below.)

Sunday Early Service: Track & Tracing

To assist Track & Tracing we will keep a record (name and telephone number) of everybody who enters the building. The information will be held securely on the premises for 21 days.

Should someone in the congregation fall ill and test positive for Covid19 the details of who was in the church with that person will be passed to the NHS who will then make contact with those who may be at a greater risk of contracting the virus.

Sunday Morning Stewarding Team Volunteers

Opening the building safely and efficiently, for the Morning Services in September, requires a minimum team of six volunteers. Traditionally, these duties are undertaken by our elders. In current circumstances however we would be very grateful to receive offers of help from any member of the congregation. To volunteer, please contact the Church Office.

Please note we are asking people not to step forward, if they are clinically vulnerable i.e. over 70, regardless of medical condition, or in alternative vulnerable categories, or if anyone in their household is showing even mild symptoms.

Live Streaming of Worship – Sunday 6th September 2020, 11am

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.

Sunday: Sunday 6th September, Private Prayer, 1.00-3.00pm

This Sunday the church will be open for a time of quiet and private prayer. The sanctuary will be open to anyone who wishes to come in and pray. Social distancing will be required at all times. Those entering the building will be asked for their contact details to assist with Track & Tracing if/when necessary. No other part of the building, other than the sanctuary, will be open, apart from the toilets. The lift will be in operation. Caretaker and minister will be on hand.

Congestion Charge

If you are travelling by car, please be aware the London Congestion Charge is now in operation throughout Sundays.

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.

“We Are Church”

Looking for something to keep you smiling during lockdown? We are creating a weekly montage of photos to share on our church social media to show that whilst the doors are closed, We Are Church. We would like photos of you relaxing in your garden, or taking exercise, home schooling, the sights around you or photos from before lockdown. We can all then enjoy spotting friends ‘across the pews”. Please send to Susan by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or sharing by text or WhatsApp 07971609034

Congregational Offerings

Every organisation and household is affected by the current economic and social disruption. While we are unable to meet for worship and cannot allow groups to hire and meet in our facilities, we have to maintain the building and meet ongoing, significant financial commitments for the wider Church of Scotland. Please consider your offerings to the ongoing work of St Columba’s.

One-Time Gifts

If you would like to give a one-time gift to St Columba’s you can do this easily through our online giving platform Online Giving. The currency automatically defaults to USD but you can use the drop-down arrow to select GBP.

*Please note that there is no need to pay the administration cost that Just Giving ask for. It does not benefit the church in any way. (Using the drop-down menu choose 0%).

Recurring Gifts

If you would like to give a weekly, monthly or quarterly gift, the most efficient way of doing this is setting up a standing order to the church. The Church Office can send you a Congregational Offerings standing order form to fill in, which you can return to the church (we will post to your bank). Alternatively, if it is easier to set the standing order up directly with your bank, please use the following details:

Account - St Columba’s Church of Scotland No. 2 A/C

Sort code – 16 00 42

Account number – 00264741

Reference – Please use an appropriate reference, such your surname and, if you have one, a 4-digit St Columba Gift Aid number, as this helps us match the donation with any Gift Aid form that you have already separately completed. If you don’t remember your number or don’t have one, please get in touch with the finance team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

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 hope to reinstitute the Families’ Newsletter next week. In the meantime, good luck to all children, parents and teachers returning, or just returned to school.

St Columba’s Book Club

The third online St Columba’s book club went very successfully, so much so that the next virtual meeting will be Monday the 14th September at 7pm. The next book will be “The Mill on the Floss” by George Eliot. If you would like to join the book discussion please contact the office. Happy Hour Happy Hour restarts on Wednesday 9 September with a Zoom session from 6.30 to 7.30pm. Our theme continues the idea of charismatic people but this time we‘ll share suggestions on who we would each invite to join a Happy Hour session. Someone who has influenced us through their words and actions. They may have a link to church, a religious message or an experience to share. Patricia wrote down the 35 names that came up last time; let’s see which reappear at our virtual table this time and which are new comers.

If you would like to join please email Kate: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to the zoom invitation.

If you can’t join by zoom but would like to submit a suggestion, please do so.

St Columba's Tennis Club

St Columba’s Tennis Club is now open again for play. Courts have to be booked at present as hanging around the clubhouse is not yet allowed. For people who haven’t been playing for a while it might be wise to get a bit of help beforehand. David the coach is available at reasonable rates. Telephone 07548 659883. Coaching for children is available. http://www.stcolumbastennis.co.uk/

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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