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E-Newsletter – 9th October 2020


The broadcast of the Caledonian Lecture from St Columba’s this week was  definitely a highlight. Mary Miller’s talk on Jane Haining - the “extraordinary life of  an ordinary woman” was profound and moving. It was enhanced by wonderful  Scottish, Hungarian and Jewish music from our guest musicians, and there were  good messages added by the Hungarian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and  the British Ambassador to Hungary. Please do take the chance to view it and  recommend it to others, if you haven’t already done so. Jane Haining’s story of  service and bravery towards the wartime Hungarian Jewish schoolgirls in her care is  inspiring and deserves to be more widely known. 

Prisons Week 11th – 18th October 2020

For forty years Prisons Week has prepared prayer literature to enable the Christian community to pray for the needs of all those affected by prisons. Please pray each day during Prisons Week, but also ask yourself whether there is one thing that you
as an individual, or as a church, can do to help any of those people that you are praying for. For more information and for prayers for Prisons Week please visit: prisonsweek.org Additional, excellent resources are prepared by London Prisons Mission. (Contact Angus for more details.)

The Prisons Week Prayer
Lord, you offer freedom to all people.
We pray for those in prison.
Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist.
Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends,
prison staff and all who care.
Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others,
especially the victims of crime.
Help us to forgive one another,
to act justly, love mercy
and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength
and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen

On the theme of prayer, thanks go to the Congregational Prayer Group for preparing additional prayer resources for the second Sunday of the month. And, finally, an alternative form of prayer – thank you to Ben Gourlay for the magnificent floral displays to enhance our Harvest Festival last Sunday – “each stem a prayer.”

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

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.

Harvest 2020 – Final Week

Due to the current restrictions our usual plans for Harvest have slightly changed. If you would like to donate items to The Upper Room, you are very welcome to do so, details below. Alternatively, if you would rather make a financial donation online to Christian Aid, details are noted below with details about the
Christian Aid Harvest Resources available on the CA

Harvest Appeal - UR4 Meals - The Upper Room

The Upper Room charity provides thousands of meals a year for the homeless and disadvantaged people. We are collecting tins of tuna, sunflower oil, olive oil, pasta, tinned vegetables, face masks and hand sanitisers on three Sundays, 27th September, 4th and 11th October. Collection area: Upper Vestibule, where there will be a large box for donated items.

If you cannot make it to church and would like to donate to The Upper Room you can send a cheque made payable to “The Upper Room” to The Upper Room, St Saviour Wendell Park Church, Cobbold Road, London W12 9LN.

Thank you - UR4 Meals!

Christian Aid - Harvest Information


There are very useful CA resources available on the above website. Financial donations will help families in Nicaragua to grow cocoa plants and also pay towards the training of technicians to assist a farming community for a month. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America and badly affected by climate change. Let's be global Harvest Neighbours!

Debt Petition

Christian Aid are running a Cancel the Debt Campaign to lobby the Chancellor to cancel debt for some of the world's poorest countries. If you would like to sign up details are on the

CA link below:

If you can’t make it to church and would like to donate to Christian Aid you can send a cheque made payable to Christian Aid to Christian Aid, 35 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7RL.

Glassdoor Sleepout 2020

After what can only be described as the worst possible conditions for a Sleepout, Glassdoor managed to raise £121,000 (and counting). Well
done to everyone who took part!

Caledonian Lecture: Jane Haining, Scottish Heroine
There is still time to view this year’s Caledonian Lecture.

The link to view the Lecture is:


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

Following summer break we have reinstituted the Families’ Newsletter. In the meantime, we hope all children, parents and teachers are settling into the new school year. 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.

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 online St Columba’s book club is going from strength to strength with new members joining regularly. The October meeting will take place on the 12th at 7pm. This month’s book will be Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson. Please get in touch with the Church Office for details on how to join the meeting.

Happy Hour

Happy Hour will meet via Zoom on Wednesday 14 October at 6.30 pm (the Caledonian Lecture is taking place the previous Wednesday). Our discussion theme has a harvest flavour as we look at the significance of food - socially, culturally and in religion.

Newcomers are always welcome. If you would like to join us, please email Kate to be added to the Zoom invitation. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

Prayers & Reflections for Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – Trinity 18

[Perhaps we could visualise ourselves in the London Scottish Chapel seated in a semi-circle, our focus a candle, or perhaps the clear glass cross window surrounded by a gleaming gold wall behind the communion table.]

Fratelli Tutti – Brothers and Sisters all,
at this harvest time and change of seasons, let us be thankful:
For the Beauty of the earth/For the beauty of the skies
For the love which from our birth/Over and around us lies.
For the beauty of each hour/Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,/Sun and moon and stars of light:
For the joy of human love,/brother, sister, parent, child,

Friends on earth, and friends above/
For all gentle thoughts and mild:

We remember places we cannot visit at the moment; family and friends whom we do not see face to face. We ask God that one day we will be reunited to these places and with those whom we love. Meanwhile, we pray to our Heavenly Father that he will show us how to show Christian love and obedience

Open thou mine eyes and I shall see:
Incline my heart and I shall desire
Order my steps and I shall walk
In the ways of thy commandments.
(Extracted from Lancelot Andrewes 1555-1626, Preces Privatae)

At the time of harvest, let us remember those who work to provide us with food. Farmers and gardeners who grow grains, vegetables and fruit, and raise livestock. Those who work in supermarkets and small shops, or drive lorries to distribute our food. We thank you for the talents and devotion of the Flower Guild who decorate the church in normal times.

As Jesus fed the 5,000 with bread and fish, showing his care for those who followed him, let us pray for those who live on the edges of society and do not have secure homes or sources of food. We thank you for Glassdoor, REstart, the Upper Room, Borderline, ScotsCare & CrossReach and other charities who feed and accommodate the homeless and the rejected.

At this time we read about the vineyards of Israel gathering in their harvests, and parables reminding us of the fairness of employers and the grumbles of labourers. Let us always be fair in all our dealings with others, let us pray for worldwide tolerance of difference in race and wealth, and for the hope that we will all work towards equality and equal opportunity.

We thank you that schools and universities have resumed their education, and we pray for teachers and educators that they may find the strength and patience to implement the new ways of behaviour in schools, and also to be able to teach in whatever way is necessary – either online or face to face.

Be with all the young people at this time. Some are worried, isolated, falling behind with their studies. Some miss their friends and the rough and tumble of growing up; some already suffer disadvantage through circumstances, disability or learning difficulties. Let us remember the university students who will not enjoy the usual benefits of meeting new people and widening their knowledge.

Let us pray and give thanks for all the scientists who are working tirelessly to find alleviation from the present virus, and for doctors, nurses and carers for their skills and devotion to healing.

Let us remember all who are worried about their livelihoods, those who have lost jobs, those whose relationships have broken down with strain and whose future is uncertain. We pray for the leaders of the world, and their governments that they may make effective decisions for the good of their countries and citizens.

The natural world is threatened by man’s increasing need for space, water and food. Guide us O Lord to provide without destroying All things bright and beautiful/All creatures great and small. Show us how to share the world with your creation and reduce our demands to what is necessary. Let us give thanks for environmentalists, educationalists, organisations and individuals alert to ecological dangers. Let their warnings be heeded and acted upon swiftly and lawfully.

These words from the Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon by St. Francis of Assisi remind us of the great goodness of God’s creation:

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory,
all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs…..

As we end our devotions and we part,
we ask for God’s blessing on all our lives and undertakings.

Lord of every pilgrim heart,
bless our journeys on these roads we never planned to take but through your surprising wisdom discovered we are on.
(A prayer of Peter Millar, Iona Community)

Now may grace, and mercy and peace
from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, rest upon us all and remain with each one of us always. Amen
(William Barclay)

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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