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Weekly News - 23rd April 2020

Friends, 

Christ is risen; He is risen indeed! A happy, continuing Eastertide to you. 

This week there was an entertaining newspaper article, entitled: “Good habits: surviving lockdown, by nuns who do it 24/7.” (The Times, 20 April 2020, Joanna Moorhead.) The writer asked: What can we learn from nuns in enclosed communities – those who experience a kind of voluntary lockdown on a permanent basis? There was both a of recognition of inevitable tensions and creative ways to manage those things. 

  • There will be arguments. Usually about people not helping out and doing their bit. Answer: Organise a rota. Everyone needs a job; everyone needs a responsibility. 
  • Say sorry first. “What makes for a happy convent is reconciliation, forgiveness and listening to one another.” “Sort things out before sunset.” 
  • The less said the better. Time for quiet. “People need a certain amount of space from one another, and silence.” 
  • Stop lazing about – and start micro scheduling! “Nuns divide their time between meals, prayer, household tasks, income- generating activity, reading and shared time or recreation. We don’t do anything for too long and we alternate between work and prayer and reading and enjoying one another’s company. We stick to a timetable and that gives our lives variety.” 
  • Dust off your fitness DVD’s or sing in the shower. “Being outside is always good.” Dancing is popular too. 
  • Make your own fun. Get creative. 
  • Read poetry at breakfast. “Often I’ll read a poem first thing in the morning – it doesn’t have to be religious. It’s like having your breakfast at a deeper level than the breakfast you eat, because it’s nourishing you in a different way.” 
  • Thankfulness for the good things in life which we still have. “You’re going to be banged up with people for weeks on end, and I’d say be open to conversations about spirituality and what life means – and also build in time to be thankful.” 
  • Conclusion: “People think of isolation and confinement as negative. But our way of life has demonstrated that the concentration you get from this existence 

allows a focus on the positive – sometimes in ways you’ve never experienced before.” 

Happy habits! 

Angus 
St Columba’s,
Pont Street,
23rd April 2020 

Below is a digest of information and advice as things stand: 

Church Office 

The Church Office is currently staffed from home. Office Hours 9am to 4pm. Contact details remain
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 

Live Streaming of Worship – Sunday 26th April 2020, 11am 

The live stream service continues this Sunday at 11am. Music begins from 10.50am. 

This can be watched via the church website, https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live- stream at 11am. The services from Holy Week are also available via the website. 

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 50 minutes, will 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. 

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 

Every organisation and household will be 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. 

Bank details are as follows:- 

Account - St Columba’s Church of Scotland No. 2 A/C
Sort code – 16 00 42 Account number – 00264741 

“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 

What can we continue to do? 

Stay in Contact: As disciples of Christ we are called to be faithful – both in times of plenty, and in time of crisis. How might we do that? By maintaining perspective, appreciating what we have, remaining prayerful and in looking out for the needs of others, particularly those feeling vulnerable and isolated. “Physically distanced but socially engaged” is a good maxim for meaningful communication and support. Telephone calls, a note, an e-mail, a check to make sure someone has food – all these will help. 

The Gift of Prayer: “Pray with them sometimes; pray for them always.” This was the advice given to military chaplains about soldiers, in WWI – recognition that the church goes where the people are, and recognition that we can hold others in prayer, and in turn be held, even when apart. So, we can pray for all who are ill, all who offer medical and emotional support, all who carry heavy duties and responsibilities and all who grieve. 

Prayers in Time of Illness & Isolation 

For our absent friends 

God our Father, you are present to your people everywhere. We pray for those we love who are far away. Watch over them and protect them. Keep far from them all that would hurt the body and harm the soul. Give to them and to us the assurance of the strength and peace of your presence, and keep us all so near to you that we will be for ever near to one another. In your good time, may we renew our fellowship on earth, and at the last come to the unbroken fellowship of the Father’s house in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

For hospitals and healing 

God of love, your Son brought healing to the sick and hope to the despairing. We pray for all who suffer pain, or who bear the burden of illness, or who have to undergo an operation. Give them the comfort and strength of your presence, and surround them with your healing love and power. May they know the fellowship of Christ who bore pain and suffering for us, and at the last won victory over death. 

Bless those who share with Christ a healing ministry, researchers, doctors, surgeons, nurses. Use their sympathy and skill for the relief of suffering, the conquest of disease, and the restoration of health; and crown all their efforts with good success; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

For strength 

God of might and power, you support us in danger and carry us through temptation. Give us grace to trust in you that, though by nature we are frail and weak, we may stand upright in any time of trial; through the strength of him who makes us more than conquerors, even Jesus Christ our Lord. 

God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to all who wait or work in uncertainty. 

Bring hope that you will make us the equal of whatever lies ahead. 

Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided, knowing your will is health and wholeness; for you are God, and we need you. 

[Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765] 

Note: All details and arrangements are subject to change in the light of new advice. Flexibility and good humour will be key!’

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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