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Weekly Newsletter - 30th April 2020


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

Last week’s e-newsletter borrowed from the wisdom of monks and nuns who voluntarily live “enclosed” lives – “Good habits 24/7!” Judging by responses, that seemed to strike a chord. So, here’s some advice sent to me this week, offered by another monastic, from Ampleforth Abbey in Yorkshire. It is his so-called: Commandments of confinement:

  1.  Don’t fret if things aren’t perfect - take the long view.
  2. Don’t keep checking the greener grass - flourish where you are planted.
  3. Don’t panic - remember that you are standing on solid ground.
  4. Don’t stamp your foot – tread lightly with a humble humour.
  5. Don’t be a martyr - freely offer your help.
  6. Don’t be too proud - muck in and get your hands dirty.
  7. Don’t force the pace - learn how to rest and relax together.
  8. Don’t try too hard – find some time just for yourself.
  9. Don’t focus on the faults of others - celebrate what they have that you don’t.
  10. Don’t try to do this alone - pray for and with each other.

On a different note, one of the unexpected silver clouds to the lockdown, has been the renewed contact with far flung, former St Columbans, thanks to the live streaming of our services. Last Sunday I made reference to the famous song of Sir Harry Lauder – “Keep right on to the end of the road.” Also, that Lauder’s son was killed in France in 1916. That prompted former Associate Minister, Revd Sandy Cairns to be in touch.

“You may know, or maybe not, that Sir harry Lauder’s son was engaged at the time of his death to one, Mildred Thompson, who was a stalwart of St James’s, Dulwich, London (Church of Scotland). Like many another in that situation, Mildred never married and cherished the memory of her lost love. She was a greatly loved member of the St James’s family.”

That historical link prompted an unexpected recollection for Sandy and “transported me back both in time and place to the first church I ever knew. That church was St James’s Church of Scotland in Dulwich; my first recorded appearance there was in early 1946 for my baptism. In those days a flourishing Scottish diaspora in the South East, found in St James’s the style of worship and congenial social activities which reflected their Scottish or Presbyterian origins. Many will know that as time went by it became increasingly difficult to maintain an independent existence for that Scottish outpost and St Columba’s came to the rescue, first by linkage and subsequently by union when the ‘Dulwich Bus’ Sunday by
Sunday brought previously St James’s members to their new home in Pont Street. I am more than delighted to be able to claim a place in that ‘goodly heritage’ recognising, as revealed by the date mentioned above, there aren’t that many of us left!”

Sandy’s words are a lovely reminder of the stories that weave together to make us who we are today. So, let us keep spinning the yarns, making new patterns in the tapestry of St Columba’s, Pont Street, St Andrew’s, Newcastle and all the other places of association that we hold dear.

St Columba’s,
Pont Street,
30th 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 3rd May 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/livestream 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.

This week the singing for the hymns and anthem have been recorded by choir members, each in their own homes. The individual recordings then brought together for today's. We are really appreciative of what goes into this.

NEW 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 into 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) 253 958 1316#
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.

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 [Click Here] 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
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

There are of course many ways that you can contribute to the life of St Columba’s that are non-financial. 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

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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