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Weekly Newsletter - 4th June 2020

Friends, 

In more normal times we would be preparing this week for a bumper St Columba’s Sunday; celebrating St Columba’s Day with holy communion and the AGM of the Friends of St Columba’s (always the Sunday nearest 9th June); a baptismal Sunday (first Sunday of the month) and this year, in the Church’s liturgical calendar, marking Trinity Sunday. Given the reality of restrictions, do we simply ignore or forget these things? I am sure our collective answer is a resounding No!

So, things we can do: 

  • Find out a little about the Columba who gives his name to our church (see below). 
  • Pray for the families of our congregations in London and Newcastle, especially those who planned to bring children for baptism this year. 
  • As adults, consider what our own baptism means. 
  • Ponder a little on the mystery and majesty of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. (See the prayers/poetry offered for this week’s Trinity Sunday Silent Prayer) 
  • Prepare the bread and wine in your own home to take part in the celebration of communion this Sunday. 
  • And just in case that all sounds a bit serious or too holy, don’t forget the Captain Fantastic Zoom party that starts proceedings off on Sunday morning at 10am. (Details of how to attend in Families’ Newsletter.) 

Finally, two prayers that have associations to St Columba and to Iona. 

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) 

And now, may kindly Saint Columba of Iona,
guide you to be for others –
an isle in the sea, a hill on the shore,
a star in the night, a staff for the weak.
(A prayer from the Celtic tradition) 

Happy St Columba’s Day 

Angus, St Columba’s, Pont Street, 4th June 2020 

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 6th June 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/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, 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 will be celebrating Holy Communion this week so if you would like to join in you are invited to prepare bread and wine (or equivalent) and to eat and drink at the appropriate moment in the service. 

NEW Dial into Sunday Service- PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN MEETING ID

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. 

St Columba & Iona

Iona is a tiny and beautiful Hebridean island off the west coast of Scotland, cradle of Christianity in Scotland, where in 563AD the Irish monk Columba (Columkille) established a monastic settlement that evangelised large parts of Scotland and the north of England and became an important centre of European Christianity. In the Middle Ages it became the site of a Benedictine abbey, and over the centuries it has attracted many thousands of people on their own pilgrim journeys. Iona remains a centre for pilgrimage and tourism; the daily services of the Iona Community in the Abbey church and worship elsewhere on the island are open to all; many visitors come again and again. There is a year-round population of over 100; long-established island families as well as more recent arrivals, including those who work for the Iona Community in its centres as staff or volunteers. The abbey is now managed by Historic Environment Scotland; the Iona Community remains in residence as a living, worshipping presence. The islanders, the Iona Community and Historic Environment Scotland work together to maintain Iona as a place of welcome. (From www.iona.org.uk website) 

Poetry & Silent Prayer for Sundays

For some years now a small group of church members have met on the second Sunday of each month, between 10.15-10.30am, in the London Scottish Regimental Chapel. Primarily, this monthly gathering has been the opportunity to pray for the life and ministry of St Columba’s. Each year, during Advent and Lent, the meetings expand and change somewhat. Prayer is encouraged by a short piece of scripture, a poem and then a time of silent prayer. During lockdown, those who would normally gather in the London Scottish Chapel have been encouraged to maintain a pattern of praying at their usual Sunday time. Praying with others, especially when keeping silence, is definitely easier when done with companions! The group would now like to make the resources they receive each week available to a wider audience, via the newsletter and the website. The prayers and poem for Silent Prayer are at the end of the newsletter, and will also appear on the Live Stream page of the website. This week additional prayers are provided by prayer group member, Daphne Moore. We hope this will encourage people to find time and space for some precious quiet prayer and offer prayers for the ongoing life of our congregations and nations. 

3rd Anniversary of Grenfell Tower Fire

Sunday 14th June is the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, which was a major event in the recent history of London and the entire nation. This year the community in North Kensington is understandably finding it difficult to mark the anniversary in the usual way with public services, memorials and gatherings of various kinds. Members of the local community including Grenfell United, the bereaved and survivors have come up with a way in which the Church across London might be able to help mark this important occasion, and express our sympathy and support for those still affected by the tragedy. 

On previous anniversaries, the bell in the local parish church has rung 72 times, once for each victim of the fire. The new idea this year is that at 6pm on Sunday 14th June, bells in churches all across London would ring 72 times. This would initiate two minutes of silence, after which there would be three more rings, one for each year since the fire itself. In this way, in the absence of public events, people across London might be reminded of the anniversary and those who still live with the memory of the fire would feel that this important moment for them is marked in a proper public way. An online vigil will begin at that point for those who wish to access it. 

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 Donation]. 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 

St Columba’s Book Club

The first online St Columba’s book club went very successfully, so much so that the next virtual meeting will be Monday the 8th June at 7pm. The next book will be “The Salt Path” by Raynor Winn. If you would like to join the book discussion please contact the office on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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. 

Former Moderator of the Presbytery of England

We are sorry to announce the recent death of Sheila Haddon. Sheila was a long-time member of Crown Court Church of Scotland in London, their Church Secretary and recent Moderator of the Presbytery of England. We offer prayers for her friends and loved ones and the congregation of Crown Court who greatly feel her loss. (“Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her.”) 

POETRY & SILENT PRAYER FOR TRINITY SUNDAY ST COLUMBA’S, PONT STREET 

7th MAY 2020 

BEFORE PRAYER Take time to find a comfortable place to sit. A candle or a vase of flowers, or an object can be a helpful object for focus. Be aware of your body and breath. Silence - a meeting place where I am looking for God’s love and He is looking for mine.

OPENING PRAYER (said by leader)
Holy, holy, holy is God, our sovereign Lord, who was, and is, and is to come! Before your unfathomable mystery, O God, all eloquence of form and language is facile. We cannot encompass you, for you encompass us. So we fall silent, and let the child deep within us be content in the knowledge that we are known, wanted, and loved by One infinitely greater than we shall ever be. Amen. 

SCRIPTURE: PSALM 8:3-9
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honour. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

POEM I bind unto myself today, St Patrick (372-466)
I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three. 

I bind this day to me forever, by power of
faith, Christ’s incarnation, his baptism in
the Jordan river, his death on cross for
my salvation, his bursting from the
spiced tomb, his riding up the heavenly
way, his coming at the day of doom, I
bind unto myself today. 

I bind unto myself today the virtues of
the starlit heaven, the glorious sun’s
life-giving ray, the whiteness of the
moon at even, the flashing of the lightning free,  

the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea around
the old eternal rocks. 

I bind unto myself today the power of God to
hold and lead, God’s eye to watch, God’s
might to stay, God’s ear to hearken to my
need, the wisdom of my God to teach, God’s
hand to guide, God’s shield to ward, the word
of God to give me speech, God’s heavenly
host to be my guard. 

TIME OF SILENCE 

CLOSING PRAYER
Almighty and eternal God, through your Word and Spirit you created all things. In Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, you reveal your salvation in all the world. Through your Holy Spirit, you give us a share in your life and love. Keep us firm in this faith, and fill us with the vision of your glory, that we may serve and praise you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

BLESSING
Word of Life, heal, forgive, comfort, bless. Be still, be glad, and be at peace. 

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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