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For Sunday 31st October 2021, 23rd Sunday after Pentecost


I recently attended a family funeral in Scotland and while it was obviously  a very sad day, and I was especially sorry to see another of my parents’  generation go, I enjoyed meeting various cousins and second cousins after the  service.

I’m sure that ours is not the only family who tend to gather at funerals but rarely on  other occasions. As always, we all said, “We must catch up again soon”, and I  hope we do before another sad event occurs but often our busy lives just get in the  way.

During lockdown one cousin did a huge amount of work on our family tree which  produced some fascinating results including a connection to Tudor London and the  Puritans which we were completely unaware of, and we have enjoyed learning more  about the lives of our ancestors and swapping theories about the reason some  simply disappeared from the records. Of course, people say you should never shake  a family tree because you don’t know what will fall out!

However, the book of Ruth from which we will be reading this Sunday emphasises  the importance of family ties. The widowed Ruth loyally supported her mother-in-law  Naomi saying

“Where you go, I will go;
Where you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God my God”.

Given that Ruth was a foreigner, a Moabite, this was a particularly courageous stand to take. Indeed, in many ways the whole story highlights the vulnerability of lone women at that time for Ruth and Naomi were refugees and their plight is echoed  in that of many women around the world today.

In the fullness of time Ruth married Boaz, a relative of Naomi, and they  became the grandparents of King David and part of the family tree of  Joseph of Nazareth reminding us that God can use the most unlikely  people as part of his great plan.

William McLaren.

Live Streaming of Worship

Services can be watched via the church website, https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live-stream

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. 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.

Reminder: If you do not wish to appear on the live-stream please choose a seat in the rear half of the sanctuary.

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 the organ
music from 10.50am.

Hymns, Music & Readings, 31st October 2021

Hymn 210 Awake my soul, and with the sun (Morning Hymn)
Hymn 179 Ye holy angels bright (Darwall’s 148th)
Hymn 706 For the healing of the nations (Triumph)
Hymn 519 Love divine all loves excelling (Blaenwern)

Anthem: Geistliches Lied by Brahms
Anthem: Holy is the true light by Harris
Postlude: Fugue in C minor by Mendelssohn

Short Service of Weekly Holy Communion

Following Morning Service there is a short service of Holy Communion, combined with prayers for those in need, at 12.15pm in the London Scottish Chapel. Worshippers can receive bread and wine; wine is distributed via small individual “thimble” glasses. The names gathered from the prayer cards, at the back of the sanctuary, are prayed for during the communion service. This is a very welcome return for a small but precious part of St Columba’s life.

October/November Church Magazine

The current Church Magazine is available both in hard copy and via the website https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/news/. (Scroll down Latest News box to find.)

Office Hours

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

Sunday School & New Youth Group

Future dates: Sunday 14th November (Remembrance Sunday) 10.45am Sunday 12th December (3.30pm, Christingle making, pizza family tea & Carols by Candlelight at 5pm)

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
Would anyone wishing to contribute to St Andrew's, Newcastle please contact the Session Clerk on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for bank details or other means of donating.

Lent Appeal 2022 (small away/overseas charity)

Over the last five years, thanks to your generosity, we have raised a total of £43,299 for small charities as a direct result of our Lent Appeals; this is a major part of our work on Mission. The Mission Committee would be grateful for any suggestions you may have for a small away/overseas charity that could be considered for the St. Columba's Lent Appeal 2022. For more information, please contact Naomi Donaldson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (or via the Church Office) by Friday 5th November.

St Columba’s Coffee Mornings – Future Dates

November’s meeting is actually “afternoon tea” on the 17th November (2pm) with Revd Camille Cook, Senior Pastor at Georgetown Presbyterian Church in Washington will discuss Thanksgiving and its role within the Church. Camille will be well known to many at St Columba’s so a nice chance to see her again also!

Looking ahead please put the 15th December (10.30am) in your diary. Revd Dr John McCulloch, Minister St Andrews, Jerusalem & Tiberias will discuss Christmas in the Holy Land.

Divine Dine (for Younger adults 18-40’s)

Come join us in the upper hall on 4th November at 18:30 where we'll have some dinner and have an informal discussion on the Sermon on the Mount. If you would like to come please let Fraser Stockton know on 07896881965 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Happy Hour

At a previous Happy Hour session, we shared contributions of poems that meant something to us. This led to recollections of much-loved lines from hymns and from there, to the contribution of so many women hymn writers.

Please come and join us for a further discussion on the theme of hymn writers, led by Robin Forrest on Wednesday 3 November in the Library at 6.30 pm. Light refreshments available.

St Columba’s Book Club

The next online meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club is the 29th November at 7pm. The book this month will be 419 by Will Ferguson. The joy of the St Columba’s book club is that is all on Zoom so you can join from anywhere in the world in the comfort of your own home.

Life and Work - COP26 Special Supplement

Life and Work have produced a FREE four-page COP26 Special Supplement  available now at https://www.lifeandwork.org/resources/cop26-special supplement. The purpose of this publication is to enable congregations to engage  before, during and after COP26 and also signpost resources.

Also, the November issue of the magazine published today has a focus on COP26  and Remembrance. Anyone that is not a subscriber and interested in this particular  issue can purchase a single print or digital copy at  https://www.lifeandwork.org/subscribe.


If you would like to leave stamps for Crossreach, please pop them into the Church Office on Sundays.

Volunteers needed for the Night Shelter

St Columba’s operates a Night Shelter on behalf of a Homeless charity called  Glass Door and in co-operation with six other churches in the locality to offer  supper and a place to stay to the homeless and street-sleepers between the end  of November and the beginning of April. Our evening is Sunday and we would  welcome Volunteers, who are needed for approximately two and a half to three  hours on Sunday evenings between 6.30pm and 9.30.pm once or twice a month to  help prepare and serve supper for 25-30 Guests and then clear-up. No expertise  necessary – just people over 18 who have been double-jabbed and have a smiling  face and kind words. If you are interested, please make contact via  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Local Church Review: St Columba’s, Pont Street

A panel of three members of the Presbytery of England will be visiting St Columba’s over the weekend of 6th/7th November 2021 to conduct a Local Church Review. More information will be given nearer the time but please be aware of the likely timings:

Saturday 6th Nov 21: 09.30am – 10.45am LCR Panel meet with Ministers via Zoom 11.00am – 12.30pm
LCR Panel meet with Kirk Session of St Columba’s, Pont Street via Zoom.

Sunday 7th Nov 21:11.00am Rev Cameron Langlands (Convenor of the LCR Panel) preaches at morning service.

Congregational Lunch

Sunday 7th Nov 21: 1.15 – 2.15pm LCR Panel meet with Congregation in-person.

Advent Study

This year we are offering an advent study on the book “The Whole Christmas Story: An advent adventure through Genesis, Revelation, and points in between” by Jo Swinney. You can order the book through the Bible Reading Fellowship here https://www.brfonline.org.uk/collections/new-titles/products/thewholechristmasstory.William will lead the group on Wednesday evenings from 7pm (via Zoom) from the 24th November to the 15th December. Angus will lead the Thursday morning group from 10.30am on the 25th November to the 16th December. If you would like to take part please email the office to book a place (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Sounds of St Columba’s

The ‘Sounds of St Columba’s’ concert series will restart on January 16 2022 at 1:15pm. Recitals will continue throughout the year on the third Sunday of the month (excluding April, August & December).

Full details of the performers and repertoire will follow a little later this year. These recitals are free to attend, with a retiring offering. For more information contact Ben Lewis-Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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