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Newsletter – Holy Week & Easter 2021


holy week

“Though easier paths beckoned, and friends pleaded for you not to go, you turned your face resolutely towards Jerusalem, determined to go all the way to Calvary. Take us with you now: In this sacred and solemn week when we see the depth and mystery of your redeeming love, help us to follow: to stop where you stumble, to watch as you weep, to hurt as you suffer; to bow our heads in sorrow when you die, that when you are raised, we may share your eternal joy. Amen.”

This is the prayer we have been offering in the short daily devotions (Monday – Wednesday & Saturday) for Holy Week https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live-stream as we traverse between the twin peaks of Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. This evening (Thursday, 8pm) we remember the original Last Supper in the Upper Room, as Jesus shared bread and wine with his friends on the night that he was betrayed and arrested. On Good Friday (Friday, 11am) through word and music, we retell the Passion Story – the full drama of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. These two acts of worship can be profound moments for us.

This year, I am very glad that these two services are also shared with representatives of neighbouring Church of
Scotland congregation, Crown Court. This evening, Revd Forbes Walker offers a reflection for Maundy Thursday, before we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. If you wish, please have bread and wine prepared. Alternatively, you may simply want to be present, while not partaking. On Friday, Crown Court member Rachael Henry reads the Passion according to John’s Gospel. On Saturday there are further quiet readings and prayers available via the website.

All of which will lead us the celebrations of Easter morning and the news of resurrection. If we have travelled some of the valley depths, the Easter heights will be all the sweeter. Though we will be limited in number in church, we will be together with many unseen others from St Andrew’s, Newcastle, St Columba’s, Pont Street and well beyond. Again, for those watching via the live stream, you are invited to prepare bread and wine to join in the Easter morning communion if you wish. Those in church will be invited to come forward to receive the bread, though unfortunately on this occasion we cannot offer the common cup wine.

holy week02 21

Last Sunday, co-founder of Play for Progress, our selected Lent charity spoke again about the challenges that face minor refugee and asylum seekers and the beautiful work the charity undertakes via music, art and other mediums. Our appeal continues for one more week after Easter. Thank you for the excellent response so far received. Your generosity will bring practical aid and convey vital support and encouragement. As we all seek renewed strength, we might think on Paul’s words to the Hebrews.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

May you have a prayerful Holy Week and a joyous Easter when it dawns,

Live Streaming of Worship – Holy Week

  • 8pm- Maundy Thursday (1st April 2021)
  • 11am- Good Friday (2nd April 2021)
  • 11am- Easter Day (4th April 2021)

The live stream service continues through Holy Week. 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. (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.

Hymns, Music & Readings, Easter Morning:

Hymn 411 Christ the Lord is risen today (St George’s Windsor)
Hymn 410 Jesus Christ is risen today (Easter Hymn)
Hymn 412 The strife is o’er (Vulpius)
Hymn 419 Thine be the glory (Maccabaeus)

New Testament Reading: Acts 10:34-43
Gospel Reading: Mark 16:1-8

Introit: This joyful Eastertide (arr. Wood)
Anthem Sing Joyfully, William Byrd
Anthem: Blessed be the God and Father (Wesley)
Postlude: Allegro Maestoso from Sonata in A Major, Mendelssohn

On this occasion, representing the wider Flower Guild, thanks to Sarah Fairbairn for the arrangement of flowers for Easter Day – “Every bloom, a prayer.”

Office Hours

Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. The Church Office is currently being manned from home.
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

Private Prayer

If you wish to come into the sanctuary for prayer during the week, please contact the Office to arrange a suitable time.

Lent Appeal 2021 - Play for Progress - www.playforprogress.org

Each year the Mission Committee consider proposals for our Lent charity. Their recommendation is endorsed by the Kirk Session, alternating between a small UK based charity one year and an overseas charity the next. This year’s choice is Play for Progress.

Play for Progress was founded in 2014 as a company and registered as a charity in 2016. Dr Anna MacDonald is the Co-Founder and Head of Relationships.

"Play for Progress (charity no. 1166328) delivers therapeutic and educational music and arts programmes for traumatised and socially-isolated unaccompanied minor refugees. Our weekly Croydon-based programme is available to the hundreds of unaccompanied minor refugees and asylum seekers who are associated with the Refugee Council UK’s Children’s Section and guarantees that these vulnerable young people can rely on a close-knit and resilient community of mutually-trusting citizens of the world, who learn from and celebrate each other at every opportunity, and who use music and creative play as a tool for social change, self-expression, team building, and personal development." Dr Anna MacDonald. Please do click on the attached links to learn more about Play for Progress.

Fundraiser Presentation:
Video from the creation of our recent 'roots and branches' exhibition.


Our community created this collection of tracks during our weekly RAW sessions, where we Record, Arrange, and Write music. Each track was built directly by or in collaboration with the young people and displays their creativity, characters, and wide-ranging talents.
This album was released as part of 'Roots and Branches: a Collaborative Art Exhibition' by Play for Progress for the Museum of Croydon in January 2020. You can experience a virtual representation of the exhibition here:

We look forward to welcoming Dr Anna MacDonald to give a brief talk during the service on: Sunday 21st February and Sunday 28th March (Palm Sunday). If you would like to contribute to the Lent Appeal, details are:

Bank details: Please use “Lent Appeal” as the payment reference
St Columba's Church of Scotland
Royal bank of Scotland
Account number 00264741
Sort Code 16 00 42

Cheques payable to: "St. Columba's Church of Scotland" and with a note that it is for the Lent Appeal.
Send to:
Finance Dept. (Lent Appeal)
St. Columba's Church
Pont Street
London SW1X 0BD

If eligible, Gift Aid greatly helps. If you need to complete a Gift Aid declaration form, please contact the Church Office.

Lent Appeal funding will help Play for Progress maintain their vital services. They do such amazing work to help the children and young people (refugees and some are asylum seekers) that are referred to the charity. Thank you, Mission Committee.

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.

New Church Magazine

The April-May Issue of the St Columba’s Magazine is hot off the press and available via the website. Thank you once again to the Editorial Team and all involved. It is much appreciated and enjoyed. https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/images/news/april-may-21-magazine.pdf

St Columba’s Quiz

Due to the COVID 19 restrictions we were not able to get together for the annual St Columba’s Quiz. So this year we have taken the quiz online. The quiz is available on the website here https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/community-life/quiz-2021 - for the answers please email the Church Office.

Happy Hour – Wednesday 7th April, 6.30pm

The next Happy Hour session will take place by Zoom on Wednesday 7 April at 6.30pm. Our discussion theme is Sunday Trading and will be led by Elder Roderick Buchanan. Roderick has worked in both the supermarket and museum worlds and will consider attitudes to Sunday trading and changes over the past 20 years in both sectors, from the viewpoint of a regular churchgoer. Do please come and join us. Email Kate, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be sent the Zoom link on the day.

St Columba’s Book Club – 12th April 2021, 7.00pm

The next meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will take place on the 12th April at 7pm (via Zoom). April’s book will be “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo. New members are very much encouraged, please get in touch with the Church Office for more detail.

Historic Chapels Trust

One of our elders, Jean Stevenson, is a trustee of the Historic Chapels Trust, and has drawn our attention to a number of evening lectures which members of the congregation might find of interest. They can be accessed via the link here http://www.hct.org.uk/

The first talk on 16 March is on "Reading A Quaker Meeting House" where what to look for in a Quaker meeting house will be described, followed by a discussion about Quaker worship.

On 13 April "Dear Pastor, ...but who should I turn to if not the church to which I belong" tells the story of how in the Nazi era, a church in East London (St George's) worked tirelessly to assist Protestant Christians of Jewish descent, flee to England. An aspect which may come out in the lecture, is that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was at one time associated with St George's.

On 23 April "Equiano's Daughter: A glimpse of dissenting England" begins with Henry Bromley (1798-1878) a congregational minister from North London, but goes on to introduce us to his family and his first wife Joanna, who was the daughter of Olaudah Equiano, who was born in Benin, enslaved in the New World and became a free man in the England of Clarkson and Wilberforce.

Scotscare Sheltered Housing

Scotscare, the charity for Scots in London currently has sheltered housing vacancies available at Rothesay Court, Grove Park, London. The accommodation provides supported living for Scots over 55, or over 50 living with a disability. Allocations are made on a priority system ensuring those most in need receive the housing they require. If you know someone or you yourself are interested in the accommodation please contact Scotscare directly on 0800 652 2989 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.

*Newsletter photographs by Olivia MacLeod

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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