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Sunday 11th July 2021, 7th Sunday after Pentecost

Dear All,
I hope this Newsletter finds you well.
Tonight is the night after a long wait that we welcome our new Associate Minister, Revd William McLaren with a Service of Induction. There are still places in the pews if you would like to attend or you can watch online https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/live-stream.
If you would like to book a place for either this Sunday or William's induction service please do get in touch to put your name on the list(s).

Another date to pop in your diary is Thursday the 15th July when we will hold a virtual and in person event, “A Cricketing Year to Savour”, in association the Scots in London. A flyer is attached with all the information.

View PDF

Attached as always is the newsletter for the weekend ahead, written by Angus.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead.

Take care



This week we mark a significant and profound moment in the ongoing life of our congregation.On the evening of Thursday 8th July, the Presbytery of England gathers for the Service of Introduction for our new Associate Minister, Reverend William Mclaren. Almost three years after his predecessor, Reverend Andrea Price took up her new charge in Edinburgh, it feels we are more than ready to receive William. In recent days his furniture has arrived at the Hurlingham manse and he begins the process of settling in; his getting to know us and our getting to know him.

William comes to us with an enormous amount of parish and pastoral experience – there will be the chance to hear something of his journey when he gives his talk at next week’s zoom coffee morning (which we hope will then be available via the website.) Yet, however experienced William is, let us all remember what “the first day of school” feels like and know that this new chapter will come with both excitement and trepidation. Giving him time to adapt and showing him kindness will be our best means of welcome. My thanks go to all who have been working to prepare for his arrival – from those involved in the interview process, to those making William’s office and manse ready and prepared. In the prayer resources for this week, prepared by the Congregational Prayer Group (see below) part of the prayers include these words:

We give thanks for William;
all that he has given, and will give,
to the living tradition we share.
May the words we speak,
and the dreams we share,
and the faith we renew this day,
give him wisdom, comfort, and courage
for all the days ahead;
for the way is often hard,
the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.

But deep down there is another truth,
He is not - as we are not - ever

Whether you can attend William’s Service of Introduction or join it via  the live stream/Dial In, today or later, please hold him in your prayers.


Attending Morning Worship

If you would like to “book a pew” for the service at St Columba’s please contact the Church Office either by telephone, 0207 584 2321 or email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 3pm on Friday. Booking a place speeds up the test and trace process as you arrive at Church.

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. (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, 4th July 2021

Hymn 52 How lovely is thy dwelling-place (Harington)
Hymn 334 On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry (Winchester New)
Hymn 644 O Jesus, I have promised (Thornbury)

Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 14-29

Anthem: How lovely is thy dwelling place (Brahms)
Musical Interlude: O for a closer walk with God (Stanford)
Organ Postlude: Fugue in C Major (Buxtehude)

Baptism at St Columba’s

On Sunday we not only welcome Associate Minister, William, but we  also have our first baptism of 2021. There are a considerable number to  follow in the coming months! On Sunday we welcome Ella Darbyshire who comes  for adult baptism. We rejoice with her. And in just the same way that we invite  parents to sign the name of their infants to incorporate their names in the  baptismal banners, we will invite Ella to do the same. (See below)



 St Columba’s newest baptismal banner *

As reported last week, a lovely reminder of the sacrament of baptism came with the delivery of the newest baptismal banner*. You may recall that following the success of Gael Robertson-Gorvy’s baptismal names art installation, at the time of the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice (2018), we started collecting the names of those baptised at St Columba’s, contemporary and in times past. Signed, in most cases by a parent, then embroidered by the craft group and finally pieced together by church member, Jeni Rutherford, we are slowly building up the collection. On baptismal Sundays we place the banners on the pew ends. At the point in the baptismal service when the newly baptised come down the aisle, “presented” to the wider church family, (and vice versa), they are “companioned” by the names of all those baptised in this place before them. It is a gentle, visible reminder of the precious, invisible ties that bind us all.


Picture2First post lock down Upper Hall coffees*


From Sunday 4th July our coffee teams will start serving coffee and tea again in the  Upper Hall, after the Morning Service, providing that the lockdown situation does not  change in the meantime. Our plan is to serve people seated at tables of four. Milk and  sugar will be placed on every table, and as a trial, cups and saucers will be in place  on the tables with coffee already in the cups and to fill the cups with hot water at the  tables. Please ask for tea if required. Both doors to the Upper Hall will be open to avoid  any congestion and also to have windows open at both ends of the hall. Anyone taking  coffee should go straight into the Upper Hall, masked  until they sit down, wait to be served, and not to move around.

Office Hours

Please note the Church Office will be closed from 2pm on Friday 25th June to  Tuesday 29th June at 9am.

Tel: 020 7584 2321
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk
Facebook: @stcolumbaschurchpontstreet
Twitter: @LondonKirk
Pastoral Emergency Number (out of office hours): 07591926271

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.

Congregation Member

We are sorry to announce the death of St Columba’s member, Bonnie Patterson on  the 2nd July 2021. Please keep Bonnie’s son Gregory in your prayers.

Youth Survey.

We (the Youth Committee and the Sunday School team) are exploring the possibility  of creating a new youth group and we need your help to create something that works  for you! Grown-ups, we'll need your help with the survey, but we would love the  answers to come from the youngsters aged 9 and above. Please  visit www.stcolumbas.org.uk/youth-survey to watch a short video and to complete  the survey before 23 July 2021.


St Columba’s Coffee Mornings

The last of the coffee mornings before the summer break will be on Wednesday, 14th July 2021 - 10.30am - Revd William McLaren. William joins us as Associate Minister  from Stobswell Church in Dundee. This is a chance to get to know William a little  better and for William to introduce himself "virtually" to us all.


Summer of Sport & Sporting Conversation: A Cricketing Year to Savour

Thursday July 15th – start 7pm (for one hour) – link to livestream at  https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk

All you need to know about the world of cricket – the launch of The Hundred  competition, the India tour, the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. Plus, reflections on  Scotland’ s unknown but remarkable cricketing heritage. Join us for a fascinating  livestreamed discussion with Fraser Simm, historian of Scottish cricket and Emma  John, award winning cricket author and broadcaster. Chaired by Hugh Pym (BBC  Health Editor and cricketing occasional) at St Columba’ s Church of Scotland, Pont  Street in partnership with Scots in London. There is room for a limited audience in  the church – please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

St Columba’s Book Club

The next meeting of the St Columba’s Book Club will be the 23rd August (via Zoom)  at 7pm. The month’s book will be “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. If you would  like to join please contact the office for more information.

Youth Survey

We (the Youth Committee and the Sunday School team) are exploring  the possibility of creating a new youth group and we need your help to  create something that works for you! Grown-ups, we'll need your help  with the survey, but we would love the answers to come from the  youngsters aged 9 and above. Please visit https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/youth-survey to watch a short video and to complete the survey before 23 July 2021.



Prayers for Sunday 11th July, 2021,
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
Prepared by the Congregational Prayer Group

Approach to God

We lift our prayers to you, O Lord,
for all people everywhere,
those close to us and those far away.

Prayer Reflection on the Death of John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29)

Dear Lord, our God,
look with compassion on the whole human family.
As we reflect on the gospel story of the death of John the Baptist,
take away the arrogance and hatred that infects the hearts of
those who pursue violence and retribution.
As in the political dramas of years gone by, and also of today,
we recognise that the rich and powerful
are used to getting what they want;
are willing to do most anything to keep or advance, what they have;
and those who stand up to them often get trampled.

But, we rejoice in the knowledge that this was not the end of the story, and we know that whatever our failings and setbacks, you have promised in Jesus
to be both with us, and for us, forever.

Dear God,
inspire us to work for justice,
and care for those who have been left behind
or hurt by those with power.

Prayers for Our World

We pray today for peacemakers throughout the world:
may they bring hope out of despair,
peace out of conflict
and prosperity out of poverty.

Heavenly Father we pray for our families
and especially for young people
that they may grow up knowing love and hope,
valuing life and respecting others.
We pray for those who are about to leave school
and move on to the next stage in their lives.

Creator God, as we witness the wildfires, mudslides and flash floods, we pray for your wonderful world
and are sorry for how we have treated it.
Please be with those suffering at present from the effects of climate
change and show us how we can be better stewards of your creation.

Merciful God we pray for all who suffer in body, mind or spirit
and for those who care for them.
We have learned in these COVID times
to value the ministry of many whose work was before almost invisible to us,
but on which our lives and sustenance depend.
In humility we give thanks for the unseen care and labour,
which maintains our way of life,
and promise to value and respect them.

We pray for any who are in special need of our prayers at this time,
especially those known personally to us.
We raise them now before you
and ask for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be with them.


Prayer for the newly baptised

God of grace and life, we thank you for Ella and all that she means for us:
help us to keep the vows we have made today.
We thank you for the joy and happiness
she has brought to her parents and family.
Be with her in good times and in hard ones.
Help her in life to find fulfilment and joy.

Prayers for Revd William McLaren as he begins his ministry

We pray for those who minister and preach,
that they may never find themselves rejected out of hand as
our Saviour Jesus Christ was in his home-town synagogue.

We pray especially for William as he joins us this week;
that his vocation and ministry may serve you in holiness and truth, to the
glory of your name,
and may help us here at St Columba’s to grow in faith.

Prayer for a new minister

(Adapted from prayer by Kathleen Rolenz)

Spirit of Life,
known to us in beginnings and endings,
in possibilities and promises;
we give thanks for all that has led to this moment,
and all that is yet to come.

We give thanks for those who mentored us -
the women and men in our lives who were our teachers;
who said the turning words of encouragement
when we needed them the most.

We give thanks for those who mentored us -
the women and men in our lives who were our teachers;
who said the turning words of encouragement
when we needed them the most.

We give thanks for this church
that has seen and embraced so much change,
and for all those who have sustained this community of faith
for many years past and for generations to come.

We give thanks for William;
all that he has given, and will give,
to the living tradition we share.
May the words we have spoken
and the dreams we have shared
and the faith we have renewed today
give him wisdom, comfort, and courage
for all the days ahead;
for the way is often hard,
the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.

But deep down there is another truth,
He is not, we are never alone.


Faithful God we pray for ourselves;
as we go from our worship today to start the week ahead,
we ask that in all we do,
we may we walk more closely with you at our side,
safe in the knowledge
that your Fatherly love and care
knows no bounds.

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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