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For Sunday 10th September 2023, 15th Sunday after Pentecost


An Imagined Future – Creating a Positive Shared Story: Congregational “Away” Day, Saturday 30th September 2023

“Churches are often good at governance and maintenance, but often not so good at vision and imagination.” So writes Revd Russell McLarty, who along with Place for Hope colleague, Dr Magdalen Lambkin, will lead our Congregational “Away” Day (at St Columba’s) on Saturday 30th September.

It is an important day for us. We will be given the opportunity to listen to others, think about what we are doing currently, and imagine/dream a little, of what we might wish to be in years to come.

Russell and Magdalen’s programme will offer opportunity to consider: 

  • What we do well at present, with a panel enabling us to hear from members of our own congregation, as well as others who use our building regularly (representatives from ReStart, AA, Scottish Country Dancers). 
  • Who might be coming to our church in 2040, and what our church might offer to these people.
  • How we might to take forward 3-4 ideas emerging from the day.

Russell McLarty is a recently retired Church of Scotland Minister who has been part of the Interim & Transition Ministry Team over a period of 15 years serving in various congregations with significant challenges before which he was Minister for 21 years in a Priority Areas Parish in the East End of Glasgow. He trained and worked as an architect and served as Fabric Convener for Glasgow Presbytery and also as a General Trustee of The Church of Scotland. Russell is now active as Coordinator of the Eco Action Group in his home church in Tranent and as a Storyteller associated with The Scottish Storytelling Forum.

Magdalen Lambkin is the Development Director for Interfaith Glasgow, where she leads on programmes that facilitate dialogue and cooperation between people from diverse faith and belief backgrounds. Her interest in peacebuilding and mediation stems from her upbringing in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 90s, but it was on moving to Glasgow and encountering its rich diversity that she began to get involved in interfaith engagement and to seek training in these areas. She has an MTh in Inter-Faith Studies from the University of Glasgow, where she also completed a PhD. For more information on Place for Hope see website Hello | Place for Hop (Place for Hope, is a charity that works to equip people and faith communities to navigate change and conflict well.)

If you have not already signed up to attend the Away Day please do so, via the church office.


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 and readings will be on the website.

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.  

Please note that the Evening Services on the 1st of the month are not live streamed as they are held in the London Scottish Chapel. 

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 for 10th September 2023

Hymn 106 Bring to the Lord a glad new song (Jerusalem)
Hymn 631 A little child the Saviour came (Commandments)
Hymn 741 Glory to you, O God (Darwall’s 148th)
Hymn 247 Moved by the Gospel, let us move (Ellacombe)

Anthem: Factum est silentium (Dering)
Musical Interlude: Come, Holy Ghost (Attwood)
Organ Postlude: Voluntary in E minor (Stanley)

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 119:33-40
New Testament Reading: Romans 13:8-14
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:5-20

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.

THIS SUNDAY: Congregational Prayer Group, Sunday, 10th September

Come and join us at 10am in the Kirk Session Room (same level as the church sanctuary) for 15 minutes to pray for our church, our community, our nation and our world …everyone is welcome and our prayers, both spoken and unspoken do make a difference. Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” Pray that as we pray, we would remember that God is good and is worthy to be praised! See you there! (Congregational Prayer Group)

NEXT SUNDAY: Sunday School Activities

The first Sunday of the new Sunday School year will be Sunday 17th September. In the period up to Christmas we aim to offer Sunday School during the morning service on the first and third Sundays of the month. Please contact the Office if you would like to find out more. Once again, we are very grateful for those congregational volunteers who make the Sunday School activities possible. Please keep our young families and their teachers in your prayers at the start of the new school year.

NEXT SUNDAY: Sounds of St Columba’s Recitals

Please note future dates for our wonderful recital series - bring your friends and enjoy the marvellous music in the Upper Hall. 1.30pm start. These exceptional recitals are one of the “gems” of current St Columba’s life. Not to be missed.

17th September 2023 - Richard Phillips, Cello Recital

15th October 2023 - Oscar Simms, Baritone

19th November 2023 - The Choir of St Columba’s

21st January 2024- Catherine Olver, Organ Recital (Church)

NEXT SUNDAY, 17th September from 2pm: Congregational Outing to St Columba’s Tennis Club


Following the successful trip to St Columba’s Tennis Club last year, we are organising a congregational outing again. An afternoon of fun, tennis-related activities for all ages will be provided by their coach followed by refreshments. Open to everyone- keen tennis player, total beginner or relaxing spectator. Equipment can be provided. For planning and catering purposes please let Gary Wallis know if you are attending on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Tennis club address is 30-32 Carbery Avenue, Acton, W3 9AL. Find more details on the club here stcolumbastennis.co.uk.

Safeguarding Training, Wednesday 20th September

Mandatory Safeguarding Training for those who require it will be offered on the following dates:

Wednesday 20th September 2023, 6.45pm – 9.15pm – online & Saturday 21st October 2023, 10.00am – 12.30pm – in person. Venue /St Columba’s Church – Upper Hall. Please sign up with the church office.

SAVE THE DATE: Congregational Away Day, Saturday 30th September 2023

It is an important opportunity for the congregation to take stock and consider our collective possibilities and priorities. Guided by the skill and experience of others, and appreciating why St Columba’s remains precious and meaningful to many people, we hope it will be a fruitful day. Timings for the day are 10am – 4pm. A soup and sandwich lunch will be provided. We aim to provide childcare for part of the day to enable families to attend. Please sign up to indicate attendance via the Church Office. And please keep Russell and Magdalen in your prayers as they prepare to lead us on the day.

St Columba’s Book Group, Monday 11th September

All members present really enjoyed the Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham and thought that it was multidimensional and had good characterisation. Our next choice is a non-fiction one, “Landlines” by Raynor Winn which is the third book in a trilogy but also stands alone. It is set, in part in Scotland and is on the Sunday Times best seller list. We next meet virtually on Monday 11th September at 6.30pm. We have also selected the book after that, “Nightbloom” by Peace Adzo Medie. New members are always welcome. Contact the Church Office for the log in details

Congregational Sunday Lunch & Future Dates

Future dates for lunches are 17th & 24th September in the Lower Hall. The 24th September is an additional date on which we will say farewell to outgoing Office Manager Lucy Llewellyn. Please note the small increase to £4.00 per lunch – still exceptional value for a two-course meal. Big thanks to all our catering teams who provide for us on congregational lunch Sundays. Coffee will continue to be served every Sunday as usual in the Upper Hall – donations for coffee most welcome.

Harvest Appeal 2023 – The Upper Room (UR4 Meals) and Guest Speaker, Simon Tuke (Trustee and Chair) on Sunday 24th September.


To launch our Harvest Appeal, we are delighted that Simon Tuke (Trustee and Chair) from the charity will be joining us on Sunday 24th September to do a brief talk during the service. Simon will be talking about The Upper Room charity and in particular UR4 Meals and how your Harvest Appeal donations will be put to very good use. 

We will be collecting: ground black and white pepper, vegetable stock cubes, sunflower or vegetable oil, chopped tomatoes, flour, pasta (preferably penne), rice (preferably basmati), spaghetti, biscuits, instant coffee, tea bags (not loose tea).

Collection point: Upper Vestibule by the Harvest Display Board, on Sundays 24th September, 1st and 8th October (culminating at the Harvest Festival Service).

With such an increase in the need for meals by the homeless and disadvantaged people, your food donations will contribute to such a valuable meal service. UR4 Meals provide around 160 meals and take away meals each day. 

Thank you in advance, UR4 Meals!

“Lucy’s Secret Surprise Gift” & Farewell Lunch, Sunday 24th September


There will be a congregational lunch on Sunday 24th September at which we will say farewell to departing Office manager, Lucy Llewellyn. On previous leave-takings, when a collection for a member of staff has been invited, donations have come in via the office – collected by Lucy. This gives us a somewhat awkward current scenario. My suggestion is this: If you wish to donate towards Lucy’s leaving gift, please put it in an envelope marked: “Lucy’s Secret Surprise Gift” and hand it into her. She has promised not to open and will pass on to those others who will collate and action. Please could we have contributions in by Sunday 10th September. We are currently in the midst of the interviewing process for her successor. Please continue to keep those applying, and those with the responsibility for appointing, in your prayers.

Happy Hour

Happy Hour returns to The Carpenters Arms 12 Seymour Place W1H 7NE, upstairs room at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 4 October. First a discussion around the text from Hebrews, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us’ and also drawing on the biography of Eric Liddell, For the Glory by Duncan Hamilton after which general socialising. No advance reading or booking required, just turn up on the night. Happy Hour's programme for the rest of the autumn season can be found on the website under Community Life https://www.stcolumbas.org.uk/community-life/happy-hour.

Save the date: Scots in London Gala Night & Reception, Wednesday 11th October 2023, 7pm

Join us for a Gala Concert hosted by Scots in London with the group’s Patron HRH The Princess Royal at the official opening. There will be traditional music from a Scottish folk duo and a joint performance by the ScotsCare Choir and the Choir with no Name with celebrated traditional singer Isla St Clair. Also appearing will be the Pipes and Drums of the London Scottish regiment and Downton Abbey actor David Robb. Wednesday, October 11th at 7pm. Tickets £20 including reception with drinks and Scottish canapés. To book visit https://www.scotsinlondon.org/.

New Members’ Conference

On Saturday 28th October, we will hold a New Members’ Conference for those who wish to consider becoming members of the Church of Scotland here at St Columba’s. For those who attend the day and then wish to formally join the congregation a New Members’ Service will be held on Advent Sunday – Sunday 3rd December 2023, at 11am. More details to follow but please keep the dates in your diary.


REFLECTION & POINTS FOR PRAYER Prepared by the Congregational Prayer Group for Sunday 10th September 2023, 15th Sunday after Pentecost

A secular song

Sometimes secular music can include an underlying message for Christians. The extract from “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother”, originally released by The Hollies in the 1960’s , but recorded by others subsequently, is a good example. It reminds us that we have responsibilities to others, and that we should not see this as a burden.

The road is long with many a winding turn.
That leads us where, who knows when.
But I’m strong.
Strong enough to carry him.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

So on we go, his welfare is my concern.
No burden is he.
We’ll get there.
For I know, he would not encumber me.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

If I’am laden at all
I am laden with sadness that everyone’s heart
isn’t filled with gladness of love for one another.
And the load doesn’t weigh me down at all.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

Bible readings: Galatians 6: 2,9-10.

“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”


Dear Father, lifter of heavy loads.
Fill our hearts with love for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If someone is overtaken in some misdeed,
help us to assist in restoring that person, in a spirit of
gentleness. Let us watch ourselves, lest we also be tempted.

Let each one of us test our own work,
so that our reason for pride may be in what we do
and not what our neighbour does for us.
Teach us to bear our own fair load, may we who are taught,
share all good things with each other.

In the name of Jesus we ask all this
and you will give us a spirit-filled life, resulting in eternal life.

Loving Father.
We want to press on in our Christian lives
to become more like you, our Lord Jesus Christ.
We know that it will require us to put our hands to the
plough, and press on with patient endurance
that can only come from you.
We pray that we may not lose heart
or grow weary in doing good works
that you prepared for us to do.
Thank you, that you in due course
we may reap a fruitful reward,
if we do not give up.
In Jesus name we pray.


Brother, sister let me serve.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I may have the grace
to let you be a servant too.
So, let us learn how to serve
and in our lives enthrone him,
each other’s needs to prefer,
for it is Christ we are serving.

Office Hours

The church office is open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. 

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

Opening Hours

The office is open from
9.00 a.m. to 5.00 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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