• Our History
    Our History
    St Columba’s Church was completed in 1884

Our History

The presence of Scots in London goes back to the early 17th century when the Crowns of England and Scotland were united. The opening of Crown Court Church in Covent Garden in 1719 provided a suitable place of worship for a growing congregation. Our sister congregation of Crown Court continues a lively witness on the same site to this day.

But there was a time in the mid-19th century when a far-sighted decision had been taken to build a new Kirk. Thus was born St. Columba’s on its strategic corner in Pont Street.

St Columba’s Church 1884
St Columba’s Church completed in 1884
The Blitz
The building was destroyed during The Blitz, May 10th 1941
Queen’s Mother laying the foundation stone
Queen’s Mother laying the foundation stone

The new congregation in its fine original building of 1884 flourished under the pioneering ministry of Revd Donald MacLeod of Jedburgh He was succeeded at the turn of the century by Revd Archibald Fleming, whose 40 years at Pont Street brought him to prominence both on account of his preaching, broadcasting and literary gifts and for the wonderful welfare work provided during World War One which saw hospitality provided for nearly 50,000 Scottish troops.

Then disaster struck on the night of 10 May 1941. An incendiary bomb dropped from an enemy aircraft destroyed the whole building in a matter of hours, to the stunned bewilderment of the congregation who turned up for service the next morning. For more than a decade the large congregation continued to operate using the facilities of Imperial College (Jehangir Hall) for Sunday services. The spirit of the congregation during the dark days of World War II was sustained by the wise leadership of the Reverend Robert FV Scott. From the morning of the blitz, when a lady parishioner had pressed her purse into his hands, saying, “Take this. We must rebuild. More will follow.” until the proud day in 1955, when the splendid new St. Columba’s was finally dedicated.

A century of work and worship at Pont Street was celebrated on 21 March 1984 when HM the Queen graciously visited St. Columba’s and unveiled a plaque commemorating the centenary 1884-1984. This happy occasion coincided appropriately with the year of office of the minister of the time, Revd Dr. Fraser McLuskey, as Moderator of the General Assembly. His successor Revd John McIndoe also served as Moderator.

Revd Barry Dunsmore became minister at St Columba’s in 2000 and the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the new church was marked during his tenure with a special service. We were delighted to welcome HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate the 60th anniversary in 2015.

With our current minister Revd Angus MacLeod, St. Columba’s continues its vigorous life of worship, prayer and outreach, its very presence in Pont Street being testimony to the truth of the Burning Bush, the emblem of the Church of Scotland:

Nec tamen consumebatur.
“There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.”
Exodus 3:2

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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