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Sermons - March 2021

Sermon 7th March 2021

ST COLUMBA’S, PONT STREET
SUNDAY 7th MARCH 2021, 11.00am, 3rd SUNDAY OF LENT

“The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves,
and the money changers seated at their tables.
Making a whip of cords, he drove them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle.
He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
He told those who were selling the doves,
“Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”

As a child I have a dim recollection of seeing a black and white movie –
possibly Citizen Cain (?)
A scene where a grown up goes berserk in his study/office –
in a moment of anger or frustration he wrecks everything that is ordered.
Great sweeps of tabletops, ornaments, papers, glass crashing to the ground.
Bookcases and cabinets wrenched from their settings,
to leave the room as if a typhoon has swept through it.

Astonished by this display of destruction, my mother, herself a trained actress,
explained that the actor hadn’t really broken real things – they would just be props.
Despite this lowering of the stakes involved,
I couldn’t help but think that it must be incredibly good fun to run amok like that…
and get paid for it!
[I await congregational responses – either to correct my film knowledge,
or to analyse my “disturbed childhood.”]

The gospel today – the cleansing of the Temple – is not short of mayhem –
though it is more than a child’s delight in breaking glass.
At the Feast of the Passover pilgrims came from every known corner of the world;
a great flood of humanity streaming towards the home of God on earth;
Jerusalem’s Temple, their destination.
Astonishingly grand, a construction already forty-six years in the crafting.
On the high ground, of the city on a hill,
its floor plan, a dramatisation of Israel’s relationship to God.

First the Court of the Gentiles; open to non-Jews, god fearers drawn to the sacred sites.
Next the Court of the Women – self-explanatory,
in a tradition that saw men and women worship separately.
Then the Court of the Israelites,
at which the thanksgivings and sacrificial offerings were received by the priests.
At its west end, the Temple proper.
And at the Temple’s west end, behind the veil, the Holy of Holies,
home to the Ark of the Covenant, Israel’s most sacred possession.
The Holy of Holies, into which only the High Priest might enter,
and he, only on the Day of Atonement.
An architecture of faith, drawing the pilgrim into proximity to the divine –
though a divinity quarantined,
lest the pilgrims be scorched by a face-to-face encounter.

Into Jerusalem the annual pilgrims streamed – up to 300,000.
Into the Temple coffers poured an avalanche of the world’s currencies.
The mighty religious edifice was also a money making machine;
sustained both by the offerings, and by the annual Temple tax,
collected throughout the land prior to the Passover festival.
If pilgrims paid at the Temple itself,
they had to exchange their home currency for the special coinage of the Temple –
one that carried no graven image, the head of king or god.
Hence the need for money-changers, whose tables lined the Court of the Gentiles.

And because of the system of animal sacrifice,
the need also for a ready supply of livestock – sheep, goats, birds.
They could be purchased away from the Temple,
but wasn’t it more convenient to buy on site.
Temple tax, currency exchange, sacrificial purchase –
a small empire of commerce had taken root
around the throne of a once wandering God.
What was once the adventure of being led by the fire and cloudy pillar
had become this mayhem of marketeering and religious rules.
God bought and sold?

When Jesus entered the Temple was already part of his story;
Presented there as a baby by shy new parents – blessed by Simeon and Anna;
Returning on the cusp of manhood
to sit and talk with the wise minds of that place –
and astonish them with his own wisdom;
Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?

Jesus surely held a vision of what the Temple, at its best, was intended to be;
he longed for it to be true.
Jerusalem, City of his ancestor David, was the city he wept over;
its Temple should have been a sanctuary, a light set upon a hill,
a house of prayer for all the nations,
a thin place, his Father’s house.

So, the clearing of the courtyard takes place.
Spontaneous or premeditated, token gesture or full spring clean – we don’t know.
Whether it happened at the outset of Jesus’ ministry, as John records it
or in the days of the Final Week, as the other gospels declare –
that too is unsure.
But it represents a burning of the boats, there can be little turning back.
Jesus goes to the heart of the nation’s religious-political establishment
and declares it to be rotten.
“Stop making my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
Later his disciples would remember Psalm 69:9
and attach a sense of prophetic fulfilment to this startling event:
"Zeal for your house will consume me."
Such a challenge to power and powerful men will not go unchecked.

This is part of the Christ we seek to follow –
not just the Great Comforter, but also the great Unsettler.
As a nun once said to me: “May the peace of God disturb you.”

Irish priest and poet, the late John O’Donohue, Beauty
“A prophetic thought claims its own future,
it awakens, disturbs and brings transformation.”
In the latest of Christopher Rowe’s film meditations from his parish of Colston Milton,
one of the Church of Scotland’s designated priority areas,
his camera takes the bus journey from bleak low-rise housing estate
to signs of Glasgow’s wealthy centre – a parable of sorts.

Historically, the wealth of that city, as with Bristol, or Liverpool or London,
fed by the profits of the slave trade –
an uncomfortable awareness brought upon us much more in recent times.
Triggered in part by the prophetic thought/action of the American footballer,
Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 helped to launch a movement to take a knee
during the national anthem before NFL games
to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

His actions came at personal cost.
He lost his work. He persevered.
[Kaepernick opted out of his contract as a quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers and became a free agent in March 2017. He was unable to sign with another team after the demonstrations.]
Subsequently, his sports shoe sponsor created an advert, narrated by Kaepernick:
“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Monied sportsmen may leave us cold, especially if their message is uncomfortable,
but there are other prophets or prophetic actions that confront us.
Recently the BBC journalist Orla Guerin tweeted:
“What a smile - this is Ahmed Rageeb, who is 9.
In many years of travels he's one of the most extraordinary children I have ever met.
When teachers don't turn up at his primary school in the city of Taiz in Yemen,
Ahmed stands in and takes the class.
Ahmed has been blind from birth.”

The televised report showed hundreds of children arriving for lessons each day
in the ruins of a school near to front-line fighting between the government and Houthi rebels.
As the children themselves say:
“We are in danger as we come to school and in danger as we leave school.”
The report from Yemen was aired in the same week
that the UK Government reduced its aid budget to Yemen.

Still too remote? Unimaginable, not really our business?
Though perhaps there is a bridge this year via for our Lent Charity, Play for Progress,
with its outreach to unaccompanied minor refugees and asylum seekers.

“A prophetic thought claims its own future,
it awakens, disturbs and brings transformation.”

The powerbrokers of the Temple are swift to push back at the disturber in their midst:
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking of the temple of his body.

The gospel certainly asks us in this season of Lent what needs overturning?
What fresh air/spirit is required for the sanctuaries of our churches or communities;
in our public squares and private hearts?
It also draws us deeper towards the cross.
Jesus’ rising up against vested interests
will lead to the Son of Man being raised/lifted up –
crucified, for all to see, and all to fear.

As says St. Paul: “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.
but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.’
The wisdom and power of God disclosed in
the puzzling foolishness and vulnerability of the cross.
This is our journey to Easter.

Sermon 14th March 2021

Sermon 21st March 2021

ST COLUMBA’S, PONT STREET
SUNDAY 21st MARCH 2021, FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

“Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24

Early in the C20th, the years between the wars (1918-36)
an Anglican monk called William Sirr
moved into an old stable block, all that was left of a grand house in rural Worcestshire.
Fr William was a member of the Society of the Divine compassion,
but he felt called to try out a particular vocation
to a more “retired” monastic life,
hoping that in time others would join him.
Many visited, but few stayed.

After restoring the stables to a place, ready for a monastic community
and filling the place with a sense of prayer, he fell ill.
It became clear he would have to leave – his dream unrealised.

On his last morning, in the place that had been home for eighteen years
a friend and fellow clergyman (Revd Sidney King) visited him.
King had watched over the years of planning, the preparation, the waiting –
and the non-arrival of a community.
Over time he had ceased to enquire about new candidates,
for fear of embarrassing/upsetting Fr William.

The day of departure, was recorded by Revd King:
“On this last morning when I saw (Fr William) on his bed, his face lit up in welcome.
I asked him if I might pray with him.
I knelt, at what was his last prayer in the monastery.
I commended him to God and besought God’s peace upon him.

When I rose from my knees –
looking me straight in the face, serene and untroubled –
and apropos of nothing said in the interview or in the prayers:, Fr William said:
“We must not mind being a failure – our Lord died on the Cross a failure.”
Words I can never forget, nor the tone
of his serene, quiet response in the Will of God.
I knew in that absolute surrender of his will to God,
he had entered into the victorious mind of our Saviour on the Cross…
into which nothing can break or destroy.”

In time, the Society of St Francis took over the care of Glasshampton
and since then it has flourished as a community house for the Society
and a place where many people seek peace and resoration.
From Fr William’s “failure” much has blossomed.
(p.16-17, The Mind of Christ, D Scott)

“Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Today is Passion Sunday; the circling aircraft of Lent begins its descent to Holy Week.
The crowds gather for the Passover Festival in Jerusalem;
Jesus too, with his disciples.
A group of foreigners, Greeks, request to see Jesus.
Much of the non-Jewish world spoke Greek,
so, it is convenient shorthand for folk beyond Israel’s borders.
Their arrival, the distance and depth of their search, acts as a sign –
like the first leaf of spring.
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
Now the hour is come; time is ripe – in sports parlance, the business end of the match.
The arrival of Greeks – a code: Now, let the message break forth
from the confines of one particular place and people –
to become a message for all time and every place.

“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
Plenty folk want to see Jesus – probably for many different reasons –
Jesus the healer, the teacher, the activist,
provincial celebrity, potential king, over-turner of an occupied state, a saviour?
As Jesus knew, many might be seeking him,
but they had a particular Jesus in mind.

So, to the Gentiles’ request, Jesus responds with a meditation on his death.
He tells a tiny parable – understandable to any culture and any age.
A seed can do nothing on its own. It has to be buried in the ground.
This is a fearful experience – darkness, burial, change.
But if it is buried, it will die as a seed and grow into something more beautiful –
a lily of the field, a bushel of corn –
a tree, in the branches of which the birds of the air find shelter.

He is – or will be - that grain of wheat falling into the ground;
dying, in order to bear much fruit.
He admits that he’s afraid: “Now my soul is troubled.”
He describes the cross as a gathering place;
an agony and a glory; a crime and a communion,
he says it is the place where his own must follow and there find;
a revelation and re-uniting:
“When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.”
Now is the hour. He has come this far. Now, he must go all the way.

Without the death of the grain, there can be no crop;
without the Cross, no proof of how far God will go for us;
without the death of Jesus, no resurrection harvest of love.

In honesty, we are keener on rising than falling.
That is why Jesus had plenty of crowds, but apparently very few followers.
And by the time of his death, there remained only a handful of women,
who watched from a distance.
[“Even the core followers – when they saw where he was going,
remembered they had something else to do!” B Brown Taylor]

As one commentator wrote this week:
“I often flinch away from the Jesus of the Passion —
the vulnerable, broken Jesus —
because I want a muscular, superhero Jesus instead.
I want the dramatic rescue, the quick save.
I don’t want to learn the discipline of waiting at the tomb, in the shadowed place,
in the realm where my questions far outnumber the answers.
I am impatient for resurrection….
I don’t think I’m alone in this struggle;
many of us wrestle with the Jesus of Holy Week,
because he looks so different from what we expect in a Saviour.”
(Debie Thomas, Journey With Jesus)

One of the features of Lent this year has been the steadily accumulating collection of gospel meditations filmed and narrated by our friend, Revd Christopher Rowe –
minister of Colston Milton Parish Church – a Church of Scotland Priority Area.
(They are not an easy watch. But I think they are important to watch.)

Recently, Christopher spoke to our Wednesday Zoom Coffee Morning gathering:
about his parish, its poverty, its addictions, its isolation,
its history and reasons for its social and economic decline;
but also its remarkable community of neighbours.
He spoke about great plans for community driven projects,
with which he arrived twelve years ago.
He spoke about how much of that has remained unrealised.

Increasingly, he talks about the importance of simply being there.
He recognises with honesty that his community is ill-equipped
to provide the personnel for a traditional Church of Scotland congregation,
with office holders and neatly timed and packaged worship.
At the same time, he recognises that he is only there,
because the Church of Scotland system currently resources his ministry.
(St Columba’s and St Andrew’s, Newcastle are part of that system,
with the contributions that are made each year.)
Christopher’s Sunday morning congregation doesn’t show much sign of numerical growth.
He feels increasingly - less, a minister of a Church of Scotland congregation,
more a chaplain to a housing estate.

Christopher’s congregation is not alone –
in various places, small congregations with aging members,
face difficult questions about what to do, or what to be.
What to hold on to; what to let go.
Even congregations that are not facing urgent questions of whether to continue or not,
will have decisions to make about life after the pandemic.
What should be restarted and what should be allowed to rest/die?
What letting go, could actually be the burial, with honour,
that leads to new life – perhaps in quite unexpected ways.
A realisation, in time, that falling into the ground may not be the worst thing.
I once heard of an angry outburst and its brave response:

“Christianity is for losers!”
“No, Christianity is for those who are not frightened to lose.”

In a week’s time we enter the losing time – Jesus’ Holy Week,
the fearful, relentless stripping away –
first the crowds, then the disciples, even his clothes – finally his life.

Apparently, that is the way – that which must be endured.
“Should I say – Father, save me from this hour?
No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
Father glorify your name.”

Greeks arrive. It could be the moment for international success –
a completely different chapter to the one we inherit.
Jesus could have said his time wasn’t up, but he didn’t.
He knew how bread is made. Unless a grain falls…

“We must not mind being a failure - our Lord died on the cross, a failure.”
But from the buried grain, the unimaginable fruit.

Sermon 28th March 2021

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS: MONDAY 29th MARCH 2021

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS: MONDAY 29th MARCH 2021
ST COLUMBA’S, PONT STREET

Welcome & Opening Prayer

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9
42:1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.
42:2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;
42:3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.
42:4 He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
42:5 Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:
42:6 I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations,
42:7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
42:8 I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.
42:9 See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

Anthem: Hide not thou thy face (Farrant)

Gospel Reading: John 12:1-11
12:1 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 12:2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.
12:3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 12:5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?"
12:6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
12:7 Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 12:8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." 12:9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 12:10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 12:11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

Time of Quiet

Prayers for fortitude
God of grace and glory,
you have called us to take hold of eternal life.
Help us to run with resolution the race that lies before us,
our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
May he always be to us the pattern we follow,
the redeemer we trust, the master we serve,
and the friend to whom we turn.
Keep us faithful till death,
and bring us at the last into your eternal presence
to receive the crown of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For our absent friends
God our Father, you are present to your people everywhere. We pray for those we love who are far away. Watch over them and protect them. Keep far from them all that would hurt the body and harm the soul. Give to them and to us the assurance of the strength and peace of your presence, and keep us all so near to you that we will be for ever near to one another. In your good time, may we renew our fellowship on earth, and at the last come to the unbroken fellowship of the Father’s house in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord’s Prayer

Benediction
In this place will be heard once more
the sounds of joy and gladness,
the voices of bridegroom and bride;
here too will be heard voices shouting,
‘Praise the Lord of Hosts,
for the Lord is good; his love endures for ever.’

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS: TUESDAY 30th MARCH 2021

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS: TUESDAY 30th MARCH 2021
ST COLUMBA’S, PONT STREET

Welcome & Opening Prayer

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 49:1-7
49:1 Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The LORD called me before I was born, while I was in my mother's womb he named me.
49:2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away.
49:3 And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
49:4 But I said, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the LORD, and my reward with my God."
49:5 And now the LORD says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honoured in the sight of the LORD, and my God has become my strength-
49:6 he says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
49:7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the slave of rulers, "Kings shall see and stand up, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."

Anthem Holy is the true light (Harris)

Gospel Reading: John 12:20-36
12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.12:21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 12:23 Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 12:24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 12:25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour. 12:27 "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say--' Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
12:29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."12:33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 12:34 The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" 12:35 Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light." After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

Time of Quiet

Prayers for cheerfulness
God of hopefulness and joy,
give us a cheerful sense of our blessings.
Make us content with all that you provide for us.
Teach us that nothing can hurt us
since you hold us in your kind and loving hands.
Chase from our hearts all gloomy thoughts,
and make us glad with the brightness of hope;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For hospitals and healing
God of love, your Son brought healing to the sick and hope to the despairing. We pray for all who suffer pain, or who bear the burden of illness, or who have to undergo an operation. Give them the comfort and strength of your presence, and surround them with your healing love and power. May they know the fellowship of Christ who bore pain and suffering for us, and at the last won victory over death.
Bless those who share with Christ a healing ministry, researchers, doctors, surgeons, nurses. Use their sympathy and skill for the relief of suffering, the conquest of disease, and the restoration of health; and crown all their efforts with good success; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord’s Prayer

Benediction
In this place will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness,
the voices of bridegroom and bride;
here too will be heard voices shouting, ‘Praise the Lord of Hosts,
for the Lord is good; his love endures for ever.’
May the Lord bless you and keep you.

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS: WEDNESDAY 31st MARCH 2021

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS: WEDNESDAY 31st MARCH 2021
ST COLUMBA’S, PONT STREET

Welcome & Opening Prayer

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a
50:4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens-- wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
50:5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
50:6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
50:7 The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
50:8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
50:9a It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

Anthem: Let thy merciful ears, O Lord (Mudd)

Gospel Reading: John 13:21-32
13:21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me."13:22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.13:23 One of his disciples--the one whom Jesus loved--was reclining next to him;13:24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.13:25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"13:26 Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." So. when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.13:27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do."13:28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.13:29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the festival"; or, that he should give something to the poor.13:30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

Time of Quiet

Prayers for inner peace
Set free, O Lord,
the souls of your servants from all restlessness and anxiety.
Give us your peace and power,
and so keep us that,
in all perplexity and distress,
we may abide in you,
upheld by your strength
and stayed on the rock of your faithfulness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For home and family
Lord, you have been our home in every generation. Defend our homes against all evil; surround them with your presence and make them sanctuaries of your peace and joy. Bless those dear to us, wherever they may be, and grant that they and we may dwell together in the shelter of your love, until we come at last into the Father’s house in heaven, the family of God complete; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord’s Prayer

Benediction
In this place will be heard once more
the sounds of joy and gladness,
the voices of bridegroom and bride;
here too will be heard voices shouting,
‘Praise the Lord of Hosts,
for the Lord is good; his love endures for ever.’

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

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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
office@stcolumbas.org.uk

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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