Welcome to St Mungo's

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Mission Statement

Seeking to be
open and
welcoming
to all actively
growing in faith

Our Minister

Ever since our minister, Rev Sang Yoon Cha, came to us in 2011 we have been on a wonderful adventure together.   During this time we have faced many challenges and changes. We have had major building work done, adaptations to the inside of our building and the introduction of some different types of services. We have lost old friends and gained new.   We are currently facing what is possibly our biggest challenge since he arrived – Covid 19 – but with Sang’s help support and guidance we will see this through and be stronger together.

Sang’s message for week beginning 18 October is now available on the About Us page.  Just click on the Message from our Minister box.

Sunday Service

Our Church service starts at 11.15 every Sunday and we would be delighted if you could join us then.

When you arrive at the church for the Sunday service you will notice some differences.  We hope that the following information will help to prepare you for what to expect.

If you intend to come to church you should assess the risk and make your decision based on that.

If you or a member of your household show symptoms of Covid 19 please self isolate and book a test.  If you develop symptoms after attending church again self isolate and book a test.   Please also notify the Session Clerk – Marie Campbell.

It is not the church service we are used to but it is important that we all follow the guidelines to protect one another so please follow the guidelines and stay safe.

We have produced a special edition of the Weekly Parishioner where you can get more detailed information and look at more pictures of the inside of the church and examples of the type of signs you may see.  You can look at this by clicking on the Weekly Parishioner tab and choosing Church reopening.

Get Involved

In normal times, there are lots of ways you can get involved in the church, it’s not all about the Sunday service.  You could join the Guild – it is open to all.  You could volunteer to help with the after church coffees, Wednesday coffees or the Café.  Volunteers to help with the café will be welcomed now that the Cafe is finally open, You could attend the events organised by the Church throughout the year.

However, at this time, some of these things are on hold but you can keep in touch with members who are isolated – a phone call or text shows them that they are not forgotten.

Every Sunday, there is an order of service on the Church’s Facebook page and on the What’s On page on this website so that even if you are not able to attend church you know what the service includes. There are links to hymns on YouTube so that you can join in singing or just listen.  At the moment Sang is sharing his sermon live on the Facebook page.

Although the Church is now open for the Sunday service, the other work of the church is still continuing and there are still expenses to be covered so please help if you can. You can either fill your envelope each week ready for when you are able to join us for the Church service again or if you would like to set up a Standing Order or give a donation please get in touch using the email address connect@alloastmungos.org and we will be happy to give you more information.

Ways to Support the Church Financially

Apart from the routine way of donating money, if you were to
use “Easyfundraising” then the church benefits without it
costing you any more.

Current Events

Sunday School Reopened on 16 August

We are pleased that we were able to start the Sunday School again on 16 August.  Churches are allowed to have a maximum of 50 people in the building – including the minister – and the young people attending Sunday School will be included in this number.  There will be some changes, just as there have been changes to the Church service, to comply with the guidelines.  The Sunday School is available for children aged 3-12 as was the case before.  The youngsters should come to Church with their parent/carer as normal.  When they arrive they will be shown where to sit after using the hand sanitiser.  After the first part of the Church service, they will be escorted through to the Session House, which has been cleaned and disinfected, for the normal Sunday School activities.  At the end of the service, the young people will be brought back through to rejoin their families.

We look forward to welcoming our young people – and their friends – back into the Church on Sundays.

St Mungo’s Community Café

Our café has now been open for several weeks and we have welcomed many visitors during that time. A lot of work has to be done on a daily basis – all of the necessary hygiene precautions have to be taken and the Café does, of course, follow the mandatory guidelines with regard to social distancing, hand hygiene and Track and Trace information gathering – so that we can keep everyone safe.   The café is normally open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week between 10 and 4.  As space is limited at the moment, please phone Billy to book a table either on his mobile, 07790598791 or, during café opening hours, on the church number 01259 723004.   Billy, our chef, has been busy preparing his menus and these will change seasonally.

The menu looks good and Billy’s food is always enjoyable.  A wide variety of food is on offer from an Early Bird menu with filled rolls in the morning, through soups, salads and sandwiches at lunchtime to afternoon tea so that there is something for all occasions. A copy of the current menu can be found by clicking on the Newsletter tab above.  You might want to meet friends for coffee and a cake and that is also covered.  Everyone raves about the cakes when they are in for lunch and some take them away in our lovely take away boxes.  Those of you who have been reading the Weekly parishioner (find them in the newsletter tab above) will already have seen recipes for some of the cakes.

This week Billy featured in the Scottish Chefs podcast – Legends of the Kitchen.  Culinary legends Bruce Sangster, Stewart Cameron and Billy spoke about the highlights of their careers of over 50 years in the Kitchen and Billy spoke about why he had opened the Community Café and what he is enjoying about it.

You can hear this for yourself by following the link below

https://scottishchefs.libsyn.com/legends-of-the-kitchen-0

News from 121 – week beginning 25 October

Kirk pledges £40,000 in wake of deadly explosion in Beirut

On August 4, 2020, Beirut was devastated when an explosion in a warehouse in the port area resulted in over 200 dead, 6,000 injured, and 300,000 left without homes.  The Lebanese people were already dealing with the effects of economic and political uncertainty and the health impact of Covid 19.  The church of Scotland is sending £40,000 to help people left homeless or injured in the blast on the 4th of August and to repair badly damaged buildings used by the Kirk’s two partner organisations.  Read what Susan Brown, and others, say about this initiative by following the link below.

https://churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2020/Kirk-pledges-40000-in-wake-of-deadly-explosion-in-Beirut

Opinion – Christmas might look different this year but its meaning remains the same

As we heard this week in the media that Christmas may look very different this year, Very Rev Susan Brown reflects on the true meaning of Christmas which will not change.  Read what she has to say by following the link below

https://churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2020/Opinion-Christmas-might-look-different-this-year-but-its-meaning-remains-the-same

Assembly Trustee opportunity

The Church of Scotland is welcoming applications for membership to the Assembly Trustees.  More information can be found by following the link below. They are particularly interested in the addition of someone with a background in theology. Applications close on 6 November

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/about-us/vacancies-and-volunteering/become-an-assembly-trustee

The Guild Newsletter

During the period when Guilds have been unable to meet in person, The Guild, nationally, has been producing a newsletter which is emailed out to members.  The most recent copy includes an article about faith in Older People and one on Sanctuary in Scotland.

https://mailchi.mp/churchofscotland/guild-news-13081732?e=b6ff4e6724

Re-opening Churches

The Church nationally has a group who meet regularly to develop guidelines for Churches which will help them to to reopen all aspects of Church life safely when conditions permit. Let us hope and pray that we will continue to be able to meet in person in St Mungo’s for many years to come.

The Church is now open for the Sunday service and the other work of the church is still continuing so there are still expenses to be covered.  The Church of Scotland has introduced an online donations system which allows those who wish to continue to support this work financially even when unable to attend in person. To find out more about this and the importance of your donations, please follow the link below.
https://churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2020/support-your-local-church-with-our-new-online-donations-system

Website Updates

We have updated some of the items on the Church Finance page and the What’s On page.  We have also updated the Communications section on the About Us page.  Please check them out.

You can now see the Weekly Parishioner online.  Just click on the Newsletter tab above and follow the link.  We hope you enjoy it. Week 14 is now available.  St Mungo’s Guild newsletter is now available on the Newsletter tab.

A copy of this week’s national Call to Prayer on Sunday 25 October can be found on the What’s On page with a link to hear the Moderator saying the prayer.

The Order of Service  for Sunday 25 October can be found on the What’s On page

Your Voice, Your Choice

Last year, St Mungo’s and Ludgate churches administered the Participatory Budgeting funding received from the Scottish Government through the Church of Scotland. There were several groups who were successful in their bids and this resulted in benefits to the wider community. The successful projects included Connect Alloa and the St Mungo’s Community Café. The Gate Foodbank also received a grant as did Community House and Alloa Park Community Garden. Smaller projects included the Friendship club for people living with dementia and an afternoon tea for local unpaid carers. These are just some of the projects which benefitted local people in a variety of ways.

Applications are now being accepted from Community Groups organized and based in Clackmannanshire who have ideas which will help to combat isolation and loneliness but need funding to allow this to happen. You can apply for a grant of between £250 and £750 to help with your project. The closing date for applications is 5pm on 1 November. Further information and an application form can be found by clicking on the Newsletter tab above.

World War 2 – The Women’s Guild

On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. The United Kingdom responded with an ultimatum to Germany to cease military operations, and on 3 September, after the ultimatum was ignored, France and Britain declared war on Germany, followed by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.  At the Guild committee meeting on 9 October that year, a letter was received from the Red Cross “asking the help of the Women’s Guild in their effort to provide knitted garments for the Navy, Army and Air Force and Hospital supplies for the comfort of the sick and wounded.”  The minister of St Mungo’s at that time , Rev Pitt-Watson, had a box made to be placed at the Church door so that members could contribute to the cost of supplying wool.  On the first 2 Sundays £4 13s and 3d was collected  – in present day value that is over £200!

A year later, the Guild were informed that there was a shortage of gloves, pullovers and mittens so the ladies of the Work party were asked to knit these.  By 1941 it was getting difficult to obtain wool but the Work party continued to produce knitted garments for the Red Cross and Warmth for Warriors project.

The Guild also organized Christmas boxes for those serving in the Forces and  continued, throughout the war, to fund raise for the Warmth for Warriors project as well as making up parcels or giving donations to families of those serving.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

October 17 marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  Although most people living below the poverty line belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and high poverty rates are often found in small, fragile and conflict-affected countries, people in every country in the world are affected by poverty. The theme for this year considers the challenge of achieving social and environmental justice for all.

Many people are touched by poverty with those who live in a family where there’s a disabled person or a carer, those who work in catering or retail, or those who live in privately rented housing most likely to be affected.  The most recent statistics for poverty were gathered before the full effect of the pandemic was felt and we can expect next year to show an increase in those living in poverty as businesses close

In-work poverty is also on the rise –  often because people’s pay, hours or both are not enough for a decent standard of living.  More than half of all people in poverty are in a working family and this could also become a bigger problem with an increase in zero hours contracts and reduction of hours.  In 2017-18, 27% of children in Clackmannanshire were living in poverty – only Glasgow City and Dundee were higher.  Sang has said that as Christians we should do as Christ did – we should therefore be doing what we can to reduce this level of poverty.

To read more about the International Day follow the link below

https://www.un.org/en/observances/day-for-eradicating-poverty

Locally, we could support the work of The Gate Food Bank.  The Citizens Advice Bureau are also there to offer support and advice to those affected by poverty.  Read about some of the work they do here

https://www.cas.org.uk/features

Connect Alloa

Congratulations to Connect Alloa, a local youth group who normally met in St Mungo’s, who won the Embracing Inclusion Award in the recent CTSI Wee County, Big Heroes award ceremony.  Congratulations also to Tony, one of the team, who was one of the Youth Summit Awards winners.  Over the last few months, Connect Alloa have continued to meet regularly online at their usual times.

Connect Alloa have been fortunate with their funding bids and have been awarded grants by St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation and The Coalfields Adapt and Thrive Fund.  This funding will allow them to take on 2 part time staff members for 6 months and provide them with office space, money for creative weekends and refreshments for the young people who are part of Connect Alloa.

As things began to change, it was possible for the group to meet in person on a Friday evening for a Walk & Talk.  This involved the young people being able to meet at the Church and then go for a walk while talking about issues important to them.  This may be subject to change and those involved are asked to follow Connect on social media.  The Tuesday group is still online.

To find out more about Connect Alloa, check out their Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/connectalloa

There was an article about Connect Alloa in the local paper recently which  you can read here

https://www.alloaadvertiser.com/news/18793757.connect-alloa-utilise-outdoor-spaces-face-covid-19/

Ageing Well

In these testing times, many older people can feel isolated as visiting is restricted, organisations are not meeting as they used to do and they are not getting out and about as much as normal. However, there are still ways in which older people can look after their health – both physical and mental. This month Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface has chosen as its theme Ageing Well – with the focus on maintaining health and wellbeing as we age. They recognize that the opportunity to engage in hobbies and interests is vital. To this end, they will be sharing information on upcoming walking and cycling challenges to help motivate us all to explore our beautiful Wee County and you can also find the first Historic Talk by Susan Mills available to view via Youtube!

https://youtu.be/n6PyueKMQRc

If you want to improve your physical health, Clackmannanshire Council normally run a variety of classes including an Otago class with Kenny Cook. Our Guild members will remember the evening when Kenny had us all taking part in an Otago session! Kenny is currently running a survey to find out what the sport and physical activity interests of local residents would be in the post-Covid world. The survey can be found here and everyone who completes the adult survey will be entered into a prize draw.

https://clackmannanshire.citizenspace.com/education/adult-sport-and-physical-activity/

Sometimes it can seem like too much bother to cook a meal for one person but it is important to eat properly. Age UK have a series of leaflets about subjects like eating well, exercising and looking after mental health which can be accessed on their website.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/scotland/information-advice/health-and-wellbeing/

United Nations Day 24 October

The United Nations was established 75 years ago this year when the UN Charter came into force.  At that time, nations were suffering the effects of war and people wanted peace.  There are now 193 member nations and the UN still bases its work on the founding charter.  The Charter – among other things – talks about saving succeeding generations from “the scourge of war”, reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights.  It asks people to practise tolerance and to live together in peace with one another as good neighbours.

In this year of pandemic when debate is becoming ever more heated and more and more people are suffering from poverty it is perhaps time for us all to stop and think about how we are being affected and how our actions impact on others.  However, we should remember that times of struggle can become an opportunity for positive change and transformation.  If we think about things that have been happening locally over recent months with volunteers providing activity packs for youngsters during lockdown, food parcels being delivered to those who were shielding.  Communities came together and showed that good can come out of evil.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us in the most powerful way that we are closely interconnected and only by working together and in solidarity we can build resilience against future pandemics and other global challenges.  The Secretary General said recently,  On this anniversary, I ask people everywhere to join together. The United Nations not only stands with you… The United Nations belongs to you and is you.

This year the UN has released a video clip showing what people want for the future

https://youtu.be/wszIaKcBeJM

This year a concert is being broadcast to mark the anniversary at 5pm on 24 October 2020.   The performance will use the power of music and dance to “capture our collective commitment to cooperation, multilateralism and global solidarity”.  It will be available here

https://www.un.org/en/observances/un-day