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

On 2 June 2011, we saw the induction and ordination of our minister, Rev Sang Yoon Cha, and since then 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 have weathered the pandemic which has had an impact on the number of people who attend church services in person.  The Church of Scotland is currently facing what is possibly its biggest challenge in many years with a national shortage of ministers and a move towards fewer churches.  We are now part of Perth Presbytery which covers a large part of Scotland from the former Angus Presbytery down to the former Stirling Presbytery and places in between. There are challenging times ahead but if we focus on the positives and work together – not only within our own church but also with other churches and the wider community – we will survive and grow.

 

You can read a copy of Sang’s sermon by clicking on the About Us tab above and then clicking on A Message from the Minister.  

Sunday Service

Covid restrictions have been eased and it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask in Church but, of course, you are welcome to continue to do so if it makes you feel safer.  From time to time there are Covid spikes in the local area so please be aware of this.    If you, or a member of your household, show symptoms of Covid 19 you may wish to do a lateral flow test before attending the Church service.  If the test is positive, please do not attend Church for the safety and wellbeing of others.

We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible in church on a Sunday morning but please feel free to take any precautions which make you feel safer.

Please note that if you are unable to attend the service, it is now livestreamed on Facebook. If you do attend the service, please be aware that the back 5 pews are out of camera range if you do not wish to appear on screen.

Get Involved

There are lots of ways you can get involved in the work and life of the church, it’s not all about the Sunday service.   However if you are at Church, you may wish to volunteer to help with the after Church teas and coffees.  You could also volunteer to help with the Café as Billy is always keen to welcome new helpers.  It may be that your talents include gardening and the Church always welcomes volunteers to help in the garden behind the Church.

You could attend the events organised by the Church throughout the year.  You could join the Alloa Guild – it is open to all – and meets on a Thursday afternoon between October and March.  The Craft Group meets on a Monday afternoon in the Session House between September and June.  It may be that you would be willing to do a Bible reading on a Sunday or help with the Sunday School.  You may have ideas of your own which could add to the life of the Church so please feel free to share them with us as we move forward.

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.  Easyfundraising has links with various online stores eg Argos, Just Eat and John Lewis among others.  If you go through Easyfundraising when making a purchase – and have chosen us as your charity – a donation is made to us at no additional cost to you.

Volunteers Week

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Each year, for the last 40 years, events have taken place across the country to celebrate the contribution made by those who are willing and able to give of their time to help others.  It is an opportunity to thank volunteers for the things they do to help make Clackmannanshire better with individual acts of kindness.  The annual Volunteer Award Ceremony in Clackmannanshire highlights the achievements of those volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve others, the environment, or their community.

Volunteering covers a wide range of activities and there is something available for everyone to take part in depending on their skills and talents.  Some people volunteer on a regular basis perhaps by helping in a local charity shop or behind the scenes in a local food bank.  Our own church café is run entirely by volunteers and the church garden is also maintained by volunteers.  Others may not be able to commit to a regular volunteering position due to other time pressures but can help out at one-off events like the Alloa half marathon, world gymnastics etc.

Volunteering has many benefits – both for the volunteer and those they are helping.  It may be that someone has just retired and feels a bit lost but volunteering can help them to find a new purpose in life and gives the opportunity to meet new people and try new things.  It may be that you have skills which would help others to have a better life.  For young people about to enter the job market, volunteering can help boost confidence and provide experience which will stand them in good stead when deciding on their career path.  Many volunteers speak about the pleasure they get from seeing the difference they make while having fun and making new friends.

There are many third sector organisations who would be delighted to welcome volunteers and you can get an idea of some of the opportunities out there on the Volunteer Scotland website.  If you are unsure and would rather speak to someone about the volunteering opportunities available in Clackmannanshire and how to find the best fit for you then you could email Christopher White, the CTSI Volunteer Development Officer –  christopher.white@ctsi.org.uk -or go into the CTSI office in the High Street in Alloa.

Carers Week 2024

Carers Week this year runs from 10-16 June with the theme “Putting Carers on the map” and is designed to highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities.  By raising awareness of unpaid carers, it is also hoped that more people will recognise themselves as unpaid carers and be able to access the help and support which is available.  An unpaid carer is defined as “a person of any age who provides unpaid help and support to wife, husband, partner, son, daughter, parent, relative, friend or neighbour who cannot manage without the carer’s help”.  The support provided may vary from shopping or collecting prescriptions to making meals, to dealing with personal hygiene issues, to just being there to provide emotional support in a difficult time for the cared for person.  A reduction in external services may mean that the cared for person is with the carer 24 hours a day 7 days a week while struggling to cope with a change in routine.  This can increase stress levels for both!

This year’s report – No choice but to care – which was produced by carersweek.org, indicates that an estimated 824,000 people who are currently providing or have previously provided unpaid care said that they had to take on the unpaid carer role because no other care options were available.  Figures from the Carers Trust suggest that there are an estimated 800,000 unpaid carers in Scotland including 30,000 young carers under the age of 18 with the value of unpaid care provided by carers in Scotland coming to £12.8 billion per year.  Many of these unpaid carers will find their finances have been adversely affected as they can either no longer work in paid employment or have had to reduce their hours.  Other costs, like heating, may be higher due to the needs of the cared for person.  Many people do not realise that they are carers and often a carer carries out the extra “because it is my Mum or child or spouse and it’s just what you do”.  Unfortunately, this can have an adverse effect on the health and wellbeing of the carer which can then impact on the cared for person.  One of the big issues for many carers is that they feel that there is little or no respite from the role.  In some areas day care has been removed which has resulted in carers being responsible for the cared for person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If the unpaid carer is a young person, their caring role could have an adverse impact on their future as they may feel unable to take up an apprenticeship or a college course because of the demands of caring on their time.  We are fortunate locally that Forth Valley College recognises this and has a Carers Charter in place and provides support and information for carers studying there.

There is help and support available and the local Carers Centre is always ready to listen and help carers to get the support they need.  During Carers Week, local Carers Centres provide activities for carers to give them a short break from their caring role.  Support locally is provided by Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre who also have a Facebook page.  Two local carers – an adult carer and a young adult carer – recently told their stories.

Within our congregation there will be many unpaid carers of all ages – you may be one of them.  Please remember them in your prayers but also reach out and offer practical support with even a 5-minute phone call.

The General Assembly 2024

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland met recently and, as always, a wide range of topics were covered and along with representatives of elders, deacons and ministers from the Church of Scotland, the Assembly welcomed and heard from representatives of a wide range of our ecumenical partners from both the UK and overseas.

Among the topics covered during the course of the week, delegates heard why the spiritual leader of a congregation in Gaza is calling for a ceasefire and, later in the week, the Assembly backed calls to urge the UK Government to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.  The Archbishop of canterbury also spoke briefly on this topic in his address to the Assembly. A fresh call for the establishment of safe and legal routes to the UK was issued and it was felt that separating refugees from families and communities and then sending them to Rwanda was inhumane.

In her report to the Assembly, Rae Lind, the Guild Convenor, outlined some of the work being done by the Guild over the last year to support those in need – just as the Guild has done for the last 137 years.  The Guild has raised a total of £425,321 for the current projects and also supports Ekwendeni hospital in Malawi and has been involved in the Green Canopy initiative which has seen a tree nursery being established.

You can read more about these as well as some of the other issues which were raised on the Church of Scotland news pages.  You can also watch some video highlights which include the daily worship, the Makaton Choir, the Strathaven learning Community Choir and the Lord High Commissioner’s address to the General Assembly as well as the reports from the various committees.

St Mungo’s Rotas

Flower Rota Duty Groups
16 June (communion) Mrs E Barrett Group C
23 June Mr D Mudie Group D
30 June Mrs B Campbell Group A
7 July Mrs C Wildau Group B

St Mungo’s Community Café

The café is normally open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week between 10 and 4.   The Spring/Summer menu is now available and a copy of this menu can be found by clicking on the Newsletter tab above.

Booking is advised for afternoon tea.  Please phone Billy to book a table  on his mobile, 07395 091107.

Current Events

Recent news from the wider Church

The Church pays tribute to 2 ministers

The Church of Scotland has paid tribute to 2 of its ministers who died recently.  Very Rev Dr James Simpson, a former Moderator of the General Assembly and Royal Chaplain was regarded as one of the most distinguished ministers in the Church.  A very well-attended service of thanksgiving for his life was held at St Leonard’s in the Fields Church in Perth.  As well as being a minister – he served in Dornoch Cathedral for 20 years before his retiral, he was also a well-known author and a keen golfer.  He was a popular after-dinner speaker and raised a lot of money for Cystic Fibrosis.  The other minister who has been recognised is Rev Dane Sherrard.  He had a variety of charges within his time in the Church of Scotland and was minister at Luss until his retiral to Duns where he planned to spend time helping his sister care for their mother, watching cricket in Durham and improving his golf.  However, he helped to keep Fogo Kirk, which was under threat of closure, open and a place where Christian of all denominations worship together.  A Service of Celebration of his life will be held on 22 June at St Andrew’s Church, Wallace Green, Berwick-upon-Tweed at 3.30pm.

Chariots of Fire Showing

Blackford Parish Church will be showing Chariots of Fire at 7pm on Sunday evening 30th June just one week before the 100th anniversary of Eric Liddell’s Gold medal run.

Dunblane Cathedral Sunday Matinee Recitals in June 

The Cathedral is holding recitals on the Flentrop organ, given by former Organ Scholars.   Recitals are held on Sunday afternoons at 3.00 p.m.  as follows

Sunday 9th      Steven McIntyre, Works by J S Bach ~ Frescobaldi ~ Boëllman

Sunday 16th       Mark Browne, Works by Bruhns ~ Mendelssohn ~ JS Bach

Sunday 23rd       David Hardie, Works by Liszt ~ Sweelinck ~ Franck

Sunday 30th        Chris Bragg, Works by Peretti ~ Scheidermann ~ Micheelsen

Admission is free but a retiring collection will be taken.  Refreshments are served afterwards in the Cathedral Halls.

Clackmannan Parish Church Open To Visitors

Clackmannan Parish Church will be open to visitors on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons between the hours of 2pm and 4pm from 11th June – 5th September 2024.  You are invited to pop in and admire the impressive oak panelling, the interesting historic graveyard with headstones dating back to the 17th century and the beautiful stained glass windows including the Coronation window – the only one in Scotland installed to commemorate the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Summer Solstice Concert in Aid of Mary’s Meals

Logie Kirk, Stirling is hosting a Summer Solstice Concert in Aid of Mary’s Meals featuring Rosie Lavery (The Ginger Soprano) and Anne Michels on Piano.  The Programme for the evening will Include Scottish Music, Classical Music and some well-known crowd pleasers.   The concert will take place on Friday 21 June at 7.30pm.  Doors open at 7.00pm and admission is by donation. Payment may be either cash or contactless.

St Mungo's News

This Sunday is Communion Sunday and the service will be taken by Rev Sang Cha at 11.15 am.  The Order of Service can be found on the What’s On page.  Please remember that you do not have to be a member to attend the Church service.  We are always happy to welcome new members as well as those who have attended in the past.  The Sunday School normally meets in the church for the first part of the service before going to the Session House to take part in age-appropriate work.  All children aged 3-11 are welcome to attend.

At a recent Kirk Session meeting it was agreed that we would reinstate the use of the display boards in the Porch to highlight matters of interest in St Mungo’s and the wider community.  The current display highlights some of the events and opportunities in our local area.

We have a box in the porch for donations to The Gate foodbank.  Your contributions make a difference to those who are finding it difficult to make ends meet in difficult financial times and donations are always welcome.

The Guild is collecting supplies for Ecwendeni Mission Hospital and donations can be put in the box in the porch.  Full details can be found there but even small items like plasters and bandages will be useful.  Donations must be in original packaging.  We are also taking part in the Church of Scotland stamp appeal and used postage stamps can be left in the porch.

Volunteers to help with the after-Church teas and coffees are always welcome.

There will be no Craft Group this Monday as the group finishes for the summer.

If you know of anyone who has moved, is ill, in hospital, passed away or gone into residential care, please let either your elder, the minister or Andrena know so that we can keep our information up to date.

The Good Shepherd window

This window is dedicated to the memory of William Duncan Bruce – who was an elder for 50 years – and his wife Elizabeth and last year we had a visit from one of their descendants who came over from California to see the window.  It depicts Jesus as the Good Shepherd carrying the lamb in one arm and his shepherd’s crook in the other hand.  In John 10, Jesus says,  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  In the parable of the lost sheep, a shepherd would leave his ninety-nine sheep and search for the lost one until he found it.  Once he had found it, he would put it on his shoulders and bring it home, happy that he had returned the lost one to the fold.

In our window, this is the image that is clearly seen but, if you look more closely, you can see another sheep lying at the feet of Jesus, showing that he values everyone.

How can you support the Church?

The Church is open for the Sunday service, and the work of the church is continuing.  This means that 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 or contact our Treasurer, Scott Maxwell (07711148762), and he will be happy to give you more information.  If you are a taxpayer, you may wish to Gift Aid your donations which will increase the amount of money the Church receives at no extra cost to you.  Forms are available from Scott Maxwell or Ann Anderson.

To find out about the ways in which you can support the Church – financially and otherwise – please click on the Support Us tab above.