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 13 June is now available on the About Us page.  Just click on the Message from our Minister box.  This week’s prayers by Beatrice can also be found there.

Sunday Service

WE ARE OPEN!

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 decide to attend the service, having assessed the risk to yourself and others, it is important to maintain social distance and wear a face covering.  You may have to queue outside the church if a few people arrive at the same time.  A maximum of 50 people will be allowed into the building.  Once inside the building you will be asked to provide contact details – full name and contact telephone number – in line with track and trace guidelines.

On arrival you will be asked to use the hand sanitiser provided.  As there will be no singing, you will not be issued with a hymn book.   Your collection should be placed in the plate at the back of the church as you come in.  You may wish instead to set up a standing order so that you do not need to carry cash.  The elders on duty can give you the necessary details.

Once inside you will find arrows on the floor to show you which direction to go in.  Pews have been marked off so that social distancing can be maintained.  Please follow these directions.

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 produced a special edition of the Weekly Parishioner when we were able to open last year, 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 above and choosing Church reopening.

We hope to see you again in person this Sunday but if more than 50 people attend, we may have to turn you away to comply with the regulations. People of all ages count towards the maximum number and this includes the minister, organist and elders on duty.

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.  You could join the Guild – it is open to all – when we, hopefully, restart in the autumn.  You could volunteer to help with the Café.  Billy is always keen to welcome new helpers.  You could attend the events organised by the Church throughout the year.  The Craft Group hopes to start meeting again on a Monday afternoon after the summer.  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 head back to a new normality.

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.

World Refugee Day 2021

It is now 70 years since the UN Refugee Convention was established which gave rights to people who have fled home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”.  There have been refugees who have been forced from their homes for hundreds of years.  Crofters forced out of Scotland at the time of the Highland Clearances, families forced out of Ireland because of the potato famine, Ugandan Indians forced out by a change in political regime are just some examples from previous years.

Here in Alloa we have welcomed refugees for many years.  After WW2, there were many Polish ex-servicemen who were unable to return home due to a change in the political regime and they settled and were absorbed into the community.  More than 40 years ago, some of the Vietnamese Boat people who were forced to flee Vietnam settled in Clackmannanshire.  Many of them arrived in this country after being rescued from overcrowded boats by the Royal Navy with only the clothes they were wearing.  More recently we have welcomed Syrian refugees into the community and many of them have set up in business for themselves.  People who arrive as refugees have often undergone a terrifying ordeal living in overcrowded camps, been raped, been exploited and living in fear of their lives.

The aim of World Refugee Day is to highlight not only the difficulties faced by refugees but also the strength of character they have shown.  This year, the theme is “Together we heal, learn and shine” and you can learn more about it on the UN Refugee Agency website here.  Locally, a group was set up to welcome and support the Syrian refugees who arrived in the area.  Forth Valley Welcome covers the Clackmannanshire and Stirling areas and you can find out more about them on their Facebook page here.

General Assembly 2021: Special Supplement

Life and Work has been the magazine of the Church of Scotland since 1879 when it was established by Archibald Hamilton Charteris who also set up the Women’s Guild, which was renamed The Guild when it became open to all.  Life and Work was voted best Member Magazine of the Year in 2004 at the PPA Scottish magazine awards and has been shortlisted many times since.  Every month it contains a wide variety of interesting and thought-provoking articles covering a wide spectrum of topics.

Life and Work has now released a FREE four-page summary of the main decisions, debates and speeches from last week’s General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which is available here to view on their website

You can read the magazine’s full coverage of the General Assembly in the July issue of Life and Work, available from 18 June. If you do not receive a copy of Life and Work each month, you can purchase a single print or digital copy via their website here or by speaking to Anne or John at the church.  We hope you enjoy reading the summary and consider a subscription.

Job Opportunity for 16-24 Year olds

Recent news items have highlighted that young people aged 16-24 have been most adversely affected by changes in the labour market since the start of the pandemic.  Published analysis on unemployment shows that prolonged unemployment makes it more difficult to get back into work, and leads to a drop in future earnings relative to those of employed people with similar skill sets. Further, employers may become hesitant to hire people who have had long unemployment spells in case of depreciated skills.  This sounds like a bleak picture for anyone in this position but there are still opportunities out there.

If you are aged 16-24, trying to get a foot on the employment ladder then the job for you might be out there.  If you would like to work for an organisation which is committed to positively supporting people to overcome the negative impacts on their lives of trauma, ill-health, poverty, inequality and isolation, Link Living have paid opportunities across Scotland to help you start your working life. Starting on 28 June, these are rewarding, real jobs where you will learn and develop skills and fill up your CV.

There are roles in digital engagement, learning and development, communications and media and project management.  These jobs are for 6 month contracts and will be homeworking to begin with but you will hopefully get office experience too depending on government guidelines.  These jobs, part of the government’s Kickstart Scheme, are 25 hours per week, pay National Living Wage and offer employability support and mentorship.

Leap over the brick wall, Kickstart your career and apply through your closest job centre or contact graeme.mcwhirter@linkliving.org.uk or St Mungo’s Church member Leigh-Ann Mcmillan – lar@linkhaldt.co.uk for more information.

St Mungo's News

Connect Alloa, the youth club which meets in the Church has a vacancy for a youth worker.  Find out more about Connect Alloa and this opportunity on the Groups page – scroll down to the bottom of the Groups page!

Connect Alloa are having in-person sessions at the Church on Fridays and Saturdays from 21 May.  Numbers are limited so booking is essential.  Find out more – including how to book – by following the link  here.

After church teas and coffees have restarted as restrictions are easing.  If you would like to help with this, please speak to Joyce or Elma.

There will be a Session Meeting at 7.30 in the Church on Monday 21 June.

The Spring/Summer  menu for the Cafe is now available on the Newsletter tab.

Our May St Mungo’s Guild newsletter is available on the Newsletter tab.

The service links for 20 June are available on the What’s On page.

The national Call to Prayer for 20 June can be found on the What’s On page.

Current Events

Recent news from 121

Church members support the value of in-person fellowship as online services flourish

The full results of the Kirk’s Listening Project have now been published.  The research team found that there was a wide range of experiences of faith and church during the pandemic.  You can read more about what people said about how they felt about the way things have changed and what they feel is important here.

An 81 year old elder completed an epic cycle to raise £9,000 for Bothwell church

A church elder has raised £9,000 after completing a virtual bike ride.  Harry Marsh, 81, pedalled for a total of 62 hours in his garage to complete a virtual bike ride between Land’s End and John O’Groats which saw him hitting speeds of up to 40mph on downhill stretchesYou can read more about Harry’s experience and why he did it here.

Teenage orphan told he can stay in Scotland permanently

A few weeks ago we reported that the Church of Scotland has tirelessly campaigned for nearly three-and-a-half years to ensure that Giorgi Kakava, 13, and his grandmother were not removed from their home against their will. This week the Home Office has finally granted him the right to remain indefinitely in the city that has been home to him for the last 10 years.  You can read more about Giorgi’s story here.

The Guild Newsletter 14 June

For some months now the Guild, nationally, has been producing a newsletter which is emailed out to members during the period when Guilds have been unable to meet in person.  In this week’s newsletter – 14 June – among the usual variety of interesting items, you can read about what some guilds have been doing over recent months.  The Guild at Dundee West have produced a video about the Guild which is worth watching.  There is a reminder about the Big Sing on Friday and the hymn of the week is “Beauty from Brokenness”.  You can read about these things and much more here.

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.  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 now open for the Sunday service with restricted numbers, and the other work of the church is still 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 and we will be happy to give you more information.

A new way in which you can support us is by shopping with Amazon Smile.  Amazon Smile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same experience as on amazon.co.uk. The difference is that when you shop by following the link below, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to St Mungo’s. Only purchases made through smile.amazon.co.uk are eligible to generate donations. There is no cost either to you or the church.  When you first click here you may be asked to set up an Amazon Smile account and choose a charity.   Select St Mungo’s Parish Church Alloa and every time you purchase goods from Amazon, the church gets a donation paid directly into our bank account.

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

St Mungo’s Community Café

We are pleased to be able to say that our Community Café in the social area at the back of the Church reopened on 26 April when the current restrictions were eased as planned.  A lot of work had to be done to prepare for the opening and much of this continues 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.  Under the current guidelines a maximum of 6 people from 2 households may meet up in the café.  If you would like to volunteer to help with the café, please get in touch with Billy to see how you may be able to help.

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, 07395 091107 or, during café opening hours, on the church number 01259 723004.   Billy, our chef, has been busy preparing his menus and a copy of the new Spring/Summer menu can be found by clicking on the Newsletter tab above.

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.  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 cakes away in our lovely take away boxes.

We have had many positive comments from people who have visited the café so far.  We hope that you will come and enjoy spending time in the tranquil setting of the Church café.  You can be assured of a warm welcome whether you come on your own or with friends.