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 16 May is now available on the About Us page.  Just click on the Message from our Minister box.  This week’s prayer 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.

Deaf Awareness Week

Over the last year, the issue of loneliness and isolation has often been mentioned as people have had fewer opportunities to meet up with others in a bid to contain the coronavirus.  However, for many years there has been a large group of people who have suffered from isolation and loneliness due to the hidden disability of hearing loss and deafness.  When someone is unable to hear clearly they may opt out of situations where they cannot make out what people are saying or join in a conversation.  Some are profoundly deaf while others find it difficult to make out what is being said.  Help is available and many people now have hearing aids which fit discretely in their ears and amplify sounds allowing them to hear what others are saying.  Someone who has been deaf for a long time may have opted to learn British Sign Language (BSL) so that they can communicate with other deaf people.  We have all seen the BSL signers translating what is being said at the Coronavirus briefings.

There are things that we can all do to improve communication with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.  The UK Council on deafness has published some ideas which can be found here.  It can be frustrating trying to talk to someone who is hard of hearing but just as frustrating for the person you are talking to so try to stay calm and think of other ways to get the message across.  The RNID website is a good source of information about many aspects of deafness and if you feel you have an issue with your hearing – or know someone else who does – it is worth a visit.  The website can be found here.

Twin Your Vaccine

Over recent months, many of us have been fortunate enough to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  The programme is ongoing and every day, more people are given the opportunity to get the jag.  This has had the effect of reducing the numbers of people who have become very ill or even died after contracting the disease.  We are fortunate in the UK that we have access to the coronavirus vaccine but people in other parts of the world need it every bit as much as we do, if not more, given that they may not have access to the kind of health service we have.

Stirling Presbytery have brought the Twin My Vaccine initiative to our attention.  This initiative allows ordinary people like us to help our neighbours globally by donating the cost of our free vaccine to UNICEF to help fund their worldwide vaccination programme. More information about what UNICEF is doing can be found here.  The YouTube video here explains the benefits and is worth watching.

You can learn more about the project and give a donation on the Just Giving page here

Christian Aid Week

For more than 75 years Christian Aid has provided practical support for people across the world who are suffering the effects of poverty.  They also try to tackle injustice and support human rights in the countries they work in.  This year is particularly difficult for many people who were already living in poverty.  Climate change has resulted in crop failures in many countries.  On top of this the world pandemic has resulted in many deaths and those in the poorest countries who may already suffer poor health as a result of malnutrition cannot get the vaccine as neither they nor their Governments can afford it.  The UK Government has announced cuts in the Overseas Aid budget which adds to the problems.

The Church of Scotland is among the religious leaders who have called for an end to Vaccine Nationalism.  You can read why they think this is important here.  The Moderator recently completed the Kilt Walk to raise funds for Christian Aid and is hosting one of his famous Quiz nights on Facebook on Saturday 15 May.   You can read more about the work of Christian Aid and Christian Aid Week and how you can support the work they do here.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Over the last year, most of us have had to adapt to changes in the way we live and work.  Social contact has been reduced, we have not been able to meet family and friends, we have been working in isolation, interspersed with Zoom meetings where we may be wondering if we are being judged on the basis of our décor and tidiness.  Many people have been worried about contracting COVID-19.  Young children who test positive are asking “Am I going to die Mummy?”.  Mental health is worsening for many people however there is help available.

Mental Health organisations are encouraging people to raise the profile of mental health.  The theme this year is “Nature” as it has been noted that spending time outdoors can help people to relax.  As we, hopefully, head into the warmer summer days and restrictions continue to ease even a walk in the park can make a difference if we can tune into the beauty of nature around us.  The Mental Health Foundation has lots of tips about how to connect with nature which can be found here.  Mental Health UK has a range of podcasts where people discuss small things we can do to feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.  The podcasts can be found here.  They also have a “Plant a Tulip” scheme where you can download a picture of a tulip, colour it in blue and put it in your window to show support for Mental Health Awareness.  You can read more about it here.

Even little things like a friendly smile and saying hello in passing may make someone’s day seem brighter.  If you have concerns about your mental health – or that of someone you know – please seek help.

Website Updates

The February edition of the  St Mungo’s Guild newsletter is now available on the Newsletter tab.  The Spring/Summer  menu for the Cafe is also available there.

The service links for 16 May are available on the What’s On page.

The national Call to Prayer for 16 May can be found on the What’s On page.

Current Events

Recent news from 121

Church proposes alternative to UK Government asylum reform plans

Very Rev Dr Susan Brown said last week that the proposals for a new sovereign borders bill, set out in a consultation paper called the ‘New Plan for Immigration’, cause harm and suffering and breach the obligations of the UN refugee convention.  Dr Brown said: “Our congregations and communities across Scotland are enriched by the contribution and presence of people from all over the world, including asylum seekers and refugees.  As a Church, we proclaim a message that ‘all are welcome’ and that it is important that those who are in a position to offer assistance and sanctuary to fellow human beings in need should do so.”  The Church has also, in addition to the submission of views to the consultation process, signed two open letters to the UK Government.  You can read more about why this is important and find out what the Church said in its submission and also the content of the 2 letters by following the link here.

Scottish church leaders welcome Thy Kingdom Come prayer movement

Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for five people to come to know Jesus. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.  It takes place each year from Ascension to Pentecost and this year started on 13 May.  You can read more about it and find links to a wide variety of resources for all ages by clicking here.

Israelis and Palestinians urged to bring an end to violence

The Church is calling on the UK Government to use its influence to help bring an end to the current situation between Israelis and Palestinians.  Churches from around the world are urging all parties involved to refrain from further violence, and from all provocative and destabilising actions.  Read more about this here.

Memorial service commemorating famous World War Two battle

On 15 May, Blackhall St Columba’s held a memorial service to mark the anniversary of the end of the battle of Monte Cassino.  In 1952 the new minister brought to his charge a cross made at the battle of Monte Cassino where he had served as a military chaplain.   You can read more about this here.

The Guild newsletter – 11 May

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 – 11 May – among the usual variety of interesting items, you can read about what some guilds have been doing over recent months.  There is an item about a Guild member who received Maundy Money this year and a link to a video of a Guild meeting in North Berwick.  There is also a link to an article in Life and Work by Rev  Claire Sixt-Gateuille from Paris who talks about why we should be thankful for what we have.  This week’s hymn is “Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer”.  You can read the newsletter 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 hopes to reopen on 26 April if the current restrictions are 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.