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.

 

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.  Beatrice’s prayers 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.    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.   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 in person this Sunday.

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 – and it has now restarted on a Thursday afternoon.  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 has started to meet again on a Monday afternoon in the Session House.  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 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.

Festival of Lights Winners

Visitors to the Festival of Lights last week were asked to vote for their favourite tree and it was a very close-run competition.  The favourite tree was “Look Aboot Ye” which was decorated by Gillian, Margaret and Janice.  Their tree was decorated with baubles which had pictures of Old Alloa inserted in them and it generated a lot of conversation as people remembered shops and places now long gone.  There were many beautifully decorated trees with the runners up being the Gingerbread Family and the Baptismal tree.  A lot of work was put in by those who sponsored and decorated the trees and there was a good turnout of visitors – despite Storm Arwen!

Winners of the prize draw held at the event were

Christmas Hamper – Millie Handy

Hot Chocolate – Liz McCallum and Mrs Higgins

Christmas Lantern – Jan McTaggart

Our thanks to everyone who helped to make a success of the event – those who sponsored trees, those who set up and organised the event and those who came and visited.  We couldn’t have done it without you so thank you and we hope we will be able to do it all again next year.

Christingle Service

This year the Christingle service will be held on 19 December.  We first started to hold a Christingle service in St Mungo’s more than 20 years ago and it is always a popular service.  No-one can be totally sure when the first Christingle service took place.  The Moravian church has held them for well over 200 years though they do not believe the custom began with them.  Our service is always a wonderful experience and an oasis of peace and calm and a time for reflection in the midst of Christmas preparations.

The Christingle itself, is something that reminds of us God and the good things he has done for his people.  It is made up of several parts:

The orange represents the world, our fallen world which is full of sin.  The candle in the orange reminds us that Jesus, the light of the world, came to this earth to help it.  The red ribbon around the centre of the orange helps us to remember that without Christmas there would be no Easter, when God gave us all a second chance.  The 4 cocktail sticks help us to remember that Jesus loves all the people of the world in the North, South, East and West.  Traditionally on the cocktail sticks are raisins although it is common now to have sweets instead.  They help us to remember the fruits of the earth and how good the world that God created really is.

We hope that you will enjoy the music and other parts of the service.  Normally we go forward to collect the Christingles but again there will be a change to this.  This year we are asking people to make a contribution to The Gate Food Bank.  This can either be a monetary donation or a donation of non-perishable food items, household items and baby products.  We look forward to seeing you at this service and we anticipate that the service will bring you peace and hope for the future.

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Social Care Sunday

Crossreach is the social care arm of the Church of Scotland and the underlying belief of the organisation is that with the right support, at the right time, every person can flourish and every life can be fulfilling.  They provide this support in a wide range of ways and places to a wide variety of people.  The story of Crossreach dates back to 1869 when the Church of Scotland formed a Committee on Christian Life and Work.  Once the information had been gathered the social care aspect of the work of the Church was put into motion.  The General Assembly established the Committee on Social Work so that the Church could take its full share in social and rescue work.  Since that time Crossreach has evolved but has always tried to provide the type of help and support felt to be needed at that time.   It has operated soup kitchens, hostels for working young women, provided support for discharged prisoners.  It opened its first residential home (Eventide home) for the elderly in the 1920s and also set up a People’s Palace Mission in the Cowgate in Edinburgh which provided a wide range of care and support for different groups in society.  The history of Crossreach is fascinating.

More recently, Crossreach has really widened out the range of support that it offers.  They provide emotional support in the form of counselling for those who are struggling with their mental health and this includes specialist counselling for those suffering from post- or peri-natal depression.  They provide day care for older adults including those with dementia.  They run “Heart for Art” sessions for people with dementia and their carers.  The Daisy Chain Early Years Project helps improve the bond between parent and child through a variety of activities.  This is just a very small snapshot of the work done.  Please take time to find out more about Crossreach – its work and how you can get involved.

St Mungo's News

This Sunday, 5 December,  is Communion Sunday.

The Craft group continues to meet in the Session House on a Monday afternoon between 2 and 4. The usual Covid protections will be in place.

The Sunday School restarted on 22 August and children are welcome to attend. The children come into the church for the first part of the service and then go through to the Session House for their own activities.

Connect Alloa usually have in-person sessions at the Church on Fridays and Saturdays. Their youth sessions resumed on Tuesday, July 27th. Numbers are limited so booking is essential. You can find out how to book on the Connect Alloa Facebook page.

After church teas and coffees continue to be served following th appropriate guidelines. If you would like to help with this, please speak to Joyce or Elma.

The Winter menu for the Cafe is now available on the Newsletter tab. The café now has a Facebook page, thanks to a member of Connect Alloa.

 

The Order of Service for 5 December and links to the hymns can be found on the What’s On page.

St Mungo’s Guild

The Guild met again last Thursday – 2 December – in the Session House at 2 pm.  As part of the opening remarks, we shared the most recent national Guild Newsletter with members which contained an item about the Christmas tree the Guild had sponsored in the Festival of Lights.  The theme we had chosen was Sunflowers to highlight the work being done by Starchild in Uganda.  As we are moving into the season of Advent and getting closer to Christmas, members had been asked to think about their favourite Christmas memories and share them with the rest of us.  There were many memories shared and a wide variety of topics were covered including toys, food, Christmas stockings, Christmas trees etc.  Some memories were very specific to that person while others were more general and resulted in wide ranging conversation.  Our next meeting will take the form of a festive afternoon tea in the church cafe

The Guild is open to everyone irrespective of gender.  Information about the Covid precautions in place can be found on the Newsletter tab above.

Current Events

Recent news from 121

Moderator to preach in childhood church

This Sunday the Moderator will preach in Annan Old Parish Church which he attended as he was growing up.  You can read more about why this is special for the Moderator.

Storm Arwen – a prayer for all those affected by the aftermath

Storm Arwen impacted on the lives of many people in Scotland and beyond as there were many power outages.  This week tribute was paid to those who had helped those affected and a prayer was said.

Church Advent Calendar

The theme of this year’s Advent Calendar  is Light in the Darkness.  Each day there is a story, video or prayer that highlights how church members around the country are celebrating the birth of Jesus and sharing their faith, hope and love with everyone in their communities.

St Andrews Day Service

At the St Andrew’s Day Service which was held in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, Lord Wallace, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Most Rev Mark Strange, the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, officially signed the Saint Andrew Declaration on behalf of the two churches.  The Declaration outlines a series of acknowledgments and commitments between the churches intended to deepen their relationship and look at new ways of working together to serve the people of Scotland.

 

The Guild Newsletter

In common with many other Guilds across the country we have started to meet in person but at national level the Guild is still producing a regular newsletter to keep members in touch.  In a recent newsletter there was news about special events that Guilds in different parts of the country are marking.

This week our own Guild tree from the Festival of Lights is featured.  There are also items about the meaning of the advent wreath and an item encouraging people to buy a crate of oranges to support refugees.  Unfortunately, because of cases of the new, more transmissible strain of Covid, the decision has been taken to cancel the Big Sing which was due to take place this Friday.  However, this week’s hymn is “O come, O come Emmanuel”.  Please read this week’s Guild Newsletter.

Chaplains from St Mungo's

The ministers of St Mungo’s were prepared to take on the role of army chaplain in both world wars.  Our Assistant Minister, Rev J G Edwards volunteered in September 1914 and was one of the first ministers in Alloa to volunteer.  Rev Scudamore Forbes was the minister for troops in Alloa from 1915 and by 1917 he was an Army Chaplain ministering to the troops in Egypt.  In November 1917, the Life and Work published an extract from a letter he sent to the Principal Chaplain about the joy he felt in holding a bible class where he sat with some of the men to sing hymns and gave an address on the Bible with special reference to their current surroundings.  He felt that being in Egypt made the men more interested in the Old Testament.  He fell ill and was hospitalised in Cairo but recovered and was able to return to St Mungo’s.

During WW2, two of our former assistant ministers were also chaplains.  Rev Gordon M R Bennett was chaplain to 2nd Battalion of the Royal Scots and, after the fall of Hong Kong continued to minister to them in the PoW camp where he spent the rest of the war.  Rev Andrew M Russell joined the Royal Artillery early in the war and thereafter became a chaplain in the campaign which took the 8th army from Alamein to Italy.  They were both back in the UK in time to take part in the Remembrance Day service in 1945.

Within the Church the names of all of those who died in WW1 are marked on the plaque in the porch and those from WW2 are commemorated in the memorial stained glass window in the church.

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

Billy has been busy preparing his new winter menu and a copy of this is available on the newsletter tab above.  There is something there to tempt everybody whether you just want coffee and a cake, a light lunch or even breakfast.

All of the necessary hygiene precautions are taken and the Café does, of course, follow the mandatory guidelines with regard to 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, 07395091107 or, during café opening hours, on the church number 01259 723004

Following on from the success of last year, the café will once again be serving Festive Afternoon teas on 4, 11 and 18 December at 12 noon and 2 pm.  As these are likely to be popular, booking is essential.