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 this week’s sermon from Rev Jim Cochrane by clicking on the About Us tab above and then clicking on A Message from the Minister.  You will also find a copy of the prayer for Afghanistan 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 – 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.

Doors Open Day 2021

After a gap last year, we are once again taking part in the annual Doors Open Day event.  When attending the event you will be asked to sanitise your hands on entry and exit, wear a mask and give a contact name and number for Test and Protect.  This year we will be open on Saturday 25 September between 11 and 3.30 and Sunday 26 September between 12.30 and 3.30 and we look forward to meeting people from all over.  In previous years we have welcomed visitors from, among other places, Glasgow, Cumbernauld, Grangemouth and Stirling as well as those who live within the Wee County.  Check out the other places you can visit in Clackmannanshire on the Doors Open Day website.  After your visit, please go to the Doors Open Day website and complete the visitor feedback form.  You may win a prize in the prize draw!

The original St Mungo’s Church was at Greenside – next to Kilncraigs (the Council offices) – but was in a poor state of repair and too small for the congregation.  The story goes that Mrs Maxton, the minister’s wife, got so fed up getting wet on a Sunday from the leaky roof that she stood up and led the congregation across the road to the Tabernacle thus instigating change!  Her grave can still be seen in Greenside cemetery.  The current building was opened in 1819 and the spire has acted as a landmark ever since.  Ships coming up the Forth to Alloa knew they were almost home when they saw the spire.

We have many interesting and beautiful stained glass windows most of which are on the right hand side of the building as you enter.  Our most recent window is on the left hand side and on a sunny day the colours spread across the church.  There really is a lot to see in the building and we hope that you will come and visit.  Comments from previous visitors have included:-

 “A beautiful church – loved the windows.”  “Lovely church, delightful to see.”  “St Mungo’s Church is very nice and surrounded with good feelings and peace.”  “Beautiful stained glass windows.”  “The new window is very different in style but I love the vibrant colours.”

We are, of course, open for Sunday worship every week at 11.15 and we also have a Community café which is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday between 10 and 4.  Please feel free to come and join us at any of those times.

When you visit us on Doors Open Day, see how many of the items in the picture you can find.

International Literacy Day

For many of us over the last 18 months, the world of books has allowed us to escape from the stresses of our situation.  However, not everyone has been able to do so as some of us struggle with our reading for a variety of reasons.  The theme for this year’s International Literacy Day on 8 September is “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.  The pandemic caused disruption to school and college courses and has in some areas widened the gap in attainment.  Although efforts have been made to maintain literacy levels for children, if the parent or carer is not confident about their own skills they may find it difficult to help their child.  The move to distance learning requiring access to IT and lack of IT skills has also caused a problem for some.

Help is available for some of these issues.  CTSI here in Clackmannanshire has a Techshare scheme which can provide refurbished IT equipment to those who would not otherwise have access to it.   Therapets have worked successfully in schools and libraries with children who were struggling to read by getting them to read to the dogs.  Our local library runs Bookbug sessions, a scheme developed by the Scottish Book Trust, for pre-school children from birth to 5.  The Scottish Book Trust have a wide range of resources and activities  for all age groups to help people enhance their skills.  There is even one about how to join a Zoom meeting!  Good literacy skills can empower individuals to improve their lives by giving them the skills which allow them to choose a kind of life they can value.

Domestic Abuse

Over the period of the pandemic we have all had to deal with changes to our lives.  We may have experienced a greater degree of loneliness, been unable to meet friends etc.  For a growing number of people, unfortunately, there has been a far greater impact as levels of domestic abuse have risen over the last year.  This abuse can take many forms and can be both physical and emotional.  The common perception of domestic abuse is “the battered wife” where a woman is physically assaulted by her husband/partner.  However, this is only one type of domestic abuse.  The victim may be subject to constantly being told they are worthless, they may be cut off from friends and relatives, not allowed to handle their own finances and constantly being monitored. Men, women and children may all suffer from domestic abuse and even pets can be brought into it as a way of controlling the victim.

The important thing for someone subject to domestic abuse to remember is that they are not at fault.  There is help and support available for those who are experiencing abuse.  You can find more information at Citizen’s Advice Scotland or the Scottish Government website.  No-one should have to deal with this alone.  Sometimes things look fine on the surface but the reality is different.

St Mungo's News

This Sunday is Communion Sunday and we are pleased to once again welcome Rev Jim Cochrane who will be taking the service.

The Sunday School restarted on 22 August and children are welcome to attend.  The children come in to 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 where you will also be able to find out about the activities they are involved in as part of the Clackmannanshire Summer of Wellbeing.

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.

The Summer/Autumn  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, which can be found here.

 

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

The Order of Service for 19 September and links to the hymns can be found on the What’s On page.

The national Call to Prayer for 19 September  can also be found on the What’s On page.

Current Events

Recent news from 121

Community outreach “Music Hub” opens at Edinburgh church

Stockbridge Church started a community project last week which uses music to promote mental health and well-being.  It is being led by cellist Clea Friend who has performed with many well known musicians as well as working with people with special needs.  Read more about the Music Hub and why Miss Friend thinks it is important.  You can hear what she and the minister have to say here.

Talking Ministry – serving as a reader is ‘varied and good fun’

Tim Xenophontos-Hellen has been able to combine his job as a telecommunications engineer with preaching in churches in Dundee.  In a recent Talking Ministry  article, he spoke about his role as a Reader with the Church and how he got involved.  He talks about his calling in a video.

The Guild Newsletter

Although Guilds are now moving towards being able to meet again in person, at national level the Guild is still producing the weekly newsletter to keep members in touch.  In the newsletter of 8 September there is a message from Margaret Muir who is the new National Convener.   This week’s hymn is The Servant King and there is information about an offer for Guild members from Life and Work. Please read the Guild newsletter.

THE STORY OF SAINT MUNGO

St Mungo’s mother, Thanew, was cast adrift in a boat on the Forth by her father.  The boat came ashore at Culross where St Mungo was born.  Legend says that a bear fed them.  St Serf ran a monastery and school in Culross and he took them in and brought up Mungo whom he called Kentigern.  Mungo performed some miracles while in Culross and was unpopular with other boys who were jealous of him.  When he finished his training he moved west to the place which became Glasgow and set up a church.  One of the things he did involved a Queen.  She had given a ring to a knight.  The King took it from him while he slept and threw it into the river.  He then asked the Queen for it and threatened to kill her if she could not give him the ring.  St Mungo saved her by sending a monk to the river to bring back the first fish caught.  He then took the ring from its mouth.  St Mungo was so important that St Columba came to visit him.  The railing round the chancel illustrates some parts of this story.

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.   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 Summer/Autumn 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.