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.  

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.  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 Mental Health Day

Mental health is a vital national issue at the best of times, but the need for meaningful support in the community has become even more relevant as we’ve navigated the challenges of the pandemic.  The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on people’s mental health over the last 18 months.  Over the world, close to one billion people have a mental disorder and anyone, anywhere, can be affected.  Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from depression.  Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experience a mental disorder with half of all such disorders starting by age 14 years but most are undetected and untreated. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29 years and Clackmannanshire has a high rate of young male suicide.

However, some of the most common mental health conditions, depression and anxiety, can be treated with talking therapies, medication, or a combination of these.  For every £1 invested in scaled-up treatment for depression and anxiety, there is a return of £5.  Regular health checks of people with severe mental disorders can prevent premature death.  The quality of life of people living with conditions such as autism and dementia can be greatly improved when their caregivers receive appropriate training.  The rights of people living with mental health conditions can be protected and promoted through mental health legislation, policy, development of affordable, quality community-based mental health services and the involvement of people with lived experience.  There is investment in this country in mental health services but we can all play a part.

Mental Health UK has some really useful information about types of mental health conditions and advice about  health-and-wellbeing.  They also have a Conversation Guide which gives advice on how to speak to someone who may have poor mental health.  The World Health Organisation also have some useful information about depression.

Challenge Poverty Week

Each year, the first week in October is marked as “Challenge Poverty Week” and the timing this year seems particularly appropriate.  In Clackmannanshire, roughly 1 in 4 children are living in poverty.  Many families in work are having to use food banks as they cannot afford to buy groceries.  On top of this, fuel prices are rising making travel, heating and cooking more expensive.  Food shortages are likely to result in higher prices.  Over recent months, the furlough scheme and the increase in benefits like Universal credit have helped to keep families afloat but these are being ended and National Insurance rates are set to be increased which will hit those on or below the poverty line hard.

As Christians we believe in justice and compassion and having so many people living in poverty is wrong and unjust.  This week is an opportunity for you to raise your voice against poverty and unite with others in calling for a more just and equal Scotland.  Some of the key messages of Challenge Poverty Week 2021 are

  • Too many people in our society are locked in the grip of poverty, restricted from playing a full role in society.
  • But in Scotland, we all agree that poverty can, and must, be solved.
  • By redesigning our economy to reflect our shared values of justice and compassion, we can unlock poverty’s grip.

To learn more and find out how you can get involved, visit the Challenge Poverty Week website.

National Giving Day

At the General Assembly earlier this year, it was agreed that congregations should be encouraged to take part in a church-wide National Giving Day at a time of their choosing between Sunday 5 September and Sunday 31 October 2021.  Here in St Mungo’s, it was decided to mark it on 3 October which will also be Harvest Thanksgiving.  Please take time to watch  the message from The Moderator on this topic.

This day will give people of all ages a chance to reflect on God’s presence with us through these challenging times and to consider what gifts of thanksgiving could be given back to God.  This past 18 months has been hard for everyone and it can be easy to forget about the things for which we can be thankful.  We can be thankful for having a home to stay in, for friends and family and for being alive.  We can appreciate the natural beauty around us – blue skies, autumn foliage or even the way the Ochils look different every day as the light plays on them.

This has been a difficult time financially for many, including the Church.  We all have regular bills to pay, even when income is reduced.  The Church has been there throughout it all with Sunday services online and many members trying to keep in touch with one another.  We would encourage you all to think about how you can be there for the Church.

Gifts can take many forms and can include offerings of time and effort as well as monetary gifts that can be used for an agreed purpose.  We would encourage all members to take part in this initiative.  You may decide to give a financial donation which would be appreciated as the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have resulted in a drop in income for the Church.  However, we also realise that things are tight financially for many people and you may wish to donate your time and talents instead.  You could knit hats for seafarers or for premature babies.  You could help with the Sunday School or volunteer in the café.  You could do a Bible reading on a Sunday.  There are other ideas in the month’s Parishioner and anything you can give will be appreciated whether it is financial or your talents.

St Mungo's News

This Sunday, 10 October, our minister Rev Sang Yoon Cha will take our weekly service which includes the Dedication of the Guild.

Congratulations to Islay, our organist, who recently took part in the London Marathon and has raised over £700 so far for Alzheimer Scotland in memory of her mother.

 

The Craft group will 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 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.

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.

 

The Order of Service for 17 October and links to the hymns can be found on the What’s On page.

The national Call to Prayer for 17 October  can also be found on the What’s On page.

Current Events

Recent news from 121

Stunning new public artwork of Christian crosses unveiled at Glasgow church

St Rollox Church in Glasgow, which opened 2 years ago after the previous building was subject to a compulsory purchase order by Glasgow City Council, has unveiled a stunning piece of art work.  Entitled “Assembly”, the piece is comprised of 33 different styles of crosses and was created by prizewinning sculptor Michael Visocchi.  You can read more about the inspiration behind the project and about St Rollox Church.

New pilgrimage walk launched in honour of Glasgow’s patron saint

Dr Bill Jack and his wife Christine, both over 80, have worked out a route in honour of the founder and patron saint of Glasgow, St Mungo who, as we know, is also known as St Kentigern.  The couple set out to walk the route on 8 October and hope to complete it by 19 October.  The route goes from Annan to Glasgow Cathedral.  Follow the link to read more about this amazing couple and the Kentigern Way.

Young Christians on 1200-mile walk to COP26 reach Scotland

A group of young Christians who are walking from Cornwall to the COP26 in Glasgow as part of their campaign for climate justice, crossed the border into Scotland.  Follow the link to find out more about the group, what the Faith Impacrt Forum is saying about it and the reasons for the campaign.

Some highlights of The Moderator’s visit to Edinburgh Presbytery

As part of the visit, Lord Wallace visited  Greyfriars Charteris Centre which is a new community hub being developed by  Greyfriars Kirk to provide a safe space to help people from different backgrounds to flourish.    He also visited a clothing recycling project  set up by Granton Parish Church to promote recycling and help out those who are struggling.

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 4 October there was news about some Guilds which have reopened or are planning to do so.  The theme of the final year of the previous strategy was “The Extra Mile”.   The Vice-convenor has an item about how  she experienced people going the extra mile in her own life. This week’s hymn is There is a hope.  Please read the Guild newsletter.

St Mungo Statue

In the previous St Mungo’s Church at Greenside, in a niche high up on the east wall of the tower overlooking the sanctuary was a statue of St Mungo attired in 17th century costume with a book in his hands.

Until a number of years ago St Mungo still looked down from his lofty perch on the side of the tower but he was being ravaged by the weather and had become the target of some mindless vandalism.  It was then decided, by the local authority, that he should be removed for his own safety.  St Mungo has been lovingly looked after and some of the damage he has sustained has been repaired. The statue provides a very tangible link with the past – right back to the late 1600s.

As a result of speaking to the local authority and the Church of Scotland Church Art and Architecture Committee, arrangements were made for St Mungo to return to St Mungo’s in February 2017 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the new St Mungo’s in February 1817. He now stands in the sanctuary just outside the vestry door keeping a watchful eye on things!

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.

St Mungo’s Guild

The Guild Dedication service took place on Sunday 17 October as we start our new session of The Guild.  The Guild will meet on Thursday 21 October at 2 pm in the Session House when our speaker will be Robert Thomson.  Robert will be showing us pictures of Alloa from 1945-1975 and we are sure that this will result in a lot of discussion about the changes that have taken place.  It is always interesting to see how places develop and change over time so please feel free to come along and join us.  The Guild is open to everyone irrespective of gender.  If you forgot your subscription at the last meeting in the excitement of meeting up in person, please put it in an envelope with your name on it and give it to Jean this Thursday.

You can check out the Covid precautions in the “What to expect at a Guild meeting” newsletter on the Newsletter tab above.