All are welcome in this place
St John's Kirk of Perth
From Sunday 28 March 2021 the live streaming of the Sunday Service will commence at 09.30am
The Manse : Late June 2021
“He who sings prays twice” St Augustine
“God has created me to do Him some definite service…He does nothing in vain: He knows what he is about”
St John Henry Newman
My dear friends* of St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields and many other friends throughout the world: Hello!
Can it really be 58 years now since Cliff Richard’s “We’re all going on a summer holiday”?… and you are now breaking into song!
For many, the chance to be on holiday has finally arrived: for families with school-aged children the long wait is over. Spare a thought also for all who teach: they too, perhaps most of all in society, need a total rest.
Holidays are always special: the old spelling of the word was “holy days.” The original meaning of holy was “different, set apart” and a holy day was a chance to remember a saint of the church and enjoy a rest in his or her honour, as well as worship in the local church. In fact that is the pattern for the true meaning of a Sunday in our Christian tradition: and now a bonus: the chance to worship God with singing has at last come back.
What a difference it has made since both congregations sang for the first time since 15thMarch 2020 during Morning Service on the 13th June 2021. St Augustine’s words above take on an even greater significance.
However, during the lockdown months, Alex Stewart and I would often read out in Sunday worship the verses of each hymn, to be followed by the Organist playing the tune and, interestingly, that pattern appealed to many who told me that that style enabled a greater concentration on the meaning of the hymns’ words.
I read recently that a London Church which staged the premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s musical reflections on Cardinal Newman’s words, as above, used a similar technique when Newman’s words were read out by Alexander Armstrong.
How we participate varies: crucially what matters most is our approach, attitude and ability to honour God.
I hope that in these summer days which stretch ahead now during July and August, you will find many opportunities for rest, for re-creation, for a re-charging of your batteries in music, instrument and song, in poetry and prose – alongside perhaps a barbecue in your garden or on the beach, or a campfire on a hill or perhaps the building of a sand-castle with children or grandchildren and maybe many other restful pursuits; and, yes, the singing of songs or the reading of Scripture or the meditations of prayerful people, such as Augustine and Newman and no doubt many other great mystics – all of these are surely meant to enhance our well-being, spiritual, physical and emotional, as our hearts and minds incline to God and his love, amidst our families and the fellowship of the baptised.
Enjoy these summer days. Keep well. Swim safely. Walk far, climb carefully, holiday happily. Go with God.
My very best wishes
I know many across the world connect with us on Sunday Mornings to join with our Congregation in Worship. Perhaps, if you are reading this from afar or even near at hand, and wish to become a “Friend of St John’s”, I’d love to hear from you. If you can, look at our website and under the drop down menu heading “Support/donations”, you can read all about how to become a Friend. We need YOU!
Worship During Covid 19
The Scottish Government has removed the cap on the maximum number of people allowed to worship at one time. Each congregation is responsible for establishing their building's capacity level based on guidance provided by the Scottish Government. Our risk assessment has been updated and the maximum number of worshippers we feel can safely attend our weekly worship is 120. This is without using the Knox Chapel which is available should we require to accommodate more people
Reverend John Murdoch
As Minister I want to invite you as you read these lines to come inside this very special Church and meet the Congregation of a Kirk which has immense significance historically and nationally. It is a Kirk at the heart of Perth, with a community of faith which offers Worship on Sunday mornings at 9:30am or on Wednesday afternoons at 1pm.
Here we worship and serve God within ancient walls which tell of God’s grace and care over centuries and also within the Parish and community surrounding this sacred and holy place of pilgrimage, peace and prayer. Many visit St John’s every day and last year over 10,000 people entered the Kirk from almost every part of the world. I invite you to be part of our Kirk life where I hope you will find an oasis for Christian nurture, friendship and worship in our midst.
St John’s is an ancient and sacred space which allows you to be still, to sing, to pray and to commune with God as His Living Word in Jesus Christ is proclaimed by Grace.
Please, do come and join us as we do our best to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
"Let no-one be a stranger within these walls"
We invite into these ancient walls all who search for God and who seek the transforming love of Jesus Christ in Sacraments, in Scripture and in fellowship – with silence, prayer and music to uplift.