Lady Frances: Frances Balfour, Aristocrat Suffragist

Image of cover of bookOn Wednesday 16 May we will be hosting the launch of Joan Huffman’s biography of Lady Frances Balfour, who was strongly committed to Crown Court and instrumental in raising the funds necessary to build the church in which we now worship.

Tea will be available from 5.30 pm, and the launch will take place from 6 – 7 pm.  Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase on the night (£19.99).  Do come along and support this long-awaited event.


On Sunday 22 April, Colin Kinloch, brother of Emma, is running the London Marathon in support of Borderline.  Colin says the following about the charity:

This is a charity rooted in mission, embodying practical witness to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Not walking by on the other side, but by standing with those in need and offering a path to those who may have left theirs a very long time ago.  Their work is difficult but effective, painstaking but life-changing. Simply put, it is an act of love.  I’m running the London Marathon for Borderline, or more accurately for the people they serve, and I would be so grateful if you were able to help them deepen and widen their work with a donation of whatever size you feel able to make.  The money you are able to give will be put to work directly with people living on the margins in our city. It will bring light – it will both save lives and transform them.  I am going to run around our city.  I have no doubt it will hurt but I am lucky enough to have a home to return to.  The support of each of you will mean a great deal to me but even more to the people I am running for and the people Borderline works with every day.  Please give whatever you can.  And if you’re a UK taxpayer please let us know so that we can claim Gift Aid on your donation.

You can give online –, or by calling Borderline on 0845 4562190.

Easter Eggs for Bruce House

Easter eggs

Following the success of our Advent Bag project, when we collected chocolates and other small Christmas gifts for the residents of Bruce House, which were greatly appreciated, we invite members to bring in an Easter egg next Sunday, so that we can provide an Easter gift for the residents.  We need 41 eggs, and would ask that you spend no more than £4 on an egg, so that they are all similar in size.  Samples of suitable eggs are on display in the hall.

Tercentenary Celebration Dates

Planning is underway for a number of events to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the opening for worship of the original church on this site, on Sunday 24 March 1719.  A full programme will be available in due course, but here are some important dates for your diary:

  • Sunday 24 March 2019: special Tercentenary Service, at which the preacher will be the Moderator Designate of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Susan Brown.
  • Friday 3 May 2019:  Tercentenary Ball at the Caledonian Club.
  • Saturday 19 October 2019:  Tercentenary Ceilidh at St Columba’s Church, Pont Street, at which we hope to be joined by many friends from St Columba’s.

Lent Bible Study

The Minister is leading a series of Bible study sessions for Lent, which began on Wednesday 14 February, and will take place every Wednesday until 21 March.  The sessions are held in the vestry from 6.15 to 7.15 pm. Don’t worry if you can’t commit to attending all of the sessions: you will be very welcome whenever you are able to attend.

Wanted – Photographs of Crown Court

2019 will see the 300th anniversary of the establishment of the original church on this site, and as plans start to take shape for celebrating this auspicious occasion, we will be publishing articles about the church in various magazines and periodicals.  We would like to be able to illustrate these with good quality photographs of the church and its activities.  If anybody has such photographs, whether old or new, that they would be willing to lend for reproduction, and potential publication, please contact the Tercentenary Planning Committee through its secretary, Andy Tait through the church office, or at  And to help you with your future planning, see the “What’s on” pages of this website for the 2019 dates already agreed.

Organ Recital

On Saturday 17 March, at 4 pm at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, Thomas Trotter, Birmingham City Organist and Organist at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, will give a recital of music by Bach, Elgar, Wagner and others.  Admission free, retiring collection.

Green4Lent challenges

Westminster City Council has launched a Green4Lent challenge to encourage people to give up single use plastics, details are on the council’s website.

The Church of England has also issued a Lent Plastic Challenge with daily challenges to help reduce our reliance on plastic.

Annual Business Meeting of the congregation – Sunday 25 March

The agenda and reports for this meeting will be sent to members of the congregation a week prior to the meeting. Committee Conveners and Secretaries of church organisations are therefore asked to submit their reports by Sunday 11 March at the latest.

 This is an important meeting in the life of the church, as it provides information on how the church is being run and provides an opportunity for members to ask questions of office bearers on matters of interest to them.  So please do try to get to the meeting if you possibly can.

Church spring clean

Old postcard cartoon of spring cleaning
via Blue Mountains City Library, Flickr CC

The church spring clean will take place on Saturday 17 March.  Please put the date in your diary and be prepared to come along and help us to give the church and the hall their annual deep clean.


No previous experience is required: just elbow grease and a willingness to get your hands dirty!  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.