Do read to the end, not all new notices are at the beginning! 😊
DECEMBER SERVICES Following the meeting of the Standing Committee this week, and discussion with staff we have decide NOT to open St Mark’s for public worship on Sundays during December. We will review the situation in the new year. On Christmas Eve, however we propose to:
- hold an outdoor family Crib Services on the Green – see notice below.
- and will open the church for Midnight Mass at 11.30pm.
We will start taking bookings for both, and will make sure that this is managed to allow effective distancing in seating. David Willington will be contacting members of the choir regarding music for services but music will remain pre-recorded or performed by soloists.
Staff and volunteers have been working really hard on a fantastic selection of resources for Advent, and of course we will still be offering services via Zoom. Information about services, events and online resources can be found on our website. If you would like to attend the Midnight Mass service on December 24th, please contact the office before December 18th – numbers will be limited.
ST MARK’S ADVENT RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE are now available online, lots to do and get involved in, please do take a look. If you haven’t yet seen the videos that are being released on the St Mark’s Advent calendar and would like to, please contact the office or check the Friday email (For safeguarding purposes this link is only available by registering with the office for the weekly email.) Hannah and the team
IN MEMORIUM – Liz Collinson and Dan Keeble Some of you will remember Liz Collinson who was a member of St Mark’s congregation for several years in the late 1980’s. We have been notified that she has died aged 91, amongst her family, having been battling lung cancer since February. She is remembered as a lifetime determined fighter for social justice, a courageous Christian, and a lovely person who was part of a smaller prayer group within the community. Her funeral will be on December 17th in Devon.
This week also marks the 10th anniversary of the sudden death of Dan Keeble who was just 25 and contributed to the life and worship of this community in many ways including Lions and the annual Christmas alternative Nativity play. His death was a huge shock to the whole community and he is remembered at this time by many.
We are unable to gather for collective acts of remembrance so I invite you to make space at some stage in this week to pause, to think about Liz, Dan or someone else whose death has had an impact on you, to remember and celebrate their lives and to acknowledge your own sense of loss. If it is safe to do so, you may like to light a candle or simply to say this short prayer. Shan
We are in the presence of God, in our need and in our sorrow.
We are in the presence of God, in thankfulness for the life we knew and shared.
We are in the presence of God, seeking hope and courage for the future.
We are in the presence of God, who has promised to be with us now and always. Amen
CHRISTMAS EVE NATIVITY SERVICE We are delighted to be holding two outdoor services on the green at 3pm and 4pm. A pre-recorded service will also be available through the website from Christmas Eve. Please complete this form as soon as possible if you would like to attend the outdoor service. We expect to fill all the spaces available and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.Time allocations will be emailed once we are at full capacity and/or the form is closed on 18 December. Thank you for your patience as we collate the information and work to safely include as many people as possible. Hannah and the team
FRIENDSHIP CLUB Issue 11, the Christmas number of “Let’s Connect”, the club newsletter, is NOW out. If you would like to receive a copy, please tell Sarah in the church office. Rosalind
CHRISTINGLE SERVICE – THANK YOU! It was an absolute pleasure to see so many people coming together over zoom to enjoy the Christingle Service last week. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes who made it such a special occasion. Every year, the Christingle Service is a lovely opportunity to support the important work of the Children’s Society and this support is needed this year as much as any other. If you would like to join us in donating, please follow this link. Hannah and team
NEPALI HANDICRAFT SALE In previous year I have held a Nepali Handcraft Christmas gift stall after church during Advent. This year I have an attic full of woolly hats, scarves, mitts, yak wool blankets, pashminas and jewellery (mostly dangly earrings!) that I need to sell! Please email or me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a virtual tour. I will deliver any purchases within the Sheffield area. All money goes to Phaseworldwide one of St. Mark’s chosen International charities. Dilys
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S GREETINGS CARDS CAMPAIGN – WRITE FOR RIGHTS We are now at the start of this year’s campaign and things will have to be different from selling Amnesty cards at the back of church and handing out case sheets of this year’s victims of human rights infringements. You can purchase cards directly from Amnesty here and download/read the case sheets for Writing for Rights here. Robin Story
BROOMHILL COMMUNITY LIBRARY NEWS We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the Co-op’s local causes in this round, which runs from now until 23rd October 2021. We shall be featured in Crookes, Broad Lane and Clarkson Street Co-op stores after Christmas (they’re too busy in the run up to Christmas to do this now). However, you can shop at any Co-op and contribute to our cause. You can also encourage your friends and relatives anywhere in the country to nominate BCL as their cause too, by going to our dedicated page. We are currently open for order and collect – and really looking forward to be allowed to offer browsing and computer use – we will do that as soon as we can, in line with government guidance. Kathy Harbord
THE READING GROUP has found Tom Wright’s book, God and the Pandemic¸ so interesting (even though only 76 pages) that we’ve decided to give it more time. So if you’d like to join us for 40 minutes at 7.30pm on 13, 20 and 27 January please let Sarah in the parish office know and then I’ll be in touch. John Schofield
CHRISTMAS STAMPS As in previous years I’m collecting your stamps for charity (this year the RNIB – Royal National Institute of Blind People). Please save them up at home and I will let you know when you can drop them off at church in the New Year. Thanks. Sarah R
POSADA/DIGITAL ADVENT This year our Posada has gone online with a digital advent calendar! There are 24 lovely videos made by people throughout our community. A new video will be released each day with a different household, gradually telling the story of the nativity and taking a few minutes to lead us in a prayer for the world and sharing their unique hospitality! For Safeguarding reasons, the link for this will be available on the St Mark’s Friday email, or you can request the link from the office. Hannah
CLC BOOKSHOP GOOD/SAD NEWS The GOOD news is that CLC Bookshops Sheffield is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday (yes, six days a week). If you prefer, you can order via 01142724663 or 03308181000 for delivery or collection. The website clcbookshops.com works for delivery too. The SAD news is that a very hard decision has had to be made. The bookshop will close permanently on Saturday, 16th January – and we know that this will come as a shock and blow to many of our valued customers.
LIGHTS OF HOPE As the nights draw in and lockdown restrictions increase, we invite you to pause with us every Thursday at 7pm and make space for hope by placing a light in your window. As you place your light, you may wish to say: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1.5 ESV) Cate.
SILVER ECO-CHURCH AWARD FOR ST MARK’S It is only the third such award in the diocese. The application was submitted by our environmental group, with help from other people, but there are only three of us and there is a lot of work to do, for example the diocese will be committing to becoming net carbon neutral by 2030. We will need to be part of that and it will be testing. Possible areas of work we have in mind are:
- Helping St Marks work towards the Gold eco church award. This will be a challenge and your involvement could help us get there.
- Arrange a meeting with Paul Blomfield MP, whose constituency covers St Mark’s, to seek his advice, amongst other things, about what we could do to prepare for the vital 26th UN Climate Change Conference taking place in November 2021 in Glasgow.
- Working with St John Ranmoor and St Timothy’s, Crookes as much as possible.
- Working on the Crescent garden, especially with the children and exploring the possibility of a church allotment or cooperating with Broomhill library on their garden.
If you would like to consider joining us please contact the office – we’d love to hear from you. Margot Fox, Michael Bayley & Kathy Harbord.
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES’ PROVISION for the next few weeks – Sadly we have had to suspend our ‘Gatherings on the Green’ for the time being. In place of this there will be a family breakout zoom (details in the Friday email) at 9.30am each Sunday for a short liturgy and reflection/idea that you might want to take outdoors and explore further together throughout the day. Please contact me email@example.com for more information. Hannah
SUPPORTING LOCAL FOODBANKS Usually at this time of year we would be collecting additional items for the foodbanks ready for Christmas. Foodbanks have experienced a huge increase in need as the Coronavirus crisis has continued. Please go to their websites and make a monetary donation or find out where you can drop off items they need most at this time. Thank you. Shan
TOP TIPS FOR MENTAL WELL BEING We all react differently to change in our lives and measures to limit the spread of Coronovirus have impacted on each of us in different ways. Send me your top tips for looking after your mental, physical or spiritual health and we will share them on the website over the next few weeks. Your coping strategy might be just what someone else needs to help them through a rough patch. Shan
PRIVATE PRAYER IN ST MARK’S We are pleased that individuals (& households) are still able to attend pre-booked quiet prayer in St Mark’s. Please contact the office to book but it is helpful if you suggest your availability. An email will be sent outlining the necessary precautions. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Sarah R
FRIENDSHIP CLUB Members of the Lunch and Friendship Club are celebrating St Nicholas Day this weekend with special gifts delivered by the helpers. Issue 10, the latest number of “Let’s Connect”, the club newsletter, is now out. If you would like to receive a copy, please tell Sarah in the church office. Rosalind
BIG DIP CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE Thank you so much to everyone who donated to REACH Bwindi last week. Jen swam outdoors every day for a week, including in the snow! We raised an amazing £5548 which will support Bwindi Community Hospital to expand their community outreach services to include non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. See reachbwindi.com for more updates and a video of the swim! Jen & Ceri
CHRISTIAN AID ADVENT CAROLS Sheffield Christian Aid usually organises a day of carolling in the city centre to raise money in December. This year they have been creative and moved this online! Follow the YouTube channel for a carol a day during December. Look out for some St Mark’s faces! . They have a donations page.
MARK’S MESSENGER Subscribers should now have had an email with the December edition – please let me know if you haven’t received this and are expecting to. Did you know that there is a massive back catalogue of editions as far back as 2011 online too – why not have a browse. Sarah R
VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED FOR TECH TEAMS – A FRIEND OR NEIGHBOUR? As we continue to develop our worship both online and in the building, we would like to grow the teams who have been making this possible. If you, or someone you know, are confident with technology and would like to help with Zoom or with the sound desk, please email email@example.com. Role descriptions are available here. Cate
CONTACT DETAILS FOR SARAH & STEPHEN COLVER As we leave St Mark’s we have so much to be grateful for, including such generous leaving gifts; but most of all we give thanks for you all, such a wonderful community of faith, hope, love and joy. We will miss you very much, but if you’d like to keep in touch please do. Sarah – 25 Oldridge Close, Holme Hall, Chesterfield, S40 4UF (email firstname.lastname@example.org); Stephen – Flat 6, 36 Millhouses Lane, Millhouses, Sheffield, S7 2HB (email email@example.com). Sarah
WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU – Each week during morning and evening prayer, the clergy and pastoral care team pray for each one of you. If you have a specific prayer request for the pastoral care team or for intercessions at services, please let us know by e-mailing office@stmarkssheffield,co.uk or by contacting one of the clergy. Specific requests will remain on the intercessory prayer list for 4 weeks. If there is a need for the request to remain in the prayers for longer, please have a conversation with one of the clergy team. Thank you. Shan
ADVENT WINDOWS – Week 2 – Broomhall – Fulwood – Ranmoor – the windows for the second week of advent will be up from Mon 7 December. Visit between 5pm and 9pm to see them lit up. Locations are on our website or keep an eye out on our Facebook page for daily photos to enjoy. Jen Ryder
15)“A great company of angels appeared praising God” Luke 2:13. Crimicar Lane, Fulwood
16) “The angel told the shepherds to go to Bethlehem to see the baby” Luke 2:12. Southbourne Rd, Broomhall
17) “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son” John 3:16. Clarke Drive, Broomhill
18) “This is good news for you which will bring great joy for all people” Luke 2:10. Hangingwater Rd, Hangingwater
19) “Jesus said ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12. Broomhill library, Taptonville Rd, Broomhill
20) “Glory to God in Heaven and on earth peace to all” Luke 2:14. Endcliffe Grove Ave, Ranmoor
21) “Strangers from the east, men who studied the stars, observed a new star in the eastern sky” Matthew 2. Hangingwater Rd, Hangingwater
The windows will be lit up from 5pm – 9pm every evening.
For more precise locations see the interactive map.
For those who can’t get out to see the windows, here’s a selection from last week – aren’t they fantastic!