Weekly Update – 19th January 2014

PLEDGE APPEAL FOR 2014 – To date 75 responses have been received with total extra giving of £8,420 (including recovered tax) promised in a full year towards the £13,400 target. These include 4 new pledges and 42 increases.  Grateful thanks to all who have responded.  However, more money is needed to be sure we can continue to maintain the work and mission of the Church at existing levels. Consequently, if you have not done so please return your pledge form immediately.  Spare pledge forms are available at the back of the Church.  Alternatively, if you are unable to change your giving you can simply send an email to Judith Pitchforth at judith@harbottle.demon.co.uk to confirm.  Thanks, David Ryder, Treasurer. 

ROBERT BEARD has now commenced as our new Worker with Students and Young Adults.  We look forward to supporting him in this important ministry.

FRIENDSHIP CLUB Wednesdays in the church lounge, 1.30  p.m. to 2.30 p.m. 22 January: Roger Glew presents “The George Formby story”. All welcome. Modest charge. Details: Rosalind 268 1426.

NEWS FROM THE VICAR Ian and Liz are grateful for all your concern and care.  Ian’s operation took place on Tuesday evening and the surgeon feels that it went well.  Ian is recovering with Nurse Tess on hand (well, foot and tail!) Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  Any cards sent  to the Vicarage will be redirected. 

DURING IAN’S ABSENCE While Ian is recovering it would be very helpful if church business could be directed to the Churchwardens, Mike Hunt and Gary Grief, and the Associate Vicar, Sue Hammersley then we can decide who’s best to follow it up.

NEW EMAIL ADDRESS for Gary: ggriefy@mybroadbandmail.com.  The old one’s defunct!

STATIONS OF LIFE There is a handout available explaining the purpose of the ‘Stations’ project.  The second station is due to be launched at our All Age Service on February 9th. If there is one you would like to be marked, please mention it to Sue Hammersley or Liz Anson.

NEW CAR PARK BARRIER will be installed on Friday 24th January.  All the numbered spaces are allocated for a fee. If you need to park in the church spaces during the week between 9am and 5pm, please apply to Anne and it may be possible to issue you with a permit for a particular day and time.  Please note that the church spaces are often in use in the daytime and must not be used without permission.  Thank you!

CELEBRATION EVENT TODAY It is the start of the week of Prayer for Christian Unity and to show our support for ecumenism, there’ll be a shared lunch after our Sunday morning service at St Andrew’s URC (12.30 pm), followed by a brief service (2.00 pm). We’ve taken on responsibility for the savoury course, and there will be lots of delicious offerings.  Please come along to help eat it, as well as to enjoy the joint service straight afterwards. 

SUNDAY LUNCH FOR “NEWCOMERS” on Feb 16th at 12.15. If you’ve joined St Mark’s in the last year or so this is an opportunity to get to know a smaller group of people and find out a bit more about what goes on here.  All are welcome so it would help with catering if you could sign on the sheet to say you’re planning to attend.  For more info call Sue Hammersley on 327 6908.

POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS WEEK begins on Sunday 26 January. Church Action on Poverty is holding a special ecumenical service at 2.30 pm at Holy Family RC Church 20 Eastern Drive, Arbourthorne, S2 3WP. All are welcome.

Paul Blomfield MP will be a guest at St Mark’s to talk about how we can all work together to alleviate poverty in his Constituency.

FLOWER ROTA FOR 2014 If you gave money last year for the flowers in church for a particular Sunday, please let me know if you want to continue for this year or if you want to be taken off the list.  If you are new and would like to donate money for a certain Sunday in the year please let me know as I am doing the flower rota now. Thanks, Mary-Jane Ryder, tel: 230 3242 or mjryder.ivypark@btinternet.com or see me in church.

ADRIAN THATCHER will lead our next CRC Conference, entitled ‘From Exclusion to Inclusion: Marriage for All,’ on Saturday 15 March, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm.  Adrian, an Anglican theologian and Visiting Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Exeter University, is an internationally recognised authority in the sphere of human sexuality, gender identity and marriage. Tickets: £14 (non-members), £12 (members) & £5 (students/unwaged). 

DISCUSSION GROUP on Thursdays at 11.00am will be looking at The Last Week by Marcus Borg and Dominic Crossan up until Lent.   All welcome.

ORGAN APPEAL UPDATE – The Appeal Fund is currently £97,300 just £2,700 short of our target.  It is not too late to give a pledge to meet our target. Pledge forms to our Treasurer, David Ryder, please.  Given the success of the Appeal, the PCC has decided to enter into a contract as soon as possible with Wood of Huddersfield, Organ Builders, with the work expected to start by May 2014.  Consequently it is now necessary to collect in all promised funds and David Ryder will shortly be contacting all those who have given pledges to request their payments.

COMMUNITY SERVICE VOLUNTEERS are looking for volunteers who can understand the difficulties faced by families and provide friendship, advice and support, working closely with Social Services. It’s about taking time to listen to families, acting as a strong role model and giving practical help and support. It is a demanding role but CSV will provide training and support every step of the way. To find out more see www.csv.org.uk or contact Terry Lowell on 0114 2057145; email t.lowell@csv.org.uk Helen Williams.

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