Do read to the end, not all new notices are at the beginning! 😊
DECEMBER SERVICES Following the meeting of the Standing Committee this wweek, 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 Service on the Green (time tbc);
- 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.
CHRISTINGLE ZOOM SERVICE – 3.30pm THIS SUNDAY It is not too late to join us for this lovely Zoom Christingle Service. We will be on the green for an hour at 9.30am and again at 2.30pm on Saturday handing out Christingle bags and we do have a few spare if you would like to collect one, or know someone who might like to join us. Having Christingle resources are not essential though – you’re welcome to join the fellowship of the service without making one! The Zoom code will be available via the Friday email. You can also join us in supporting The Children’s Society this advent by visiting their website. Hannah
ST MARK’S ADVENT RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE are now available online, lots to do and get involved in, please do take a look. Hannah and the 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 email@example.com 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
GOD AND THE PANDEMIC The Reading Group will be meeting on Zoom on 9th and 16th December, 7.30 to 8.10 to discuss Tom Wright’s short book, available as paperback and ebook from SPCK. If you’d like to join, please contact Sarah in the church office. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Hannah
TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS Being unable to all worship together in the building each week has impacted on different people in many different ways. One impact has been not having the same sense of community with the wider congregation. Whilst there are lots of friendships and groups (eg, lunch club, the children and families), we felt it would be nice for people to have the opportunity to link in with others over Christmas. We’re inviting you to make a phone-call, a ‘doorstep visit’ or send a card (or any other creative ideas) to one other household over Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. We will link people up fairly randomly, though with some thought for geographical closeness. If you would like to be part of this, could you email Rosie – email@example.com– before Friday 11th December. If you know of someone who would value this but may not read the email, please do let them know too). Rosie
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 CHALLENGE Jen Ryder is swimming outdoors every day in the first week in December to raise money for community health services at Bwindi Community Hospital in Uganda (where Ceri worked) through the UK charity REACH Bwindi. This is part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge, a match funding campaign where donations are doubled between 1st-8th Dec. See reachbwindi.com for more details or https://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/christmas-challenge-2020 to donate (search for REACH Bwindi) or the REACH Bwindi facebook page for photographic evidence!
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 – Walkley – Stannington – Nether Edge – 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
The windows will be lit up from 5pm – 9pm every evening.
8) “Caesar issued a decree that a census should be taken. Everyone went to their own town to be registered” Luke 2:3-4. Rupert Rd, Nether Edge
9) “Joseph and Mary travelled from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea” Luke 2:4. Daniel Hill St, Walkley
10) “They stayed in a stable because there was no room for them in the inn” Luke 2:7. Bannerdale Rd, Carterknowle
11) “That night a Saviour was born – Christ the Lord” Luke 2:11. Cundy St, Walkley
12) “Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger” Luke 2:7. Ashurst Close, Stannington
13) “Mary gave birth to her first born. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger” Luke 2:7. Bolehill Rd, Walkley
14) “There were some shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” Luke 2:8. Highton St, Walkley
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 around Crookes – aren’t they fantastic!