We are a symbol of the Church’s presence in people’s lives and a reminder of the presence of God. There are times when words and actions are appropriate, but there are many opportunities to be present to each other through a phone call or text – this can mean so much to someone.

Is it more blessed to give than to receive?

Pastoral care is the practical outworking of Jesus’ command to “love one another as I have loved you”. But if we are to sustain our support networks we must also remember to care for ourselves.  This mutual giving and receiving is at the heart of our congregational life and our ministry to one another.

Many people within the community of St Mark’s are making contact with other individuals or with groups of people they already have a connection with. We are trying to ensure that everyone is in regular contact with someone within the congregation, or knows who they can contact for support.  This kind of care will continue gently, quietly and lovingly.

What if I am concerned about someone?

In order to offer a sustainable network of support we are redirecting the Church Office phone (0114) 266 3613 to ensure that calls are answered promptly.  If you reach an answerphone, speak clearly and leave your contact details, someone will get back to you.

Emails are also being picked up while the church is closed: office@stmarkssheffield.co.uk

The Revd Shan Rush is coordinating our various responses and can be contacted on 07598 156817 or via e-mail shan@stmarkssheffield.co.uk

There is a council helpline for EMERGENCY queries, such as issues to do with food shopping, gas and electric or prescriptions and drugs. This line is open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm on 0114 205 7120. You can also view more information on the Sheffield City Council website (and you can sign up to receive regular updates) – click on this link – https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/coronavirus
What about groups like mutual aid Sheffield?

There are many groups of volunteers joining together to try and meet local need.

Voluntary Action Sheffield has issued recommendations to all who are trying to offer help.

Visit their website for more information.

  • Keep up to date with the latest NHS Coronovirus advice – (Public Health England)
  • Covid Mutual Aid is run entirely by volunteers, not medical professionals. Mutual Aid groups should not go into your home or provide personal care – other agencies are doing this.
  • Avoid exchanges of money. Keep it to essentials. Don’t expect or ask people to pay for support. Use electronic transfers where possible.
  • Be aware of fraudsters. Avoid and report cold callers in your area.
  • Mutual Aid groups are well suited to running errands, connecting people locally with information, and providing emotional comfort and social contact.
  • Prioritise safety – the community response is about preventing the spread of COVID-19 and providing support for the most vulnerable. If you believe the support being offered compromises this principle, do not engage.
Love one another as I have loved you

Remember that physical distancing is essential if you are delivering something to someone’s home, or even passing another person in the shops or on your daily exercise – keeping two arms’ length apart makes it much more difficult to pass on the virus but enables us to pass on a smile or a sign of peace and kindness.

After any exchange of goods, wash your hands thoroughly.

Many of the larger supermarkets are now offering home delivery and are prioritizing elderly, disabled or vulnerable customers and key workers.

In order to benefit from this, you may need to register with them (eg Sainsbury’s 0800 328 1700).

The Church of England has issued some Guidance on mental health and wellbeing and Coronavirus.  Please do follow link to the PDF and have a read.  There is also advice from BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) website which is worth a read.

What about our spiritual needs?

Keep visiting our website – we will be updating information and Worship regularly.

We will continue to explore creative ways through social media to keep contact with one another and to provide spiritual support and opportunities for prayer.  Keep an eye on the website and let us know if you are having difficulties.

Many of you found the Mothering Sunday Service on the website brought comfort, reassurance or a sense of peace.  This resource still be accessible if you feel like using it at other times.  It doesn’t even need to be a Sunday!  The church looks different now because it is in your home.  You might like to set aside a small sacred space, a seat beside the window perhaps, where you can listen for God’s word of life to us.

Every weekday members of the church will be holding the daily offices:

Morning Prayer at 9am and Evening Prayer at 5pm.

Different groups are joining up using digital networks – please let us know if you’d like to connect to these.

Every Thursday at midday, for as long as we are able to sustain this, a member of clergy will celebrate the Eucharist, in church if that is possible, on behalf of the whole community.  We are exploring ways of recording that so you can join in, whenever you want to.

No internet access?

If you know of someone with no internet access, a paper copy of our order of service can be delivered through their letterbox for as long as we are able to do so. Leave a message on (0114) 266 3613 stating whether you would like a large or small print copy and leave a phone number so we can check that we have your correct address.

Remember how much is available on different radio stations and on the TV

Radio 4  Sunday Worship – Sundays at 08.10

BBC 1 Songs of Praise – Sundays at 13.15

Radio 4 Prayer for the day (2 minute reflection)  – Monday – Friday at 05.43

Radio 4 (LW) Daily Service (Christian music and worship) – Monday – Friday at 09.45

Radio 3 Choral evensong – Wednesdays at 15.30

Radio 4 Lent Talks – Wednesdays at 20.45

And there are many more…

Will someone pray for me or with me?

Yes!  Please contact the church office on (0114) 266 3613 and leave your contact details.

or e-mail office@stmarkssheffield.co.uk

Together, let us pray and be witnesses of hope.