This week’s (virtual) flowers donated by Pam Gould.
Please contact the church office if you have any notices for next week – email@example.com – 0114 266 3613.
If you would like to speak to a member of the clergy please call Revd Sue Hammersley on 07904 284853 or Revd Sarah Colver on 07975 689403
ANNUAL REPORT This year’s annual report is available to read on our website on Sunday, please visit this page. It’s a little different this year, we hope you enjoy reading it. Sue and Sarah R
MARK’S MESSENGER The latest edition of the Messenger will be emailed out to all subscribers early next week, as usual it will appear on the website a few weeks later. If you wish to subscribe, please contact the office for information (and costs). Sarah R
PRAYERS As our services, including prayers, are now available on the website, we have decided that it is better to just pray for people by first names. Please be assured that if someone from within the congregation is very sick or has died, we will let you know through other routes. Shan
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK May 10 – 16 There are lots of different ways to help support Christian Aid at a time when door-to-door collections have had to be stopped. See our website for links to activities being organised within the Mission Partnership.
E-Envelopes: Follow this link to see our e-envelope and make a donation, you can also make a donation and create personalised message to friends, family and colleagues via this page.
St Mark’s Christian Aid Zoom Quiz: Saturday May 16 at 8.30pm for a 9pm start. Encourage friends and family to join your team. Buy your quiz snacks and drinks on your next shopping trip/online delivery! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your team members names to receive a zoom link! Donations to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stmarksbroomhill
ROWING MARATHON – on Monday 12th May Dilys is doing a Rowing Marathon to raise funds for Christian Aid. “Over the past 6 years I have rowed the Boston Marathon Lincoln -Boston 26 miles or 51 kilometres 3 times. (instantly forgettable like childbirth). The last time was 2017 in an 8, all over 70 except the cox! Before the lockdown I was luckily loaned an erg (rowing machine) from Doncaster Rowing club and we have been challenging one another in “races”. I know I won’t do 26 miles on the machine in one go, that needs the encouragement of the crew and cox so I thought I would go for 26 kilometres. There is a digital record on the machine so I can prove whether I have done the distance! I am asking members of St Mark’s to sponsor me for Christian Aid per kilometre and send it to www.christianaid.org.” Dilys
KEEPING IN TOUCH even when we can’t make physical contact and there are many ways of and helping each other to stay connected. Do you know anyone who’d value a regular conversation by telephone.? No-one should feel isolated. Please contact the church office if you’d like a call. Clergy Team
TUESDAY NIGHT SERVICE Unfortunately Anne has decided to cancel this service. Her own health has not been very good and we have advised her to look after herself first. If you know of people who are looking for quiet spaces for contemplation, we do have plenty of different services on offer – be in touch with one of the clergy and let us know what you are looking for. Anne, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Sue H
WHAT IS COMMUNION? John Schofield has written a piece which is on the website designed to help us think through what we are doing when we are taking part in a Zoom eucharist at home. It offers some resources, and the opportunity for a conversation. Please take a look at this page. John Schofield
BOOK CLUB Would you be interested in joining a book group to read together Rowan Williams’ book Being Christian? It’s thoughtful, short and available as paperback, Kindle edition and audiobook. If so, please let Sarah know at email@example.com and we will be in touch. John Schofield
MEAL HELP A young mum in Hunters Bar is having her second baby via C section with very limited support and no family in this country. I am setting up a rota of people who can bring her a meal. Please let me know if you’d like to help! firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you. Jen Ryder
UPDATE ON THE S6 FOODBANK The Broomhall Centre is now hosting our local spur of the Foodbank. They are receiving donations of food on Mondays and Thursday at 11am at the Centre. If you prefer to send money, please Gift Aid if possible. Details are on their website, or follow this link Sarah R
GOOD NEWS STORIES People might like to share good news stories, images, poetry and lighthearted items. We will be collating these together with the weekly notices into a post for our website. If you have items you’d like us to consider for inclusion please send them to the office. Sarah R
MORE BABY NEWS! Congratulations to Sarah and Ambrose on the birth of Caitlin on February 19. She’s already been listening in to Sunday Services! Sue H
STILL MORE BABY NEWS! Congratulations to proud grandfather Andrew Sanderson on the safe arrival of Kath’s son, Finn (meaning ‘bright’ or ‘fair’, from the same root as Fiona). Finn, Kath and husband Jon are all doing very well.
PCC 5 POINTS from the recent PCC meeting are available on our website. You can view them on the PCC page. Sarah
FRIENDSHIP CLUB Issue 3 of “Let’s Connect”, the Lunch and Friendship Club newsletter, is now out, edited by Jean Baxter. If you would like to receive this latest issue, please tell Sarah in the church office. Rosalind
KNITTED HEARTS & FACE MASKS People in the knitting group have been knitting hearts to give to very ill people in ICU as a gesture of love and comfort. A matching heart is given to the relatives. Some of us have also sent them to family members we are unable to see at present. I have got out my sewing machine and some oddments of cotton fabric and interfacing, and been making some face masks; my sewing machine needs an overhaul, so the results aren’t very professional. These are for if it becomes recommended that we should wear them. I’ve made a few, so if anyone would like one, let me know. Maybe for a donation to Christian Aid? (It’s Christian Aid week next month and many of the fund raising events won’t be possible this year). They are washable. Jennie Martin (Editors note: please contact the office if you’d like the pattern for the knitted hearts)
MINI-FOODBANK IN GHANA Families in Ghana are currently finding it difficult to feed themselves and their children. Our link (by funding Abura Literacy School) is enabling us to facilitate a mini-foodbank for the families in the local community. Most of these families earn their living through selling oranges, or water, and they currently can’t do this. The children normally receive a hot meal at school, which is currently closed. Please donate (on this website) anything you can to enable these families to have food and water at the moment. Rosie Hunt
UPDATE FROM CERI Most of you will know that I worked at Bwindi Community Hospital in South West Uganda between 2015-2017 and now help to run REACH Bwindi, a UK charity supporting the hospital. People have been asking me how the hospital has been affected by the corona virus pandemic. Confirmed cases remain fairly low in Uganda but the cost of medication and PPE has risen by over 100% and travel restrictions mean that most patients can’t access healthcare unless they live in one of the few villages within walking distance of the hospital. Community nurses have started to deliver medication for long term conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and HIV to patient’s villages. This will not be an easy task with a large mountainous catchment area, in rainy season and an early curfew! It will also not be an inexpensive task. Please see the REACH website for more information. If you haven’t been affected financially by the pandemic and can afford to give, then any support would be greatly appreciated.
GREENBELT 2020 Sadly GB2020 has been cancelled but lot of talks are now available on the Greenbelt website. You can download and listen to them as individuals, or maybe in a group. Sarah Colver
ST MARK’S ‘SLEEP IN’ THANK YOU Thank you to all who donated and took part in the Sleep In last Friday. We more than doubled the target and raised £540 in aid of the Cathedral Archer Project (CAP). Many of those who took part ‘met up’ via Zoom for a bedtime chat. It was lovely to see the ‘dens’ and makeshift beds, and to raise some money CAP. The Just Giving page is still available if you’d like to help out. Maria
This week’s long read – This week’s long read is from Pat Hunt, a bit of an unusual ‘Good’ news story, but I think you’ll agree it’s a lovely story.
A funeral isn’t usually a good news story, but in the extraordinary times of the coronavirus crisis something miraculous happened. So here is my good news story. On Wednesday April 29th 2020 at 11.30am a short funeral service was held for my stepmother (aged 90) who died peacefully (not from Covid-19) in the Haddon Hall Care Home in Buxton.
My Father (now 93) remarried in November 1991 in St Mark’s Church after the death of my Mother. Just before their marriage my stepmother Pat wrote a letter – “I want you to know that I truly love your Father, and that I will care for him and look after him for the remainder of our lives.” She has honoured this promise to a gold standard! It was a romantic marriage, full of the kind of mature love of middle and late years, and with frivolous and youthful touches! She became fully part of our family, one of us, celebrating Christmas after Christmas, Easter, birthdays, holidays, loving moments and so much more together. Throughout she has cared for Dad wonderfully and they have been very happy together. Pat has been a simply wonderful Grandmother to our daughters Susanna and Rosie. Sadly they lost both their natural grandmothers when they were very young. Pat loved becoming Grandma, and they loved her very much. They developed a very special and close rapport, perhaps in part because of the directness of the relationship. The last three years have been hard with failing health, but Haddon Hall Care Home have been superb in their care. On my final visit I played music and said prayers for Pat, and she was very peaceful. My Father is, of course, greatly saddened by her death but he didn’t want her to lose two husbands, and he has the comfort of knowing that he has fulfilled this gift to her.
Following her death it was so extraordinarily difficult to work out what should happen. Close members of the family felt very sensitive that they couldn’t be present at a service due to the restrictions imposed by the crisis, and the crematorium rules were so tight. On a sunny, warm morning I woke with the inspiration that we could hold the service in the open air at the entrance to the care home with my Father, who also lives there, able to be present.
It was really beautiful and blessed, and in the most ordinary and unlikely of places – the entrance to a care home – a sacred space was created in which the funeral took place. My Dad was wrapped in blankets in his wheelchair, surrounded by about 15 staff all wearing masks. One of them said – I have had the Skye Boat Song in my head all morning, I used to sing it with Pat. I suggested that we sing it, and so we were all singing the Skye Boat Song, my Father included, as the hearse arrived. Spontaneous and glorious. We were encircled by the love and prayers of family and many friends and, with birdsong all around us, the space somehow took on the dimensions of a cathedral as the readings, prayers, silence and music unfolded, conducted by their vicar. All utterly beautiful – perfect.
My Father was totally engaged throughout the service, it was all focussed towards him and completely meaningful for him. At the end the funeral director lifted the flowers off the coffin and placed three exquisite bowls of flowers from the top of the arrangement on the ground in front of my Father, Rosie and me. A final gift. At exactly the same time a cascade of flowers was going out, being placed on the doorsteps of family members so sad that they couldn’t be there – in Scotland, Belton House and York. A final gift to comfort them too. Then the hearse drove away as we said a final goodbye. With every fibre of my being I wanted to hug and kiss my Father, hug and kiss Rosie, but this was of course not possible. That absence illustrates so completely the importance, healing nature and soothing power of human touch.
The funeral service could perhaps only happen like this in these extraordinary times, and I feel full of gratitude to have been gifted the inspiration for it and that it was so greatly blessed. It was a moment in time and space, an amazing sacred space connecting life and death, knowing and unknowing, the whole universe, and above all the Love in which we live and move and have our being.