Weekly notices & Good Newsletter – 5 April 2020

We are sorry but all public worship has been suspended please keep checking back for online service resources.

GOOD NEWS STORIES People might like to share good news stories, images, poetry and light-hearted items. We will be collated 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

FOOD BANK DONATIONS due to the need for everyone to stay at home, we are unable to collect food donations at the moment.  However, the S6 Foodbank have seen a massive increased in requests for assistance.  If you are able to make a donation please visit their JustGiving page – justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/philadelphianetwork/s6foodbank Sarah R

WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST even when we can’t make physical contact and there are many ways of keeping in touch and helping each other. Want to be involved with a telephone tree? No one should feel isolated.  Let’s rise to the challenge! Please contact the church office. Clergy Team

FRIENDSHIP CLUB To keep in touch Rosalind is putting together a regular Lunch Club newsletter, if you would like to receive a copy please contact Sarah R in the church office (either call or email). Rosalind.

BROOMHILL FESTIVAL 11-21 JUNE is now being planned as an ‘Almost the Broomhill Festival’ with resources to be available online, Actual events with minimal outlay are still being planned in the hope they can go ahead. The Festival Website will give more details soon. Sarah C

BROOMHILL FESTIVAL LUNCH When restrictions are lifted, there will be a big festival fundraiser lunch after the Festival service, focusing on the climate.  Fancy being involved eg, with food or additions? Current ideas include children’s activities, cake competition, plant stall. Home Donations Group

THE HOME DONATIONS GROUP would love new members. It is a great group to be in – choosing which local charities St. Mark’s supports is very uplifting. Only 4 meetings a year. If interested contact via the office. Home Donations Group

A LONGER READ We are hoping to be able to bring you a slightly longer light read occasionally, this week we have a letter to Sue from Simba the cat. Please see below. Sarah R

THANK YOU – May I say a big thank you to all concerned with the continuous work of everyone in the day to day work of St Mark’s. Thank you to all the people concerned with the making of the Mother’s Day flower arrangement delivered to my door. Betty Towse

Please contact the church office if you have any notices for next week – office@stmarkssheffield.co.uk – 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

Love in the time of Covid by Robyn Vesey

All this time
making do
with the make-do unsuitable
Objects of consummarised, commodified affection.

Now faced with the choices: of who we are, and who, and how, we love.

Weighing the words ‘unnecessary travel’, each hand feeling the weight of longing: to see, hold, touch,
wanting to love but wanting to keep safe. And even more than that:

wanting to keep the loved safe, Safe from all harm.

Who knew how much
we could truly wish each other well,

transmitting our love
any way we know how,
and suffering the frustration of hesitation, of distance –
that too is out of love,
yet joyfully discovering we can love across walls
through screens.

So may the fearless and trembling young
come close to the anxious and unknowingly fragile old, and may all of us underlying and in-between
infect each other with joy
at life that looks somehow different now,
and is yet the same.
For we are the same, and we are loved with the same love. Love that is stronger than death.
The same love as before.

Dear Sue,                                                                      

You kindly got in touch to see how I was faring during the human lockdown with Sandra and Gill. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and care for all the diverse creatures (almost) in your parish. You suggested I might like to contribute some encouraging news for you to share with others. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and have asked Sandra to help me to convey to you my experience so far. It would be interesting to know how other non-humans (even d-o-g-s) are managing in these unusual times.

First, a little about me. I am, as you can see, a very handsome silver tabby cat, about 11 years old with a farmyard origin and very expressive eyes that I use with great skill.  I belong to the family of Jenny and Richard Hide but they very kindly allow me to spend time also with Sandra and Gill since Ruari died last year.  I am a year younger than Ruari and I spent all my life playing with him, chasing and being chased and competing for territory. I miss him but he would not have let me have such freedom in ’his’ house if he was still here.

I have chosen this picture of me for this letter as I wanted to send a rainbow of my own to add to all the lovely ones I see in nearby windows made by small humans. A sign of hope; God’s remembrance of all his creation in love and faithfulness. Mine is full of catnip! I am , and my fellow cats are, very partial to our recreational drugs. Well, humans have these funny drinks with caffeine and alcohol. I get really good exercise ‘killing’ the rainbow, pretending it is a mouse or the black cat with white socks that wants my (now expanded) territory. Not perhaps a story for Godly Play but it helps me with stress-busting.

Talking of which…the lockdown. We are only just in week 2 so it is early days for us all. Sandra always talks to me over breakfast about what she and Gill will be doing in the day ahead so I in turn can e.g. plan my sleep times and locations. However now it is the same almost every day …they are here all day and every evening. No respite of trips to London, town, meetings at church, meals with friends at home or away. Last week the good weather helped us all as they were in the garden a lot and I would enjoy zooming up and down, up the tree, over the walls and back again. This week we are inside more and doing their own housework and Spring cleaning! That is really spooky and unsettling. I miss our cleaning lady and her routine. I think I’m beginning to sense a rhythm emerging across the day but it is weird.

Of course, I am saved by not being in lockdown or limited to particular outings. Mind you, no arguments yet between Gill and Sandra but a bit of distance does lend perspective. I am also able to have meals and even snacks almost when I want them if I make the right noises, strafe a rug and/or open my eyes really wide and look irresistible. Sandra was able to stock up on my favourite meals and biscuits to keep us going for quite a few weeks and fortunately pet shops are rightly classed as essential shops. I’m expanding my places to sleep and my private space and time are being respected by and large. And, of course, Gill and Sandra have so far kept fit and well. I am aware that things would be very different indeed if one of them was to catch this horrible virus I see and hear about. I know how lethal cat flu can be – mercifully we have a vaccine for that. I hope that the clever humans working on one for Covid-19 have one soon.

Well it is time for tea now. Thank you for your care. I will try to write again at a later stage in the lockdown.  I hope you and the rest of the team at St Mark’s keep well. All best wishes,


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