Weekly Update – 25th December 2011 – MERRY CHRISTMAS!

WELCOME & WARMEST CHRISTMAS GREETINGS, especially if you are new to St Mark’s or visiting.

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to preparing St Mark’s for the festive season or to Christmas services and events, including those who have helped to serve refreshments and offer hospitality. it is much appreciated.

COMMENTS BOX for feedback on the services and other aspects of church life can be found at the back of church.

ELECTRONIC VERSION of Sunday’s liturgy can be emailed to you in advance. Please contact Anne in the office.

ARTWORK is the creation of Kay Hudson. The bearers of the four Advent lights symbolize aspects of hope (searching, envisioning, hungering, striving). The stable scene with the adult Jesus bearing the Christmas light whilst looking towards the cross links Bethlehem to Golgotha, expressing hope’s embodiment and realization through his life and ministry.

BUDGET 2012 has been set at £220,650, a slightly lower figure than in 2011. Owing to reduced income this year, however, we will still need to raise an additional £9,500 in 2012 to balance the books.

PLEDGES 2012 Packs have now been sent out to those who already give regularly to St Mark’s and are available at the back of church for those who would like to start. So far we have received 46 pledges, representing an increase in giving of £2,800 – a good start, but well short of the target figure of £9,500. If you have not yet returned your pledge response, please do so before the year end. Thank you!

STEWARDSHIP RESPONSE Please complete one!


ST MARK’S WEEKEND 21-23 September 2012. Further details and application forms are now available! Please take them away with you and see the display at the back of church. This is definitely an event for ALL the church community – please book early!

AUCTION OF PROMISES To help everyone who wishes to go on the Parish Weekend to do so, we are holding a special fund-raising event after the Pancake Party on Shrove Tuesday, 21 February. Watch this space for further details!

PV PANELS are now in place and all the pledged funds have been received. This is excellent news and represents the culmination of much forward planning, hard work and committed giving. Thank you to everyone who has contributed financially. Also to Michael Bayley, Gary Grief, David Ryder and Robin Saunders who not only conceived the proposal in the first place but also laboured diligently to ensure that it came to birth.

CTBB CHRISTMAS CARDS Thank you to everyone who has helped with distribution. Please do take one for yourself if you haven’t yet picked one up.

WEEK OF PRAYER for Christian Unity falls between 18 and 25 January. There will be a special CTBB lunch on Sunday 22 January at St Mark’s followed by a brief ecumenical service at 2.00 pm.

MARK’S MESSENGER The Bumper 2 month Seasonal Issue to take you through to the New Year is now available and still only 60p – bargain! Collect it from your pigeonholes or buy one on the card stall.

BROOMHALL NEWS December’s issue is available on the card stall.




THE WELCOME PLACE is having a break over Christmas until 4 January.

MARK’S MESSENGER There will be no Messenger for January, but contributions are invited for the February issue. In particular, articles about Christmas activities, both within St Mark’s and anything you have been involved in further afield that would be of interest to St Mark’s members, would be very welcome – with photos if possible. Please send contributions (deadline 16 January), or questions about what to write, to Carol Rowe: [email protected].

PLANT SALE DAY for Organ and Parish Away Weekend. Please plant extra vegetable and flower seeds in the spring, and save cuttings and unwanted plants. We plan to have a plant sale sometime in Spring next year. Small paper plant pots can be provided for seeds. Please see David & Cathy Trickett Tel:2670576.

CHILDREN’S SOCIETY HOUSE BOXES – A big thank you to all box holders. This year we raised a total of £417.53 which will help the Society with its work with vulnerable children and young people. Every year the house box scheme raises a total £2 million for the society. If you would like to have a collection box  please have a word with me. Susan Whitmill.

MORE CRÈCHE HELPERS WANTED! Would you like to spend the occasional Sunday sticking, drawing, reading stories and singing favourite childhood hymns? We are delighted to be welcoming more and more young families into our congregation. The crèche is expanding and we’d love to recruit some more helpers. Safeguarding procedures will be followed but no previous experience necessary as you would be working with more experienced helpers. Please see Philippa Legon or Sue for more info.

WINTER FUEL PAYMENTS can be a nice seasonal bonus and some of us are fortunate in not relying on these for our heating bills. You can now give yours to those in need. Surviving Winter is a UK-wide campaign to encourage individuals to make donations to help vulnerable people affected by the cold winter. See details and make donation – www.localgiving.com/saga.

RUSS SHARROCK died peacefully on Wednesday 14 December. His funeral will take place in St Mark’s this Wednesday at 1.00 pm.

VULNERABLE ADULTS If you have any concerns about adults associated with St Mark’s who you think may be in need of extra support, please feel free to talk to a member of the Clergy, or to Jane Padget, Vulnerable Adults Officer.

OCCASIONALLY someone comes to St Mark’s asking for money. Please be confident that there is a discretional fund in place. In the first instance, please refer the person to a member of the clergy or Jane Padget (Vulnerable Adults Officer), rather than giving money. This will help us to develop a more consistent and supportive response. Thank you.

SHEFFIELD STREET PASTORS is part of a national initiative delivered in a number of city and town centres around the UK. There is a new training session starting in January for new volunteers. You can find out more at www.streetpastors.co.uk or call Tricia Watts on 07931562442 / 2634591.

SOUP RUN is now in the cold months, when men’s gloves, socks and coats are particularly in demand. Also, we are in need of more tins of baked beans (preferably the ones with sausages in them), and soup – tomato, chicken, oxtail or vegetable. Any donations gratefully received. Thank you.

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