Weekly Newsletter and Other News

This page contains a Weekly Newsletter, information about upcoming services and events and groups that we support, links to sources of help both spiritual and practical, requests for prayer and thoughts from church members.

Please contact clare@standrewspsalterlane.org.uk or garethjones11@googlemail.com if there is anything you would like to see or to add, or anyone you would particularly like us to pray for.


Weekly Newsletter   

  Sunday 10th January 2021  


We hope you find the SAPLC streamed services inspiring at this time when we cannot join in worship together in church, and that by praying together and sharing these services and resources, we can all still feel connected to our worshipping community. The purpose of this Newsletter is to keep us all informed and connected, and as always it includes a message from Gareth as well as information about our streamed services. There are Notices at the end of the newsletter.

All contributions, serious or light-hearted, would be very welcome!


Public worship and private prayer in church

Very sadly, we have taken the decision to suspend both communal worship and private prayer for the duration of the current lockdown. You will be informed as soon as we feel it is safe to resume these opportunities to worship and pray in our church building. There is a full explanation of why this decision has been taken in Gareth’s message.


Church of England prayer for the world

God of love and hope,
you made the world and care for all creation,
but the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus.
Some people are worried that they might get ill.
Others are anxious for their family and friends.
Be with them and help them to find peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists,
and all who are working to discover the right medicines to help those who are ill.
Thank you that even in these anxious times, you are with us.
Help us to put our trust in you and keep us safe.


Message from Gareth

Dear friends,

As we approached this new year, we may well have done so with a mixture of hope and concern, and I imagine these feelings will still be with us following the announcement from the government on Monday evening. There is the genuine hope that comes from the rollout of the two vaccines. However, the new variant of the virus has proved considerably more transmissible than its previous form. Infection rates are high, and the NHS is under extreme pressure. We therefore now find ourselves in another lockdown, a necessary step but with all the effects this will have on people’s personal, professional and educational lives. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with SAPLC friends and others we know who work in the NHS and the social care sector, together with our immense gratitude for all they are doing.

Following the announcement of the lockdown, and in common with many other churches, SAPLC’s Leadership Team have taken the difficult decision to suspend the afternoon services in church that we have been holding since October, and not to open for the time being for private prayer. Current government guidelines do permit places of worship to be open for certain purposes, but there is a strong feeling within many churches that the overriding consideration at the moment should be to limit the risk to people. We have taken this decision with a heavy heart, not least because we recognize how much the afternoon services and times for private prayer have been valued by those who have attended them, and how much work and care have gone into making these occasions possible. We look forward with hope to a time when, as an effect of the rollout of the vaccines, worship in person will be possible once again.

One of the challenges during the new lockdown will once again be where we find the energy to face the current circumstances. I imagine many of us will have developed strategies to help us to cope, to try to overcome feelings of demoralization: particular daily routines, favourite music or books, and so on. One of the sections in the great Quaker compendium Quaker Faith & Practice is headed “The source of our strength”, and it’s interesting to note that strength here isn’t just interpreted as something we need for our own wellbeing, but also as something to enable us to live well for others, to make a difference to the world.

One of the passages quoted in this section of Quaker Faith & Practice is John Greenleaf Whittier’s well-loved hymn “Dear Lord and Father of mankind”. The source of strength Whittier speaks about in his hymn is prayer, especially in the sense of contemplation: “The tender whisper of thy call…Drop thy still dews of quietness…O still, small voice of calm.” Or more correctly, Whitter is saying that, through prayer, we experience a strength whose source is beyond, and deeper than, our humanity: “the silence of eternity, interpreted by love”.

And finally, an anonymous prayer I found in the Oxford Book of Prayer:


Set free, O Lord, the souls of thy servants

from all restlessness and anxiety.

Give us that peace and power which flow from thee.

Keep us in all perplexity and distress,

that upheld by thy strength and stayed on the rock of thy faithfulness,

we may abide in thee now and evermore.


Love and peace,





Sunday 10th January   The Baptism of Christ


10.30 am            Sunday2                                                   Imogen Clout

We look forward to our online Sunday2 service. Music led by Simon Dumpleton & members of the choir;  Reader Paul Freemont; Prayers of intercession Josie Smith.

You are invited to have a candle for the prayers of intercession, and you might like to have a stick of chalk ready to use after the service.

There are Junior Church activities here.

The link to the service will be sent to you all by email on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, and will also be on the Home Page of the SAPLC website. We hope you will enjoy the service and feel connected to your St Andrew’s Psalter Lane friends as we join in worship on Sunday at 10.30 am.

Zoom coffee meeting 

There will be a Zoom coffee meeting after the service. The link will be sent to you all by email on Saturday.  The host (usually Imogen) will open the Zoom meeting 5 minutes after the broadcast service ends and she will assign people to breakout rooms so that they can chat in small groups.  This is a really nice way to meet friends from SAPLC, old and new – why not give it a try?


Wednesday Morning service

There will be an on-line service at 11.00 am on Wednesday. The format of the service will be readings with pauses, a led meditation, a psalm and prayers, with some music at the beginning and the end.  This is followed by time to chat over a cup of coffee – very sociable even on Zoom! The link to this service will be sent on Tuesday.



Sunday 17th January      Second Sunday after Epiphany

10.30 am                      Holy Communion                  Revd Anthony Ashwell

We look forward to our online service. Music led by Simon Dumpleton & members of the choir; Reader Chris Venables, Prayers led by Bill Atherton

You are invited to have a piece of bread and a drop of wine or juice with you for Communion, and a candle for the prayers of intercession


The link to the service will be sent to you all by email on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, and will also be on the Home Page of the SAPLC website. We hope you will enjoy the service and feel connected to your St Andrew’s Psalter Lane friends as we join in worship on Sunday at 10.30 am.


Private prayer in church Unfortunately we will not be opening the church for private prayer during the current lockdown.

The church garden is open to the public and you are welcome to use it for prayer and meditation, but please observe social distancing and wash your hands after visiting, as the seats are not sanitised.


Please remember all those who are in need of our prayers at the moment



Hospital Sunday 31st January  Because we cannot have our usual retiring collection for this local charity which supports the work of our wonderful Sheffield hospitals, for which we are so grateful, please send your donations directly to the Sheffield Hospital Sunday Fund bank account:

Account name Sheffield Hospital Sunday Fund

Sort code 56-00-09

Account number 29948428.

If you prefer your donation to go through the Church, send your donations to the St Andrew's Psalter Lane Church bank account with the reference Hospital Sunday.

SAPLC bank account details are:

Account name St Andrews Psalter Lane

Sort code 05-08-08

Account number 36930499

OR send a cheque made out to Sheffield Hospital Sunday Fund to the Church Office, Shirley House, 31 Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8YL, and we will pass it on.


Christian Aid Sheffield Advent Carols  The Advent Carols for Christian Aid has already raised over £2000. You can see all the contributors (you may recognise some) on the channel here and you can make a donation here.


Action for Children Starry Night virtual Carol service  Thank you to everyone who attended our Starry Night virtual Carol service. We hope you enjoyed the evening. We're thrilled to announce that we have raised over £31,000, which is an incredible result. It will help Action for Children to continue to support vulnerable children, young people and their families. Thank you


Serafina is teaching in a school in one of the poorest parts of Hull. Many of her students come from very deprived families and they are trying to raise money to make sure that every family with Free School Meals gets a food parcel for the Christmas Holidays. There is a funding appeal on Just Giving if people would like to contribute.


Thank you from City of Sanctuary Anne Hollows would like to say a big 'Thank you' to everyone who so generously donated coats!


Foodbank and Baby Basics

Firvale Foodbank and Baby Basics are still desperately in need of help, so that they can help the most vulnerable members of society. If you are able to give anything, donations can be dropped off at the following addresses – why not combine donating with your legal daily exercise? 

Food Bank

Donations can be left at the rear of 16 Edgehill Road, S7 1SP. Fir Vale continue to take referrals and just under 100 people are being supported. Food and cash donations are welcome. Food is especially welcome. The Food Bank particularly need pasta, rice, UHT milk, toiletries and toilet rolls, but are ever grateful for canned goods.

If you would like to give cash, you can donate here, or you can send a cheque made out to St Cuthbert’s (write Fir Vale Food Bank on the back) and send to Joe Dey at 16 Edgehill Road, S7 1SP, who will hand it over when he delivers to the Food Bank at St Cuthbert’s.

A message from Joe, who takes the donations to the Foodbank: ‘A big thank you to everyone who has donated to the Food Bank this week. Your contributions make a big difference. Helping people get by in difficult times’

Baby Basics   

A message from Pat Flowerdew:   Thank You to everyone who has contributed to the Baby Basics cause, in whatever way, over the last year, with particular thanks for those gifts that I have just collected/had delivered to my door for Christmas. They were thrilled when I turned up with my car boot full!  

Gifts, especially nappies, toiletries and hand-knitted items, and the following items for 2-5 years are always in short supply: pyjamas, underwear, socks, tights and warm trousers/jogging bottoms for boys and girls. The following are also needed:

Donations can be left in the basket at 51 Barkers Road, S7 1SD, or in the box in church when it is open for private prayer on Thursday mornings from 10.00 am – 12 noon; cash donations should be put through the letter box. If Pat is away she will remove the basket from her front door step and she asks that items aren’t left at her door if the basket is not there. If you have something you can put through the letter box, that would be alright. The Facebook page also has information about donating via their Amazon wishlist. Donations can be left in the box at 51 Barkers Road, S7 1SD; cash donations should be put through the letter box. Pat would be able to collect donations if you cannot get them to her – telephone her on 2014881 if you would like to donate this way. You can also now donate online.

We are grateful to all the very kind people who are taking these donations to where they are so desperately needed.                                                                                                           


Nether Edge Fair  The Nether Edge Fair is a runaway success! With more than 195 stalls and over 5,000 visitors, it is THE place to buy presents and treats for yourself and others. Profits from the stall fees go to charity, so everyone wins! You can browse and shop here, and please spread the word to everyone you know and help local independent businesses. Jean Allen


We need your help!  2020 was a tough year for us all, but for St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church it was particularly tough financially. Our income dropped dramatically when we had to stop hiring out rooms in Shirley House due to the lockdown, but unfortunately our outgoings increased – our wonderful online services cost about five times as much to make as a ‘normal’ Sunday morning service would! There is also a lot of important repair work to be done on both the church and Shirley House, which will eat into our reserves even more.

Many of you have been incredibly generous with your donations over this time but unfortunately we need to ask again – please give what you can to help us keep producing our online worship and keep our buildings in good repair.

There is a variety of ways in which you can give – if you want to make a one-off donation, the easiest way may be to donate online here. You can also choose to give regularly on this page.

Alternatively, you can pay money directly into the church bank account:

Account name St Andrews Psalter Lane

Sort code 05-08-08

Account number 36930499

OR send a cheque made out to St Andrews Psalter Lane Church to the Church Office, Shirley House, 31 Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8YL.

If you are able to, a regular donation makes it easier for us to budget our income and outgoings – please contact our Giving Secretary, Rodney Godber (rodney.godber@btinternet.com) to set up a Standing Order. The Envelope Scheme is another way to give regularly – see the separate notice in this newsletter for more information.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!


Giving Envelopes  Members who use the giving envelope scheme to give regularly can collect their numbered envelopes for 2020 from the table in the narthex on Thursday mornings when the church is open for private prayer.  If you do not give to the church through the envelope scheme or by bank standing order, please have a word with Rodney Godber (rodney.godber@btinternet.com) who will explain how this makes your giving to the church easier and more beneficial. If you wish to join the envelope scheme, please contact Janet Loughridge (j.loughridge@sheffield.ac.uk)


CLC Bookshops schedule and clearance sale notice  Clearance sale starts 10am Saturday 2nd January. Note that this is a clearance sale, not a general sale. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. Final closure 4pm Saturday 16th. Don't miss the boat. If you can't make it, use the phone or email.


Methodist podcast  Have you discovered the weekly Methodist Podcast? Available here and on most audio streaming services. Half an hour of inspiring stories, emerging ideas and latest news from across our national church. 


New Coronavirus (COVID-19) test centre in our areaA testcentre has recently opened on Alderson Road carpark in Sharrow (this is situated just down the road from the London Road pharmacy). It is open from 8am-8pm 7 days a week. Testing is free. Tests can be arranged by calling 119 or by booking online, or the centre will accept walk ins. Please do not let this worry you! - having a testing site in our local area does not mean there is more Covid-19 here than elsewhere. Testing sites have been cleared by the Government; it is not dangerous to visit one or to have one in your local area.

You should only take a test if you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19, which are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste



Sheffield Interfaith news Visit the Sheffield Interfaith website for news on what they are doing.


Help Needed!

Working Party – message from John Cripps  Many thanks to those who turned out to help at the Working Party on Saturday 5th DecemberPlease consider coming to join us next time – we do not have many volunteers, and the church grounds still need maintenance especially now as the leaves are falling. Unfortunately we cannot use the church kitchen, so please bring your own refreshments. We look forward to seeing you!

Everyone is welcome to carry out gardening tasks at other times convenient to them.  I will send out an email about the mowing rota.   The compound and the tool box have combination padlocks. Please ask me if you want to know the combination and if you open either lock, please take care the combination is set correctly before closing it. The tool box contains the mower, strimmer and some tools and there are additional tools in the cellar. The usual tidying and weeding will be required in the coming weeks, remembering that the beds to the front of Shirley House also need to be kept weeded and tidy. 

Many thanks, John Cripps (01142 588932, 07914 290016, cripps@uwclub.net).


Live-streaming services We would like to be able to live-stream our Sunday services instead of recording them to put online. If you have any of the skills needed to do this (or perhaps you have a teenager who could help?) please contact Simon (email simondumpleton@gmail.com Tel. 07734527449)


The Green Box

Diocesan Synod votes to declare a climate and ecological emergency

On Saturday 28 November, the Diocese of Sheffield voted to declare a climate and ecological emergency. The Diocesan Synod passed a four-part motion lending full support to the national Church of England’s aim to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030. The meeting agreed that: This Synod, reflecting on our Christian commitment to live as Lights for Christ and care for God’s creation: 

     *declares a climate and ecological emergency, AND 

     *supports the 2020 General Synod motion for all parts of the Church to reach ‘Net

       Zero’ carbon emissions by 2030 AND 

     *requests the Diocesan Environment Working Group to produce a detailed updated   

       Environment and Climate Justice Policy to submit to the July 2021 Diocesan Synod for

       approval, AND 

     *commits to the A Rocha UK Eco Church and Eco Diocese programmes.

There was a powerful plea for change made via video from Thomas, age 9. Thomas made the video for the occasion – it can be viewed here.  




And just to cheer us up, some excerpts from a recent Twitter conversation (with thanks to Judith Loveman for passing it on).

It started with this:

If you are ever in a church conference situation, and need to fill 2 hours, just ask everyone to share their "something was on fire during worship that wasn't supposed to be on fire during worship" stories.

And here are some of the responses

  • The father of the bride!
  • At least two candle displays at completely different carol services.
  • My stepsister was at a Christingle when she was wee and the hot wax melted all over her hands while they were singing Away In A Manger. Her parents saw her crying and DID NOT notice the candle and were SO PROUD of how moved she was by the worship.
  • A banner during a procession stamped on by the Vicar without missing a beat
  • A girl’s hair during a service. She was fine although her Mum never spoke to the Vicar again. Health and safety: check if children have “product” in their hair
  • While filming the story video for the Baptism of Jesus, I managed to set the blue scarf that was "the river Jordan" on fire.
  • Beautifully ornate display surrounding advent candles, now a crackling halo of flame. Church full of rapt charismatics wondering if they were the only ones who could see this prophetic sign. Pragmatic church warden legging it down the aisle with a jug full of water.
  • Credence table. The story ends with the warden chucking the flaming table out onto the street around midnight on Easter Eve, to the bemusement of passing clubbers who probably - for ... non-prophetic reasons - also wondered if other people were seeing it too.
  • Friend's baptism, Easter, Bradford cathedral. Congregation all blow their candles out, smoke rises gently. Choir starts singing Mozart and continue, in tune, throughout the fire alarm a minute later!
  • All Souls, tearful mourners putting candles into sand tray in front of altar while choir sings Taize chant. Candle falls over, melts plastic tray, sets carpet alight. Carpet beaten with spade, water poured on. Choir keep singing...


And remember - You’re not stuck at home - You’re safe at home.



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