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News & Updates

Here’s what we get up to at St Mary’s. Activities, news, notices – lots to interest and inform. You can also take a look at the Today sheet (pdf) and selected articles from our Together magazine.

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter!

On this glorious, celebratory day in the Christian calendar.  The day when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to anoint Jesus body and found the stone rolled away and his body gone. Then she encounters the risen Lord, mistaking him at first for the gardener. Mary is so excited that, with her head spinning and trying to make sense of it all, she runs to exclaim to the other disciples: “I have seen the Lord!”

So, today, we worship the risen Lord Jesus whose resurrection built a bridge back for us to our Heavenly Father.

Welcome Bishop David

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This Easter Sunday we welcome especially Bishop David and his wife, Janice. +David retired from being Assistant Bishop of the Church of Wales in Llandaff and has, at midnight last night, already helped us welcome in Easter Day. We are thrilled to share in his ministry today. Janice and +David will be staying for coffee so do meet them and make them welcome.

Easter Lilies

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Easter Lilies in church 1_mini

The Easter lilies look wonderful, filling the church with colour and perfume.

Thank you to all who have contributed to this floral splendour and thanks also to our Flower Team who have worked so hard.

The Lenten Cross

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IMG_8968 - Easter Cross - export at 940_mini (2)

This Cross started with the bare remains of the Christmas Tree. Each Sunday in Lent an item was added to signify the humiliation and suffering of Jesus.

Firstly, there came the Purse of Money which contained the thirty pieces of silver which the church leaders paid to Judas to betray Jesus (Matthew 27:3).

Secondly, was brought to the Cross the red Robe that the soldiers put about the shoulders of Jesus hailing him mockingly as King (Matthew 27:28).

Thirdly, there was hung up on the stump the Crown of Thorns that the soldiers also pushed onto his head (Matthew 27:29).

Fourthly, several nails were added, two for his hands and one for his feet (John 20:25).

Fifthly, the Spear which pierced his side to prove his death was lain against the Cross (John 19:34). Finally the Dice were brought which the soldiers used to gamble for his raiment (John 19:23-24 and Psalm 22:18).

Maundy Thursday Supper

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Dining table - 597937_dining_table_3

Maundy Thursday Supper on 28th March at 5.45 pm.

We will again be having a meal with time for reflection before the Holy Communion Service and Leonard Daniels, from the local Jewish community will be speaking to us about the importance of the Passover.

There are only 40 places so be sure to sign up on the sheet at the back of Church.

Easter Saturday – Midnight Communion

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Do note that we will be marking Easter Day in a very special way.

At midnight we will gather around a brazier in the Vicarage Garden and sing some Easter hymns – we will then move into the church and renew our baptism promises, before Bishop David leads us in a simple communion service based on a 7th century rite. This should be very special.

Do come at 11.45pm on Saturday 30th March.

‘Wondrous Cross’ – a new cantata for Passiontide

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We are delighted to let you know of a special concert which our choir, the choir of Queen’s College and St Mary Magdalene Strings are performing. It is being held on Good Friday 29th March 2013 at 7.30pm.  Miles Quick, our Musical Director, expands on the delights on offer.

“In the evening of Good Friday 29th March our choir, combined with singers from Queen’s College Choral Society and a small group of experienced string players, will join together to present the short new passiontide cantata Wondrous Cross by Alan Bullard. It is based on the traditional ‘Seven Last Words’ of Jesus Christ from the cross as they appear in the four Gospel accounts. Most of the text is from the Authorised Version of the Bible, but other well-known sacred texts are also included for reflection. It will be combined with complementary meditative instrumental music, including Bach played on the oboe with organ accompaniment, and also some inspirational sounds from saxophone and organ combined. Soloists include Lorna Anderson (soprano), Peter Evans (tenor), Lynn Carter (oboe), Rachael Parvin (saxophones) and Andrew Carter (organ). The event will last about an hour and admission is free.

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Alan Bullard is one of the UK’s most highly regarded contemporary composers and a popular writer of both instrumental and choral music. He has also been involved as an elder and choir member at Lion Walk United Reformed Church in Colchester, and it is for this church that he wrote Wondrous Cross in 2012. The piece is designed along the lines of classic Passiontide pieces such as the Bach Passions and Stainer’s Crucifixion. Like the latter, it is designed for performance by enthusiastic amateurs and there are several chances for the audience to join in as well, especially at the end when the beautiful Isaac Watts hymn ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’ is introduced. Other moments for everyone to join in include the hymns ‘There is a green hill far away’ and the spiritual ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’.

We hope that a good number of people will be able to come and join in with this event. Hopefully it will be a good way of stepping apart from this busy world (although it is just down Hammet Street, through the angel doors) and getting Easter Eggs into perspective a bit! It could perhaps help us to enter more deeply into worship, and contemplation of the deeply wonderful mystery of the power of the cross and what it makes possible for us. Words struggle to express concepts of that magnitude, and maybe music can sometimes take us a little further.

If you would like further details, please do have a word with me. And, if you know of anyone who you think might like to come, please do tell them about it or send them a poster. There are copies at the back of church or it can be downloaded and emailed very easily from the church website.”

Miles Quick

Maundy Thursday Vigil

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Volunteers are needed for the Maundy Thursday Vigil until midnight following the stripping of the altar.

Please sign on the list at the back of church.  Two persons per session, please.

 

So what is Easter all about?

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Have you ever wondered about the different ways in which we celebrate Easter – its various customs, cultures and what happened at the first Easter?

What’s the significance of the eggs, chicks, lambs, bunnies, flowers and foods?

If you aren’t sure or just want to find out more, why not take a look at whyeaster.com or click on the individual links.

Easter - eggs and 1139412_basketEaster - egg and 469247_easter_chickens_5   Eggs and Chicks

 

 Easter - 524278_lamb_with_orange_coat    Bunnies, Rabbits and Lambs

 

 

 Easter - 1392352_arum_lily_1  Easter - 563133_passion_bloom     Easter Flowers

 

Easter - 1385471_hot_cross_buns_for_easter_3        Easter - 1383563_easter_eggs   Easter Foods

Holy Week

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At the Maundy Thursday Supper (booking now at the back of church – limited places!) Leonard Daniels, from the local Jewish community will be speaking to us about the importance of the Passover.

On Easter Saturday at 11.45pm (Yes pm!) we will be lighting an Easter beacon and then moving to the church with candles to bring in the light of Easter morning. Baptism promises will be renewed at the font and then Bishop David will lead us into a simple 7th Century Eucharist. Do join us. It will be very special.

And don’t forget:  Sheila’s reflections on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of Holy Week 6.30 pm in church.

Father Bob visits Taunton

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Robert Sihubwa (Father Bob) from Kafue in Zambia will be visiting Taunton in March.

As part of our welcome we have invited him to a bring and share lunch in the Upper Room on Saturday 16th March and we would love you to come.

If you would like to attend please sign the form at the back of Church.

The number of places will be limited by space so please sign up as soon as possible.

Mothering Sunday

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Holding flowers - 1346289_hand_holding_flowers

On Mothering Sunday we have come to give thanks for our mothers but this is not how the tradition of this service started.

During the sixteenth century, people returned to their mother church, the main church or cathedral of the area, for a service to be held on Laetare Sunday. This was either a large local church, or more often the nearest Cathedral. Anyone who did this was commonly said to have gone “a-mothering”, although whether this preceded the term Mothering Sunday is unclear.

In later times, Mothering Sunday became a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was often the only time that whole families could gather together, since on other days they were prevented by conflicting working hours.

Children and young people who were “in service” (servants in richer households) were given a day off on that date so they could visit their families (or, originally, return to their “mother” church). The children would pick wild flowers along the way to place in the church or give to their mothers.

Eventually, the religious tradition evolved into the Mothering Sunday secular tradition of giving gifts to mothers – so now you know!