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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.

Fifth Candle of the Advent Wreath

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The Christ Candle

 

Halleujah!  Christ is born and we light our 5th candle of the Advent Wreath.

5th CANDLE – “CHRIST CANDLE” – The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!‘” (John 1:29)

4th CANDLE – THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE

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Fourth Candle of the Advent Wreath

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The Angel Candle or Candle of Love

At St Mary’s we light a candle each Sunday during Advent (the four Sundays leading up to Christmas).

Each candle is symbolic.  On Sunday 21st December we lit our fourth candle.

4th CANDLE – THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE

The angles announced the good news of a Savior. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

3rd CANDLE –  THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY

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Come to Us Over Christmas

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Service of Lessons and Carols – Sunday 21st December at 6:30 pm

Our Service of Lessons and Carols is a  special time in our church calendar. The choir and choristers have been rehearsing for a long time to sing, and help us sing, beautiful carols and Christmas hymns. We are very grateful to Brian Cresswell who has returned to cover Miles’ sabbatical. Brian has chosen a wide selection of worshipful music for us to enjoy. This year, the lesson readers will bring up a symbol to represent the passage of the Bible that they are reading. Each symbol will be placed under or beside the nave altar to form a tableau. Do stay for mince pies and mulled wine after the service.

Nativity Service – Christmas Eve at 4:00 pm

Young children, families, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles – in fact everyone – is welcome to the Nativity Service at 4.00pm on Christmas Eve. This service is so colourful with the children dressing in nativity costumes and it has become very popular.

Midnight Communion – Christmas Eve at 11:30 pm

Later on, at 11.30pm, we have the First Communion of Christmas. It is a special treat to walk through our amazing angel doors and greet each other with “Happy Christmas” during The Peace. Why not invite your friends and neighbours to our services over Christmas?

Holy Communion – Christmas Day at 8:00 & 10:00 am

After the beauty of a traditional Prayer Book Service at 8.00am on Christmas morning, we will enjoy a relaxed Church Family Communion with a short message and carols.

Afterwards the church will close until 2nd January except for Sunday 28th December when there will be three services as usual. During the time the church is closed, the coffee shop carpet will be cleaned and there will be a stocktake in the bookshop.

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Business Carol Service

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The Business Carol Service organised by Taunton Team Chaplaincy and held at St James Church on Tuesday evening, was a wonderful occasion. The manager of Sainsbury’s spoke movingly about the difference having a chaplain makes to the working of the store. The Revd Keith Powell gave a challenging message and is speaking at a follow up event at Miles (Riverside) in January. All are welcome, particularly if you would like to hear Keith speak about finding a personal faith.

whychristmas?com

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www.whychristmas.com is one of the largest Christmas information sites on the web and answers your Christmas questions! It was launched in November 2000 by James Cooper, a Christmas loving web designer from the U.K.  He says, “I’d always loved Christmas (yes, I’m a very big kid!) and had wondered about the ‘whys’ of Christmas; such as why do we have Santa/Father Christmas, why we have Christmas Trees and send Christmas Cards to each other?!”

So far we’ve found out what Chrismons are, sang some Christmas Karaoke, decorated our own Christmas tree and even completed a memory puzzle!

Why don’t you see what James has created and have some fun too at WhyChristmas?com.

Mince Pies

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As is our custom, we serve mulled punch and mince pies after the Carol Service. If you are able to make a batch please sign the sheet on the table

MU ‘Just a Bite’

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There is no meeting in January and the next meeting on 4th February will be a Wave of Prayer Service. Please don’t forget to renew your membership for next year.

Christmas greetings to all.

Winter Coats

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THE FOODBANK no longer need winter coats. Thank you to everyone for your generous support.

Derek and Diane

Street Pastors

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There is a fresh opportunity for members of local churches to train as Street Pastors in the coming months. Please see details at the back of church. Anyone interested in becoming a Street Pastor in Taunton should email training coordinator Mrs Chris Beattie at Taunton@streetpastors.org.uk or telephone 01823 257 043 or simply come along on to our first training session North Street Church (opposite Debenhams) 10am–3.30pm on 10 Jan 2015.

Browse at the Bookshop

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Christmas cards, gifts and Advent calendars are available in the Bookshop. Please do come in to browse and buy. Christmas cards sold in aid of the Bell Fund are also available.

Snow Art Book Proceeds for Bell Fund

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SNOW ART BOOK BY SIMON BECK. Alan and Shirley’s son, Simon, has had his book of exquisite photographs of patterns in the snow in the French Alps, published, and is very generously donating a number of copies to us for sale in the Bookshop in aid of the Bell Appeal. The book is £25 and every penny will go towards our bell fund. This would make a lovely Christmas gift – do please have a look at the specimen copy in the Bookshop.