What a wonderful bell launch we had last Sunday! The service in the afternoon was well attended as we welcomed our special guests: Deputy Lieutenant, Lt Col Mike Motum, the Mayor of Taunton Deane, Cllr Vivienne Stock-Williams, Mr Christopher Mew, President of The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, Bishop Peter and Archdeacon Simon. Bishop Peter dedicated the bells and then Simon Adams, a director from John Taylor’s Foundry, handed the bell rope to Rosemary Tuhey, our Tower Captain. The bells rang out!
We also dedicated the WW1 memorial bell in the soldiers’ corner and the Time Capsule. The choir sang beautifully and bell themed hymns added to the occasion. An unforgettable day – thank you to all who helped organise it.
WORSHIP@5 on Sunday 26th March, will be led by Dennis Cavaghan. Pastor Matthew Jeanes of Canon Street Christian Centre will be our speaker, and his theme will be “Does forgiving mean forgetting?” St Mary’s doors will open at 4.30pm for a cuppa, and the 45 minute service will start at 5pm. Do come and bring a friend.
“A National Appeal for Urgent Action”
“There are 20 million who are currently dying of starvation. Hunger on a massive scale is looming across East Africa. If we don’t act now it will get much worse. With this in mind the PCC has decided to hold a “Bucket Collection” after the morning and evening services today. This Appeal will go to Christian Aid’s “East Africa Appeal” and cheques should be made out to “Christian Aid”.
If you are a Tax Payer please could you place your donation in the Yellow Envelope to be found in the pew. Please mark it “Christian Aid” and that will enable us to claim under the Gift Aid scheme, resulting in us receiving a further 25% to your giving. Buckets will be available after the service to receive your envelopes.
The Meeting for the election of churchwardens and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held in church at 11.30am on Sunday 30th April. We will be looking to elect three churchwardens, five members of the Parochial Church Council and four members of Deanery Synod. (Please see the informative letter at the back of church from Stephen Grimshaw, the Lay Chair, Taunton Deanery, regarding membership of Deanery Synod). Nomination forms are at the back of church.
“Taunton Foodbank would lilke to thank you very much for your continuing support which is still greatly needed. In the last 4 months we have given out 62% more food compared with last year and are responding to more than 40 referrals a week. This may be due to the rolling out of Universal Credit but we are considering whether to open more than twice a week.”
Diane Bayliss & Derek Hicks
Professor Roger Trigg’s first talk on Science and Religion was warmly received on Wednesday. The next talk “Should religion play a part in public life?” will be on Tuesday and we have moved the venue to the church rather than the Upper Room. Each talk is on a separate theme so if you missed the first, please feel free to come. You will be made most welcome.
We are very pleased that our new Archdeacon, Simon Hill will be leading our Holy Week talks at 7pm Mon-Weds 10th-13th April and he will also be preaching at our Maundy Thursday evening service, also starting at 7pm. This service will be followed by a vigil in the church. This vigil is a time when we remember Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he asks his disciples to wait for him while he agonizes over his future and prays. Like Jesus, it is a time for us to wait, to be still, and to hopefully draw comfort from our Loving God. Do come and join us for all or part of the vigil.
Once again it is time for the Revision of the Church Electoral Roll. It is due to be effected before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on Sunday 30 April 2017. Applications for enrolment commence on 19 March 2017 and the last date for applying will be 09 April 2017. To have the right to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting your name must be included on the Electoral Roll. To be eligible to apply for this, please see the details published on the notice board by the West Door. Application forms will be available at the back of Church or from the Churchwardens or parish office. When completed, please hand/post to Geoff Hay, or pass to a Churchwarden or left at the Parish Office.
Please note, existing Roll members do not need to re-apply. A complete list of members as at 10 April 2017 will be displayed on the notice board from 14 April 2017 and you are invited to check that your name is properly recorded. In the event of any query, please contact me Geoff Hay, Electoral Roll Officer.
“Sunday 19th March is a day of welcome, thanks and celebration as we dedicate the new bells and carillon to the service of God and his Church in a special service led by Bishop Peter at 2.30pm this Sunday afternoon. We welcome Deputy Lieutenant Lt Col Mike Motum, the Mayor of Taunton Deane, the many donors and sponsors and all who attend this afternoon’s service and particularly the bellringers from all over the county and beyond to enjoy ringing the bells after the service.
We give thanks for the faith and hope of not only those working on the project but also the very many people from even as far afield as Australia who shared and supported our vision of a new set of bells. The carillon will play two sponsored tunes – ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Who Would True Valour See’ – before the 10.00am service along with the tunes specially chosen by church groups. The bell sponsors, or their representatives from St Mary’s bellringers, will ring the bells during the service as part of the act of dedication.
Bells play an important role in the mission of the church for, as their sound rings out beyond the church, they bear witness to the Christian message to all who hear them. They call out to both those who would like to come to church but cannot through frailty or illness and those who are not regular church-goers and may not even be Christians. A surprising number of donations, particularly towards the Somerset bell, have come from those who are not members of our church but say they just like to hear the bells ring and the memories that they bring.
We were pleased to see the arrival of the World War 1 memorial bell last week. Do look at the various displays around the church this weekend giving the story of the project. The tower CCTV will be on showing the bells in action as the bellringers ring them from the new ringing room.
So let us celebrate our new bells and carillon.
“Let the bells ring out!”
Rosemary Tuhey, Tower Captain
“An Urgent Appeal”
Last Sunday in my Intercessions I asked you to pray for the 20 million who are currently dying of starvation. There is now a National Appeal for urgent action. Hunger on a massive scale is looming across East Africa. If we don’t act now it will get much worse. With this in mind the PCC has decided to hold a “Bucket Collection” after the morning and evening services next week on Mothering Sunday. This Appeal will go to Christian Aid’s “East Africa Appeal” and cheques should be made out to “Christian Aid”. Jesus said, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” These surely are our neighbours and you all know what he said about these little ones. May I thank you in anticipation for your support.”
With the work on the bells and tower now complete, we can add the time capsule. Rosemary Berry has worked very hard on this and all the material we put in will be packed carefully by the archivist. We hope to have a trip to see him do this so – watch this space!