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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.

Our Patronal Festival Sunday

This weekend we celebrated our Patronal Festival and were delighted that members from St John’s joined us at our 10 co’clock service on Sunday. The Revd Jane Eastell presided and the Revd Rod Corke preached.  Afterwards, despite the inclement weather, we enjoyed the Vicarage garden one last time at the ‘Last Hurrah Bar-B-Q’.  It was a good time enjoyed by many.

We celebrated our Patronal Festival together.

Revd Rod Corke and Revd Jane Eastell

‘The Last Hurrah’ – the last celebration in the Vicarage garden but what of the weather??

The heavens opened!

Will it ever stop raining?

Undaunted, they came in their numbers!

Such abundance of food …

… and drink!

Such enthusiasm!

Such perseverance!

‘I can’t control the weather mate.’ Keep calm …

… and carry on … Bar-B-Q-ing!

Umbrellas to the rescue!

That’s the spirit!

Cheeky monkeys!

The Vicar’s smiling. All is well.

Bright sunshine the day after! Typical! Thanks Tim for clearing up.

‘Wired to Create’


Concert in aid of the Organ Fund is on Sunday 30th July at 4 pm. (Pre-concert talk by Ed Goater at 3.30pm)

A joint concert of vocal & instrumental works with members of Taunton Choral Society and St Mary Magdalene Choir.  Enjoyable choral works and solos for all – With strawberries and ‘fizz’ available!

Tickets free!  Retiring collection in aid of St Mary’s Organ Fund.

‘The Beautitudes’ – A Textile Display


A textile art display by Jacqaui Frost at St Mary Magdalene 24th July to 6th August, 9am-4pm. More information at Afternoon cream teas will be available from the coffee shop Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Printer and Copier for Charity


Parish Office Printer & Copier and folding and stapling machine

Do you know of a charity who would like these items.  If so please contact the Parish Office.  They will be available from 7th September.

Organ Donors Urgently Needed!


Organ Donors Urgently Needed!

Not hearts or kidneys, but PIPES!!

Taunton is very fortunate to have two ‘Father Willis’ pipe organs – in St John’s and St Mary Magdalene Churches.  Willis was the English ‘Rolls-Royce’ brand at the end of the nineteenth century when these instruments were built.  Unfortunately they are both in urgent need of repair.  As part of the fundraising programme, along with a ‘sponsor a pipe’ campaign, there will be a lunchtime concert of 45 minutes of colourful organ music by great composers in St Mary Magdalene Church at 12.45 pm on Friday 11th August.  Refreshments and light lunches will also be served.  The concert will be given by Miles Quick (Music Director at St Mary Magdalene), who will aim to demonstrate the beautiful colours and wide range of this ‘King of instruments’ – which is what Mozart called the organ.

Please come to enjoy a musical feast and help to make Taunton’s organs fit for purpose in the 21st Century!

Admission free, with a retiring collection to support the organ renovation funds for both churches.

Wednesday Breakaway Meetings


Wednesday Breakaway

  • August, no meeting
  • 6th September 9.30am- Decorating with mosaic tiles
  • 4th October, 10.30am – Quilling workshop with Philippa Reid. There will be a small charge of £3 to cover materials.

Parish Away Weekend


Bishop Peter is looking forward to being with us for our Parish Weekend and the theme of our time together will be “Snakes and Ladders”. If you are coming and have a game of snakes and ladders – do bring it along! There are still a few places left, so please see Valerie if you would like to come.

¨ Why a weekend away?
   A time of fun, teaching, and relaxation.  Given that church is a family, it is good to spend time together being refreshed in body, mind and spirit.  Both the programme and the venue have much      to offer people.

¨ When and Where?
Friday afternoon 22nd September to Sunday afternoon 24th September 2017 at Buckfast Abbey.

¨ What will it cost?

¨ Accommodation:
   All rooms are en-suite in the Northgate House complex.

¨ How?
   Find the leaflets and booking forms at the back of the church OR speak to Diana Fletcher OR Valerie Gaskell

Special Performance of Omega and Alpha


About “Omega and Alpha”

“Omega and Alpha”, written and composed by Martin Emslie, was premièred in Wells Cathedral in 2013 to great acclaim. The oratorio tells the story of the events leading up to the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Christ with the “Omega” referring to the death of Christ and the “Alpha” being the resurrection and birth of Christianity.

Since the première, it has attracted attention all over the world with performances currently being planned in a number of countries. A special performance of the work will be performed in Hull as part of the “City of Culture 2017” celebrations. The oratorio is currently being translated into German.

Martin was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the London College of Music for the composition of the work and is delighted to be conducting the Castle Cary Choir (who sang at the première) and the Extended St Cecilia choir in this performance. The three soloists all come from Somerset and the performance will feature the accompaniment played on the Willis organ by Paul Hawkins ARCO.

The concert will raise funds for the appeal to raise money for the restoration of the Willis organ and for Masonic Charitable funds.  The performance is likely to finish about 9pm but there will be refreshments and a “meet and greet” with the performers after the concert has finished.

Ride + Stride


So what’s this about?  Somerset Churches Trust provide funds for necessary repairs to churches. The aim is to have as many people as possible visiting participating churches. How does it work? First and foremost, it’s a fun event, based on people either cycling or walking around a local group of churches on 9th September.  Each church visited will offer basic hospitality. Participants simply ask family and friends to sponsor them, either by a lump sum or an amount per church visited.  Half the money raised can be returned to your own church. After a few years’ break, St Mary Magdalene is re-entering the event both by keeping the church open for Ride + Stride and hopefully, fielding our own Ride + Stride group.  Interested?  Pick up a leaflet at the back of church and shortly we will give details of the St Mary Magdalene Ride + Stride group.  For more details please contact Valerie Gaskell.

Sheila Murray on the Move


“I have just accepted the post of House for Duty Associate Priest at Bishop Monkton and Burton Leonard in the Ripon Cathedral Benefice in the Diocese of Leeds.  These are two lovely villages, each with about 900 residents and each has a Church of England Primary School.  It’s a beautiful part of the country and we are looking forward to exploring more of Yorkshire, and attending a different cricket ground!   The date of my Licensing is Saturday 30th September and it would be lovely if a few from St Mary’s were able to make the trip up, although I do realise it is a very long way (4.5-5 hours drive).  I will keep you informed as things progress, in the meantime I shall continue to help out in various churches on the outskirts of Taunton, and it’s been lovely seeing some of you around and about the town.”

Revd Sheila Murray

We pray for God’s guidance and blessing on Sheila and her husband Andy as they make this big move to another part of the country and to new parishes.  May they know His presence and strength with them.  Amen

‘The Last Hurrah Bar-B-Q’ – it’s not too late!


Don’t forget to sign up for the Last Hurrah next Sunday (Our Patronal Festival). We need help setting up the gazebos on Saturday afternoon at 2.30 pm. Please see Tim or Rita if you can help. Details for what you need to bring with you to the barbeque are in the church. Let us hope for lovely weather!

Eric Whitacre Concert


“Last week we hosted a special concert commissioned by The Brewhouse to celebrate their 40 year anniversary. It was broadcast on Thursday by Radio 3. It featured works by contemporary composer Eric Whitacre and we were particularly honoured that his new work “The Fall” was premiered. I would like to thank Derek and his team of volunteers for all their hard work to make this concert such a success. A recording of the concert can be found on BBC iPlayer.”

Rod Corke, Vicar