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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.

Abseiling down the tower for the Bells Project


The abseil was a tremendous success and so well organised by the Royal Marines and the Bell ringing Fundraising group.

Please give sponsor money to the churchwardens and remember to cross your name off the list at the back of Church. During the Week it can be paid into the book shop.

Those who abseiled thank you for your praise and encouragements but we would all agree that the Royal Marines are the really brave people. They are setting out on another dangerous tour of duty to Afghanistan and our prayers go with them.

We remember too the folk they have left behind.


Zambian Trip


We all enjoyed the trip to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross very much indeed. It was a tremendous privilege to preach in the cathedral at the celebration service (5 hours long – but it passed quickly: so much happened!). The President of Zambia, Michael Sata came, and brought with him his cabinet (+Kenneth Kunuda – now “Father of the Nation”), the judiciary, the heads of the Zambian armed forces and the diplomatic Service! It was broadcast live on Zambian TV.

We the enjoyed a lunch together in marquees on the cathedral lawn. We visited Chainda and were pleased to discover the classroom we built being used daily. A charity from the Netherlands had just completed a library and books were arriving as gifts from British schools. The younger children sang to us which was unforgettable.

Recycling for the Bells Project


ACTIVIA run a recycling system through to which Jenni Stenhouse has signed up. The idea is to collect used yoghurt pots (clean!) from Activia/Danone. The money raised will be donated to St. Mary’s Bell Appeal.

So please save the pots and ask your friends to do likewise, Jenni will do the rest. Remember, only Activia / Danone cartons.

Shoe Box Appeal


Leaflets at the back of church  for Samaritan’s Purse appeal.  Filled shoe boxes need to be back in church by November 10th.

Church and Community Worker Needed

St Michael’s Church, Galmington, Taunton seeks to appoint a Church and Community Worker.  The post will be part time. It is a Genuine Occupational Requirement in terms of the Equality Act 2010 that the postholder be a practising Christian of a denomination which is a member of Churches Together in England.
For further information and application form see
Closing date: Friday 12 October 2012

Church Weekend Away 2013


When and Where?

14th -16th June 2013

At Glenfall House, Charlton Kings near Cheltenham

Cost: £175 per person – Friday dinner to Sunday lunch full board

Glenfall House is a beautiful listed building dating back to 1617 and provides a secluded, peaceful setting in the hills near Charlton Kings just outside Cheltenham. The House can accommodate 45 people in tastefully furnished rooms, most of which have en-suite facilities.

It has 4 acres of lovely grounds, including a croquet lawn, rose garden, water features, and an orchard. There is a modern chapel in the main house and a crypt chapel beneath the Library.

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Why and Who is it for?

This is a special time for people to come away from the normal routines of life, to relax in a beautiful environment, to deepen our faith, and to have fellowship together. (Please note this is not a retreat). We are thrilled to announce that our speaker for the weekend is The Right Reverend George Cassidy, who has recently retired as the Bishop of Southwell, and he is the son-in-law of Elizabeth Stevens who was a member of St Mary Magdalene’s congregation.

What do I do now?

All you need to do is to book your place using the application form on the leaflet (this can be downloaded from our website) and return it with your non-refundable deposit of £50 by September 30th – Please be aware that numbers are limited and bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis.

How can I find out more?

Contact Rev Sheila Murray on 326876 or email:


Joan says Thank You


Thank you to St Mary Magdalene’s people, especially those who attended the 10.00am service on 20th July, and helped to celebrate my 90th birthday.  It was a complete surprise and gave me a lot of pleasure.  The Orchid is beautiful.  I have never celebrated my birthday before and due to the kindness of other people it was worth waiting 90 years.  How blessed we are to have such wonderful cake makers and decorators in our membership.  With sincere thanks, Joan Martin.


Joan Martin

Home Groups


Church activities are beginning to start up again after the August sojourn – and what an exciting Autumn Term it promises to be!  Home groups have continued or are starting back.

The Vicarage group are looking at “Faith, hope, love and everything in between” – much to talk about there then! We meet 26th September; 3rd and 24th October; 14th and 28th November; 12th December (Social).

And the Agape Home Group start back on the 25th September from 2-3.30pm in the Upper Room. Tea, cakes and a warm welcome awaits: please do come and join us. We meet fortnightly thereafter until further notice.

If you would like to join a group (there are seven meeting at different times), then this is a good time to do so. Just see a member of the clergy team.

Nik and Exmoor Explorer


NIK has so far raised £535 sponsorship from his Exmoor Explorer bicycle ride in aid of the St. Mary’s Bell Fund There are still a few payments to come but what a brilliant effort by him. Well done and thank you Nik.

Rebecca – The Little Zambian Girl



The little Zambian girl, Rebecca, who had her face badly burnt, has had the first phase of her face reconstructive surgery in South Africa.  As you can see from the before and after pictures, it has been a great success!

Manna Magazine – Autumn 2012


The Autumn 2012 issue of Manna magazine is the disability issue. It is packed with personal accounts of what life’s like for disabled people, particularly those with ‘invisible’ impairments like autism. And also what it’s like for carers who tirelessly support loved ones, day in day out. The aim is to encourage Manna readers to think about how you might support changes to help disabled people participate fully in church and community life. We also hope the issue will help you lay aside fears about getting to know disabled people in your communities and not let worries over ‘political correctness’ stop you from making those approaches.


A Book explores ‘Back to Church Sunday’


On Sunday September 30th 2012, the ninth Back to Church Sunday will take place with thousands of churches across 5 continents taking part. Now a book which explores Back to Church Sunday and how to make it more effective has been published to deepen the understanding of invitation.

Archbishop John Sentamu in the foreword says “This book is about helping churches re-learn how to make disciples. A challenge from the ‘Back to Church Sunday’ initiative, it goes right to the heart of what it is to be church, namely, worshipping God and infecting his world with the goodness of Jesus Christ. Ever since Philip first urged Nathanael to ‘come and see’ (John 1:46) the practice of invitation has been crucial to spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The book, Unlocking the Growth by Michael Harvey,  is available on the following website