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1-Paul and Carolyn - 28-12-2013 - IMG_2651

We are delighted to hear that Paul and Carolyn’s wedding was such a happy occasion.

Please remember them in your prayers.

Inheritance – Eternal Life


 The Reading:  Matthew 19:23-30

Everyone who has left … will receive … and inherit eternal life” (v.29) NRSV

Last week we mentioned that those who leave all for Christ’s sake will inherit “the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  But this week’s emphasis is different.  The expression “eternal life” (v.29) has an emphasis on quality rather than place.  It is also to do with depth and not length; that is to say, it is not so much about ‘everlasting life’ as about ‘eternal life’.

As John tells us in his Gospel, we have already passed from death to life; eternal life (the new age) has already begun for those who believe in Jesus (e.g. John 6:47).  John’s emphasis is on the here and now, rather than some distant future.  The quality of life, abundant life begins now.  We are already, as St Paul puts it “sit(ting) with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

This is what the resurrection of Jesus brings to us.  This is what salvation is: eternal life.  This is a life in fellowship with God and with one another; it is a life where we are provided for and in which ‘shalom’ reigns.  Shalom is that community experience of peace, harmony, health and wholeness.  It is the best possible description of the life, abundant life that God brings.

This is the Kingdom in which God reigns and things are brought into submission under his good and kindly rule.  Unfortunately this is far from apparent at this present time.  It has however begun where God has been enthroned in the hearts of his followers.

Eternal life is not easily entered.  It means that we have to lose our life!  As Jesus said, “He who loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).  This does not mean literal martyrdom, but a yielding of our ‘self’ so that we can say, “not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

O Lord, save me from holding onto the things of this world and so losing my soul.  May I trust you with all that I have and all that I am.  Amen.

 Explore More

1  Who enter the Kingdom, eternal life?

    Matthew 25:34-36

2  What cannot enter the Kingdom, eternal life?

    1 Corinthians 15:50

Be Born In Us Today


Service:  11:30 pm Holy Communion – The First Communion of Christmas

Preacher:  Revd Dennis Cavaghan

Readings:  Hebrews 1:1-4, 5-12 & John 1:1-14

2000 years ago Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  Today He needs to be welcomed into each of our lives to spring clean and transform us.

After Christmas Hours


After Christmas the church and Parish Office are both closed, except for the services on 29th December, until 2nd January. This will give time for everyone to have a well deserved rest and for the church carpets to be cleaned and the Bookshop stocktake to happen.

  • Thursday 26th December  –  Church and Parish Office closed
  • Friday 27th December        –  Church and Parish Office closed
  • Saturday 28th December   –  Church and Parish Office closed
  • Sunday 29th December      –  8.00 am Holy Communion, 10.00 am Holy Communion & 6.30 pm Evensong
  • Monday 30th December    –  Church and Parish Office closed
  • Tuesday 31st December     –  Church and Parish Office closed
  • Wednesday 1st January     –  Church and Parish Office closed
  • Thursday 2nd January       – We are open and Happy New Year

Inheritance – The Earth


 The Reading:  Matthew 5:1-10

 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (v.5) RSV

 The promised inheritance of “the earth” (v.5) is slightly problematic.  The idea is raised again at the end of the Bible: “and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth” (Revelation 5:10).  The ‘earth’ that is being referred to seems to belong to “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1), and not so much to the present time.

However, Jesus did promise Peter and the other disciples that those who had forsaken all to follow him would “receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses … and lands … and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:30).  God will provide both in this life and the next all that is needful.  Anyway, ‘inheriting’ does not necessarily mean possessing!

But whatever is precisely meant by “the earth” we are clearly instructed that it is the “meek” who will inherit it.  Entrance to the inheritance is not automatic.  Indeed, speaking pictorially, the entrance is low and narrow.  Just as the camel could not go through the eye of the needle, so we cannot go through into God’s blessing unless we have ‘shrunk’.  The meek have learnt humility (not self-loathing or self-deprecation).

The prime example of meekness was Moses: “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).  Moses was not a mild and mealy-mouthed man.  He was strong and courageous.  His meekness, like all true meekness, was his dependence on his God, and his obedience or submission to the Lord.

However, meekness does sometimes involve mildness and gentleness.  As Paul said: “I … entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:1).  Jesus could be tough and confrontational, but he was humble and lowly of heart, never arrogant and strident – that is meekness.

Grant me a humble and teachable spirit, and teach me to be gentle with others, ‘specially the awkward ones.  Amen.

 Explore More

1  Who will not inherit the earth?

    1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:19-21

2  How does Paul sum up meekness?

    Colossians 3:12-13

Christmas Crossword



Copies are now available on the table at the back of church.

Solutions are available on request from Mick Polley.

Christmas Services


Do come to two feature services this week. On Christmas Eve there is delightful mayhem as families come from all over Taunton for the special Christmas Eve Crib Service. Anything can happen and probably will! We are expecting several Mary’s, lots of Josephs a host of angels, wise men and even superman if past years are anything to go by!

Please do not think this service is just for children. It is open to all and very enjoyable. Later, at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, we have the First Communion of Christmas. Our refurnished crib figures will be in place under the altar, the Christmas flower arrangements will be helping to make the church look wonderful, our new service books will be used for the first time and we will have the joy of sharing the peace with one another on Christmas Morning.


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Church Christmas Tree



Our preparation for Christmas began with the arrival of the church Christmas tree.

It has new white cherry lights this year which are particularly effective.

Thank you, Nigel and Cheryl, for all your hard work bringing it in and decorating it so beautifully.