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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.

Guess Who?


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

Please remember them in your prayers.

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

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.


Challenge – Dinner Party Desserts


Fill your freezer for Christmas – Margaret Allen is still taking orders for Desserts.

There is a list at the back of Church.

Contact Margaret Allen 442629

Poetry Competition


United Press are running a poem competition– free to enter and the prize is £250 for church funds. The closing date is January 31st 2014, and you may enter up to three poems, with a religious theme. Full details are in the Parish Office, if anyone is interested.


Snow Art Christmas Cards


Famous snow artist designs St Mary’s Christmas cards

Snow artist Simon Beck has kindly donated two special designs for this year’s Christmas cards in aid of the Bells of St Mary’s: one of St Mary’s tower and one of a star.

Simon, an experienced mountain climber and a keen bellringer himself, has lived in France for the last 10 years where he spends a lot of time designing patterns and then stamping them out in the snow, a task that can take him over 9 hours to complete. Some of his designs are a big as 3 football fields together!

It all starts with a mathematical pattern that he designs, followed by 2 hours of measuring in the snow. After that he literally stamps the design – something akin to a crop circle – out in the snow.

After finishing the work he then photographs it and puts the end result on Facebook. But Nature has her own programme and so it can happen that after a hard day’s work Simon returns in the morning to photograph his effort, only to find it covered up by a fresh layer of snow. Philosophically he has described this as a fresh opportunity to come up with something new….

You can find more information about Simon and his work through your search engine by typing in Simon Beck’s Snow Art, or by going on Facebook.

Here you can see some more of Simon’s snow creations as displayed on the Daily Telegraph’s website.

Church Thieves


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There have been a number of thefts of handbags/purses from church premises lately. Police would encourage members of congregations not to leave any personal property unattended at church services, even when going up for Communion as there was a recent serious incident in which a handbag was stolen.

Sad though this seems, please be extra vigilant and report anything suspicious to one of the wardens.

Bells of St Mary’s – Notelets & Christmas Cards

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Two designs of notelets are on sale in the bookshop in aid of the Bells of St. Mary’s. Christmas cards will be available from October.

A pack of 10 cards – both notelets and Christmas cards – costs £5 (only 50p per card – what a bargain!).

Various combinations of cards will be available.

Thank you for your support!


0 Comments 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.

Our New Bishop


We were delighted to hear this week of the appointment of the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Basingstoke in the Winchester Diocese, as Diocesan Bishop of Bath and Wells. He has said “I am delighted to be coming to Bath and Wells; it’s a wonderful part of the country. It will be a great privilege to meet all who live and work here in Somerset, to hear people’s stories and to discover all that God is doing in their lives. The mission of the Diocese is ‘Changing Lives, Changing Churches for Changing Communities’. The good news of Jesus is life-changing and I look forward to seeing the lives of individuals and communities continuing to be transformed by his grace and his love.”

We hope he will visit us soon and we pray for Peter and his family as they prepare to move.

No date has been set for the consecration but the summer of 2014 is most likely.