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Palm Sunday

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palms-976848-sSunday 13th April is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week—the most important time in the Christian calendar. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there laid down their cloaks in front of him, and also laid down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalm 118: 25–26 – “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord”.

At the beginning of the service the palm crosses will be blessed– set apart as a symbolic reminder to us that Jesus was no earthly king but the KING of Kings.

Easter Week

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“Dennis’ Lent lectures on the ‘cross’ have finished and, personally, I found them most helpful. The journey continues next week with three holy week talks on the last words from the cross. These talks, taken by Sheila, Ben and Dennis, begin at 7.00.pm. Do come. The full programme of Easter Services is available on a leaflet at the back of Church. Next week is Easter Sunday and we truly celebrate—please bring cut flowers to help decorate the cross.”  Rod

Holy Week Reflections

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Bible - it-is-finished-686044-sHoly Week Reflections

During Holy Week we are having half hour Evening Reflections each day at 7:00 pm.

The theme, the Last Seven Words of Jesus on the Cross, is based on a book by Dom Timothy Radcliffe.

Monday is led by Sheila Murray, using “Forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), and “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)

Tuesday is led by Ben Whitworth, using “Woman, Behold your Son – Behold your mother” (John 19:26-27), and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)

Wednesday is led by Dennis Cavaghan, using “I thirst” (John 19:28), and “It is finished” (John 19:30)

Thursday (during the Maundy Communion at 7.30pm) is led by Rod Cork using “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46)

PCC and Deanery Synod Places

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We have 8 places for the PCC and 4 for Deanery Synod (all Deanery Synod members are automatically on the PCC).

So is God calling you to serve your church? This is your opportunity to contribute to the vision and mission of the Church. We would really welcome nominations.

The APM is Sunday 27th April at 4.00pm.

Maundy Thursday Vigil

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On the 17th April, Church will be open until midnight following the service at 7.30pm, and we need two volunteers per hour slot to help achieve this safely. The church wardens will also be taking their turn for this, but they really do need 2 more people on the premises. There is a sign up form on the back table, if you are able to help. Many thanks.

Coffee Shop

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We have a confirmed date for work to be done behind the servery counter in support of a new Menu which will be launched in May. Some cupboards are to be removed; a new food and drink preparation counter fitted, and equipment added.  This means the Coffee Shop will be closed on Tuesday 22nd April for 3 days, re-opening on Friday 25th. At the Annual Parish Meeting on 27 April at 4pm we shall set out the full vision and future plans for this area of the church.

Lent Talks

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During Lent, Revd Dennis Cavaghan led us in a series of Lent talks on an acrostic “CROSS”.

The sermon, Ash and Cross, on Ash Wednesday set the theme ‘CROSS’ for the following weekly talks.

Cross - 1184184_77005073C = Crucifixion

R = Rest

O = Obedience

S = Service

S = Salvation

We met on Thursdays at 7:30 pm, beginning on the 13th March and continuing through to the 10th April, enjoying tea and coffee afterwards.

This last talk on Salvation completes the series of these Lent talks.

  • Crucifixion … the cost
  • Rest ………….. the benefit
  • Obedience …. the response
  • Service ……… the imitation of Christ
  • Salvation ….. the full benefits

Special thanks go to Joan Jay for organising the tea and coffee and to Sheila, Rosie and Andy for accompanying the hymns.  

In addition to clicking the above links to hear the various talks, they can also be found on our Sermons page.

Thank you for journeying with us through Lent.

Lent Talk – Salvation

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LENT TALKS 2014 – “The Cross” given by Revd Dennis Cavaghan

Cross - 1184184_77005073

C = Crucifixion

R = Rest

O = Obedience

S = Service

S = Salvation

READING:  Romans 13:11-14

“For Salvation is nearer to us now than we first believed.”

There are three aspects of Salvation.

  • Past      – Justification – made right in an instant
  • Present – Sanctification – process of being changed
  • Future  – Complete salvation – when we die

Celebration of a New Benefice

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In these photos we see the service of Celebration of the formation of the new Benefice of St Mary Magdalene and St John the Evangelist, during which the Revd Rod Corke was instituted as Incumbent of the joint benefice.

The new benefice was now not only legally launched but also spiritually.

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The service is led by The Bishop of Taunton, The Right Revd Peter Maurice.

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Revd Rod Corke makes the Declarations and Oaths of Obedience,

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and then he is blessed as the new Incumbent.

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The new incumbent, with the new Clergy and Readers’ team, are prayed for.

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A churchwarden from each church is presented with a new prayer book.

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The new benefice of St Mary Magdalene and St John the Evangelist

May this marriage prove fruitful and a blessing to Taunton.

Lost Years – Zacchaeus

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 The Reading:  Luke 19:1-10 

… if I have defrauded anyone of anything …” (v.8) RSV

Zacchaeus, unlike the Prodigal Son, had not squandered his wealth, but had exponentially increased it.  To some extent he was like our modern day bankers.  His riches came out of the pockets of the people.  He was a tax collector on behalf of the Romans, so he was doubly unpopular: i) because he worked for ‘them’, and ii) because he extracted far more tax than he should in order to line his own pockets.

As far as he was concerned he was a highly successful businessman, and yet he was to discover that he had been wasting his life.  After his encounter with Jesus he learned the meaning of the proverb: “What does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:36).  He suddenly realised that his life was worthless.  All he had achieved was materialistic and selfish.

Jesus had opened his eyes to re-evaluate his accumulation of wealth.  He had given nothing away to charitable needs, and much of what he had gained was through defrauding innocent people.  He wanted to make amends, to make a clean break and have a new start.  He therefore announced (always a good thing, since there is no going back on it!), that “the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold” (v.8).

Zacchaeus’ repentance, like all true repentance, is not merely remorse or regret, it is a change of mind.  He made restitution where possible, and would live a different life from then on.  If we mean business with God, and we feel that we have wasted our lives in materialistic gain (say) then we too will need to repent, reassess our values and start to live differently.

Zacchaeus may have been financially poorer but he was richer within himself.  He was alive.  He had been “lost” (v.10), but he had now received “salvation” (v.9).

Lord I (and probably others too) had not realised that my life, though prosperous, was selfish.  Forgive me and show me what I must do, for your name’s sake.  Amen.

 Explore More

1  What did Jesus do and say to thieving traders in the Temple?

     Luke 19:45-46

2   What about the rich who made their money off the poor?

     James 5:1-6

Fifth Sunday in Lent

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1-IMG_8939This Cross started with the bare remains of our Christmas Tree.

On the first Sunday of Lent the Purse of silver coins was added, the following week the red Robe was added, then the Crown of Thorns, and then the three Nails.

On the fifth Sunday of Lent the Dice which the soldiers used to gamble for his raiment were brought to the Cross (John 19:23-24 and Psalm 22:18).