Skip to Content Skip to Section Navigation Skip to Main Navigation

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.

Thank You from Taunton Foodbank


“A VERY BIG THANK YOU to all those who have contributed to Taunton Foodbank.  We have been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for donating one tonne of food since we started in November 2012. This is worth £1,690 in cash value.

Please continue to donate as the need is still great.”

Diane Bayliss & Derek Hicks

‘Annie’s Ride’ for our Bells


Annies Ride - 4610131805

On Sunday 3 August Annie Suddaby will set out on “Annie’s Ride” which will take her, mounted on Gypsy, on a journey of 150 miles visiting 50 Somerset churches over 24 days. Starting at the lovely St Mary’s Magdalene at the heart of Taunton, the team, which also includes Annie’s sister-in-law, Jo French, will visit the Blackdown Hills, Exmoor, the Quantocks and the Somerset Levels.

Why? Because as well as being a horsewoman, Annie is a bellringer and she wants to help raise funds to restore the bells at St Mary’s. These bells are in a sorry state: the carillon and the clock chimes have broken; the bells don’t sound good and are difficult to ring so they need to be recast and rehung. It will all cost £300,000. Annie’s ambitious and imaginative initiative aims to bring in a healthy chunk of this.

It hasn’t all gone to plan. Her own horse, Mieke, suffered a bad fall while getting fit for the Ride. She injured her front legs; she is now recovering but sadly she won’t be fit in time. But this is a wonderful world: a kind benefactor from Cornwall heard of Annie’s predicament and has come to the rescue, generously lending her own horse, Gypsy.

So the Ride goes ahead.  It all starts on Sunday 3 August at the family service at St Mary’s, when the Ride will receive the Church’s blessing. At the conclusion of that service at about 11.00am, Annie will mount up at the main entrance to the church and will ride out of Taunton on an itinerary that takes her to no less than 50 local churches over the following three and a half weeks.

As she arrives at each church, Annie and sister in law Jo will join a band of local experienced ringers to ring the bells. Jo is starting from scratch and it is her challenge to learn the skill as she goes from tower to tower. Annie plans to complete her adventure on Tuesday 26 August by riding back into Taunton for a Civic reception at St Mary’s Magdalene.

It is a lot of riding and a lot of ringing. Let’s hope it raises a lot of money! All good luck to them!

For further details visit which has the route and will run an interactive map during the Ride and a Blog to record progress.

But here also are details of the route:-

GDE Error: Error retrieving file - if necessary turn off error checking (404:Not Found)


Mary Magdalene – Our Patron Saint


Sunday 20th July is  our Patronal festival when we remember the life of St Mary Magdalene who travelled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was present at Jesus’ two most important moments: the crucifixion and the resurrection. Within the four Gospels, the oldest historical record mentioning her name, she is named at least 12 times, more than most of the apostles. The Gospel references describe her as courageous, brave enough to stand by Jesus in his hours of suffering, death and beyond. We are honoured to have Mary as our church’s saint.

23 Chaplains in Town


Some good news from the Town Centre Chaplaincy. We now have 23 chaplains going into the shops and businesses in town. They are welcomed and appreciated. Recently the chaplain to one of the large supermarkets conducted a funeral for a staff member who had tragically died. It is so important that staff in shops and businesses have good access to Christian pastoral care.

Becky’s Pip Flips!


Did you see a photograph of St Mary Magdalene’s church in The Times this week? It showed Pip Andersen doing a somersault outside the church with his bride Becky looking on. Pip and Becky were married here and now lead Voice … and the reason for the interest in Pip? He has landed a star part in the new Star Wars film beating 37,000 other applicants! Well done Pip! Pip’s website is:

Church Foundation Governors Wanted


Holy Trinity Primary School seeks additional Foundation governors, who have a particular responsibility for ensuring that the school upholds its Christian ethos. Do you feel called to use your time and talents to
contribute to making a difference to the world in this way? If you would like to know more, please contact Julia Steward (chair of governors) after the service on one of her duty organist Sundays, or email her at to arrange a no-obligation conversation. Thank you. (This is included here with the knowledge and blessing of those at Holy Trinity Church).

Battle of the Organs … a Recital


New vs Old!  Come see our Venerable Old Father Willis (pipe organ) take on Flash-Harry Viscount (electronic organ with all flashing lights and hi-tec gizmos), both joined in battle by Trumpet – 12th July – 3:30-4:40pm. (Tea will be served after the battle!)

GDE Error: Error retrieving file - if necessary turn off error checking (404:Not Found)

Magdalene Fayre


Already goods have been arriving to sell at the Magdalene Fayre. Can you help? This would be a good time to have a Summer clear out. Please bring items to church and leave them in the North Aisle.

100 years Commemeration of WW1


This week a meeting was held with David Fothergill, Chairman of Somerset County Council, to plan the civic service to commemorate the 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. The service will be held at St Mary Magdalene’s on Monday 4th August at 2.30pm. It is open to all and we would really like you to come.

Busy Weekend Ahead


Next Saturday (19th July) is the Magdalene Fayre. Are you able to help? We would really appreciate it. Help is needed and we desperately need goods to sell. Do bring them and put them on the pews in the north side of the church. Let us make it a very special day.

The following day is the Patronal Festival and we will be enjoying a barbecue in the garden. We have two barbecue points (Morton Dunn and John Porter) but we really need a third. Can you help with this? Please sign the sheet at the back of church if you are coming. We would love you to be there.

Signature Events


Following on from the highly successful Exmouth/Topsham trip, the next outing is on Sunday 10th August when we shall be having a picnic at Kilve followed by a service at St Mary’s the Virgin. Cream Teas will also be available.

More details to follow shortly.

Magdalene Fayre


Magdalene Fayre will be held on July 19th from 10.00am-2.00pm. There is a list at the back of church for those able to help, and if you have any items to donate, please bring them into church at the beginning of July. In particular, we would welcome some bottles and tins for the Tombola stall.

Many thanks from the team.