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First Candle of the Advent Wreath

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Prophecy Candle or Candle of Hope

At St Mary’s we light a candle each Sunday during Advent (the four Sundays leading up to Christmas).

Each candle is symbolic.


We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. “And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:12-13)

Who is King? – David


 The Reading:  1 Samuel 16:5-13

“… the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart;” (13: 14) RSV

David had a heart that pleased God.  He may have been a rogue in several ways e.g. an adulterer, a murdered and a poor father! but he had a big heart, loved the Lord, was courageous, and attempted great things for God.  It does seem that God (and Jesus) is more impressed by faith and love than by holiness.  Now don’t get me wrong.  God is not mocked and cannot stand sin.  He hates divorce and he hates injustice.  But most of all he hates unbelief and small-mindedness.

David was chosen because he was ‘childlike’.  He was not tall like his predecessor, Saul.  But he was “ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome” (1 Samuel 16:12).  A few verses earlier it says that the Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance.  It’s the heart that God is interested in.  David’s heart shone through his eyes.  Do we love, do we feel compassion, do we get angry over injustice?  God wants to give us a new heart (see Explore More).

David’s kingship was, however, one of war.  Fights have to be fought.  There will always be wars and rumours of wars (Matthew 24:6).  And Christian kings may have to initiate or take part in them.  They will however never bring in the Kingdom of Heaven, but they are part of God’s plan for restricting and restraining evil (Romans 13:4).

But because David was a military king he was not the right man to build the Temple.  There are different rulers for different times, different horses for different courses.  David established the kingdom of Israel 3000 years ago, and did so through force of arms.  But it was his son, Solomon, who was to build the centre of religion, the Temple.

What sort of leadership are you called to?  Let us accept the way God has made us and accept the purpose for which he has made us; we cannot do everything, but we should do something.

Father, thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  May I accept myself (except for my sinful heart) and live to the full the life you have given me.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  What heart does God give us?

     Ezekiel 36:26

2  Who trained David to fight?

    Psalm 144:1

Welcome Revd Steve Reed!


On Sunday 30th November, we are delighted to welcome  the Revd Steve Reed, our Town Lead Chaplain who will be preaching at the 10.00am. Steve has helped to develop the chaplaincy’s work in town significantly and will be giving us story and testimony of how the chaplains are bringing God’s love to shops and businesses in Taunton. Steve will stay for coffee; do talk with him.

Craft Fair Success!


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“On 22nd November we held the Craft Fair and this proved very popular with stall holders and shoppers. The church buzzed with people and the coffee shop was very busy. I met many folk who were visiting the church including Godfrey and Phyllis Mumford. They were celebrating their diamond wedding with a visit to the church where they were married. I was able to find their names in the parish magazine and they were delighted. Thanks to Debbie Whitaker – her vision and organisational skills made this craft fair happen.”


New Notice Boards


The new noticeboards are in place at the back of church and this area will look tidier and more organised. Thanks to Dennis and Susanne for overseeing this project. They have agreed to be Publicity Officers to ensure the board stays in good order.

We await permissions to proceed with the new message and notice boards outside the church.

Signature Events


On Tuesday evening, over 25 folk enjoyed an excellent three course meal at the Pink Garlic Indian Restaurant in Hamilton Road.We had a great time and it was the latest in our Signature social events. The next
Signature event is this coming Wednesday at The Orchard Restaurant (Somerset College) when we will have the Church Christmas Meal. It is not too late to come. Just sign up at the end of the service. Wehave just booked a Signature afternoon tea at Mr Miles (Riverside) on 13th February 2015. More details to follow.

Our Christmas Meal


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Our annual Christmas meal at the Quantock Restaurant, Somerset College is going to be held on Wednesday 3rd December at 6:45 pm.  This is a great opportunity to get to know people a bit better, and have good food too!  The menu looks delicious! We are so well looked after there and it should be an excellent evening.

The sign up form is at the back of church.

Do come.

Christianity Explored Course


“After Christmas I intend to run a Christianity Explored Course. This is six sessions which explores what it means to be a Christian. If you would like to be confirmed next year, this course will be counted as preparation. I will need help running this course and would welcome any offers.”


Late Night Shoppers


Can you help with opening the coffee shop for the late night shoppers on Thursday 4th and Thursday 11th December. We would love it if you came in and just sat and had a drink and a cake. It is much easier to
persuade shoppers to come in if the Coffee Shop is “buzzing”. If you felt able to talk to folk – even better – but there is no pressure to do this. We offer free cake and drink so if you are able to help supply some mince pies, or small cakes – brilliant! Again, sign up at the back of Church. Some of the contacts we made last year proved to be real points of mission and outreach.

Planning Permission for Boards


You may be aware that we hope to place two message boards and a new notice board in the churchyard. This will replace the wooden boards presently in situ. We need to seek local authority planning permission and folk have the right to object. You can see the proposal at the council offices or on line at: under Application No. 38/14/0383/A. We will need DAC permission too.