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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.

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)

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.

Open Deanery Synod


On Monday evening our new Bishop, The Rt Revd Peter Hancock, is coming to Deanery Synod to give us his “first thoughts” about where the Diocese is heading and to hear what is happening in the Taunton Deanery.  This is an open meeting and anyone can come. It is at St Michael’s Galmington at 7.30pm. You would be most welcome.

Buckets for Ebola


The PCC has agreed to donate £1,000 towards the Disasters Emergency Appeal in respect of the Ebola crisis.

There will also be collecting buckets in church at our service on Sunday so that we can increase this amount.

Upcoming Taunton Activities


Here is a range of activities happening in the coming weeks around Taunton.

  • An evening with the new Bishop of Bath and Wells  You are invited to come and meet Bishop Peter Hancock.  He will be answering questions and telling us about his top three priorities as the new Bishop.  This is an open meeting and representatives from community groups, local industries and institutions are very welcome to attend.  Monday 24th November 7pm at St Michael’s Church, Galmington. 
  • The Angel Tree Service  Parents, family and friends are given an opportunity to pause to reflect on the loss of their baby, whether the loss was recent  or many years ago.  Lighting a candle for each baby enables people to unite with others who have experienced the same heartache.  Families feel less isolated and alone when sharing in the service.    Sunday 23rd November 3.00pm St Mary Magdalene Church in Taunton.
  • An Advent Quiet Day gives us a special opportunity, in the midst of the rush of our daily lives, to slow down and reflect on what the season means for us.  We will explore together Advent themes of waiting, expectation and anticipation.  Abbey House, Glastonbury.  Wednesday, 26th November 2014. 10.00-4.00.  (See What’s On for further details.)
  • Christmas Tree Festival will take place at Taunton United Reformed Church, Paul Street, on Friday 12th to Sunday 14th December. Entry is free. We organise this event principally to give a showcase to several groups and organisations which work tirelessly for the good of others and the enrichment of society; also to offer people a refuge from the busyness of Christmas shopping. We hope you will be dazzled by the trees and by what you learn about our tree sponsors.  (See What’s On for further details.)
  • The Business Carol Service – for all who work in Taunton.  Speakers: Rev Keith Powell and Fran James (HR Manager – Sainsburys) St James Church, Taunton.  Tuesday 16th December 6.15 – 7.15pm.  Followed by festive refreshments.  Organised by Taunton Team Chaplaincy – who serve the Community and Businesses of Taunton  as Town Centre and Workplace Chaplains.  Free Parking from 6.00pm in Coal Orchard and Canon St. Car Parks.   Tel: 07581 424420

Rev. Steven Reed

Lead Chaplain