The PCC had a really good Away Day at the Mill House in Tiverton last Saturday 16th May. The weather was bright and sunny and it is a place where you feel away from it all.
The PCC members worked hard on the beginnings of a five year plan for St Mary Magdalene.
They also agreed to donate £20,000 to the bell fund for a St Mary Magdalene bell. This means only the 9th and tenor bells are left to sponsor. In addition, the largest chime bell has been designated “The Somerset Bell” to represent all the people of Somerset and anyone who has anything to do with Somerset is being invited to chip in £2 or more to help fund it. We estimate we are about £72,000 short of the £300,000. This is an incredible achievement. We can begin to truly believe that soon our new bells will ring out.
The Vicarage Home Group is studying “The Conversations with Jesus” a book by Ben’s brother Patrick Whitworth. They had a really good time on Wednesday evening and there is still space if you would like to join us when we meet again on Wednesday 3rd June. Just come along at 7.30pm – you will be most welcome,
AGAPE will next meet on Tuesday 26th May in the Upper Room and continue in its reading of the Letter to the Hebrews.
There will be the following stalls: cakes and preserves, jewellery, cards, craft and a sale table run by the MU. There will also be a raffle in church. Donations, cakes, preserves and/or raffle prizes can be brought into church early that morning.
Please contact Debbie Whittaker via the office if you are able to make any donations
Join us on our church weekend away at Ammerdown on 19-21 June. We still have spaces available, forms are on the table at the back of church. Speak to Sheila if you wish to know more. If you have already booked for this weekend, please keep checking the pigeonholes for correspondence and information.
Christian Aid reports, “Huge numbers of survivors are now homeless, sleeping outside and too frightened to return to their homes. They need clean water, food, shelter and medical care”. Should you wish to donate further, buckets are placed at the back of Church, marked “NEPAL”. Christian Aid Donation Envelopes can be returned by placing them in Christian Aid Week buckets, also at the back of Church.
Christian Aid week has drawn to a close. Thank you to all who came to the Coffee Shop on Tuesday morning to meet Fiona. All profits from that day will be sent to Christen Aid. Ronnie King has worked very hard to bring Christian Aid to us and we thank him for all his hard work.
“… sit with him in the heavenly places …” (v. 6) RSV
Keep looking down! What a strange thing to tell a Christian to do. But it all depends where you are when the instruction is given. St Paul tells us that we have been “raised up” (v.6), or ascended with Christ Jesus, and now sit with him in God’s presence. So we now look down on earth and adopt God’s view on life.
No longer are we a worm slithering between the grasses and no longer are we unable to see beyond the next obstacle. We have risen up and we can now get the overall picture. Our whole perspective on life is transformed. We enjoy the big picture.
Now we are able to understand God’s long-term strategy, and above all we understand that all things will one day be put right. We no longer need to look up to God, earnestly hoping that he will come down and help, for we are now in the presence of God and are able to have fellowship with him. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (v.6). The privileges of Christ Jesus are our privileges. Incredible! He earned it through his life of love and obedience. We receive it as an unmerited gift.
Our faith and confidence will grow as we realise all that we receive in Christ. We are limited by our ignorance. Faith grows through hearing the truth, and the truth will set us increasingly free. We are “seated with Christ Jesus” (v.6); let its full import seep into your mind.
My Lord and my God, forgive me that I have understood so little of all you have achieved. Increase my faith and my boldness. Amen.
On Wednesday evening, St Mary Magdalene Church hosted the Bishop’s Visitation. This was a mammoth service with clergy, church wardens and supporters from the Taunton Archdeaconry. The Bishop of Bath and Wells was in fine form, arriving with Loko’s firewood on his back promoting Christian Aid. Caroline Lee, Derek Hicks and Valerie Gaskell were sworn in as our Church Wardens and Ann Jarret and Gwen Chapman are the Wardens at St John’s. The Bishop spoke highly of the work of Church Wardens in the Diocese and said what an important part they play in church life. The former Church Wardens were thanked and today we say a special goodbye to Mick Polley whose term has expired. Mick has been a hard working exceedingly wise Church Warden who we will miss greatly. As a church we say a collective “thank you” to Mick today.
The Bishop will return to us next week to preside and preach at Pentecost. We are really looking forward to him coming. Do come and meet him.