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Hezekiah – His Prayer


 The Reading:  2 Kings 19:1-19 

Hezekiah … spread the letter before the Lord” (v.14) RSV

Fear can come in many forms.  Its power lies in the fact that it undermines faith.  We lose our peace because we are temporarily overcome by the reality of our problems.

You may remember this is what happened to Peter when he took his first steps on water: “when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).  Well, it was just the same with Hezekiah.  When he read the letter from the besieging Assyrian army and when he knew all the havoc they had wrought further up north, he was full of apprehension.

However, he did the right thing.  Previously he had tried to buy them off and he had prepared by digging a water course into Jerusalem, but now there was no other option left to him, he must pray.  There is a beautiful simplicity, even naivety in what he does.  He takes the threatening letter with him into God’s presence (the Temple), and spreads it out in front of him.  He then reminds God of his love and care for his people.

This leads him into asking the Lord to sort out the problem.  Hezekiah is not being prescriptive but he is definitely looking for a solution.

There are many, many ways to pray, but there is no technique that compels God to fulfil our will.  Prayer is, one way or another, a matter of coming into God’s presence, opening our heart to him, reminding ourselves of his promises and commitment to us, and then resting in the assurance that he has heard and will answer (as the old Prayer Book says) “as is most expedient for us”.

As the old hymn goes: “What a friend we have in Jesus … What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.  Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”  Are you facing intractable problems?  Pray!

Thank you Lord that nothing is too big or too small to bring to you in prayer.  Make me eager to talk to you.  Amen.

Explore More

1  Who was in the custom of praying three times a day?

    Daniel 6:10

2  What should we do with our fears and problems?

    Matthew 11:28

Commemorating 70th Anniversary of VJ Day


At our 10.00am on Sunday 16th we will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, which marked the end of hostilities following the Second World War.

We are honoured to welcome our civic guests led by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Dr Bob Dunning and the Mayor of Taunton Deane,  Councillor Marcia Hill and her Consort, Julian. We also welcome representatives from the Royal British Legion and the Burma Star Association together with all our friends who have served in the armed forces. All are welcome and we invite everyone to stay for coffee after the service.

A little after noon on 15th August,1945, Emperor Hirohito’s announcement of Japan’s acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration was broadcast to the Japanese people over the radio. The war was over.

Great celebrations began over the world and this iconic photograph by Victor Jorgenson summed up the feelings of relief and rejoicing.

VJ iconic Victor Jorgenson Picture1

The formal declaration was signed on board the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2nd September.

The theme for our service is: “Forgive and Forget?”

Simon and Emma Corke


Thank you for all your good wishes and prayers for our son Simon as he married Emma at St James last weekend.  It was a very special, moving and worshipful occasion and we enjoyed a wonderful day’s weather. Simon and Emma are on honeymoon in Cuba.

New Initiatives


There are several new initiatives buzzing around St Mary’s at the moment:-

~ the possibility of a 5 o’clock Sunday evening contemporary service

~ a healing and wholeness service which is being held for the first time on August 30th at 6.30pm,

~ and a new group called Wednesday Breakaway hope to meet in Church on the first Wednesday of the month at 9.30am. This group is aimed at parents who may like to come for support and  fellowship after children have been taken to school. It will meet in the Children’s Corner.

More details of these new ventures will follow soon. It is exciting when we see God’s Holy Spirit on the move.

Signature Events


The picnic at Kilve has been rearranged for Sunday 23rd August.  The cost of the cream tea is £2.  Please sign the new list at the back of church if you are able to join us.

Our September outing is to the Willows and Wetlands Centre in Stoke St Gregory.  We are having our own guided tour, followed by tea and cake (or cream tea if you prefer!) in the Lemon Tree Restaurant which is also on site.  Cost per person for the tour is £3 with tea and cake extra.  Please sign up for this event on the sheet at the back of the church.  Can you also let us know if you’d like a lift and please pay your £3 to the bookshop.

Concert Help Needed


CONCERT 22nd August – We are still looking for volunteers to help with refreshments and/or putting the church back together again at the end of the concert.  Please give your name to the Office (01823 272441).  Many thanks.

Have We Got Blessed Assurance?


Service:  10:00 am Holy Communion

Preacher:  Revd Dennis Cavaghan

Readings:  Ephesians 4:25-5:2 & John 6:35, 41-51

Do we resist, quench or grieve the Holy Spirit?


Do we enjoy fellowship, join in worship, read scripture and practise thankfulness.

Hezekiah – The Crisis


 The Reading:  2 Kings 18:9-37

(he) stripped the gold from the doors of the Temple … and gave it to the king of Assyria” (v.16) RSV

After Hezekiah had been king of Judah for four years the Assyrians, under Sennacherib, defeated the northern kingdom (Israel).  Ten years later they were at the doors of Jerusalem.  Hezekiah’s first line of defence was to try to buy them off.  He stripped the temple of its silver and even took off the very gold from the doors which he had only fourteen years earlier put on.

The crisis of a foreign and powerful enemy was upon him.  At first appeasement seemed the prudent approach, but it was not going to work.  Fortunately Hezekiah had had the presence of mind over the previous years to build a tunnel from outside Jerusalem to inside, in order to bring water so that they would not die of thirst during any siege.  This tunnel ended at the Pool of Siloam in the city of Jerusalem, and it can be walked through to this day.

The Assyrians did not go away.  Instead they increased the pressure, sending alarming and threatening messages.  But the people in Jerusalem loved and trusted their king.  How vital it is for a leader to win the hearts and minds of his people.  They did not try to reason with the enemy but left it to their King.

When we are under attack and our enemy frightens us, we too must turn to our Lord, for he has promised never to leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6).  Certainly we need to stand our ground and not run away.  But as we stand and face the enemy, calm in the strength of the Lord, we will find the enemy will flee (James 4:7).

When Jesus was attacked by the Devil in his Wilderness Temptation we read that he calmly and resolutely stood his ground.  He countered each assault with the word of God, and eventually, it says, “the devil left him” (Matthew 4:11).  He was to be attacked from time to time but each time he resisted and was successful.  Let us be encouraged.

Lord, with you I can face any foe.  Grant me the confidence to stand my ground and to see your deliverance.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  How hard can it be to stand against evil?

    Hebrews 12:4

2  What armour do we put on to fight the good fight?

    Ephesians 6:10-17

Commemorating VJ Day


This week we remembered the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the terrible destruction of both those cities. We have prayed and continue to pray for world peace.

Next week we have a special service commemorating  the VJ Day and the end of the Second World War. The Mayor Marcia Hill and her Consort Julian will attend and special prayers will be said. The service will be based on our regular communion. Do come.

New Book Shop Team Needed


Mick and Di Polley are moving house to be nearer to their family and we will miss them terribly. They have both worked so hard managing the Book Shop and Mick was a highly regarded Church Warden for three years until recently. We pray that all will work out for them and we wish them well.

This leaves us to find a Book Shop Team who will manage the Book Shop. This may be one person or two people working together – or maybe a team effort involving a wide group. I have decided to call a meeting and invite anyone who feels they can help to come. The meeting will be on Friday 21st August.  Please give this your prayerful consideration. The Book Shop is such an important part of the welcoming and mission of our Church. We need your help!

Christianity Explored


We are pleased to see that names have begun to appear on the Christianity Explored sheet at the back of Church. If you would like to refresh your faith or find out what it is all about, then this is the course for you.

Feah, Tim’s wife, came on the course last year and recently said to me: I came with questions such as “What does it mean to be a Christian and this course answered them brilliantly—high recommended!”