On Thursday 3rd December we have the first of two Open Church Evenings for the Christmas Shoppers in town. We would love you to come and help. We need folk to sit and enjoy tea and cake in the coffee shop because those from the community will find it easier to come in if there are others at the coffee tables. We aim for St Mary Magdalene’s to be a warm, friendly, inviting environment for people to rest and enjoy each other’s company. We will be sharing the exciting news about our new 5 O’ Clock Service which begins on the 17th January. If you can help, then come at 6.30pm for a short time of pray
Just like the season of Lent prepares us for the celebration of Easter, so Advent is preparation of the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Unfortunately, in recent years, the rush to Christmas has left the Advent season without much marking. To remedy this, at St Mary’s there is a special service on Sunday 29th November at 7.30pm called From Darkness into Light. Here Advent hymns will be sung, Advent readings read and we will begin properly to prepare for the first and second coming of Jesus. This service is the inspiration of Ian Carson who had seen it in a cathedral setting and has led us to want to experience it for ourselves. Ian, Miles and the choir have put much work into the service and we are joined by singers and instrumentalists from St George’s Catholic church, St George’s Church, Wilton and our sister church of St John The Evangelist. We have borrowed two stunning candle lit wooden candelabra from Wilton church and the service will begin in darkness as we await the coming light. Do come along on tomorrow evening.
MANY THANKS for all the lovely blankets, hats and bootees knitted this year.
We hope the colder weather will get us clicking needles again.
Me and Mothers’ Union
“What does Mothers Union say to you?
Until recently I thought it was a cosy social club for older ladies who enjoyed knitting and cake. My eyes would slide over the table display in church. I am not ready for this yet I thought, then a leaflet caught my attention “16 days of activism – a campaign concerning gender based violence”
Eh!!! Edgy and radical! Suddenly – Mothers Union didn’t sound so cosy.
I explored some of the other literature.
- “Labelled For Life” – A pamphlet describing how advertisers target our children turning them into young consumers.
- Away From It All Holidays- Providing holidays for families experiencing stress.
- Big wheels – raising money for transport in Africa.
There is a successful MU group in church – “Just A Bite”. However, it meets in the afternoon when some of us are collecting children from school.
I was approached by an MU member in church about setting up another group at a more convenient time. We decided on the first Wednesday of each month at 9.30 am.
We have a group – now what shall we do?
SOMERSET SIGHT is urgently seeking volunteers for their visiting service in Taunton.
A beautiful and atmospheric service, starting in candle-light in our historic church. There will be uplifting music and readings for Advent to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ’s coming to us at Christmas and looking forward to his glorious return. The service will be followed by delicious seasonal refreshments.
Please come – and invite a friend or two! (Joint event with St John’s Church).
“SATURDAY 28TH NOVEMBER CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR 10.00am – 2.00pm in church. Donations of preserves or cakes for the produce stall would be very gratefully received. Proceeds will go to St Mary Magdalene Church. Thank you.”
“On Wednesday evening, Rita and I attended a special meeting to hear about how Taunton may help to accommodate refugees from war torn Syria. The Bishop of Taunton attended and nearly double the number of people they expected turned up. The Government have pledged to take 20,000 people from the refugee camps. These will be the most vulnerable and displaced people. The scheme is designed to last five years and the first year is fully funded. Citizen UK is a charity charged with persuading the local authority to take a fair quota and then helping to provide local support.
Almost all these refugees will be Muslims. The Christian Syrians are generally not in the camp. This is because politically they gave support to President Assad who had given them shelter and protection. The Government and the Barnabas Trust are working on a provision for a limited number of refugees to come over in a second stage. These Christians or Muslim refugees would be less vulnerable, and generally, more able than the first group. They would not have the same level of government funding but they would be fully screened.
Businesses, churches and individuals would be invited to sponsor a refugee or family and act as guarantors. The Church can play a role with the first group e.g. opening our coffee shop as a meeting place or inviting a young family to Parents and Toddlers. The second group will need a lot of planning and working together. If you would be interested in exploring what a group of local Christians from churches working together might do, please contact me through the office or by email ASAP. We cannot turn a blind eye to a humanitarian crisis unfolding on such a scale, and like Jewish refugees in the Second World War, these people need a safe place to go until they can return to their homeland.”
We will be appealing for your support for the Syrian Refugees over Christmas in the Coffee Shop area via Christian Aid. Please support this. To make way for this appeal, the Mission glass jar has been emptied and an incredible £438.94 has been collected. Thank you so much. This money goes towards our support for the Town Chaplaincy that does such good work. Thanks to Tim for counting this money.
We will be opening the Church for Christmas Shoppers on 3rd & 10th December and would really love your help. Simply come along and join us. The more people we have in the coffee shop area, the more welcoming St Mary’s feels. We meet for prayer at 6.30pm and will finish at 8.30pm. Please sign up at the back of church if you can help.
“I have invited Bishop Ruth to St Mary’s in the New Year and I am awaiting a date. If you would like to meet her before Christmas, she will be attending the NSPCC Charity Christmas Concert on17th December at 6.30pm and reading the lesson.”