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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.

Last Sunday at St Mary’s


Last week we were delighted that Bishop Ruth and her husband, Howard, worshipped with us.

They were very pleased with the welcome they received and wanted me to pass on to all at St Mary Magdalene how friendly they found folk.  Bishop Ruth will be back again soon and we will look forward to her ministry every time she comes.

DSCN8112_mini-strThe second 5 o’clock service was also very successful and is becoming established as part of our worship pattern.  Dennis gave us pointers as to how to cope when life deals us “lemons”.

Next month, I will be leading  the 5 o’clock service for the first time and I’m going to be considering how we can be assured of God’s guidance.  Remember: coffee before the service and it lasts only 45 minutes.

Why not give it a try and invite some friends along too?

Friday Night Buzz at St Mary’s


Friday nights really buzz here at St Mary Magdalene.  It begins with Margaret Roe helping a group of young people to have confidence with public speaking.  From there, Miles leads choristers and is clear that a lot of fun is had singing praises to God.  John and Jenny Bodily support this work and extend it by encouraging instrument playing.  The evening finishes for the young people with Voice led by Clare Sykes and Anthony Stevens.  Last week our youngsters watched a film called “God Almighty” which made them laugh and think.

Lent Course


“Sheila began our Lent course on the Eucharist and I had the pleasure of leading last week when we were considering breaking the bread and what the word remembrance means to Christians. We are meeting in the Coffee Shop and the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. Each week’s session is self-contained and so it is possible to come along even if you have not attended the first two. This course will lead us into Holy Week when John Reed, our retiring Archdeacon, will be leading three reflections as we turn to focus on the cross. Each reflection will last half an hour and will begin at 7pm.”

Revd Rod Corke

MU Board Game Afternoon


We are delighted that we have such an active Mother’s Union.  Fresh from supporting the development of the parents group “Breakout”, they have turned their attention to the problem of loneliness within our society.  They are planning to organise a board game afternoon once a month to encourage people to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

As soon as we have more details, we will publicise this new venture.

Posies by Tekna


bouquet-4-1405761On Friday 4th March at 6.30pm Tekna will be making posies for Mothering Sunday.  Donations of flowers, greenery and any help on the evening would be appreciated.  Please leave any donations in Church on Friday.

We usually make around 200, as we give to all the ladies at the 8.00am, 10.00am and 6.30pm Services.

Thank you.

5 O’Clock Service – ‘Guidance and Reassurance’


“Next month, on March 20, I will be leading  the 5 o’clock service for the first time and I’m going to be considering how we can be assured of God’s guidance.  Remember: coffee before the service and it lasts only 45 minutes.  Why not give it a try and invite some friends along too?”

Revd Rod Corke

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Stuart Townend in Concert at St Mary’s


“I am so impressed by the efforts being made by the team organising the Stuart Townend concert.  We are partnering with St Michael’s Church in Galmington and tickets are available from their Church Office and our Bookshop.  We are expecting to have a full attendance and we are installing temporary screens which will help with the restricted view.  Stuart Townend is a major modern hymn writer and his work is known for being spiritually and lyrically creative.  Hymns like “In Christ alone” and “The Lord’s my Shepherd (I will trust in him always)” will certainly stand the test of time.  So don’t miss out.  Make sure you get your tickets very soon.”

Revd Rod Corke

The concert is on Friday 22nd April at 7.30pm.  Tickets £12 and available from 01823 332371, St Michael’s,  Galmington.  Enquiries to  Booking office open from February 23rd Tuesday to Friday  Townend Diary

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StMM’s Bells Foundry Visits


St Mary Magdalene Bells: The Taylor’s Foundry visit on 25th August is now full.  However, you may add your name to the reserve list or there are two other trips available, 23rd June when the Somerset Bell, the largest of all the bells, 26cwt, is being cast, or 4th August when the 2nd 4th, Sharp 5th and 9th are being cast. The tour of the Foundry is free, but there will be the cost of transport.

Taylors is in Loughborough so it will be a day trip.

Please contact Valerie on email: or sign the sheet at the back of church. The closing date is 26th February.

Welcome Bishop Ruth


“At our 10 o’clock service on Sunday, we are delighted to welcome the Bishop of Taunton, The Rt Revd Ruth Worsley to preside and preach at our service. We also welcome her husband, Howard, who will be taking the children’s talk. Ruth, Howard, Rita and I first met at St John’s College, Nottingham. Howard and I were on the same course so today, for us, is a delightful reunion. Since college much has happened to Ruth and Howard. After working in parishes Ruth became Archdeacon of Wiltshire and then recently was appointed Bishop of Taunton. Howard’s Ministry led him into the sphere of ministerial training and currently he is Vice Principal Tutor in Missiology at Trinity Theological College, Bristol. My clearest memory of Howard was when he demonstrated to us ordinands his amazing juggling skills! You can imagine that when we have lunch together today all four of us will have a lot to catch up on!  Sue Palmer has kindly baked a cake in honour of Bishop Ruth coming to us today and we will share this cake at coffee time. Do stay and talk to Ruth and Howard and may God bless their ministries mightily.”

Revd Rod Corke

5 O’Clock Service



Our next service will take place on the third Sunday of the month, on 21st February.  Three quarters of an hour starting at 5pm.

The theme will be “What do you do when life gives you lemons?” In other words how to handle bad things that have happened or still happen in your life.

Once again the service will be led by Dennis Cavaghan.  Do come early for a chat and a cuppa.

We continue every third Sunday of each month.

Upcoming at St Mary’s


There is much to look forward to at St Mary’s.

  • Stuart Townend’s concert is planned in April. Stuart is one of our leading hymn writers. He wrote the new version of the Lord is my Shepherd – And I will trust in you alone, How deep the Father’s Love for Us and many others. We are working with Christians from Galmington church and we will give further details at a later date. Please pray for this exciting venture.
  • The Venerable John Reed, our much loved Archdeacon is to retire on 30th June 2016. Before he does this he will lead three Lenten talks in Holy Week and preside and preach on Easter Sunday morning. We are thrilled that he has accepted our invitation to journey through Easter with us. St Mary Magdalene has been chosen by John as the place he wishes to have his final Diocesan service on his last day. We are very honoured.

Lent – Talks, Verses and Easter Leaflets


The Wednesday Lent talks have begun and those who attended, really enjoyed the first session. We meet again this Wednesday in the coffee shop at 7.30 pm – it is not too late to come along. Lent is a time of spiritual preparation for Christians as we journey together towards the cross and beyond.


Traditionally Lent is a time when people give up something for 40 days. But is that what it is all about? I like to think of it more of a time for us to examine where we are in our spiritual lives. To wonder how we have grown in our faith over the last year. Many of us struggle to remember Bible verses. One thing you could try doing during Lent is each week to write a verse that you like, or find helpful, on a small piece of paper, perhaps half A5 i.e. half the size of the Today Sheet. Then take this and roll it up into a tube and tie it together with a piece of ribbon or wool. Keep it with you. And then each morning, noon and night, take it out and read it, along with its Bible reference, and by the end of the week, hopefully you will have learnt that verse. And then find another verse for the next week and so on. You could learn six new verses between now and Easter! Give it a try!


We are aware that there is a shortage of Easter leaflets and we will be remedying this. Our thanks to Roy Sims who has worked out the distribution and to all who have put the card through the doors in our parish.  This is a wonderful way you can be involved in Mission. As you push a leaflet through a letterbox, you can silently say a prayer for the occupant. Do help if you can. Just a half hour or so will make a huge difference!