“Have you ever wondered what a candlelight tour of St Mary’s would be like. Dennis and I are leading a party around and giving talks about the history of the church – we will finish with mince pies in the coffee shop. Interested? Why not invite a friend? We will be doing this today, Tuesday 29th November at 7.30pm and repeating the tour on Tuesday 6th December. We are really looking forward to taking you around – just sign up at the back of church.” Rod
This week there was an exciting development in our renewal of bells project – the clappers arrived! During the week, the clappers were laid out in the Soldier’s Corner and lettering was added according to the sponsors’ wishes (a very skilled task!).
Today, Sunday 27th November, we are running the Darkness to Light advent service on Advent Sunday evening again this year after the success of last year.
We hope to bring in many people from all around to enjoy the advent atmosphere and hear moving music and readings to prepare for the Christmas season. There will be interesting and stimulating new music (including a new anthem by Ian Carson incorporating handbells!) as well as classic advent carols. There will also be seasonal refreshments!
From Darkness to Light(27/11)
Do begin your Advent by coming to the Darkness to Light Service at 7.30pm on Advent Sunday (27th November). This promises to be a dramatic and worshipful start to the season of Advent. There are business cards advertising this service in the pews. Do feel free to take one and give it to a friend or neighbour.
Candlelight Tours (29/11 & 6/12)
Do sign up for the Candlelight tours of the church which are happening at 7.30pm on 29th November and 6th December. After the tour there will be seasonal refreshments served by our young people. There is no charge, but there will be donation pots in aid of a charity chosen by our young people.
Pudding Party (3/12) For members of our congregation between the ages of 20 – 50, we are having a special “Pudding Party” on 3rd December at 7.30pm. There are invitations available at the back of church and from Clare Daw, Susan Whitehead and Rachael Lee. You will not go away hungry!
Church Christmas Meal (7/12) Don’t forget to sign up too for our annual Church Christmas meal at the Quantock Restaurant on the 7th December, 6:45 for 7pm. We have been going for several years and they look after us so well. This is a very enjoyable evening so make sure you sign up today.
Mayor’s Civic Carol Service (12/12) Mayor’s Civic Carol Service this year is at St Mary’s on Monday 12th December 6.30pm and everyone is invited. The offertory will go to support the Mayor’s three charities which include The Somerset Children’s Hospice.
Business Carol Service (13/12) The Town Centre Chaplaincy Business Carol Service is at 6.15pm on 13th December at St James’ Church. It is open to all and Bishop Ruth is speaking. If you have never been, why not come this year? I am sure you will enjoy it.
Christmas Services at St Mary’s Sunday 18th December at 6.30pm St Mary Magdalene Carol Service
Saturday 24th December at 4.00pm Crib Service
Saturday 24th December at 11.30pm Midnight Communion
Sunday 25th December at 8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)
Sunday 25th December at 10.00am Family Communion
New Year’s Day Services On 1st January, New Year’s Day, there will be no service here at St Mary’s at 10.00 am (The 8.00am and 6.30pm services are unaffected). We have been invited to our sister church, St John’s, to share in their Patronal Festival. Our bell ringers will be ringing hand bells to welcome us, Revd Rod Corke will preach and Revd Jane Eastell will preside. There will be refreshments after the service.
Our vicar Rod and MU members at St Mary Magdalene church, will on Friday 25th November at 12 noon, join with people all over the world in a “Global moment” to raise awareness of and stand in solidarity against gender-based violence. At St Mary’s we shall light a candle to remember those affected by this, to symbolise hope for a future free from gender-based violence and to pray for those affected. We ask all who can to join us or to light a candle at home. There is more information on www.mothersunion.org.
“The good news is that this will be the last Remembrance Sunday when we will be without our bells to mark time and call folk to worship. The new bells will be delivered very soon and, currently, the bell hanging team are preparing the tower for the new bell frame. When the bells arrive we hope to bless them and those who ring them in a 10.00am communion service. The bells have been given names which are connected with our church in some way. These have been taken from a list given by members of our congregation and our bell ringers. They are: Elizabeth (Queen), Mary (Magdalene) Andrew (Saint), Augustine (Saint & Priory), Ina (Saxon King), Dunstan (Somerset Saint), Lydia (Early Church), George (George Scott, architect) Benjamin (Hammet), Blaise (Saint of wool workers), Swithin (Saint, Winchester connection), James (Cottell – former vicar), Alfred (Christian King), Thomas (Disciple), John (Evangelist, sister church). As yet, we can set no date because we are unsure how long the work will take in the tower – but hopefully it will be before Christmas.”
The Open Door, a charity with strong connections to local churches, runs a day centre near Vivary Park which provides meals, clothing, showers and laundry facilities to rough sleepers in and around Taunton. We are looking for a new trustee to help with applications for grants and other funding to enable improvements at the centre and fund staff to expand services which help our guests move forward in their lives. Please contact Jonathan by email firstname.lastname@example.org or 01823 288973 if you would like further details.
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.