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‘Elizabeth’ The Somerset Bell Ascends


This is the largest of the set of our 15 bells. At 27cwt 2 quarters 18lbs, a diameter of 1334mm (4.3ft) and a height of 1067mm (3.5ft), she is a sight for sore eyes. The lift only just raised her off the lorry, but nothing could stop her ascending on high and disappearing through the 70 foot high hole in the vaulted ceiling.

The largest of the set of the 15 bells.


‘Mary’ The Magdalene Bell Ascends


After arriving in Taunton on the 9th December, The Magdalene Bell called ‘Mary’ was hoisted up into the tower today. Even at 13cwt and 24lbs, block and tackle made light work of raising it. Clergy and bellworkers were in attendance, as was also the case when its predecessor was rehung in December 1955.

Mary’s predecessor in 1955 (left) and Mary’s hoisting today (right)


Yemen Children’s Appeal


This Humanitarian Crisis is beyond belief. Currently there are 7 million people in Yemen who do not know where their next meal will come from.  This includes 2.2.million children malnourished, and dying as a result.   After today’s Service there will be a Retiring Collection to help feed some of these children through the established  Aid Agencies, who are working day and night to feed these children.  Your generosity during this Christmas time will save at least one child’s life and that is the best gift of all.

Please remember the children of Yemen in your prayers today and give generously to the retiring collection for the Yemen Children’s Appeal.




Please park in Canon Street car park and show your receipt to the Office for reimbursement.




Open Door is in need of coats and blankets in the cold weather.

If you have any you can spare, please bring them to church for collection.

Thank you.


Upcoming Services


This coming week we build up to Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve we invite all to the Crib Service. This is an informal, relaxing time where we tell the nativity story afresh. The children (and there will be lots of them!) dress up as  nativity character – we also have a few Spiderman and princesses – all are welcome!

…and then , at 11.30pm we have the First Communion of Christmas (also known as Midnight Mass).  It is so special to share the “Peace of the Lord” after midnight on Christmas Day.  Do come and bring your friends and family too.

On Christmas Day we enjoy BCP Communion at 8.00am and a relaxed family communion at 10.00am. If the children would like to bring their presents to this service, they will be most welcome.

A week later, On New Year’s Day, at 10.00am we join with our friends at St Johns for a united service. There will be refreshments afterwards. (Communion services will happen here at 8.00am and 6.30pm).

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.

Facilities Coordinator Position



Following a thorough review of the heavy workload of our Churchwardens, the growing use of our church by external organisations and the desire to grow our mission to the people of Taunton, the PCC has resolved to create the new role of Facilities Coordinator. We invite anyone who might be interested in this remunerated position to request a copy of the Job Description and Person Specification from either of our Churchwardens, Derek and Valerie, or the Parish office.  The closing date for applications is Friday 16th December.

Bells’ Dedications


On Sunday 11th December, at our 10:00am service, each of the brand new 15 bells was in turn dedicated.  Our Vicar, Rod Corke, prayed for ringers and hearers alike to be blessed through their sonorous sounds. It ended with the choir giving a fitting and rapturous rendition of’ ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’.  For those who weren’t there, here are a selection of photos from the day showing some of the individual dedications.

Bell 2 ‘Lydia’


Patience is a Virtue


Service:  10:00am Holy Communion – Dedication of the Bells took place today

Preacher:  Revd Dennis Cavaghan

Readings:  James 5:7-10 & Matthew 11:2-11

5 Steps to Learning Patience:

  1. Confess and hate your impatience
  2. Read of God’s incredible patience with us
  3. Pray for grace
  4. Realise it’s within you and lay hold of it
  5. Try to be patient in all circumstances using willpower and application