“I have been asked several times when we will hear our new bells. The work is drawing to completion and there will be some test ringing soon, but the carillon and bells will not be in action until the Service of Dedication on 19th March when Bishop Peter and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant will be in attendance. The service begins at 2.30pm so please mark this important day in the life of St Mary’s in your diaries.”
“Last week we announced the possibility of becoming Taunton Minister and I said a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) sheet was being produced. If there is a question you would like answered, then simply drop me an email and I will endeavour to include it in the document. There will be an afternoon of prayer on Saturday 25th February and we will continue to pray to determine if this is the right way forward for our church.”
This week we heard that our new Archdeacon, Simon Hill will be leading our reflective times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week. We are also planning a series of Lent talks by Professor Roger Trigg, on interesting, contemporary themes. Roger has written widely and will undoubtedly bring us new insights into how Christianity interfaces with modern life. More details will follow about this.
Tomorrow evening, our next Healing Service together with the Laying on of Hands, will be held at 5.00.pm. All those wishing to receive the Healing Ministry by way of prayers and/or the Laying on of Hands are welcome. Do please extend this invitation to all those known to you who need to seek God’s healing grace at this time.
Saturday 18th February 10.00am –12.00noon Taunton Baptist Church Hall.
Please place all books in the crates provided at the back of the Church from Friday 10th February and throughout the following week. The books will be taken to the Baptist Church on the evening of Friday 17th when they will be sorted by volunteers between 4.00pm and 8.00pm. Volunteers will also help with the Sale on Saturday morning.
Take the good news home … “How can we overcome the natural reticence, partly cultural, that makes most Christians like the great Canadian rivers in winter, frozen at the mouth?” But take heart, not all of us can put into words what we believe. Be encouraged by the following description of taking the message to our neighbours and family:
“Not merely in the words you say Not only in your deeds confessed, But in the most unconscious way Is Christ expressed. Is it a calm and peaceful smile? A holy light upon your brow? Oh, no! I felt his presence while You laughed just now. For me ‘twas not the truth you taught To you so clear, to me so dim, But when you came to me you brought A sense of Him. And from your eyes he beckons me, And from your heart his love is shed. Till I lose sight of you, and see The Christ instead.” Anon
Oh Lord, help me to care for the souls of my family and neighbours. Help me to be faithful in prayer for them. And help me to care enough for them that I will be brave enough to share my faith with them. Amen
Minster Status You may be aware that as a result of receiving a letter from Taunton Deane, the PCC commissioned a report on the implications of Minster status possibly being granted to our church by Bishop Peter. The report was carefully prepared and it was thoroughly discussed by PCC members. The recommendation was to inform, answer questions, and pray about this proposal with the congregation over the coming months. A “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet about minster status will be prepared and a prayer and discussion day set aside to enable PCC members to hear comments and opinions. Other outside bodies, such as the Deanery Pastoral Committee and our patrons, will be invited to comment too. The PCC will then consider the proposal again in the light of what is said.
Coffee Shop Enlargement Another important issue discussed was the enlargement of the coffee shop. This includes a larger seating area, a new lobby allowing an entrance through the north door and an expanded kitchen. New quality chairs and tables will be sourced. The PCC agreed that the next stage would to get the project costed, take counsel from the DAC and continue to consult our church architect.
Church Wardens’ Workload One of the goals of this PCC has been to find ways to reduce the workload of our church wardens. It is proposed that three permanent deputy church wardens will be created to deputise for the church wardens when they cannot be at St Mary’s. These would continue to be supported by our team of church wardens’ assistants.
The position of Facilities Coordinator, who will have a primary role in managing the concerts and special services we have at St Mary’s, has been filled.
On Thursday, we held an interview and we are pleased to report that Derek Hicks has been appointed. He will begin his post after stepping down as church warden in May and it will be reviewed in the New Year.
On Thursday, a ‘thank you’ gathering was held for our Weekday Welcomers’. There was also a meeting of the Sunday Welcome Team on the same afternoon. Those who commit themselves to welcoming visitors to
St Mary’s do a splendid job and we are very grateful for the time and effort that is given so freely.