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Ash Wednesday Service at St John’s


On Wednesday 1st March our Ash Wednesday Service will be at St John’s, marking the start of Lent for 2017.

Please note this service starts at 7.00pm and not 7.30pm as previously advertised.


Carillon Tunes Competition for School Students


St Mary’s organist Miles Quick

SHORT compositions from two musically-gifted youngsters could be ringing out over Taunton long into the future.

Following the replacement of the bells in the tower at St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton, a competition has been launched for school students open a new chime.

The new carillon was delivered to St Mary’s just in time for the festive period, which was heralded in with the tune The First Noel.  However, the Bells of St Mary’s project manager Rosemary Tuhey said: “It was a truly delightful way to start off Christmas morning, but the carillon only has that one tune at the moment. Old favourites will be digitally programmed into the new carillon, but we want Taunton school children to have the opportunity to compose a new tune to play out over the town for all to hear.”

The tune competition for all Taunton secondary schools was launched on Tuesday 17th January and the two best tunes will be incorporated into the memory to play out over the town for many years to come. For further information please contact Rosemary Tuhey, Tower Captain, St Mary Magdalene Church.  Entries to be received by the 28th February 2017.  We look forward to receiving them!

The new bells will be dedicated by the Bishop of Bath and Wells on 19th March, at 2.30pm.

Ash Wednesday & Lent Talks


Today is the Third Sunday Before Lent and we are speeding towards Lent and Easter.  The beginning of Lent is marked with a special Ash Wednesday Service – 1st March, 7.30pm at St Johns. Revd Rod Corke will be presiding and Revd Jane Eastell will be preaching.

Then our Lent talks begin. Professor Roger Trigg, University of Oxford, will be speaking about Christianity in contemporary culture on the theme ‘Should this still be a Christian society?’ 7:30pm – 9:00pm in the Upper Room.   The four talks cover the following topics:-

  1. Wednesday 8th March: Does Science undermine religion?
  2. Tuesday 14th March: Should Religion play a part in public life?
  3. Wednesday 22nd March: How far should a religious conscience be respected?
  4. Wednesday 5th April: Must all religions be treated equally?

Afternoon Prayer


Next Saturday afternoon we have a time of prayer and discussion about the idea of becoming an urban minster. We will begin the afternoon at 2.00pm in St Andrew’s Chapel with a time when views can be shared and discussed. This will lead to prayer and the church will be open until 5.00pm for people to come in and reflect and pray. Do come. Your comments for and against will be heard and valued — your prayer support will be appreciated.

Benefice News


Benefice News: St John’s is open Mondays from 12 noon to 2pm for quiet prayer and reflection whilst on Wednesdays there is a group Lectio Divina, 12.30pm to 1pm.  Everyone is very welcome – please join us for as long or as little as you want.

Sheila’s Departure


Last week Sheila announced that she was resigning her post here and moving on to pastures new. We will miss her greatly and we give thanks to God for her ministry here. Please pray for Sheila that during this time of change she will be guided by the Holy Spirit and know God’s sustaining hand upon her life and ministry. Sheila’s last Sunday will be 23rd April and we will be organising a collection to present her with a gift from us all.



Over the past 2 weeks there have been changes to the way the website data is stored. This exercise has now been completed without too much interruption and all seems well. However, if you do find you are encountering problems, could you let either Dennis or Susanne Cavaghan know. Thank you.

W@5 – How do we deal and cope with change?


Change is often unsettling, even threatening, but our God is changeless and will be with us all the way through. This afternoon, our Vicar, Rod Corke will be tackling “How do we deal and cope with change?”  St Mary’s doors will open at 4.30pm for a cuppa, and the 45 minutes service will start at 5pm.


Second Sunday Before Lent


“Today is the Second Sunday Before Lent. Lent  begins on 1st March when we will be joining with our fellow Christians at St John’s for the Ash Wednesday Benefice Service (7.30pm). During this service, the priests will place an ash cross on those who wish to be marked. The ash cross symbolises our need to bring our sins to the cross where Jesus has dealt with it once and for all. The ash is made from a mixture of the previous year’s palm crosses and olive oil.

Once Lent begins, we will look forward to Prof Roger Trigg’s talks on issues in contemporary Christianity. You’ll find the dates and times inside this issue of Today. Don’t forget to visit our bookshop and pick up some Lenten reading. I will be taking some personal reflective reading on my retreat this coming week at St Mary and Martha’s, Sheldon.”

Rod Corke, Vicar