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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.

Epiphany

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Sunday 6th January is Epiphany – a major feast day in the Church calendar.

Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Christians commemorate principally the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles.

Today the Magi (probably from Persia and followers of an ancient belief system called Zoroastrianism) are better known as the Three Wise Men or Three Kings (although Matthew’s Gospel doesn’t mention how many of them there were).

Paul’s Final Service

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Sunday 13th January is Paul’s final service before he takes up his first living at Water Alton in the Birmingham Diocese. If you would like to stay for the bring and share meal afterwards, this is the last opportunity to sign up. If you wish to contribute to a leaving present, please see the Church Wardens.

There is still room on the coach for the trip to Water Orton on 11th February.  If you have already requested a seat please give your £19 as soon as possible to one of the Churchwardens.  This is not refundable except in the event of cancellation by the coach company.  If there are more participants than expected, we shall give a pro rata refund.  Details of the trip will appear in due course.

Please sign Paul’s farewell card at the back of the church after the service, or at the Bookshop during the week.

Vacancy – Assistant Director of Music

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We are extremely grateful to Brian Cresswell who is directing the choristers at the moment . This is temporary cover and we are seeking a permanent replacement for Ros. The leads we have had have all run dry and we are asking if anyone knows of a person we can approach to take on the role of Assistant Director of Music.

The choristers practice for one hour on a Friday evening and sing at the Church Family Services and at Festival times.

This is a paid part-time post.

Great British Railway Journeys

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You may have been wondering what has happened to the Great British Railway Journeys episode in which St. Mary Magdalene Church features. The fourth series starts every day this week (7th – 11th Jan).

There are 25 new episodes and, at the time of writing, the episode we are particularly interested in has not been scheduled.

Clearly, it will be broadcast soon and you can follow this at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pw8rt/broadcasts/upcoming

 

Wise Men on their Way

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The Wise Men have been spotted in the North (window)!  They will reach the Christ Child (Altar) by Epiphany on January 6th.

 

Fifth Candle of the Advent Wreath

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Advent Wreath – 5th Candle – Christ Candle

Halleujah!  Christ is born and we light our 5th candle of the Advent Wreath.

5th CANDLE – “CHRIST CANDLE” – The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!‘” (John 1:29)

4th CANDLE – THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE

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St Mary’s Christmas Hours

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We wish you all a Happy Christmas.  Over the holiday period the Office and Church hours will be as follows:

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Fourth Candle of the Advent Wreath

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Advent Wreath – 4th Candle – The Angel Candle or Candle of Love

At St Mary’s we light a candle each Sunday during Advent (the four Sundays leading up to Christmas).

Each candle is symbolic.  On Sunday 23rd December we lit our fourth candle.

4th CANDLE – THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE

The angles announced the good news of a Savior. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

3rd CANDLE –  THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY

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Inviting Angel Doors

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So many folk have commented positively on the angel doors now they are lit. We used this to good affect on Thursday evening when it helps to attract tired shoppers in for refreshment.

We had another enjoyable evening and we will repeat this again on Thursday 20th (6.30pm till 8.30pm).

We need servers and listeners to man the Church and also need the gift of cakes.

If you are able to help please complete the signup sheet at the back of Church.

School Visitors

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Pupils from Taunton Academy in the Soldier’s Corner

This week we were delighted to have pupils from Taunton Academy visit us.  In all five groups came and they were accompanied by several teachers  Rod, the vicar, talks to them about various aspects of the church; this particular photo is taken in the Soldier’s Corner.

Third Candle of the Advent Wreath

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Advent Wreath – 3rd Candle – The Shepherd Candle or The Candle of Joy

At St Mary’s we light a candle each Sunday during Advent (the four Sundays leading up to Christmas).

Each candle is symbolic.  On Sunday 16th December we lit our third candle.

3rd CANDLE –  THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY

The angels sang a message of JOY! “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:7-15)

2nd CANDLE – THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION

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Congratulations!

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CONGRATULATIONS to Josie Cresswell, a chorister since the age of 6, and latterly Head Chorister, who has won a place at the Birmingham Conservatoire to study singing from next September.

We wish her every success on her career path.