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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.

Concert of 24th June for the Organ Fund


You will be pleased to hear that the Concert featuring St Mary Magdalene Church and Queen’s College Choral Society raised over £2,000 towards the Organ Fund.

Darryl Way has made a video of one of the pieces from the Concert, ‘I Wish There Was An Angel’ and this is now available to watch on youtube.  It features many pictures of St Mary’s as well as the choir’s performance.  The easiest way to find it is by going to and clicking on ‘New Vid of  I Wish’.

Town Centre Chaplaincy


An update on the Town Centre Chaplaincy.  We now have a chaplain in Orchard Court (Les Andrews), Halfords, Debenhams and Mothercare. New chaplains are joining the team and are being trained up.

The project has received hundreds of prayer requests and is making a real difference in our town. Hazel, one of the chaplains, works in our coffee shop on Fridays. We are even negotiating a chaplain for Chaplins.

God is really blessing this frontline work. Please remember all the chaplains and especially the lead chaplain, Neil Randoll in your prayers.


Magdalene Fayre


Last week we enjoyed our Patronal Festival. The weekend began with the Magdalene Fayre and £2,200 was raised.  In addition a further £400 was taken from  the tower tours.  This will go towards the St. Mary’s Bells appeal. (If you would like to see how the appeal is progressing, then check out the website at

So many people worked hard to achieve this wonderful result and particularly we thank Nik , Sue and Sasha who coordinated it all. There was a fun, family atmosphere; St Mary Magdalene’s church at its wonderful best!



Lighting up the Stuart Royal Crest of Arms


Stuart Royal Crest of Arms in the spotlight

The installation of the new lighting progresses and we can now enjoy a spot light on the Stuart Royal Crest of Arms over the Priest’s Chamber door. It has made this work a feature of our Church. We believe that it is likely to have been placed in St. Mary Magdalene shortly after the Monmouth Rebellion to remind the people of Taunton where their loyalty should lie!


Exmoor Explorer Fundraiser for the Bells Project


Nik, our caretaker, is raising money for the Bells of St Mary’s Project by undertaking the Exmoor Explorer, a challenging off road trial across Exmoor.

Please support Nik and the Bells Project by sponsoring him if you can.  There are forms at the back of church or you can make a donation via MyDonate on the Bells of St. Mary’s website –

Here’s what he has to say about it  



Patronal Festival & Magdalene Fayre


This is a busy weekend as not only do we celebrate our Patronal Festival on Sunday 22nd July but on Saturday 21st July we have our Magdalene Fayre.

We need your help and support. Please do you have any goods we can sell? Just bring them in and put them on the pews in the north side of the church.

Nik, Sue, Sasha and their team are coordinating this – it is going to be great event!

Invite you friends and neighbours.


Lighting Project Update


Let there be light! There are now three new light units functioning by the church entrance. Not only do they no longer  obscure the pillar sculptures, they are giving a warm , even yellow floodlight which is just what we need. Under the old system the group of four lights used 200 watts of electricity. Each floodlight in the new system uses 60 watts. You can see that we are going to make a considerable saving on the church electricity bill.


Update on Rebecca


I thought this was such a brilliant and lovely Email you should all share it! For those of you who do not know Chichi, she is a Zambian living in Cape Town, sister lives in Lusaka, and she flew up to meet Rebecca and her family before they came down to CT. Rebecca’s mother had to return to Lusaka last Sat.

Dear Jane,

I hope you are doing well, I am glad to know that you appreciate the support I am giving to Rebecca, thank you so much for enquiring about her progress and I am glad you asked.

I was going to email you about the wonderful time I had with Rebecca at the ward, especially after yesterdays experience. I had met your friend Judy, she is such a lovely lady, it was good to see her again.


An Evening with Angels


What a joy it was to attend “An Evening with Angels” that happened last Sunday evening! The standing of singing and playing was extremely high and the church was well attended. Over £2000 was raised for the major refurbishment we need to undertake to the Father Willis organ. Our thanks to Miles Quick,  Andrew Carter,  Andrew Lewis and the choir for all their hard work.  It was  an evening to remember!


Stock the Foodbank Sunday


STOCK THE FOODBANK SUNDAY 1st July – St Mary’s is supporting Taunton Christians Together with the collections for Taunton Foodbank and would like to collect food items between Sunday 1st July and Sunday 8th July 2012.

Although the Foodbank has had two supermarket food collections it does not have the 3 tonnes of food needed to open.  Please bring something from the following list and leave in the supermarket trolley at the back of Church:-

  • Milk (UHT or powdered)
  • Sugar (500g)
  • Fruit juice (carton)
  • Soup
  • Pasta sauces
  • Tinned sponge puddings
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Cereals
  • Tinned Rice Pudding
  • Tea Bags/instant Coffee
  • Instant mashed potato
  • Rice/pasta
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned fish
  • Tinned fruit
  • Jam
  • Biscuits
  • Snack bars


Bells of St Mary’s Appeal


Last Friday evening we launched the Bells of St. Mary’s Appeal. The Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Gass and The Mayor and Mayoress attended and we all enjoyed a varied programme including hand bell ringers from Okehampton, young instrumentalists from Queen’s College and the joint chorus of St. Mary Magdalene Choir and Queen’s College Choral Society.  Jeff Knipe, appeal coordinator gave a short talk on the task ahead and refreshments were served. What a great start it was!

The evening was free but we raised £2,735 towards the target total of £300,000.

The new set of twelve bells will be recast and the aim is also to have the carillon functioning once more. I was so impressed with the effort that has gone into this – well done team!

A photo taken on the evening is at the back of church.


Rebecca – the little Zambian girl


Today we can announce some really good news. The little Zambian girl, Rebecca, who had her face badly burnt, has arrived in South Africa for some face reconstruction. The obstacles to this happening have been great but we have pushed through and finally the day has arrived.

I understand that Rebecca will need to be in and out of hospital for about a year until the work is completed. Please pray for her – and her mum, and give thanks for the skills and generosity of the surgeons and nursing staff. Jane and John Maclare have worked so hard on this project and have made it happen. We are very grateful for their care and love. The £2000 we raised as a church is being well spent.

I have a photograph of Rebecca arriving in South Africa and I have pinned to the Mission Board. The quality is not great but you can sense the little girl’s excitement.