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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.

Holy Week Talks


This year Preb Chris Marshall will be leading three talks in Holy Week, on the 26th, 27th and 28th March starting at 7.00pm.

Chris was formerly the incumbent at St Andrew’s Wiveliscombe, and we loom forward to what he has to share with us as we journey onwards towards the cross and Easter Sunday.

Season of Lent


Following the Ash Wednesday service at our sister church, St John’s, we are now in the season of Lent. Originally this season was for baptism and confirmation candidates who would be baptised and confirmed on Easter Sunday. In church, the season is marked by the penitential colour purple, and the absence of flowers. The starkness of the church is in contrast to the dramatic celebratory display of Easter lilies on Easter Sunday.

Lenten Reading


We now have a good selection of Lent Books in the Bookshop to help with your study over this period. There are more books arriving all the time so come and have a look.

Peregrine Day


Photo courtesy Chris Hooper

Don’t forget that the Peregrine Open Day is coming up on 24th March from 10am to 4:30pm.

  • 10.00 – 16.00 – Launch of the live screen in the church
  • 10.30               – Official launch live screen
  • 11.00                – Talk by peregrine expert Ed Drewitt
  • 11.30                – Talk by Michael Leigh-Mallory – ‘An Introduction to the Taunton Peregrines’

This will be an opportunity to hear more about these wonderful birds and the TV cameras will broadcast for the first time in the north aisle. On Thursday night (8th March), Bullet and Bulletina our resident falcons, shared the same ledge for the first time. Watch this space for more news!

Easter Flowers


“The flower team is planning already for this year’s display of Easter flowers. We know that folk like to give money towards the cost of lilies and other spring flowers in memory of loved ones so we would ask you to consider taking part in this scheme again. Any donations should be put in an envelope and handed to either the church wardens or in to the parish office. Please make sure that, if you wish to have someone’s name included on the list, you print their name clearly on the front of the envelope.”

Cheryl Birkett and Flower Team

Spring Activities at St Mary’s


Plans are beginning to form to organise the activities happening at St Mary Magdalene in the Spring.

  • On Saturday May 12th there will be a large food festival centred around and inside our church. This festival is called Eat Taunton and the church, churchyard and Hammett Street (closed to traffic) will be filled with food producers displaying their wares. We hope the church will buzz with activity and lots of people will visit us. Do note this date in your diary.
  • A little later, on July 21st we will hold the Magdalene Fayre. This is held every two years and is a great opportunity for people to get involved in church life. We have arranged a planning meeting on Saturday February 3rd at 10.00am in the Upper Room for those who are interested.

Congrats Bellringers!


St Mary’s ringers won the Taunton striking competition in the method section ringing Grandsire doubles. Here we see Revd Rod Corke presenting the trophy to the team.

Whilst lots of teams were made up of a mixture of different towers, the St Mary’s team was made up of only ringers from St Mary’s tower.

Mothering Sunday


Currently, we are journeying through Lent, and Holy Week and Easter are fast approaching. Next week is the fourth Sunday of Lent and this is Mothering Sunday. We will have a family communion service together and hopefully enjoy simnel cake and flower posies. Do come.

Families Mission Hub


This week we had a positive meeting with the Taunton Deane Heritage Officer about the extension of the Coffee Shop and the possible conversion of the vicarage garage to a mission hub for families, children and young people. We still have a way to go, with permissions to seek and funds to raise. The money spent in the Coffee Shop is now being directed to our Tower Appeal and so the more the Coffee Shop is used, the quicker the work will be done. Sandra Hall and her team work so hard and we are very grateful to them for all they do.

Rod’s Collation at Great Malvern Priory


“Rita and I are delighted that so many of you are coming to Great Malvern Priory for my collation on the 24th June at 6 pm. If you haven’t signed up yet and would like to come please find the sheets at the back of church. The coach will pick up at St Mary Magdalene at 1.45pm and at Hankridge (behind Sainsburys) at 2pm. The cost will be £20 or under. If you are proposing to travel in your own car it would be helpful if you would sign the second sheet so the Priory can work out the numbers they will be catering for. I have been asked several times why I am being ‘collated’ and what that word means. Every parish has patrons. Our patrons are the Church Patronage Trust.  The patrons usually attend the interviews and it is their role to present the chosen candidate to the Bishop to be instituted and installed. At Great Malvern Priory, patrons were local landed gentry. A while back they sold the right to present the new vicar to the Bishop of Worcester. Clearly, the Bishop cannot present me and receive me as the new incumbent and so instead I am collated, instituted and installed. Isn’t the Church of England wonderful?”

Rod Corke, Vicar

Voice PC


“I am delighted to report that our young people who attend Voice PC are really having a lot of fun and fellowship together. The group is mixed ages and they all attend different schools. Some attend St James’s Church and others sing with our choristers. There are so many of us up there on a Friday night that it is getting a bit squashed! To relieve things a little bit we have purchased a new flipchart and a spotlight has been fitted so we can see clearly. Nick Jarrett has joined us on the team and we are really pleased that he is with us.”

Rod Corke, Vicar