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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.

Joan says Thank You


Thank you to St Mary Magdalene’s people, especially those who attended the 10.00am service on 20th July, and helped to celebrate my 90th birthday.  It was a complete surprise and gave me a lot of pleasure.  The Orchid is beautiful.  I have never celebrated my birthday before and due to the kindness of other people it was worth waiting 90 years.  How blessed we are to have such wonderful cake makers and decorators in our membership.  With sincere thanks, Joan Martin.


Joan Martin

Home Groups


Church activities are beginning to start up again after the August sojourn – and what an exciting Autumn Term it promises to be!  Home groups have continued or are starting back.

The Vicarage group are looking at “Faith, hope, love and everything in between” – much to talk about there then! We meet 26th September; 3rd and 24th October; 14th and 28th November; 12th December (Social).

And the Agape Home Group start back on the 25th September from 2-3.30pm in the Upper Room. Tea, cakes and a warm welcome awaits: please do come and join us. We meet fortnightly thereafter until further notice.

If you would like to join a group (there are seven meeting at different times), then this is a good time to do so. Just see a member of the clergy team.

Nik and Exmoor Explorer


NIK has so far raised £535 sponsorship from his Exmoor Explorer bicycle ride in aid of the St. Mary’s Bell Fund There are still a few payments to come but what a brilliant effort by him. Well done and thank you Nik.

Rebecca – The Little Zambian Girl



The little Zambian girl, Rebecca, who had her face badly burnt, has had the first phase of her face reconstructive surgery in South Africa.  As you can see from the before and after pictures, it has been a great success!

Manna Magazine – Autumn 2012


The Autumn 2012 issue of Manna magazine is the disability issue. It is packed with personal accounts of what life’s like for disabled people, particularly those with ‘invisible’ impairments like autism. And also what it’s like for carers who tirelessly support loved ones, day in day out. The aim is to encourage Manna readers to think about how you might support changes to help disabled people participate fully in church and community life. We also hope the issue will help you lay aside fears about getting to know disabled people in your communities and not let worries over ‘political correctness’ stop you from making those approaches.


A Book explores ‘Back to Church Sunday’


On Sunday September 30th 2012, the ninth Back to Church Sunday will take place with thousands of churches across 5 continents taking part. Now a book which explores Back to Church Sunday and how to make it more effective has been published to deepen the understanding of invitation.

Archbishop John Sentamu in the foreword says “This book is about helping churches re-learn how to make disciples. A challenge from the ‘Back to Church Sunday’ initiative, it goes right to the heart of what it is to be church, namely, worshipping God and infecting his world with the goodness of Jesus Christ. Ever since Philip first urged Nathanael to ‘come and see’ (John 1:46) the practice of invitation has been crucial to spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The book, Unlocking the Growth by Michael Harvey,  is available on the following website

BCP Weekend


ST. JOHN,S WELLINGTON are holding a BCP (Book of Common Prayer) weekend on Saturday, 22nd and Sunday, 23rd September, details are at the back of Church.




Richard and Margaret Austin are collecting pencils, small packs of coloured pencils and school exercise books to take to Chianda in September.  They have also been asked to take “Double Knitting Wool” to be used to make into blanket squares so any colour is acceptable. A box for contributions is available at the back of church.  No felt pens please as they dry out in the heat.




Hilary Smook has kindly agreed to take this over.

If you have any prayer requests please contact Hilary.


Educational Supplies for Chianda, Zambia


Seven of us will be travelling to The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka, Zambia soon (Sept 12th) and we are getting prepared. We would like to take educational supplies, e.g. pencils, crayons, pads of paper etc. for the school we helped to build in Chianda. If you feel able to contribute, please put your gifts of stationery in the box at the back of Church. Felt tip pens are not worth taking as the ink dries out. We are going to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the building of the cathedral.

The Copper Mountain Competition


Thank you to those who have responded to the 2p fund raise we call “The Copper Mountain “ at the back of Church. It has increased significantly in this past week. We are launching a competition today to guess the final amount. It will be 50p per try and the money will be added to the pot.  Simply make your estimate and record it on the sheet. Then place your 50p in the top of the copper mountain. Be aware that there is a  considerable amount of money inside the mountain and that will be made up of 1p, 5p,10p, 50p and £1 coins. All money will go to our mission work in Zambia and to support the Town Centre Chaplaincy.  The prize will be a bouquet of flowers or a lovely box of chocolates for the person with the correct or nearest guess.


Marriage and ReMarriage at St Mary’s


St. Mary Magdalene is a wonderful venue for a wedding and we have a committed team lead by Kate Hart and Margaret Laver who do sterling work to make every wedding run smoothly. If you know of any couple who are considering marriage, why not tell them to have a chat with the Revd Rod Corke.  If you know of anyone who is in marital difficulties and would welcome professional help, do have a word with Rita Corke.