“Sunday 19th March is a day of welcome, thanks and celebration as we dedicate the new bells and carillon to the service of God and his Church in a special service led by Bishop Peter at 2.30pm this Sunday afternoon. We welcome Deputy Lieutenant Lt Col Mike Motum, the Mayor of Taunton Deane, the many donors and sponsors and all who attend this afternoon’s service and particularly the bellringers from all over the county and beyond to enjoy ringing the bells after the service.
We give thanks for the faith and hope of not only those working on the project but also the very many people from even as far afield as Australia who shared and supported our vision of a new set of bells. The carillon will play two sponsored tunes – ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Who Would True Valour See’ – before the 10.00am service along with the tunes specially chosen by church groups. The bell sponsors, or their representatives from St Mary’s bellringers, will ring the bells during the service as part of the act of dedication.
Bells play an important role in the mission of the church for, as their sound rings out beyond the church, they bear witness to the Christian message to all who hear them. They call out to both those who would like to come to church but cannot through frailty or illness and those who are not regular church-goers and may not even be Christians. A surprising number of donations, particularly towards the Somerset bell, have come from those who are not members of our church but say they just like to hear the bells ring and the memories that they bring.
We were pleased to see the arrival of the World War 1 memorial bell last week. Do look at the various displays around the church this weekend giving the story of the project. The tower CCTV will be on showing the bells in action as the bellringers ring them from the new ringing room.
So let us celebrate our new bells and carillon.
“Let the bells ring out!”
Rosemary Tuhey, Tower Captain
“An Urgent Appeal”
Last Sunday in my Intercessions I asked you to pray for the 20 million who are currently dying of starvation. There is now a National Appeal for urgent action. Hunger on a massive scale is looming across East Africa. If we don’t act now it will get much worse. With this in mind the PCC has decided to hold a “Bucket Collection” after the morning and evening services next week on Mothering Sunday. This Appeal will go to Christian Aid’s “East Africa Appeal” and cheques should be made out to “Christian Aid”. Jesus said, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” These surely are our neighbours and you all know what he said about these little ones. May I thank you in anticipation for your support.”
With the work on the bells and tower now complete, we can add the time capsule. Rosemary Berry has worked very hard on this and all the material we put in will be packed carefully by the archivist. We hope to have a trip to see him do this so – watch this space!
TEKNA will be making posies for Mothering Sunday at 6.30pm on Friday 24th March. Any help or donations of flowers and/or greenery would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Wilton Mothers’ Union have Andy Murphy speaking at their next meeting on Tuesday 4th April at 2.15pm in St Michael’s Church, Galmington. He is a policeman who started up a project in the Halcon area of Taunton working with the local residents to improve conditions around them. This has been very successful and making a difference and of course is local to us all. If you would like to hear him you will be very welcome to their meeting. They are open to everyone, certainly not just mothers or women!
We are pleased to see that the World War One memorial bell from the old ringing set has been cleaned and mounted on a beautiful wooden frame made by the craftsmen at Taylors. This will continue to remind us of the sacrifice made by young men in our parish during this dreadful time. Do find a moment to view the bell and casing and say a prayer. It reminds us too that next Sunday we have two celebration services. In the morning, at 10.00am, we will be commissioning and dedicating the new carillon. Then at 2.30pm the Bishop of Bath and Wells, Rt Revd Peter Hancock, will lead a special service to dedicate the 15 new bells in the tower and give thanks to God for such a wonderful provision. The bell team have worked so hard; please come and show your support for all their efforts. Let the bells ring out!
If you did not pick up one of the FAQ sheets about the Minster proposal, please take one from the back of church. The consultation process will continue at the APCM on Sunday 30th April when we will debate the fors and againsts. The PCC will take note of the comments made and will make a final decision whether to proceed or not at their next meeting. Urban Minster status is in the gift of the Bishop.
Chaplaincy Volunteers course Musgrove Park Hospital Thursday mornings beginning in March. Some places are taken but there is room for more. Potential volunteers may gain an understanding of the roles by shadowing our existing team. Contact us on 01823 342515 or email@example.com for a preliminary chat. We need: Sunday helpers from 10am to care for patients coming to the weekly service once a month, chaplains to cover ministry on wards from 8am and assist in the 10.30am service once a month and people for our weekday ward visiting and administration teams. Applications may be made through the volunteers page on the hospitals website.
Our Lent talks begin on Wednesday 8th March. 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:-
- Wednesday 8th March: Does Science undermine religion?
- Tuesday 14th March: Should Religion play a part in public life?
- Wednesday 22nd March: How far should a religious conscience be respected?
- Wednesday 5th April: Must all religions be treated equally?
Today is the first Sunday in Lent. The season of Lent began on Ash Wednesday and we joined together with St John’s for a special Eucharist. We are pleased to report that the service was well supported by folk from both churches. Don’t forget that our bookshop carries a number of books which can help you draw close to God at this time.
“Following a request from Taunton Deane Borough Council, a consultation process was initiated by the PCC regarding the possibility of asking our Bishop if he would grant St Mary Magdalene minster status. Inside this sheet there is a paper which contains ten frequently asked questions and answers about this issue. A summary of the steering group’s executive report can be found at the back of church and on the legal notice board. If you have any comments or queries, please do not hesitate to discuss them with Nigel Birkett, who chaired the group, or me. The proposal has been taken to clergy chapter for comment and will be discussed at the Deanery Pastoral Committee next week. Please pray that we may have wisdom on this matter.”
Rod Corke, Vicar
Some while ago, we helped a young girl call Rebecca who lived in Chianda in Zambia. Rebecca had fallen into a fire when she was a little girl and her face had been badly scarred. We contributed to a fund set up for her and she received extensive plastic surgery. She is now a teenager and her face has much improved. There is a recent photo of her at the back of church. The surgeons hope that they can make it even better once she has fully grown (if it is Rebecca’s wish to go through additional surgery). On Rebecca’s behalf, thanks to all who contributed towards the work that has happened so far.