I am delighted to report that our Lay Minister/Reader, Ronnie King, has been asked to be Mayor’s Chaplain from April 2018. The new mayor will be Cllr Catherine Herbert and she and her husband live in our parish. Ronnie will accompany the mayor on some of her engagements and lead prayers at the council meetings. Please pray for Ronnie as he prepares to take on this important role.
Rod Corke, Vicar
Good news! The money has been raised and permissions given for a camera feed from the peregrine’s scrape into the pews in the North Aisle. If the peregrines breed in February we are now ready to capture all that happens. Michael Leigh Mallory, who has led this community project, has collected a lot of scientific data about our birds. For example, we know that when the temperature drops, the birds feed locally and at night. In the summertime, they were feeding over The Levels.
Good news! After many months delay, Vineyard Church has purchased the former nightclub at the back of Bailhache Solicitors to convert into their Compassion Centre. Vineyard will be our new next door neighbours and it is wonderful that another church with such a caring and missional heart will be so close. Their worship centre will continue to be at Castle School.
After the Family Communion on Christmas Day, the church will be closed until 2nd January when it will open again.
However, please note, there will be an 8.00am and 10.00am Holy Communion service on Sunday 31st December but there will be no Evensong that day.
We are looking forward to two special services on Christmas Eve. Firstly, organised chaos ensues as we retell the Christmas Story to families from all over Taunton. Then, at 11.30pm we begin the First Communion of Christmas. The moment when we share The Peace of Jesus on Christmas Day with our families and friends is always a highlight of Christmas. Christmas Day morning at 10.00am, is always relaxed at St Mary’s when we enjoy a Family Communion. This year’s theme is “Now He has come!” and picks up on words the Angels say to the shepherds: “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us” and also, words of Simeon in The Temple, “Now let your servant depart in peace.” Do join us. You will be most welcome.
At this time of the year we like to show our appreciation of all those church members who make visiting St Mary Magdalene’s during the week, a very special and spiritual experience. We are especially grateful to Cheryl who manages our Bookshop and Sandra who supervises the Magdalene Coffee Shop and also thank all our volunteers – we simply couldn’t run St Mary’s without you. A special mention of thanks goes also to our three Churchwardens, Marlene, Jean and Valerie, who have so many extra duties in the run up to Christmas.
Many thanks to everyone who attended our respective meetings throughout the year and joined us for the Advent service. We are very grateful for your support in any way. We wish you a Joyous Christmas and abundant health and prosperity in the year 2018.
Our tree decorated with Chrismons! Chrismons are Christmas decorations with Christian symbols on them. They help Christians to remember that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’s birthday. They are often used on Christmas Trees in Churches and Christians homes.
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone for their contributions over the last few weeks. We are so grateful for your help. To see us over the Christmas period we still need …
- long life milk
- long life fruit juice,
- tinned vegetables
- rice pudding
- instant coffee
- instant mashed potato
- tinned cold meat
- tinned fruit
Thank you again.
Diane & Derek
The Signature Christmas meal at the Quantock Restaurant last Wednesday evening was a great success. The restaurant has been enlarged and modernised and we were well served and fed. Thanks go to Margaret Laver for organising this.
We are hoping to organise a Signature event to the Odeon Cinema to see the new film “Churchill” Starring Gary Oldfield, to be released on 12th January. We are likely to go on a Wednesday evening. At this stage, we would like to know an expression of interest (no commitment) so if you are interested please sign the sheet at the back of church. After Christmas, there will be a sign up sheet for definite bookings. We need to know approximate numbers to see if we can get a block booking discount.
The season of carol services has begun and already we have enjoyed the Trefoil Guild and Mothers’ Union services and there are several more to follow. I would like to make particular mention of the NSPCC carol concert at 6.30pm on Thursday 14th December. Not many tickets have been sold and this is such a good cause. Do come if you can.
Revd Rod Corke
Our Advent celebrations last weekend were enjoyed by folk of all ages. The Christingle Service attracted many of our Baptism families and the children enjoyed making the Christingles. I talked about our being reflectors of God’s light in our dark world. The From Darkness to Light Service went smoothly and the choir sang beautifully. It was amazing when Morwenna Crook sung her solo in the darkness and then the candles were lit flooding the church with a beautiful light.
Another memorable event this week were the two candlelight church tours. Someone wrote a review on line which said: “Wow….I went to a Candlelight tour of St Mary Magdalene Church last night, it was fabulous.” Thanks to Susan Whitehead who worked so hard on this project.
Rod Corke, Vicar