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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.

Upcoming Events and Services

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The Mayor’s Carol Service and the NSPCC Carol Service take place this week and are open to all. Do come. Next weekend, at 6.30pm we have our Lessons and Carols Service – a highlight of the year. We serve mince pies afterwards and if you can help provide these, we would be most grateful.

Mayor’s Civic Carol Service (12/12)
Mayor’s Civic Carol Service this year is at St Mary’s on Monday 12th December 6.30pm and everyone is invited.  The offertory will go to support the Mayor’s three charities which include The Somerset Children’s Hospice.

Business Carol Service (13/12)
The Town Centre Chaplaincy Business Carol Service is at 6.15pm on 13th December at St James’ Church. It is open to all and Bishop Ruth is speaking. If you have never been, why not come this year? I am sure you will enjoy it.

Carols by Candlelight (14/12)
Carols by Candlelight in aid of the NSPCC. Doors open at 6:00 pm with music by Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians. Service starts at 6:30pm.

Christmas Services at St Mary’s
Sunday 18th December at 6.30pm St Mary Magdalene Carol Service
Saturday 24th December at 4.00pm Crib Service
Saturday 24th December at 11.30pm Midnight Communion
Sunday 25th December at 8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)
Sunday 25th December at 10.00am Family Communion

New Year’s Day Services
On 1st January, New Year’s Day, there will be no service here at St Mary’s at 10.00 am (The 8.00am and 6.30pm services are unaffected). We have been invited to our sister church, St John’s, to share in their Patronal Festival. Our bell ringers will be ringing hand bells to welcome us, Revd Rod Corke will preach and Revd Jane Eastell will preside. There will be refreshments after the service.

Mayor’s Civic Carol Service

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There will be a special Mayor’s Civic Carol Service this year on Monday 12th December 6.30pm and everyone is invited. Again a planning group met this week to finalise what will happen. The offertory will go to support the Mayor’s three charities which include The Somerset Children’s Hospice.

Bells’ Arrival and Blessing

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After 40 years of endeavour, it is out with the old and in with the new.  15 old bells and their frame have gone, and now 15 new bells and frame have arrived.  These will soon be lifted up into the tower and fixed so that once again Taunton can hear the bells of St Mary’s ringing out.

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Christingle Service

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What is a Christingle and what does it stand for? The word Christingle means “Christ light” and is a symbolic representation for Jesus being the Light of the World. Each part of the Christingle means something:

  • The  orange, representing the world
  • A red ribbon wrapped around it, or a paper frill around the candle, representing the blood of Christ
  • Dried fruits and/or sweets skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons
  • A candle pushed into the centre of the  orange, then lit, representing Jesus Christ as Light of the World
  • Aluminium foil, representing the metal nails driven into Christ’s hands and feet during his crucifixion.

Bells’ Update

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John Taylor (taylorbells.co.ukhave fully assembled the frame and fit the bells and carillon hammers so that they know everything fits together and nothing is missing before it comes down to Taunton by lorry for re-assembly in the tower.

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Upcoming Events and Services

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Pudding Party (3/12)
For members of our congregation between the ages of 20 – 50, we are having a special “Pudding Party” on 3rd December at 7.30pm. There are invitations available at the back of church and from Clare Daw, Susan Whitehead and Rachael Lee. You will not go away hungry!

Candlelight Tour (6/12)
The last of the Candlelight tours of the church which is happening at 7.30pm on the 6th December. After the tour there will be seasonal refreshments served by our young people. There is no charge, but there will be donation pots in aid of a charity chosen by our young people.

Church Christmas Meal (7/12)
Don’t forget to sign up too for our annual Church Christmas meal at the Quantock Restaurant on the 7th December, 6:45 for 7pm. We have been going for several years and they look after us so well. This is a very enjoyable evening so make sure you sign up today.

Mayor’s Civic Carol Service (12/12)
Mayor’s Civic Carol Service this year is at St Mary’s on Monday 12th December 6.30pm and everyone is invited.  The offertory will go to support the Mayor’s three charities which include The Somerset Children’s Hospice.

Business Carol Service (13/12)
The Town Centre Chaplaincy Business Carol Service is at 6.15pm on 13th December at St James’ Church. It is open to all and Bishop Ruth is speaking. If you have never been, why not come this year? I am sure you will enjoy it.

Carols by Candlelight (14/12)
Carols by Candlelight in aid of the NSPCC. Doors open at 6:00 pm with music by Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians. Service starts at 6:30pm.

Christmas Services at St Mary’s
Sunday 18th December at 6.30pm St Mary Magdalene Carol Service
Saturday 24th December at 4.00pm Crib Service
Saturday 24th December at 11.30pm Midnight Communion
Sunday 25th December at 8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)
Sunday 25th December at 10.00am Family Communion

New Year’s Day Services
On 1st January, New Year’s Day, there will be no service here at St Mary’s at 10.00 am (The 8.00am and 6.30pm services are unaffected). We have been invited to our sister church, St John’s, to share in their Patronal Festival. Our bell ringers will be ringing hand bells to welcome us, Revd Rod Corke will preach and Revd Jane Eastell will preside. There will be refreshments after the service.

‘Signature’ Christmas Meal

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Signature CHRISTMAS MEAL at the Quantock Restaurant, Somerset College is on Wednesday 7th December 6.45pm for 7.00pm.  This is open to everyone.  If you would like to go, there is a menu at the back of church.  Please indicate your choice on the form provided.  The cost is £9 for one course, £13 for 2 courses and £17 for three courses.  Lifts can be provided.

St Mary’s Candlelight Tours

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“Have you ever wondered what a candlelight tour of St Mary’s would be like. Dennis and I are leading a party around and giving talks about the history of the church – we will finish with mince pies in the coffee shop. Interested? Why not invite a friend? We will be doing this today, Tuesday 29th November at 7.30pm and repeating the tour on Tuesday 6th December. We are really looking forward to taking you around – just sign up at the back of church.”  Rod

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The Clappers!

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This week there was an exciting development in our renewal of bells project – the clappers arrived! During the week, the clappers were laid out in the Soldier’s Corner and lettering was added according to the sponsors’ wishes (a very skilled task!).

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Advent Service ~ ‘From Darkness to Light’

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Today, Sunday 27th November, we are running the Darkness to Light advent service on Advent Sunday evening again this year after the success of last year.

We hope to bring in many people from all around to enjoy the advent atmosphere and hear moving music and readings to prepare for the Christmas season.  There will be interesting and stimulating new music (including a new anthem by Ian Carson incorporating handbells!) as well as classic advent carols.  There will also be seasonal refreshments!

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Upcoming Events and Services

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From Darkness to Light  (27/11)
Do begin your Advent by coming to the Darkness to Light Service at 7.30pm on Advent Sunday (27th November). This promises to be a dramatic and worshipful start to the season of Advent. There are business cards advertising this service in the pews. Do feel free to take one and give it to a friend or neighbour.

Candlelight Tours (29/11 & 6/12)
Do sign up for the Candlelight tours of the church which are happening at 7.30pm on 29th November and 6th December. After the tour there will be seasonal refreshments served by our young people. There is no charge, but there will be donation pots in aid of a charity chosen by our young people.

Pudding Party (3/12)
For members of our congregation between the ages of 20 – 50, we are having a special “Pudding Party” on 3rd December at 7.30pm. There are invitations available at the back of church and from Clare Daw, Susan Whitehead and Rachael Lee. You will not go away hungry!

Church Christmas Meal (7/12)
Don’t forget to sign up too for our annual Church Christmas meal at the Quantock Restaurant on the 7th December, 6:45 for 7pm. We have been going for several years and they look after us so well. This is a very enjoyable evening so make sure you sign up today.

Mayor’s Civic Carol Service (12/12)
Mayor’s Civic Carol Service this year is at St Mary’s on Monday 12th December 6.30pm and everyone is invited.  The offertory will go to support the Mayor’s three charities which include The Somerset Children’s Hospice.

Business Carol Service (13/12)
The Town Centre Chaplaincy Business Carol Service is at 6.15pm on 13th December at St James’ Church. It is open to all and Bishop Ruth is speaking. If you have never been, why not come this year? I am sure you will enjoy it.

Christmas Services at St Mary’s
Sunday 18th December at 6.30pm St Mary Magdalene Carol Service
Saturday 24th December at 4.00pm Crib Service
Saturday 24th December at 11.30pm Midnight Communion
Sunday 25th December at 8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)
Sunday 25th December at 10.00am Family Communion

New Year’s Day Services
On 1st January, New Year’s Day, there will be no service here at St Mary’s at 10.00 am (The 8.00am and 6.30pm services are unaffected). We have been invited to our sister church, St John’s, to share in their Patronal Festival. Our bell ringers will be ringing hand bells to welcome us, Revd Rod Corke will preach and Revd Jane Eastell will preside. There will be refreshments after the service.