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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.

Minster Status


“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


Rebecca from Chianda


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.


Refugee Family


Charis, the charity we help form in order to bring over  a refugee family from Syria is on track to do this very soon. We await final approval from the Home Office but the accommodation is now sorted. Sarah, John, Richard and Margaret have been involved with the management of the process along with others form Vineyard and Creech St Michael Baptist. Please pray that all will go smoothly.


Wednesday Breakaway Programme


Wednesday Breakaway will meet on the following dates at 9.30am in the children’s corner:-

  • 8th March: An introduction to cross stitch
  • 5th April: Easter Craft – making Easter egg dream catchers and decorating clay.

Everyone welcome!

Worship@5 – Does Forgiving Mean Forgetting?


We are very pleased to have Pastor Matthew Jeanes of Canon Street Christian Centre speaking on “Does forgiving mean forgetting?”

Forgiveness is central to the Christian faith and Jesus commands it.  Although it can sometimes seem an impossibility, it is in reality an incredible opportunity for us to find freedom and experience the power of God.

Join us on Sunday 26th March.  We start at 5pm but the doors are open from 4:30pm for a cuppa and a chat.

‘Olivet to Calvary’ at St George’s Church, Wilton


On Saturday 1st April at 7.30p.m. at St George’s Church, Wilton, the West Somerset Singers will be performing their Spring Concert.  The main piece will be ‘Olivet to Calvary’ which is a very moving, meditative work, recalling simply and reverently the scenes which mark the last few days of Jesus’s life on earth. It will be an excellent beginning to your Easter reflections. Tickets £10 on the door.  Do come if you can.

Ash Wednesday Service at St John’s


On Wednesday 1st March our Ash Wednesday Service will be at St John’s, marking the start of Lent for 2017.

Please note this service starts at 7.00pm and not 7.30pm as previously advertised.


Carillon Tunes Competition for School Students


St Mary’s organist Miles Quick

SHORT compositions from two musically-gifted youngsters could be ringing out over Taunton long into the future.

Following the replacement of the bells in the tower at St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton, a competition has been launched for school students open a new chime.

The new carillon was delivered to St Mary’s just in time for the festive period, which was heralded in with the tune The First Noel.  However, the Bells of St Mary’s project manager Rosemary Tuhey said: “It was a truly delightful way to start off Christmas morning, but the carillon only has that one tune at the moment. Old favourites will be digitally programmed into the new carillon, but we want Taunton school children to have the opportunity to compose a new tune to play out over the town for all to hear.”

The tune competition for all Taunton secondary schools was launched on Tuesday 17th January and the two best tunes will be incorporated into the memory to play out over the town for many years to come. For further information please contact Rosemary Tuhey, Tower Captain, St Mary Magdalene Church.  Entries to be received by the 28th February 2017.  We look forward to receiving them!

The new bells will be dedicated by the Bishop of Bath and Wells on 19th March, at 2.30pm.

Ash Wednesday & Lent Talks


Today is the Third Sunday Before Lent and we are speeding towards Lent and Easter.  The beginning of Lent is marked with a special Ash Wednesday Service – 1st March, 7.30pm at St Johns. Revd Rod Corke will be presiding and Revd Jane Eastell will be preaching.

Then our Lent talks begin. 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:-

  1. Wednesday 8th March: Does Science undermine religion?
  2. Tuesday 14th March: Should Religion play a part in public life?
  3. Wednesday 22nd March: How far should a religious conscience be respected?
  4. Wednesday 5th April: Must all religions be treated equally?

Afternoon Prayer


Next Saturday afternoon we have a time of prayer and discussion about the idea of becoming an urban minster. We will begin the afternoon at 2.00pm in St Andrew’s Chapel with a time when views can be shared and discussed. This will lead to prayer and the church will be open until 5.00pm for people to come in and reflect and pray. Do come. Your comments for and against will be heard and valued — your prayer support will be appreciated.

Benefice News


Benefice News: St John’s is open Mondays from 12 noon to 2pm for quiet prayer and reflection whilst on Wednesdays there is a group Lectio Divina, 12.30pm to 1pm.  Everyone is very welcome – please join us for as long or as little as you want.

Sheila’s Departure


Last week Sheila announced that she was resigning her post here and moving on to pastures new. We will miss her greatly and we give thanks to God for her ministry here. Please pray for Sheila that during this time of change she will be guided by the Holy Spirit and know God’s sustaining hand upon her life and ministry. Sheila’s last Sunday will be 23rd April and we will be organising a collection to present her with a gift from us all.