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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.

Harvest Festival

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There will be a bring and share lunch after the 10.00am service on the 2nd October.  This is open to all and if you would like to come then please sign up on the sheet at the back of church.  We suggest a donation of £2 per person to cover additional costs (drinks etc.).

Gifts will be collected for The Open Door, a church-supported charity for the homeless in Taunton.  A retiring collection at the 10.00am service will go to All We Can.  All We Can is a Methodist based charity and exists to help people in the world’s poorest communities become all that they can.

Organ Restoration Appeal

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We are pleased to announce that we are well on our way to raising the £250,000 needed to restore our Father Willis organ.  This is an incredible amount and we would like to thank all for their generous donations.  If you would like to keep abreast of our progress or maybe even make a donation yourself, you can do so at our MyDonate page.

Full details of the Organ renovation appeal and how you can help us by sponsoring a pipe (or pipes!) can be found on our Organ Project page.

We so look forward to fully restoring our Father Willis.

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Christianity Explored Course

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Have you ever thought if you would like to learn more about your faith? Have you considered what being a Christian really means? This October, there is an opportunity to take part in the seven week Christianity Explored Course that our Vicar, Rod Corke, will be leading. Church members who have taken part before have enjoyed the experience which is informal (although you will not be put in any embarrassing situation).

We start on Wednesday 19th October, 7 pm in the Upper Room and continue through to the 30th November.  Everyone invited.

The sign up sheet and table promoting the course are at the back of the church.

War Memorial

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Just out of interest, the War Memorial outside the church, has been grade two listed this week. I am often asked what the symbols around it stand for. They are symbols of Holy Week – the tunic torn, the crucifixion nails, etc. If you have not spotted these – have a look. The Dedication of the Field of Remembrance is a short service that is traditionally held at the memorial on the Thursday before Remembrance Sunday. However, this year it will be held on Friday (11th of the 11th) and be coordinated with the Town Remembrance.

September ‘Together’ Magazine

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The new magazine has been published . We thank all responsible for the editing, compiling and distribution. Your work is much appreciated.

For a taster of Together click here.

Father Willis on Radio 4 Extra!

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You might like to listen to this Radio 4 Extra Programme about Father Willis.

‘Loud Organs His Glory’, in 30 minutes Simon Townley tells the story of ‘Father’ Henry Willis from his relatively humble beginnings as the son of a London builder to the heights of Victorian society.

We are in the process of raising funds to restore our Father Willis and details can be found on our Organ Project page.

Signature Event – Visit to Kia-ora Gardens

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Please keep free Thursday 15th September as this is the date of our next outing.  We will be visiting the Kia-ora Gardens in Cullompton. Kia-ora is almost 15 acres of extensively planted gardens with vast lawns, large lakes, ponds, bog gardens and various water features including its own waterwheel and mill.  At this time of year, in particular, the roses will be stunning with a scent to match.  Look out for the sign-up sheet for the trip mid-August. Full details very soon!

Young Readers Group

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“We start up again this month, on Sept 2nd. We have ‘ lost’ some folk as some have moved on and new members are always welcome. Caroline Bolt and I would be very glad to see you. Year 9 and upwards is our age range.  We have a busy term ahead, with Harvest, Christingle and Christmas to come.”

Margaret Roe and Caroline Bolt

An Evening of Prayer at St Mary’s

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Don’t forget to put into your diary our evening of prayer on Thursday 8th September 7.30 – 9.00pm.  Prayer is the ticking heart of our fellowship and once a term, we meet to pray for all that is coming up.  The autumn term is especially busy, with lots happening.  The plan is to have a number of different “prayer stations” for us to visit to focus on a particular area for silent prayer. Do come and spend some time at the prayer stations praying that all our activity will be Christ centred.

Michael Farley’s Organ Workshop Visit

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Organ destined for St John’s Church Zewkija, Gozo, Malta

On Wednesday last, a large group from St Mary’s went on an exploratory visit to Michael Farley’s organ building works in Colaton Raleigh.  There we saw a new organ that they had just completed which will be shipped to a church in Gozo, Malta.  The day also included visiting three churches in Budleigh Salterton, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth where the organs were played.  We all learnt a great deal and enjoyed a pub lunch together.  Our thanks to Miles for organising such a good day out.  Here’s a little video entitled ‘An Organ Crawl’ with some sights and sounds of the day.

The organ fund to repair our Father Willis organ stands at over £130,000 but the cost will be much more than this.  We await estimates and will let you know when we receive them.  Hopefully, in the not too distant future, our organ will play to the standard of those we heard on Wednesday.

This firm is one of the possible Organ Builders we are looking at with a view to renovating Father Willis.  Michael Farley has kindly offered us a tour of his workshop (where he is currently building an organ for Malta!) and some of the nearby instruments he has recently renovated.  This would be a day out in some beautiful places – we would visit the churches and organs of (tbc) Budleigh Salterton, Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth, and enjoy a pub lunch.  Lifts could be provided if needed  If anyone would like to join us for this visit please sign the sheet at the back of the church (for further details please see Miles Quick).

 

MU 140th Anniversary Celebratory Service

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On Tuesday 23 August, we celebrated the Mothers’ Union 140th Anniversary with a splendid service here at St Mary’s. Some 170 members from all over Bath and Wells attended the service which began with a picnic in the church grounds and a procession through the town. Thank you to all who helped and all who joined us to make such a memorable occasion. Particular thanks to Margaret Hendy MU Diocesan President and the Trustees, Ann Hall, local Deanery Leader and Rowena Merson, Taunton Archdeaconry leader; to our flower ladies, our organist Miles, Ruth the violinist, our sacristan team, Tim our caretaker, our Rev Rod Corke, Rev Judith Abbott MU Chaplain and finally to those who stayed on after the celebration to help clear up.

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Tower Tour & Bell Ringing on Bank Holiday Monday

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Come take in the magnificent views from the top of our tower. This will be our last tower tour until the new bells are hung.

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Bell ringing is a great tradition – you are welcome to have a go on our bell ringing simulator. It’s free and suitable for all ages.