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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.

Pastoral Care


“We have a small Pastoral team of which you may or may not be aware. Now that we have no incumbent, we are concerned that everyone feels that they have someone to turn to in time of trouble, need, or indeed, joy. To that end we are putting a number of plans in place and over the next Today sheet letters, I will outline more details. For the moment, if you have immediate needs such as a pastoral visit, someone to talk to, or if you know of someone who needs a Home Communion, please let Valerie Gaskell know as she is coordinating the team at the moment. The churchwardens will also pass on any messages. In the meantime we urge you all to chat to your neighbours in the pews (I’m sure you do that anyway) and check that all is well with them.

So, we rise to any challenges that may face us in the coming weeks and months, in the knowledge that God is with us and guiding us as we enjoy the beautiful sunny days.”

Jean Lee

July Events


Signature Event Wednesday 18th July 2.30pm BURROW FARM GARDENS, nr Axminster. £6pp.
This is open to everyone and there is a sign up sheet at the back of church.  There is a café available at the gardens.

The Magdalene Fayre will be held on Saturday 21st July.  If you are able to help on the day there is a list at the back of Church of stalls to be manned. Also required is a team to get tables / gazebos set up in the morning and put away afterwards. The next planning meeting will be on Saturday 30th June at 10.30am.

Patronal Festival
There will be a bring and share lunch after the 10.00am service on 22nd July to celebrate our Patronal Festival.  Everyone is welcome.  There is a sign-up sheet at the back of church and it would be really helpful if you could say whether you can provide a sweet or savoury dish.

New Books


Congratulations to Julia Steward (one of our organist team) on the publication last Friday of her new book: book: Sustaining Resilience for Leadeship: ship: Stories from Education.  This has been published in paperback by John Cait Publications and is available now from bookshops and on Amazon.

Sunday’s Worship


Today is the first Sunday in the month and so, at 10am, we have our Church Family Worship and welcome the Revd. Mike Haslam to lead us. We are lucky to have many talented young people to help lead the service – our choristers and young readers especially.  This afternoon sees the baptism of Toby Richard Dyke and we welcome him with his parents, Jonathan and Joanne. At this evening’s Parish Communion service we welcome the return of the Revd. Dennis Cavaghan.

Date Regulations: Consent Forms


A Consent Form has been sent to everyone on the electoral roll. If you have not already done so, please complete and return it to Margaret Laver in the Parish Office to ensure that we can contact members from time to time about matters relating to St Mary Magdalene church. If you are not on the electoral roll but wish to hear from the church from time to time, then please collect a Consent Form from the back of church. The church’s Privacy Notice can be accessed via the church website at or viewed on the noticeboard at the back of church.

Rod’s Service of Collation and Installation


“Many of us were blessed with a fine sunny day last Sunday when we travelled by coach or car to Great Malvern Priory to join with the congregation there for Rod’s collation and induction and installation service.  We were given a very warm welcome from the parishioners there and invited to join them for refreshments – wonderful cakes!  Rod then took us on a tour of the Priory church which is a magnificent building with many stories to tell. The service was led by the Bishop of Worcester and the sermon given by the Archdeacon of Worcester. They both had a very relaxed style and caused a few ripples of laughter. I think we all felt that Rod is in good hands with them and with his congregation.  After the service we all gathered in the beautiful grounds surrounding the church for a Ploughman’s supper. All the food was locally sourced and very delicious. So. it was a day of conflicted feelings – saying a final farewell to Rod and wishing him and Rita well and returning to all the strangeness of an Interregnum with all the exciting things that may happen in the next few weeks and months. A number of the choir joined with the huge choir at Great Malvern to sing during Rod’s service and we were all impressed with the sound of the organ there.” (Photos courtesy Great Malvern Priory and David Guy.)  You can view more photos on Great Malvern Priory’s FB page.

Jean Lee

Another busy week …


“It’s another busy week at St Mary’s: Tuesday sees the glass engraver in the Chapel, Thursday we host the Pilgrim Service for Year 6 children from local CofE Primary Schools, and, we invite back our friend, the Revd Nicholas Maddock for the Communion service, Friday is its usual busy self with choristers, choir and Voice PC and Saturday we welcome Taunton Choral Society as they put on another of their splendid concerts.  Phew!  Can you keep up with it all?

We are very fortunate to have the support of the Revds Ben Whitworth, Martyn Wratten and Dennis Cavaghan as we progress through this period of vacancy, and we are getting to know other clergy that are supporting us during this time too.  Revd Richard Cloete joined us on Sunday for both the 8am and 10am services.  We thank all our clergy, both new friends and old for all their work here with us.

We have much to thank God for, but especially the people that make St Mary Magdalene the church that it is. Everyone here plays their part and each and every person is vital.  From the attendee at the 8am service, to PCC members ensuring the correct governance of the church.

The coming months will bring challenges and without an incumbent it won’t always be easy, but we know that God is here, working with, and, in each and every one of us, and with that assurance, all will be well.”

Valerie Gaskell,
Finance Officer

Calling all Instrumentalists!


CALLING ALL INSTRUMENTALISTS (PAST OR PRESENT) – From time to time the police hold a ‘gun amnesty’ for people to hand in illegal guns they may have stashed away at home.  We are holding an ‘instrument amnesty’ for anyone who plays an instrument – or once played one and still has it in a cupboard.  We would love you to get out your instrument and come and play with us at the 10 am service on Sunday 1st July.  There will be some straightforward music and a chance to rehearse it in advance at a time convenient to you.  If you might be able to help us with this (or on future occasions) please have a word with Miles Quick after a service for further details.

Next Sunday


Next Sunday many of us will be travelling to Great Malvern to support Rod and Rita as they are formally welcomed to the Priory.  See inside for details of the day.  Please note that there will be no Evensong service next Sunday.

Trip to Great Malvern Priory – Further Info



Three places have now become available; please let the office know asap if you wish to take one of these.  Both coaches will leave St Mary’s at 1.45pm next Sunday.  The pick up at Hankridge is 2.00pm.  We aim to leave Great Malvern at 8.30pm.

We have received the following information from Great Malvern:

‘The plan is to have tea and cake before the service.  We are doing a locally sourced ploughman’s supper for afterwards. It will comprise cheese, bread, some salad and pickle. Also local strawberries for pudding. Local beer, wine and soft drinks will be available.  Some gluten free and lactose free alternatives will be on offer. The dry weather plan is to have tables chairs and picnic blankets in the church yard and on the glebe field. Food and drink under marquee on the Glebe.  The wet weather plan is for food and drink under marquees on Glebe with people being encouraged back into church to eat and drink. Some tables will be in the Littleton room downstairs. Music will be playing either inside or out depending on the weather.’

A letter from Rod and Rita


To all our dear Friends at St Mary’s, We wanted to say an enormous  “ Thank you” for the love and generosity showed to us last weekend. We will never forget our final service. Thanks to Sandra and her team for the fabulous spread of food enjoyed by everyone and “Thank You” to Margaret for the delicious cake we are continuing to enjoy. We were overwhelmed by the generous cheque we received and my superb record cleaner. Our Love and Prayers to you all.

Rod and Rita



For the eagled eyed amongst us, you will have noted that work on the Organ has now started.  This is very exciting and we look forward to next Easter when we hope the refurbishment will be completed and Father Willis will once again be resplendent in sound!