A Vicar and his Zebie!

A Vicar and his Zebie!

Life in the vicarage is excellent.  There is a new addition, and now I am a true vicar again.  The new church dog is Zebie, (from Zebulun, one of the twelve tribes of Israel.  I have called all the dogs that I have owned Old Testament names, from kings Nebuchadnezzar (Nebie), to a good king Hezekiah (Hezie), and Obadiah (Obie), a prophet and general.)  You will see him around as he follows me, already the bonding is strong with this one. It is always wonderful to welcome new members of the family whether they have four or two legs.

Tobie

‘Through the Eyes of St Mary’s’

‘Through the Eyes of St Mary’s’

Dennis Cavaghan’s book “Through the Eyes of St Mary’s” covers 13 centuries (AD708-2008) of Christian history in Taunton. This beautifully produced hardback book is now available in our Bookshop; it is a fascinating, illustrated history, perfect for reading and for reference. Also available at Brendan Books.

Welcome Revd Tobie Osmond!

Welcome Revd Tobie Osmond!

In a splendid service, led by Bishop Peter this evening, Tobie Osmond became our new Vicar!

“… you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house …” 1 Peter 2:5

Licensing of Tobie

Licensing of Tobie

With gladdened hearts, the churchwardens and many “members of the body of Christ” (St Paul) have been preparing for the licensing of our vicar designate Revd Tobie Osmond on the 31st of October at 7 pm.  Let us give thanks for the past and for the vacancy. All that we did and all that we did not do is accepted and reconciled in God through Jesus. As we look to the future, we pray for God’s wisdom through the Holy Spirit, for His guiding hand and all that He has planned for us to achieve under Tobie’s leadership.

CHARIS

CHARIS

Many of you will know that our church, together with Creech Baptist and Taunton Vineyard, were the founder members of CHARIS which was formed four years ago to be a Community Sponsor organisation in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

So far we have worked with four families and helped with the provision of English Language teaching for several others.

In conjunction with the Home Office, CHARIS has also worked to encourage and support other Community Sponsorship groups across the South West (Wiltshire to Cornwall).   We have mentored more than 20 groups, many of which are now sponsoring at least one family of their own.

Thirdly, we are in the process of setting up a Welcome Centre for refugees here in Taunton. Our heart for this centre is to create a sustainable resource base for all refugees and a point of engagement and interaction allowing community groups and refugees to work and learn together.  Premises for the Welcome Centre have been offered by our partners, Taunton Vineyard Church, just a stone’s throw from St Mary Magdalene’s, and conversion work is almost complete.

Please pray for the families we support and for the wider work of CHARIS which seeks to obey the command to love one another (John 13:34-35 & Luke 6:35). If you would like to know more of the work or explore how you might help, do speak to me.

Richard Austin

Cross Dedication

Cross Dedication

On Sunday Preb Stephen Lynas dedicated the modern cross that hangs above the pulpit. He explained that it is made of steel representing the harshness of the nails, pain, and death, also the softer copper representing hope, resurrection and the defeat of death. This cross brings together, the hope of Resurrection and the defeat of Death.

You can hear his sermon here on our Sermons page if you missed it

Our Vicar Designate

Our Vicar Designate

For those of you who have not heard, the name of the future Vicar of the Benefice is the Revd Tobie Osmond. Tobie is currently incumbent of St Thomas, Wells, with the Horringtons, Priest in Charge of Chewton Mendip with Emborough, Litton and Ston Easton and Area Dean of Shepton Mallet Deanery. The licensing will be on Thursday 31st October. We hold Tobie and his parishes in our prayers at this time of transition. We thank our heavenly Father for this blessing as we, in the benefice start the preparations to welcome him at both our churches.  Tobie’s introduction to us can be read here.