News Desk - May 2022
Ukraine Coffee Morning
Many thanks to all those who worked so hard to bring our Coffee Morning for Ukraine into being on 9 April, and to all who took part. The excellent financial result was just on £2,000 - a classic example of prayer in action that, with the efforts of others alongside us, will make a difference.
Holy Week and Easter Services
Thanks too to all who helped with our Holy Week and Easter services: fellow ministers, servers, musicians, and welcome teams and all who took part.
The opportunity for a coffee and a chat after the Wednesday Eucharist will return from Wednesday in Easter Week, 20 April
This year’s presentation was due to take place at the end of the last week of April. Another seven local primary schools heard something of the Easter message through a series of dramatic cameos and craft activities, with an opportunity to reflect. Thanks to all who helped or took part in any way.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting
This will take place on Sunday 15 May in Church, starting at approximately 11.45am, following the Parish Eucharist (as last year). Coffee will be served before the meeting. Papers for the meeting will be made available (print or online) by Sue Goodman, our PCC Secretary, in advance of the meeting. To keep the meeting as brief as possible we will assume that all have read the reports before attending and will come with any questions ready. This is also the meeting where we elect our Churchwardens and PCC, along with Deanery Synod representatives, and appoint our Sidespeople. As usual, there are vacancies for PCC members for up to a three year term. Please see Sue for a nomination form if you’d like to serve.
For the Annual report and accounts for 2021, please click below:
For the Agenda, Minutes and Reports, please click below:
Belated Welcome to the Deanery!
During the various periods of lockdown, new clergy were licensed virtually at an on-line service. For legal reasons that meant that they could only be licensed as “priest in charge.” For full incumbent status they had to wait until an in-person service was possible. This has now been made the case for the Revd Paul Irving, who formally becomes Rector of Staplegrove and Norton Fitzwarren, having been licensed initially in 2021. The service is on Thursday 19 May at 7.00pm at Staplegrove parish church. Paul has already made his mark, bringing his benefice to be part of MINT, but we welcome him and his family anew to the Deanery of Taunton!
This year’s service will be on Thursday 24 May, with the Parish Eucharist being held at 7.30pm.
Prayers for the Sick
We have had a number of comments lately about the length of the list of the sick that we use in our Prayers of Intercession. Traditionally, the list is intended mostly for those who are very ill, or who are experiencing another sort of deep crisis. If you ask for prayer for someone (and have asked their permission!) do keep me in touch with how that person is doing so they are only on the list for as long as needed. The aim will be to review each name with the one requesting it every three months if we don’t hear from you. Of course, definitions of “very ill” and “deep crisis” will vary so I don’t want anyone to be under any kind of pressure. If you need prayer in this way, you shall have it. It is the most basic ministry we can offer each other.
One of the consequences of the pandemic has been the opportunity to review all aspects of church life, in some cases accelerating changes that might well have happened in due course anyway. During the time of social distancing the Choir worshipped without robes as access to the Choir Vestry was fraught under these conditions. This led to a conversation about the future in which some expressed a preference not to robe, concerned that it could be a barrier to the younger generation. The opposite view was also expressed, while some members of the Choir were unconcerned either way. There being no particular reason in Tradition for robed singers in church, a compromise position was adopted in which the Choir would robe and process only on festival occasions and other key holy days as a mark of the solemnity of those days.
Church Heating Update
Work continues to research different options for a new heating system for church. So far, we have had a survey from a firm of consultants called Green Journey, as required by the Diocese, whose report we await to help us consider the environmental angle in the project. We have already gleaned that a ground or air heat source pump would not be appropriate for our building as it is insufficiently insulated. We have also applied to receive the services of the Diocesan Advisory Committee’s Heating Adviser, to work on further options. It is highly unlikely that the project will be complete before next winter, so the Church Hall has been reserved on Sunday mornings from November to March, although Remembrance Sunday and key Christmas services will still take place in church.
New St Andrew’s Update
At its meeting on 29 March, the PCC voted to make an application to the Diocesan Advisory Committee to remove the pews in the South Aisle, and the redundant choir stalls in front of the North East Door. This is to allow more flexibility for church and community events, and also allow the NE Door to be freed and so become a fire exit - this would increase the capacity of the building for fire safety purposes. The PCC also appointed David Budd as Project Manager for New St Andrew’s – his term as churchwarden being completed this year – now that Alan Cook has retired from this role.