May 2019

Called to Serve

It was a great pleasure, on the day of our recent Annual Parochial Church Meeting, to be able to announce the appointment of another curate at St Andrew’s. Miss Katy Gough, currently a student at Trinity College, Bristol, will be ordained deacon in Wells Cathedral on Sunday 30 June.

There is a long history of curates at St Andrew’s, many of whom are fondly remembered to this day and some who made a lasting difference not only in church but in the community too. Katy was able to be present at both the Parish Eucharist and the APCM and was touched by the warmth of the welcome, not least the round of applause when the news was given. She was able to see the wide range of work that goes on at St Andrew’s and receive a good introduction to the community in which she is to serve.

As with all curates, Katy will be with us for around four years, and will be ordained priest at the end of year one. We will need to remember that she will be here as a part of her training. She will need to gain experience in many aspects of ministry, most of which will be new or nearly new to her, and she will be given the space to reflect upon her work so that her ministry is rooted in the theology that she has learned during the academic part of her training, as the two must go together. For this reason, although she will be a full-time stipendiary colleague for me and the Readers, she will not simply be a spare pair of hands. Indeed, any incumbent who takes on a trainee colleague knows that it will cost extra time and work, not that that is a difficult choice for me as I am passionate about what I do and enjoy sharing what I have learned. In my experience, the incumbent always learns something new as well!

Good news indeed, but nothing that should eclipse the other good news that the APCM brought us. After the Archdeacon’s Visitation we will welcome David Budd as a second churchwarden alongside Stephen Grimshaw, the first time we have filled both posts for several years. We also welcome Antony Yeo as Treasurer, although both Mike Chapman and Mike Shaw have kindly agreed to continue alongside him as he completes a course of study this summer and then has time to settle into the role. Further to this I am very pleased that Mike Shaw, Bill Perry, Steve Bull and Darren Chalmers have been elected to the PCC. It was also great to celebrate the huge amount of work done by so many at St Andrew’s, many of whom have been in post for a long time and keep us up and running so smoothly.

In this Easter season we should never forget why all this is done. We are not a club, although we do benefit from a pleasant family feel as a church. We are here for the benefit of those who do not (yet) belong as we respond to God’s call to go in the name of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and witness to all the redeeming possibilities that are open to us when we allow his Holy Spirit to work among us in power. This is what it means to live our motto to reach lives for change and hope. Institutions change nothing, only God can change lives, but we are called to be partners with him as we become his eyes, hands and feet, active in the world.

Finally, on 16 May, we mark Tricia Anderson’s conclusion to her public ministry as she becomes a Reader Emeritus. Readers, like clergy, can hold a licence well past retirement age from the world of work. In exchange we all have a responsibility to lay down office when the time feels right. There is, of course, no retirement age in God’s service but his call upon our lives changes as we do. Tricia has been a good and faithful minister of the Gospel, and a good colleague to me and her fellow Readers. We will be sad to see her leave this role but rejoice in all God has for us through her in the coming years.


News Desk

Reader News

After many faithful years of service as a Reader, both at Trull and at St Andrew’s, Tricia Anderson has decided to become Reader Emeritus. This happens when a Reader decides the time is right to retire from active ministry. In recognition of their past service, they retain the title Reader (Emeritus) but cease to preach, lead worship and help administer Communion and may be invited to robe at special times. I am delighted that Tricia still wishes to contribute to our worship through reading the Scriptures and leading the Intercessions and she will, of course, be very much a part of the St Andrew’s family. Tricia will preach for the last time at both services on Sunday 19 May, and as part of the Parish Eucharist we shall mark the occasion and express our thanksgiving for her past ministry among us. She has expressed a wish that, instead of a presentation, we might make a financial contribution to the work of Taunton Foodbank. This is a slightly different focus than stated last month following a fresh assessment of what is needed most by that vital organisation.

Easter Services

Many thanks to all who helped in any way to support our worship over Holy Week and Easter. All the work from cleaning to serving, making music and flower arranging, reading and leading prayers, looking after the sanctuary and more, was much appreciated.

Archdeacon’s Visitation

St Andrew’s is to host this year’s Archdeacon’s Visitation, which will take place on Wednesday 15 May at 7.00pm, with light refreshments served from 6.00pm. This is the service at which churchwardens are commissioned and the Archdeacon gives his charge, an address that seeks to speak of the issues of the moment and bring his thanks and encouragement to all who minister in God’s name. All are welcome and I hope that as many as possible will come to support Stephen and David as they are formally admitted to office.

Taizé & Iona Evening

Our next occasional Sunday evening service is on 19 May at 6.00pm when Alan and the Choir will lead us in an act of worship based on the traditions and music of the Taizé and Iona communities. These lay and ecumenical communities have much to teach the rest of the church about both reconciliation and social justice, much of it through thoughtful and meditative songs and chants. Do come along if you can!