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Old News


November 2015 - All Change at Chaplaincy

Following 2 years as Taunton’s first Town Centre Chaplain, Rev Steven Reed is stepping down and handing over the baton to Rev Adrian Prior-Sankey.  

Chairman of Trustees Andy Hall commented, “These two years have seen much change within Taunton Team Chaplaincy (TTC) including the establishment of an office in the prestigious Market House, an increased profile amongst both civic and business leaders, the growth of the team and daily town centre patrols.  We are very grateful for the capable work which Steven has performed and look forward to the continued development of the ministry under Adrian’s leadership.

A former Taunton Mayor, Adrian is well known in his role as Coordinator of Street Pastors and Marketing Director of Taunton Flower Show.  He said that he was delighted to be taking the helm at this important time in the expansion of TTC and looked forward very much to working with the talented team.

The TTC motto is “the church which has left the building”.  Before having this significant town centre presence it had been established as providers of workplace chaplains for over 5 years, with most major employers having a lay chaplain on their staff, including Sainsburys, ASDA, County Hall, UKHO and many more.  The Chaplaincy team members are drawn from across the churches of the town.

Steven Reed will continue his part time chaplaincy role at Musgrove Park Hospital and with local military units.


Chaplain Chats with Hague 

Former Foreign Secretary William Hague MP took time out of a busy pre-election schedule to chat with Taunton’s town centre chaplain Rev Steven Reed.  Mr Hague confessed to being unaware of this church inspired ministry and the positive impact of town centre and workplace chaplaincy which is growing across towns and cities in the UK.

Describing their work as ‘the church at work’, Rev Reed was able to point out to Mr Hague that Taunton Team Chaplaincy comprises nearly 30 mostly lay chaplains drawn from churches across Taunton who serve with some of the larger employers as well as businesses in the town centre.  Chaplaincy is how the churches build productive and trusting relationships with the businesses and community of the town centre, he said.

Chaplains regularly visit businesses with the purpose of offering friendly and supportive care to staff.  Chaplains listen and take an interest in the people they meet and give comfort and compassion where needed.  Over a period the chaplain becomes accepted as a friend and very much part of the town centre community.  Such is the growth of this ministry, that a national body has been set up called the Alliance of Town & City Chaplaincies which had its inaugural conference in Luton recently.

December 2014 - The Business Carol Service

Around 300 people attended the 2014 Business Carol Service at St James Church in Taunton including the Mayor Dave Durden and his wife Rene.  The annual service is organised by Taunton Team Chaplaincy who provide workplace and town centre Chaplains.  Readings were made by leaders in the business community including Colin Barrel President of Taunton Chamber of Commerce and Tim Walker Chairman of Clarke Wilmott. 

In a thoughtful and at times amusing talk on the Value of Chaplaincy, Richard Treharne, Manager of Sainsburys, concluded by quoting a Chaplaincy motto “the Church which has left the building” saying that he hoped that his Chaplain Tim Bowers would never leave their store.  Rev Keith Powell’s message focused on a return to the value and importance of the true Christmas theme of the coming of Jesus into our world and that he continues to be present in the world today.  The service was led by Rev Tim Jones.


     A Vision Fulfilled

 In 2004 Rev Dennis Cavaghan wrote a document for the Diocese of Bath & Wells advocating the establishment of a Chaplaincy to serve the businesses of Taunton and in particular a Town Centre Chaplain.  Ten years on, Dennis has met with some of the Chaplains who are now fulfilling that role and has seen his vision fulfilled.

Taunton Team Chaplains provide many local businesses with the services of a chaplain from Sainsburys to County hall, Debenhams to the UK Hydrographic Office.  More recently, the provision of an office in the Market House has made it possible for a Chaplain to become a regular feature in our town centre.

Lead Chaplain Rev Steven Reed said, “it was great to meet Dennis and to celebrate with him the outcome of his proposal.  What had been achieved in recent years is testament to one man’s vision of the church at work in its community.  We are also grateful for the financial support of the Diocese”.  There are now 26 chaplains in the team, which is supported by nearly 100 prayer partners and by the local churches.

Picture:  Rev Dennis Cavaghan with some of the Chaplains.  He is centre, rear.


August 2014 - Bishop Peter visits the Chaplaincy

Bishop Peter Hancock, the Bishop of Bath & Wells, took time to discover first-hand the work of Taunton Team Chaplaincy when he visited their Market House office, in Taunton on Tuesday (19th August).  Presentations about their work were made by the Town Centre Chaplain, Rev Steven Reed and other members of the 23 strong team of mostly lay people who represent churches from across the town.

Bishop Peter was impressed by the central location at the Market House and the work of the  team members who truly represented the church at work at the heart of its community he said.  Chairman of Trustees Andy Hall said that it was an honour to have Bishop Peter visit the organisation, whose work had in the early days been funded by a grant from the Diocese.  Taunton Team Chaplaincy provides workplace chaplains to  many businesses as well as to the community of the town centre.  Bishop Peter concluded his visit to the Market House with prayers for the team.

Picture:  Bishop Peter with Rev Steven Reed, Town Centre Chaplain and Rev Rod Corke, Vicar of St Mary Magdalene church and Trustee of Taunton Team Chaplaincy.

Rebecca Meets Town Centre Chaplain  

Prospective Conservative MP Rebecca Pow dropped in to meet the Taunton’s town centre chaplain Rev Steven Reed and some of his team at their Market House office this week.

During an hour long visit, Rebecca learnt about the work of Taunton Team Chaplaincy which provides volunteer chaplains to many employers in the county town as well as a town centre chaplain.  

Commenting on her visit, Rebecca said “'I was so pleased to visit the new drop in hub for Taunton Team Chaplaincy. It's filling a vital niche for people popping in and the chaplaincy volunteers are also doing really useful work amongst the businesses and people of Taunton. This really is doing what it says on their poster-  it's the church that has left the building.' 

The church which has left the building!

 A large crowd of well-wishers from across the churches of Taunton gathered to witness Jeremy Brown MP open the office of Taunton’s very first Town Centre Chaplaincy office.  He spoke about the importance of the ministry of a church which had stepped outside its traditional buildings and gone amongst the people in the market square offering them its gifts of a listening ear, compassion and service.

Taunton Team Chaplaincy has for the past 3 years provided its services to some of the town’s major employers.  But with the Market House office as its base, TTC has now begun to offer a further dimension to their ministry to the town centre community of shoppers, businesses, tourists, the dispossessed, and the alone.  “This was the church’s heart at the heart of our community” commented Councillor Jane Warmington of Taunton Deane Borough Council who have provided the offices.

President of Taunton Chamber of Commerce, Colin Barrel welcomed the initiative commenting that Taunton Team Chaplaincy were now an active member of the Chamber.  “The value of the church in its community would be enhanced by the appearance of the town centre chaplain Rev Steven Reed and his team”, he said.

Rod Corke, Vicar of St Marys Church, and Trustee of TTC, led prayers for the work, blessed the offices and those who will work from them.  Chairman of Trustees Andy Hall said that the opening of an office and the work of a town centre chaplain was the fulfilment of a vision set out by a local vicar, Dennis Cavaghan as far back as 2001.

Amongst the well wishes at the opening were Chairman of Somerset County Councillor David Fothergill, church leaders and managers from businesses served by Taunton Team Chaplaincy.

March 2014 -  Bishop Peter Inducts Lead Chaplain and Commisons Team

Peter Maurice, Bishop of Taunton, has performed the induction of Lead Chaplain, Rev Steven Reed of Taunton Team Chaplaincy and commissioned members of the team.  Speaking on ‘Christianity in the Market place’, Bishop Peter highlighted the value of workplace chaplaincy as an example of the church active in its community, he said. 

Members of the chaplaincy team are drawn from churches across the town.  The special service was held at St Michaels Church and lead by the Rev Colin Snell and included the Chaplaincy AGM.



Station Road Has Its Very Own Chaplain

Rosie Marsh has been appointed as Chaplain to the Station Road business community  by Taunton Team Chaplaincy Trust, one of fifteen town Chaplains who are drawn from across local churches.  Chaplains regularly visit businesses to offer friendly and supportive care, to both owners and staff.

Station Road Florist Judith Goss said “we are looking forward to having Rosie visit our shop and I am sure that her caring and interested approach will be welcomed and of benefit to the business community”.  Chairman of the Trust Andy Hall said “our Chaplains receive a warm welcome wherever they go.  They are an example of the interest which churches take in all aspects of our society.  Chaplains are ‘the church at work’” he said.

Rosie is a retired social worker who is also Chaplain to East Reach where the business demographic is quite similar and she therefore has an understanding of the challenges which businesses can sometimes face.


Picture:  From L to R  Andy Hall, chairman of TTCT, business woman Judith Goss, Chaplain Rosie Marsh and Rev Steven Reed, TTCT’s lead chaplain.

March 2014 - Bishop Peter to speak at Induction Service

  Taunton Team Chaplaincy Trust will induct its recently appointed Lead Chaplain Rev Steven Reed and his team of volunteer chaplains at a special service on Tuesday 11th March at St  Michaels in Taunton at 7.00pm.  Special guest Bishop Peter of Taunton will speak on 'Christianity in the Market Place'.  

  Taunton Team Chaplaincy provides work place chaplaincy to many of the Town’s employers including Asda, County Hall, UKHO, Sainsburys plus other smaller   businesses.  The meeting will also include the Trust’s AGM.


The Church at Work  (14.02.2014)

The ‘Church at work’ is how Taunton Team Chaplaincy was described during a recent visit to the Mayor of Taunton Deane, Libby Lisgo MBE.  In existence for under 4 years, volunteers from across the churches already provide work place chaplaincy to many of the Town’s major employers including Asda, County Hall, UKHO and Sainsburys.

The visit was an opportunity for the mayor to reflect upon and to applaud the provision of church based services in very challenging times.  She recognised the important work of, for example, the Food Bank, Open Door for the homeless, Street Pastors and Taunton Team Chaplaincy to name but a few.

Lead Chaplain, Rev. Steven Reed, said that in these days of uncertainty a non-judgemental, friendly, listening ear was invaluable.  Whilst unashamedly Christian, the services of Taunton Team Chaplaincy were available to those of any faith or none at all, he said.

Picture: - Andy Hall, Chairman, presents a team picture to Mayor Libby Lisgo MBE.

Business Carol Service - great success  (18.12.2013)

St James Church was very full for the annual Business Carol Service put on especially for those in the busy retail sector by Taunton Team Chaplains.   

Led by the Minister Rev Tim Jones and in the presence of the Mayor, Councillor Libby Lisgo MBE, Adam Carbis, manager of Boots paid tribute to the important work that the Chaplains performed on behalf of so many of our local businesses, year in year out.   

In what was thought by many to be a very moving service, the Chaplain’s team leader, Rev Steven Reed spoke on “Christmas - Jesus gives the gift of change”.  Earlier some of the Chaplains had been out on the streets singing Carols including Sainsburys (see picture).


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