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Tell the Church






Dear Friends
Here is the December edition of the ‘Tell the Church’ Bulletin which is emailed to as many people as possible who are connected to churches in the Taunton area. It is produced by Taunton Team Chaplaincy which counts it a privilege to serve the churches and wider community in a variety of contexts.
We are eager to receive information about and dates of events organised by local Christians and on occasions we will include details of other activities that might be of interest to members of local congregations. 

Please use the information as you feel helpful in your church notices, newsletters and community engagement.  If you don’t already receive this bulletin direct and wish to do so please send us your email address. We have created a bulletin for all the dates  which can be reproduced for use in Churches.
The information here is reproduced on a dedicated ‘Tell the Church’ page on our website. Simply save the following link and visit it whenever you want to know what is going on in and beyond various churches in the town: Tell the Church Web Page If you are a new recipient please see the notes at the foot of the bulletin.
The deadline for including information in next month’s edition is 5.00 pm on Wednesday 2nd January. Anything that we receive beyond that date will be put on our Facebook and Twitter Page.
Thank you for sharing this information among the wider church family.

Adrian Prior-Sankey MBE
Lead Chaplain, on behalf of Taunton Team Chaplaincy
E:  M: 07581 424 420
In this Edition:
Taunton Team Chaplaincy have created a weblink to promote Christmas Events in Taunton. Please send us your information asap to be included.

Saturday 1st December - Taunton Choral Society are giving their biennial performance of The Messiah at 7.30 p.m at St Mary Magdalene Church.
Tickets £18/£15 + concessions. Poster is available here

Thursday 6th Dec - Taunton Rotary Club singing Carols outside North Street Church at 7pm

Saturday 8th Dec 12pm- No Strings attached Puppets performing outside Chaplaincy offices

Saturday 8th December – AWAKEN worship night - Christmas @ 7:30pm
We are welcoming young adults (20s/30s) across the Taunton area to join us for carols, worship and the Christmas story at Oakwood Church in Taunton, if you go to church regularly or have never been, we can't wait to meet you! If you are a Christian we'd encourage you to bring a non-Christian friend to this event. View the event on Facebook 

Tuesday 11th Dec - Business Carol Service - St James Church
Taunton Team Chaplaincy are holding their annual Business Carol Service at 6:15pm. The speaker will be Supt. Matt Allingham of British Transport Police who is the prioneer of Rail Responders. A creche is available and free drinks and mince pies will be provided afterwards.

Friday 14th December
Carols at Lunchtime - St John's Church, Park St
A Service of Readings and Carols led by Rev Jane Eastell with Canticle, Somerset County Council Choir. 12:45 - 1:30pm. Refreshments available

Nativity on the Green  - St. Andrew's Green, Taunton.
A family event organised by The Churches of North Taunton. Traditional carols, food and festive fun. Come and join us ! 5:45 - 7pm

Sunday 16th December
10:30am St James Church Taunton: Family Service - A Christmas Experience not to be missed.
11am St Andrews Church, West Hatch: Christingle Service
11am Halcon Baptist Church: Christmas Family Service
3pm St. George’s Church, Ruishton: Christingle Family Carol Service
4-6pm @ Queens Hall: Not So Silent Night (hosted by Living Light Christian Church & Taunton Vineyard) Free tickets via EventBrite
6.00pm St George’s Church Wilton: Traditional Carol Service
6.30pm Creech St Michael Baptist Church: Carols by Candlelight
6:30pm Halcon Baptist Church: Carols by Candlelight

Monday 17th December 
: Carols around the bandstand in Vivary Park.

Sunday 23rd December
10:30am St James Church Taunton: Holy Communion - Children get their own party!
11am Halcon Baptist Church: Christingle Service
4pm : Joint Benefice Carol Service at Church of the Holy Cross, Thornfalcon

Christmas Eve
4pm St. Michael’s Church, Creech St. Michael : Christingle Service
4pm St James Church Taunton: Crib Service (A magical hour for all ages)
4pm St George’s Church, Wilton: Christingle
6pm St. George’s Church, Ruishton: Crib Service
6pm Creech St Michael Baptist Church: Carols around the tree (NB time and bring your lanterns)
11:30pm St. Michael’s Church, Creech St. Michael: Midnight Communion
11:30pm St James Church Taunton: Midnight Communion
11:30pm St George’s Church, Wilton: Midnight Communion

Christmas Day
8.15am Church of the Holy Cross, Thornfalcon : Holy Communion
9.30am St.George’s Church, Ruishton : Holy Communion
10.30am Creech St Michael Baptist Church: Family Christmas Celebration. (1 hr max)
10.00am St George’s Church, Wilton: Family Service followed by Communion
10:30am  St James Church Taunton: Christmas Day Celebration

We have produced a leaflet which can be used alongside church newsletters or magazines. Click on the button to view and print.
Tell the Church Decmeber 2018 Newsletter
ROC Taunton Deane
Redeeming Our Communities is a national charity which aims to bring statutory agencies, volunteer groups, churches and faith groups together to form new volunteer-led projects to address a variety of social needs.
ROC Taunton Deane was launched in September 2018 at a “ROC conversation” attended by over 200 people. It was clear from that discussion that there is a lot already happening in Taunton, which is great. We would like to put together a directory of existing community activity: what is already happening, when and where it takes place and who to contact for more information.
As you will appreciate, this is an enormous task, and one we would like your help with! Please could you provide us with a copy of your weekly newsletter, parish magazine or other circular in which you publicise information about the groups that are meeting at your church buildings, including for example Mother and Toddler Groups, Youth Clubs, Lunch Clubs and Friendship groups.
Copies should be sent by email to:
Thank you for your help!

STREET PASTORS are recruiting new members willing to serve in Taunton and/or Bridgwater to respond to the numbers of contractors moving into the area due to the Hinkley C development. A 13 week training course is running on Mondays at 7 pm in Bridgwater and it is not too late to join. Another course will be run in Spring 2019. Please contact Coordinator Adrian Prior-Sankey on if you wish to receive more information. Click here for the Training Schedule.

The United Reformed Church in Paul Street is to undergo interior renovations and modernisation. They have a lovely lectern for sale which came from Rowbarton URC when it closed some year's ago. It is a Victorian lecturn in English Oak. Price is £300. If you are interested, please contact Ron Williams, URC church administrator on 07955 237 012 or at
Your Spare Room could change someone’s life
How do you use your spare room? A place to store the laundry or an under-used exercise bike?
Why not give that room an amazing purpose - a foster home.
The number of children in care in Somerset is rising – currently over 500 need our help. We need more foster carers than ever, to give as many children as possible a better life 
Brandon and Josh have been fostered for over seven years now and can't thanks their foster carers enough.
“When we first came to Dave and Paula’s house we were really scared, our lives were all over the place. They gave us love, stability and made us feel safe. They treat us just like their own children. We are in a much better place now and looking forward to a brighter future – Dave and Paula say we can stay as long as we like.”

Stepping in now stops young people ending up on the streets
If you’d love to help a young person but don’t have the time to commit to fostering – ask about being a ‘Stepping Stone’. This involves renting a room out and offering guidance to young care leavers over 16, to provide them with a ‘stepping stone’ to adulthood while they begin studies or start a career.
Sue in Frome has been a ‘Stepping Stone’ for over a year now:
“After my divorce my kids had gone off to university and the house felt really lonely. I love knowing I’m making someone else life better, but also enjoy having the company and a young person around again.”
Ryan has grown up in care and would like to urge anyone who can help support a young person to come forward: “Life is difficult. Knowing there’s a safety net behind you makes such a difference. Give an opportunity, a step up the ladder of life and you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone realise their full potential”.
For info on fostering and lots more real stories from foster carers and children.
Call 0800 587 9900, visit www. or come to an information evening:
Help us spread the word: Like us on Facebook @fosteringinsomerset, follow us on twitter @fostersomerset
Did you know some fostering agencies make a profit – we do not.
You can make the greatest difference to children's lives by fostering directly with your local council. Many foster cares choose us or transfer to us because they prefer working with a ‘not for profit’ service. We channel our energies into a competitive fee for you, great training and support from our team and extra rewards when you foster with us.

Street Pastors are recruiting new members willing to serve in Taunton and/or Bridgwater to respond to the numbers of contractors moving into the area due to the Hinkley C development. A 13 week training course is running on Mondays at 7 pm in Bridgwater and it is not too late to join. Another course will be run in Spring 2019. Please contact Coordinator Adrian Prior-Sankey on if you wish to receive more information. Click here for the Training Schedule

WELCOMING THE STRANGER:  TWR-Taunton Welcomes Refugees is three years old and so far has provided intensive support to 12 Syrian Families. We have worked in Taunton, Bridgwater & Wellington, and in partnership with the local authorities and many other agencies including local employers. We would welcome new people interested in supporting the existing families and the new families that are expected in 2019. The roles are varied but the key need is to join one of the groups of 6-7 people around each individual family. Specialist skills such as English Language teaching are also welcome. If you live a more rural area, perhaps you could join the network providing days out & other activities. Please contact Chris Waddilove at or 07490 917991. The Bishop of Taunton is our Patron.
Musgrove Hospital Spiritual Care team are looking to recruit extra volunteers. We particularly need volunteers who can distribute Communion to patients at their bedside on a Sunday Morning or be available to help in the service in the Chapel. Currently most volunteers do this one Sunday a month so that they are still able to attend their own church regularly.
If you think this is something you might be interested in, please email or ring 01823 342515 and ask to speak to our lead chaplain Rev’d Julia French or Nicki Bradford to arrange an informal discussion.

Taunton Area Debt Advice - Increased demand for our services is causing Taunton Area Debt Advice to expand. Specifically, we are looking for new volunteers to train as debt advisers.  The training will take place on three Saturdays in the Autumn in Taunton – if you are interested in finding our more, contact Graham Reid on 07850 463996.

Prayer Pastors – Members of local churches are asked to commit themselves to pray for the work of Taunton Street and School Pastors. Those who wish to attend the Saturday night prayer base once a month any time between 9.30 pm and 3 am will be particularly welcome. A prayer meeting also takes place at North Street Church from 1 pm – 2 pm every second Tuesday in the month and everyone is welcome to drop in. For further details please contact our Prayer Coordinator Laura Glass via email

School Pastors - Taunton Academy’s School Pastors team is seeking new recruits for its support of pupils in term time. A full training programme will be offered.  Contact Marcus Paul via for more details.

The Besom in Taunton continues to grow, providing more opportunities for Christians wanting to use their God-given gifting in practical ways, and thereby serve increasing numbers of our disadvantaged neighbours. Praise God! The Lord is providing more opportunities for Christians to witness to the community through more key workers and social working agencies calling on, and relying on, The Besom for help. As demand increases, so do the opportunities for local Christians to use whatever gifting they have been given to serve the Lord through this ministry. Please email Elaine at or call her on 07432 629444 to find out how you can get involved. 

Could you be a Chaplain?
We are actively seeking new team members to cover a wide spectrum of situations.
Take a look at our web site to find out more.

We welcome expressions of interest to join our existing chaplains supporting workers in shops and offices, residents and staff in care homes and the general public in the town centre shopping areas, parks and open spaces and to cover a few hours to extend the opening times at the Chaplaincy Offices in the Market House.We particularly need more volunteers to work alongside our chaplains to the homeless and vulnerable and to fill vacancies at Gotton Manor Care Home and Open Door Day Centre.
All applicants must have been a committed member of their church for over a year and have the support of their minister/church leader. Please email us or call to chat if any of these opportunities are of interest to you.  
Simply contact Adrian Prior-Sankey, our Lead Chaplain, at  call 07581 424 420 or pop in if you are passing when our ‘welcome’ sign is outside - We’re on the first floor of the Market House accessed from the doors opposite Starbucks café.  
Prayer partners - Taunton Team Chaplaincy is supported by friends who receive a fortnightly prayer bulletin. If you would like to be added to this list of Christians who pray for situations encountered by the chaplains please email your name and email address to Adrian Prior-Sankey at
Trustees - Taunton Team Chaplaincy is looking for additional trustees to join the board of this local Christian charity and to help with the direction of this exciting ministry. It has been operating for 8+ years and continues to grow. If feel you have a calling to helping in this way and would like to know more, please contact the Chair of Trustees, Andy Hall at for an informal, no obligation chat. 
Prayer of Silence - There is a regular “prayer of silence” prayer group at St George’s Catholic Centre on the 2nd and 4th Monday mornings of the month except Bank Holidays) from 1015am. All are welcome.

Friendship Group – Priorswood Community Centre, First Tuesday of the Month, 3-4pm.
Cooperative Funeral Care host a group for those who have been affected by a bereavement. It is a place to have a tea or coffee and a supportive chat with their caring and experienced staff. More details here
Taunton Memory Café and Singing for the Brain – takes place at St James’ Church Hall on alternate Tuesdays from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm. For more information contact the Alzheimer’s Society on 01278 663 760 or organiser Carol Sweeting on 07850 928 905.

Dementia Friendly Communion Services are hosted on a Tuesday morning by St James’ Church each month at 10.30 am for 20 minutes. For further details please contact: Carol Sweeting on 07850 928 905 or Kate Taylor on 01823 619 739
Transformation Prayer Group - A group from various Taunton Churches meets to pray for the town and its spiritual revival on the second Tuesday of every month from 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm at St James’ Church. Everyone is welcome to come along. Further details available from Andy Hall via 07817 680436/ 01823 274 656. This initiative was inspired by the ‘Transformation Videos’ which are being shown monthly on Fridays at North Street Church – Read the story here and see the diary dates for details. 

Meet and Sing – Rowbarton Methodist Church, Alternate Wednesdays 10.30-12noon
'Singing for fun' - for anyone who would like some company, for carers and those they support. A gentle social time to chat, sing, or to listen, drink coffee/tea and eat cake! Just come along, or contact 01823 334854 
future dates - 12th Dec.
A prayer time is held at 10 am every Wednesday morning in the prayer room of Taunton Team Chaplaincy’s offices at the Market House. Members of local churches are welcome to join us for all or part of the hour during which we pray for the town and the people we meet.
Mothers’ Union meetings at St Mary Magdalene Church – take place in the Coffee Shop area of the Church at 2.30 pm on the first Wednesday of every month and welcome everyone. For more information please contact Rosemary Sage on 01823 276 797.

Drop into Silence – Taunton Friends host a "Drop into Silence' at the Quaker Meeting House in Bath Place every Thursday between 12.30 and 1.30 pm.  Visitors can drop in for as long or as short a period as they like. In the welcome area there will be a Friend dispensing tea coffee and biscuits, and happy to chat, for anyone that wants to eat their sandwiches there. Contact Lynn on 01823 327 530 or 07594 562 270 or email for further information.
Peer Support Group - First Thursday of every month 7.30-9.30 pm
The group provides a safe and confidential space for anyone to attend that has been bereaved by suicide. Meetings are held at:
Taunton Bridgwater
Mind in Somerset
Sussex Lodge
44 Station Road
The Snug (double fronted shop on the corner)
7 East Quay
Parking available in Belvedere Road car park. The best free car park is a 2 minute walk away and it's free after 6, it's by the job centre at TA6 3HG.  The shop still has part of old sign on it saying 'We buy We sell We trade'.  Also you can park in Asda but only for 2 hours.
Facilitated by: Susan Hoyle Facilitated by: Sam Carr

The group has an experienced facilitator but manages itself. Call 01823 334906 if you would like to talk to someone before attending. The group is part of the Somerset Suicide Bereavement Support Service, which is available to anyone in Somerset. T: 0300 330 5463 Helpline E:  W: 
Please also note our new Young People’s Peer Support Group for those aged 14yrs+ who have been bereaved by suicide is now running.  Please contact us for more information.

Flexercise – Those wanting to keep moving will be made welcome by the FLEXERCISE group at Taunton Baptist Church in Silver Street every Friday at 10.00 am. It is of great benefit and promoted by AGE UK Somerset. It is attended by men and ladies and no special clothing is required. 

'The Mix' is an intergenerational social time, held at Rowbarton Methodist Church, on the last Saturday of each month from 3-5pm.  Board games, Wii games and dance, table tennis, pool, or just sit and chat over a cup of tea and a piece of cake. 

Soul Space - St James Church - 1st Sunday of the Month 6:45 - 8pm
St James Church run a fun evening of games, worship, food, friends and reflection. A safe and relaxing space for those aged 10-16 to explore and deepen their faith. Poster and contact info is here
A Healing Service is held at St Mary Magdalene Parish Church on the second Sunday of each month at 5 pm. This is a brief non Eucharistic service, simple in format, and accessible to all who would like additional prayer for themselves or others.
Somerset Churches Together have published their latest Newsletter which can be downloaded here  
Work wise - Work-Wise is a job club, supporting those looking for work, which was founded by Temple Methodist Church and Taunton United Reformed Church and operates from the URC. It gives support to those who are seeking the dignity and purpose of work and who, for all sorts of reasons, are finding that a challenge. More information be found here or on their web site at

Signposts - Taunton Team Chaplaincy maintains a directory of local statutory and voluntary agencies that offer help. Copies are available by email on request and organisers are advised to check that the details published are up to date. Contact Adrian Prior-Sankey at to request a copy.  

Somerset Choices is a website that gives people information and advice on care and support services and local groups in Somerset.  Go to You can also advertise a service or any local events for free on their publicly accessible Somerset Choices website –
Details about how to register can be found here - Somerset Choices
If you would like some support in uploading your details please don’t hesitate to contact us on  

Need some creative input to your church or business? 
Sam has 10 years of industry experience in creative marketing, social media, design, photography and video. Sam is now working freelance and based in Taunton he'd love to talk to you about the tools on social media or to look at creating some engaging content for your church or business. His heart is to use this experience more for the Kingdom especially to reach young people with hope. Sam can't wait to meet you!  

Email, Phone: 07413 293863, Website:


Fundraising sites - Businesses or community venues willing to host a collecting tin for Taunton Street Pastors. Contact our coordinator at or phone 07773 038 622.

Street Pastors are appealing for donations of sleeping bags and blankets (no duvets) to hand out to rough sleepers. Donations can be left at the Chaplaincy offices in Market House or at North Street Church when open.

Chocolate bar donations: A team of young adults and youth from Taunton Churches will be handing out free chocolate bars on one of the last shopping days before Christmas, this will be as a gift from Taunton Churches. If you’d like to donate some chocolate bars and bless the people of Taunton through this there will be a donation box in North Street Church on the morning of 7th, 12th and 14th December. More information contact


Tone FM will advertise your event online free of charge if you upload details to their web page. Click HERE to fill out the details and once the details have been approved, it will show on their events calendar.

Event promotion - The Diocese of Bath and Wells would also be pleased to advertise them via its own web site if organisers upload details via this web link: Diocesan News Events  and the Council’s Visitor Centre team is happy to receive information for their list as well via: Visit Somerset Events List
Thank you again to those churches and individuals who have recently made a financial gift to Taunton Team Chaplaincy. Our funding comes from individuals and local churches and we keep our outgoings to an absolute minimum. We would love to share some of the stories of the difference that Jesus makes through chaplaincy in the lives of those we meet so please read the notes at the end if you’d like to book a preacher one Sunday or speaker at a weekday daytime or evening event.
Please make this a matter of prayer and consider regular giving or a one-off amount towards the work and witness undertaken by our lead chaplain and the growing team of volunteers on behalf of the town’s many churches.   Above all we appreciate prayers of friends who value the ministry and we are always happy to add names to the list of those who receive our fortnightly prayer update email. Donations can be made direct via our Web site at 
Details about standing orders and gift aiding can be obtained from our Treasurer, Mrs Mary Hudson at
Notes to new recipients and contributors:
If you are a new recipient we need to explain that this email is sent out to a mix of local church leaders and others who are active in local churches in the hope that the information will be passed to those responsible for magazines, weekly newsletters and verbal announcements. Where posters or fliers are mentioned it is requested that you download a copy from the dropbox link given and then print off a copy for display on the appropriate notice board. Please let us know if you have difficulty accessing any of the web-links and we will happily explore an alternative way of sending the information to you.  
If you have church members or friends who’d like to receive this information direct or if you wish to be deleted from the monthly communications you can reply to this address making your request clear and we’ll sort it out.
If you wish to send us details of a forthcoming event please let us have it with as much notice as possible and we’ll include it in the next mail-out which is usually the first working day of each month. It is most helpful if we can have the information in an electronic format (PDF, Word and/or jpeg files)
Information included in this publication is given in good faith and may not necessarily reflect the views of Taunton Team Chaplaincy or Churches who support the work. Please notify us of any errors or concerns via E-mail at
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