In the Western churches, the Epiphany (‘manifestation’) became an occasion to celebrate one element in the story of Christ’s birth, the visit of the far-travelled magi, understood as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Matthew’s account speaks simply of ‘wise men from the east’; later tradition fixed their number at three, made them kings and recalled their resonant names – Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.

The season of joyful celebration that begins at Christmas now continues through the successive Sundays of Epiphany, and the festal cycle ends only with the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas). The child who has been manifested to the magi at his birth is now recognized by Simeon and Anna, when he comes to be presented in the Temple according to the Law of Israel. He is both ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles’ and ‘the glory of God’s people Israel’. But the redemption he will bring must be won through suffering; the Incarnation is directed to the Passion; and Simeon’s final words move our attention away from the celebration of Christmas and towards the mysteries of Easter.

In Celebration of the Epiphany at St Marys we will be leaving the Tree and lights up until February 3rd when the festal cycle ends with Candlemas. The branches will then be removed and used to make a cross for Lent.

From the Churchwardens

From the Churchwardens

During the last Sunday service before Rev. Ann was installed as our new     Rector we took the opportunity to say ‘Thank you’. Our message is repeated here to reach those who were unable to be at that service

We have been in vacancy for just over a year and now as we look    forward to having a full Ministry team again we want to acknowledge all the help that has allowed our church life to be fully maintained.

Our ministry team, George, Katharine, Ruth, John  and Charles have all taken on extra duties to cover services across the benefice. The wardens team, and Eddie and Rita and Chris have helped to keep those services running smoothly. Kath and Peter have helped Ken and Chris as vergers at weddings and funerals.

Thank you, too, to everyone who contributes to the content of    regular services, reading, prayers, sidesmen, etc. and music from Mary, Margaret, Rachel and the music group.  (more…)

Ann Writes

Ann Writes

So we come to the beginning of another new year.  Mick and I have been here just over a month, boxes have been unpacked, walls painted, and pictures have been hung.  The books are now safely all in   alphabetical order!

We all want to have somewhere to call home, surrounded by familiar objects, places and, most of all, people.  It is a natural human desire to want to settle and to belong.  Having somewhere where we can ‘nest’ and feel safe is particularly important during the dark days of winter.  January and February can be particularly trying months and we seek the warmth and comfort of our homes. We draw the  curtains to keep out the dark and put on lights, light fires and  perhaps light candles too.

We have become afraid of the dark.  We have street lighting and  security lights on our houses, and, is it just me, or have car headlights got brighter?

But it is in the dark that light has its origin.  In the story of the creation in Genesis, God created light out of darkness, not the other way around.  It is at the darkest time of the year that the Christian church chose to celebrate the coming of God into the world.  It was through the darkness of death that Jesus brought resurrection into the whole of creation. (more…)

The 5 Simple Rules to be Happy

Remember the 5 simple rules to be happy

  1. Free your heart from hatred – forgive
  2. Free your mind from worries – most never happen
  3. Live freely and appreciate what you have
  4. Give more
  5. Expect Less

Lords Larder Christmas Appeal

The Lord’s Larder began as a Chard Churches Together service, and in 2018 became a registered charity in its own right. With the support of a diverse team of volunteers, it provides emergency food supplies for people in need. We offer bags of non-perishable food to those who come with a referral form from a Doctor, Social Services, similar professional agencies or a church. We rely on donations of tinned and packet foods,

As it is Christmas we try to put a little extra in each bag. We would especially welcome Festive foods: Chocolate and fancy biscuits, Mince pies, Smaller Christmas cakes and cake bars, puddings of all sizes ,

Donation baskets are in Sainsburys and Tesco supermarkets and also at Forefront, 42 Fore Street, CHARD.

Also donations of tinned and packet foods, but they must be in date : Tinned meat products,Corned beef,Tinned ham. Tinned pies, Tinned fish products. Packets of instant mashed potato. Tins, packets and jars of cooking sauces. All Tinned fruits, Tinned rice pudding, tinned or packet custard. Tinned puddings Coffee, Drinking Chocolate, Bottles of squash Jams and Marmalade

Christmas specific donations are needed by the 10th & 17th of December

Baked Beans or tinned Spaghetti as we seem to be overstocked with them!! All donations are gratefully received and will not be on our shelves for long!

Ann Writes

It is lovely to be joining this community as Rector at this time of year.  I grew up in Taunton and have so many fond memories of Christmases past, particularly Boxing Day by the sea in Lyme or Sidmouth!  Since then I have lived in many different parts of the country, but now I am looking forward to coming ‘home’.   Mick and I are really pleased to be coming to Chard and to Combe, Wambrook and Whitestaunton and getting to know each of your communities, hearing your stories and being part of your lives.

Getting to this point has been a long and not always straightforward journey.  I spent over twenty years in secondary education teaching in London and in Suffolk, and I also managed a Debt Advice Centre in Cambridge. I always thought that ordained ministry was for other more ‘religious’ people, but God, it seems, had other ideas!  I nearly left it too late to respond to my sense of calling, but since taking the plunge I have been blessed and encouraged by so many people.  I have come to realise that being ‘religious’ has got nothing to do with it.  What matters is how we live our lives, both individually and as a community.  It is about kindness, generosity and tolerance, things which we all lack at times, but also things we can learn from one another. (more…)

Flower Arrangers Meeting

November 2nd at 2 pm a meeting for the flower arrangers.

We will be discussing flower arrangements for December.

Harvest Church Service

We had a wonderful service which included lots of items for the Lords Larder and fresh produce. The fresh food was sold after the service. In addition to the things for the Lords Larder we were able to donate £149 to them.

Many thanks to everyone for their hard work. We look forward to next year’s service.

Coffee Morning

Many thanks to everyone who came and helped at the coffee morning on the 6th October.

Another £70 was raised for Church Funds. A big thank you.

A Lily in Memory of this Christmas

Would you like to remember someone you miss this Christmas with a lily?

Just £3.00 per lily.

Contact Maureen who will collect the money and record the name in Church and the Church Magazine.

Closing date to order and pay is 2nd December

Side by Side Service is Looking for Volunteers

Side by Side Service is Looking for Volunteers to do things they love in Somerset. Play a round of gold, listen to music or simply have a cup of tea and a chat.

The Alzheimer’s Society is looking for volunteers to help local people. For more information ring 01458 251541 or see sidebysidesomerset@alzheimers.org.uk