December news & updates

WE HOPE EVERYONE is having a warm and wonderful Christmas!
Below is a summary of Christmastime services still to come at our Team Churches. There are two new sets of very festive photos to view, and some very good news about a £10,000 grant from the National Churches Trust to St Mary’s Church, Totnes.
Liz Waterson‘s Community News section includes some fundraising feedback, a wish list for Syrian Refugees moving into this area – plus details and memos about the myriad other things you can join in with, help with, or find out about.
Near the end of this news post (keep scrolling down) there’s a contents list for the December Parish Newsletter, along with a link to download it or read it. Producing, printing and distributing the Newsletter does incur costs, so – even if you only ever read it online – donations / contributions are being sought and will be gratefully received.
• Many thanks as always to everyone who has sent us information and images.

CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL 2016 – photos by Lynn Blackmore

treefestival2016_01treefestival2016_02 treefestival2016_03 treefestival2016_04
• click the photos to view them larger
• or see them all at once on the gallery page

PET SERVICE 2016 – photos by Chris Martin

• click the photos to view them larger
• or see them all at once on the gallery page

CHRISTMASTIME services & events

xmastreeanimUntil Tuesday 3rd January
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Come see this year’s glorious display when attending services or in town for Christmas shopping or the sales.

carolbellsThursday 22nd December at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Dartington
all welcome

cribserviceFriday 23rd December at 3pm
St Mary’s Church, Berry Pomeroy
all welcome


stmarysdartingtonexterior03Christmas Eve at 3pm
St Mary’s Church, Dartington

marldonchurchChristmas Eve at 3pm
St John’s Church, Marldon

stjohnssnowChristmas Eve at 4pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

marldonchurchChristmas Eve at 11.10pm for an 11.30pm start
St John’s Church, Marldon

stmarysberrypomeroyChristmas Eve at 11.15pm
St Mary’s Church, Berry Pomeroy
• mulled wine served from 10.45pm

stmaryssnowChristmas Eve at 11.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes


St Peter's Church CornworthyChristmas Day at 9.15am
St Peter’s Church, Cornworthy

stjohnssnowChristmas Day at 10am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

marldonchurchChristmas Day at 10am
St John’s Church, Marldon

stdavidsashpringtoncropChristmas Day at 11.15am
St David’s Church, Ashprington

stmarysdartingtonexterior03Christmas Day at 11.15am
St Mary’s Church, Dartington

stmaryssnowChristmas Day at 11.15am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes


stmaryssnowBoxing Day at 10am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

stmaryssnowWednesday 28th December at 10.30am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes


stjohnssnowSunday 1st January at 10.30am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

PRESS RELEASESt Mary’s Church gets project development award

National Churches Trust awards a £10,000 Grant to St Mary’s Church, Totnes
21st December 2016
nationalchurchestrustThe future of St Mary’s Church, Totnes, is one step further to being secured after a £10,000 grant from the National Churches Trust to fund a Project Development grant ahead of a major building project in 2018.
St Mary’s Church has identified the need for substantial restoration, refurbishment and reordering works in order to ensure the structure is fully safe, fit for purpose and sustainable both as a place of worship and for wider community use.
The Project Development grant will allow the Church to undertake options appraisals in respect of the proposed works and further consultation within the community including exploring potential opportunities to broaden the community use of the building through working with arts / community partnerships.
John Birch, the project team leader, says

St Mary’s Church is at the heart of the community of Totnes as well as being a major tourist attraction within the town. Unfortunately its very existence is threatened by its condition and its current inability to provide a full and comprehensive community facility.
The church’s vision is to reverse the building’s physical deterioration and to have it removed from the Heritage at Risk register as well as expand its usage by creating a welcoming and thriving community facility that provides an inspiring, fully useable and fit-for-purpose place for worship, music, performing arts and arts display.
Obtaining the grant from the National Churches Trust is a good start.

• for more information on NCT visit their website
contact: John Birch 01803 84025907974243352


pccnewssnip201612Available to download as doc or pdf, or read online.
• previous minutes are located under News / PCC news

COMMUNITY NEWS with Liz Waterson

sleepingbagclipartCharity Sunday feedback
Many thanks for your wonderful generosity to the Drop In / Night Shelter on Charity Sunday this year. The two collections came to £700. Mark Hatch says that he really enjoyed joining with us for both the morning service and Advent Carol Service in the evening. He feels incredibly wonderfully supported by the Totnes Team and holds us all in a special place in his heart.
If healthy funding for Revival Life Ministries (the Charity that oversees the Drop In and pays Mark) continues, they will be able to give him a small pay rise. He is paid for 3 hours per day – just for the morning opening of the Drop In.
The Night Shelter has been open for 8 nights so far (it opens when the temperature is zero or below or severe weather is forecast). This entails a 12 hour shift by Mark (who has to be there for legal reasons) and his small team of volunteers. This work is done entirely on a voluntary basis. The work continues because everyone is precious, everyone is loved ~ A  bruised reed, He will not break  (Isaiah 42 v3)

coffeeheartCoffee Fund
Since Don Halstead was Treasurer there have been sales of jams, marmalades, chutneys, vegetables and other items to help pay for the coffee / tea which we enjoy free every Sunday. In that time we have raised over £900 for the funds, all of which has put back into the Church. We have bought a new coffee machine, 24 cups and saucers, an altar cloth, many books for the children’s corner, as well as coffee supplies.
Hexagonal Jam JarsThere will be further jams etc available after the service and in the New Year. Thanks to all who have made, grown or bought these offerings.
In addition, the recent sale of jams and chutney by Bridget Rogers, in aid of the children’s hospice charity Demelza raised £462.45, which is wonderful for a one-woman sale! Many thanks to all of you who provided jam jars with lids for this.

Wish List for refugees
refugeesupportdevonA wish list for South Hams–based Syrian families – outreach requests – in spirit of seasonal generosity, from Beyond Borders Totnes on behalf of Refugee Support Devon
The following items would be warmly welcomed by Syrian families, recently arrived with refugee status, to live in the South Hams. If you have any of these items to pass along – as you upgrade or grow out of things or just want to purchase to donate – please email Refugee Support Devon, who will have local support volunteers to collect the items from you. Any items need to be in good condition / working order. Many thanks!
Floor rugs – to cosy living rooms
Bikes – for 8, 10 and 13
Scooter for 6 yr old
Skipping ropes
Backpacks for school use for 5 children, boy aged 14, girl 10, girl 7, boy 6 and boy 4
Warm winter clothing of good quality / good condition jumpers, coats, socks (sizes approximate):
Women sizes: 12/14 and 18/20 (including tights, knee socks)
Men: sizes medium and large/XL
Boys: 4, 6, 13yr old
Tights, girls clothes  age 8 and 10
Navy or black or grey tracksuit bottoms (for PE) girl aged 10, girl aged 7 and boy aged 6
Track suits for men – M & L/XL
Men and boys’ sports clothing
Technology provides key support for learning English fast – so any help with these greatly appreciated:
Digital TV
Laptop / Ipad
Portable radio
CD player / boom box
Anyone wanting, in Christmas spirit, to sponsor TV licences for the families (£145 per year – in full or part) can send cheques made out to Refugee Support Devon to:
Refugee Support Devon (RSD), Exeter Community Centre, 17 St Davids Hill, Exeter, Devon EX4 3RG
refugeesupportdevonlogoThank you in advance for any offerings you might be able to make. The transitions from Syria to South Hams , from war and loss to the different daily culture and accoutrements of life in England – are vast. All these small contributions are appreciated. Please also ask around of family or friends if anyone in your personal network might have any of the above.
• please contact RSD  about any possibilities – they have responsibility for overseeing support for the families.

this is a tin of NOT BrassoBrass Cleaning
A very big thank you to the brave souls who turned up to the brass cleaning. All now sparkles for the festive season.

smallchangecoinsSponsorship for Gill & Fred Still
Please give your donations to a churchwarden as soon as possible! Some people still haven’t paid!

house groupsHouse Groups
Both house groups are taking breaks until 10th January…
2pm at 4 Riverside (Mary Harris) and 7.30pm at 3 Sparrow Road.
We are studying Chapter 7 of A Life Guide Bible Study: Growing Older and Wiser by Dale and Sandy Larsen.
contact Liz Waterson for further details: 01803 849345

bookCrosspark Book Club 2017 forward dates for your diary
Monday 6 February The House on The Strand by Daphne Du Maurier
Venue: Crosspark, facilitated by Mandy Barfoot
Monday 3rd April Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
(Venue: tba, not at Crosspark)
Monday 5th June Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
Venue: Crosspark, facilitated by Debbie Parsons
Monday 7th August Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild by Judy Fairbairns
(Venue: tba, not at Crosspark)

calendarclockClergy days off
 (Reverend Julian) and Fridays (Reverends Debbie, Jane and Steve) – please respect this by not contacting them on those days!

stjohns21_72bigBooking enquiries re. St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Please call 01803 865615 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 12noon, or email us.
Carolyn & Tony are no longer dealing with this!
• St John’s Hall & Lettings information
• St John’s Hall & Lettings photos


Totnes Food Bank
Emergency Food Parcels at Market Place Ministries (opposite the Drop In): Totnes Food Bank opening times are now Tuesday to Thursday between 10am and 3pm.
• please note that you can now drop off items for the Food bank at Morrisons – there is a collection bin near the toilets
• click here to download a printable poster

jamjars2Jam jars with lids required
Gina and Peter Roger’s daughter, Bridget, is making jam and marmalade for a charity in London but has run out of jam jars with lids. If you have any, please bring them along to St Mary’s Church, Totnes, and leave them by the coffee area to be picked up. Bridget will collect them next time she is in Totnes,

caregiftaccountGift Aid Officer vacancy
Due to Brian Herrington’s move from Totnes, we are (still!) looking for a new Gift Aid Officer to record the Gift Aided donations and to claim the Gift Aid on them. This is an honorary position. Knowledge of spreadsheets required.
• to find our more, email Lynne Birch or call her on 01803 840259

Hexagonal Jam JarsOn sale
Delicious damson jam and other produce is now on sale at St Mary’s Church, Totnes – and will continue to be for a few weeks more!

PARISH NEWSLETTER – the December issue is online

Parish News December 2016 – this month’s newsletter, compiled and designed by Julian Hall, features 20 pages full of news, articles and information. To receive the extended, full colour version by email each month, please email Julian Hall.
Many thanks to the advertisers* in the latest edition!

This issue includes:

  • Christmas Services – at St Mary’s Totnes and St John’s Bridgetown
  • Mary and Joseph take to the Road Again – by Joy Hanson
  • Christmas – by Reverend Julian C Ould
  • It’s Just A Christmas Thought – by the Reverend Cliff Berdinner
  • A Helping Hand at Christmas – Diocese of Exeter
  • SPG on TV – in a Call The Midwife Christmas Special
  • Start Taking Time Off – another extract from UCB’s Word For Today booklet (available free in both churches), see also UCB’s website
  • Celebrating 150 Years – a special service in Exeter Cathedral
  • Messenger of God’s Love – by Bishop Sarah Mullally
  • University Calling – a journey from student to chaplain at Exeter University

To download in pdf format right-click HERE (ctrl+click Mac), or click on the thumbnail to read online.
*remember you can advertise in the newsletter – rates updated November 2016


coffeecupCoffee at St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Servers needed! It seems that quite a few people like drinking coffee after the service, but not many like serving it… Please contact one of the team if you’d like to help – otherwise it’s something that will disappear, which would be a shame!

Totnes Food Bank logoFood Bank Items
Please check the sell by dates on food bank items.
I have to go through all the gifts and remove those that are out of date, empty the cans and then recycle – rather messy work. Any out of date food sent to the Food Bank which has to be disposed of by them has to be paid for. Also, very sadly, we are unable to give homemade gifts as there is provenance or dating. This is not problem at our fairs or coffee mornings, because purchaser and seller deal directly with one another. Any gifts, if you are unable to leave them in St Mary’s Church, may be left at any time in my porch. I am also collecting duvets and blankets and clothes for Mark, who will be opening the Drop In as a night shelter this winter.
• further information: Liz Waterson 01803 84934 32 Copland Meadows TQ9 6ER
• remember, we would love to receive more toiletries and household cleaning products!

foodboxFood Bank collections
You can bring your food bank donations  – especially toiletries and cleaning products please – to any Sunday service at St Mary’s Church.
No need anymore to wait for the first Sunday of the month. Many thanks to everyone who donates – your help is greatly appreciated.
please check all sell-by dates (see above)!
further information from Liz Waterson on 01803 84934
more about Totnes Food Bank here

You can now download an invoice
(Word document), updated February 2016, for the core costs (Service, Marriage Certificate, Calling of Banns, optional Banns Certificate and heating if applicable) of a Wedding Service provided by the Totnes Team Ministry.
full details HERE
• if anyone would like to send us photos from their wedding service, we’d love to have some to post on the website

totnescaringdriversTotnes Caring
We are really desperate for more volunteer drivers and I was wondering if any of your wonderful parishioners would be interested. If you have a little time to spare and are interested in becoming a volunteer car driver for Totnes Caring, please contact Sue Alford or Jacquie Mills on 01803 865684 or email us.
Thanking you in advance!
download a printable poster

Totnes Church Services
Below is a handy at-a-glance summary of the various regular services in Totnes.
Microsoft Word - Church Services.docx•click here to download a printable version
• the latest version of this list is also permanently available on our Services page

wovencrossThe Cross in Your Pocket
Several of our ladies have been embroidering pocket crosses – they are free and can be found in St George’s Chapel.
They have been extremely popular and we have received many thanks for them. If you would like to help make some more, please contact Jean Marr on: 01803 847839
the beautiful cross pictured left (click to enlarge) was made by one of the stewards at St Mary’s Church, Totnes

at St John’s Church, 
every Friday 5pm to 5.45pm
• all welcome

table talkTable Talk
Every third Thursday of the month at The Seven Stars, between 10am and 12noon. Meet at the large table at the back, behind the bar, for coffee, etc.
• contact Anne Binns for more information on 01803 840146

albertinn_72Sunday Lunches
Would you like to have a roast lunch at the Albert Inn, Bridgetown, on the first Sunday of the month, with members of St John’s and St Mary’s churches?
• to book, please ring Liz Balkwill 01803 863355 or Anne Binns on 01803 840146 by the previous Thursday

St John's Church handprintsMeditation Group
The Meditation Group meets at St John’s Church, Bridgetown, on the 2nd Friday of each month, from 7.30pm to 9pm.
• everyone is welcome to attend this informal group
• enquiries to Tricia Stokes on 01803 762158

penniesforheavenPennies for Heaven
There is a collection box at the back of St John’s Church, Bridgetown, every Sunday for your pennies and two-pennies.
The box is titled ‘Pennies for Heaven’.

For further information on any of the above Community News items, please contact Liz Waterson on 01803 849345, or email Liz


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