news & updates

stmarysseal1000pxSTILL TO COME IN AUGUST is a Coffee Concert with Robin Andrews on border bagpipes (‘not too loud’, we are assured), recorder and tin whistle. Then a few days later there’s this year’s bank holiday weekender, Sea Change Festival, which builds on its hugely successful debut in 2016, and so far looks to be presenting nine performances at St Mary’s Church over the Friday and Saturday evenings. There’s no Evensong and likewise no Messy Church this month – those two favourites return triumphantly in September. Further ahead, if you want to fill your diary early, there are the four St Mary’s events from Totnes Early Music Society‘s new season – see the newly-added listings on the Events page.
Further down this page there’s quite a bot of Community News, including a report with photos of the recent Heritage Tea Party at St John’s Church, and also some stories of those from Bridgetown who gave their lives in service during WW1. There’s some feedback from the New Union Flag project, plus the latest news from the Drop In, the Freedom Centre and Marketplace Ministries. Thanks as always to everyone who sent in words and pictures.
PS If you haven’t yet gotten hold of the August Parish Newsletter, there’s a contents list way down below and a link to download the extended, colour version.


Sunday 24th September at 10.30am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
of our Curate, the Reverend Steve Jones
Celebrant: Bishop Nick McKinnel
• the Ordination replaces all other services in the Totnes Team, except for the service at St Mary’s Church, Totnes at 8am
• Steve will be celebrating his first Eucharist on Sunday 1st October at 11.15am, at St Mary’s Church, Totnes

NEW: Sunday 1st October at 11.15am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Celebrant: Reverend Steve Jones
• no services at St John’s Church, Bridgetown on this day

Sunday 5th November at 11.15am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
This service will be in addition to the regular 9.30am service and will take place on the first Sunday of each month.
• the service is open to anyone and everyone, including children of any age!


Sunday 13th August
meet at 3pm at St John’s car park to share cars
Ten Commandments at Buckland Beacon
The Tablets of the Ten Commandments at Buckland Beacon have recently been restored and we a planning a summer pilgrimage there with a short Worship Celebration led by the Reverend Steve Jones, followed by a picnic tea and a longer walk.
• for more information email Joy Hanson or telephone 01803 445470

Tuesdays 15th August & 22nd August from 10.30am to 1pm’ish
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Toasted teacake, coffee, warm welcome – every Tuesday until September. Tables and chairs outside in the sunshine (inside seating also available). In support of the Friends of St Mary’s
• more information from Sandra Nicholson on 01626 330049

Wednesdays 16th August & 23rd August from 10am to 1pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
A place of friendship and fellowship to the community.
The café will run on a pay what you feel basis.

MESSY CHURCH messychurchblue
August – no Messy Church
• next session Saturday 16th September

Saturday 19th August at 11am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Coffee Concert by Robin Andrews
hosted by the Friends of St Mary’s
Music played on the border bagpipes
– these pipes are about half as loud as the Highland Pipes and much mellower. A mixture of tunes from various British and European Traditions, as well as some original compositions. There will also be some quieter interludes with tunes on the recorder and tin whistle.
entrance by suggested donation of £5

NEW: Friday 25th & Saturday 26th August
(August Bank Holiday Weekend)
various venues in Totnes
A community festival based in Totnes town centre – films, literature, talks and plenty of music across five venues.
Events at St Mary’s Church:
Daniel Brandt and Eternal Something
Masayoshi Fujita
Douglas Dare
Michael Chapman
Lux Harmonium
Ryley Walker
Julie Byrne
Nadia Reid
Jim Ghedi
festival website


ON JULY 1st THIS YEAR, there was a big tea party at St John’s Church, Bridgetown, when people were invited to come and share memories of Bridgetown and  St John’s Church, and to bring any pictures they had to show everyone – and to see a display of pictures of historic Bridgetown, people who were part of the Church history, the church before the fire and the fire. (click the photos to view them larger)

This event was to promote the heritage of St John’s. It was a free event, but people kindly donated £237 towards the cost of the new windows.

We also have three history talks planned for the autumn. These are to promote the heritage of the church and to raise fund, all on Wednesdays at 7.30pm at St John’s. (There will be a charge for the talks.)
Duke of Somerset 27th September: The History of the Seymour Family
Bob Mann 25th October: Unknown Stories of Bridgetown
Todd Gray 22nd November: The Art & History of Devon’s Ancient Churches
~ Carolyn Stilwell


~ The Monmouth

~ The Indefatigable
Click the names below to read the stories of four of those who gave their lives in service…
Leading Stoker Frank Cudmore, HMS Monmouth (died 1 November 1914)
Petty Officer Stoker John Hodge Gribble HMS Indefatigable (died 31 May 1916)
Private Reginald Darke Cockwill (died 26 March 1918)
Rifleman Edward Torre Edmonds (died 20 September 1917)

COMMUNITY NEWS with Liz Waterson

Feedback from the NUF Project

I took the hugely generous donation of knitted children’s clothes to the Plymouth Red Cross last Friday, where they were warmly received by the Women’s group of asylum-seekers and refugees, who meet there on Friday mornings.

I was staggered myself by the quantity and quality of all this beautiful knitting.
Who are these knitters??
One of the volunteers who run the women’s group said photos of some of the children wearing some of these garments will follow!
But meanwhile, please convey my deep appreciation to the knitters on behalf of all the recipients. I think some will go to women and children already here, some kept to add to the Welcome boxes when children come, or the packs for Family Re-unions.
~ Wendy Stayte

Comment from Liz Waterson:
The knitters are the Mothers’ Union from all over Devon and Totnes Knit and Natter, and the Totnes Bowls Group – who don’t play in the winter but knit instead!

Freedom Centre news

• click to enlarge

Drop In Newsletter Summer 2017

• click to enlarge

Marketplace Ministries July figures

• click to enlarge

Thanks for helping!
Sue and John Stabler have kindly taken over the St Mary’s gardening from Bill Mindang (centre). Warmest thanks are also due to Lylie Hardy, Sandra Nicholson, John Hawkins and Martha Fausset, who have recently joined the St Mary’s locking up team, and to Seb Brown and Emily who are helping clear the roof gutters.
• still plenty of other jobs waiting to be done – please see the notice in the porch

Flower arrangers at St Mary’s
Please remember to sign up for the summer rota.
Thank you!

church work dayTime to tidy the church
The next working party to tidy and spruce up St Mary’s Church will be on Saturday, 2nd September, from 10am to 12noon. There’s a lot going on at St Mary’s in September, so it needs to look good for all our visitors!

Totnes Team Afternoon House Group
Restarts on Tuesday 5th September at 2pm. We will meet at St John’s Church, Bridgetown. We will be studying Chapter 7 ‘Working Faithfully’, from the book, Living Faithfully by John Pritchard. Fi Eaton will facilitate the session
• any queries please ring Liz Waterson on 01803 849345

Hexagonal Jam JarsCurrently on sale…
Delicious jam, marmalade, chutney and other produce is now on sale at St Mary’s Church, Totnes – and will continue to be so for some weeks to come!
• jam jars and lids are not needed at the moment!

PARISH NEWSLETTER – the August 2017 issue is online

Parish News August 2017 – 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 in your inbox each month, please email Julian Hall.
Many thanks to the advertisers* in the latest edition!

This issue includes:

  • August: a time for going places…growing places? – by Reverend Jane Frost
  • It’s Just A Thought – by the Reverend Cliff Berdinner
  • Caring Town Information Exchange – open and happy to help
  • Pals at Prayer in Exmouth – an Exmouth prayer intiative proves popular with children
  • Find the ‘key log’ – another extract from UCB’s Word For Today booklet (available free in both churches), see also UCB’s website
  • News from Exeter Anglican Org – three short articles
  • Alive to God – The Ven Douglas Dettmer, Archdeacon of Totnes
  • The Forgotten Christians of Baghdad – Church leaders in Baghdad are really struggling to help with the practical needs of their congregations

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


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

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

History at St John’s Church
A series of events sharing memories of Bridgetown in general and the church in particular. Fuller details under Upcoming Events, above.

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’.

Churches in Totnes supporting the initiative of Plymouth Red Cross for welcoming asylum-seekers
Jackie Fern and Wendy Stayte, on behalf of Totnes Quakers, are asking if other churches in Totnes would be willing to join with us for making ‘Welcome Packs’ for asylum-seekers when they arrive in Plymouth.
This is part of a ‘Welcome’ scheme that has been run by the Plymouth Red Cross for many years, and the scheme involves welcoming new arrivals when they come to Plymouth, helping them find their accommodation and generally find their feet during their first month in Plymouth, befriending them and giving them practical help.
All of this is done by the volunteers of the Welcome Project.
The part which Red Cross is now looking to Totnes to see if we can help, is the making of the Welcome Packs, which consist of shoe boxes containing toiletries and a few other useful items to have on arrival.
About 300 new asylum-seekers arrive in Plymouth per year, which means about 6 boxes per week. If a few other churches would join the Quakers in this practical initiative that would be very welcome.
We would make the collection point for the filled boxes at the Quaker meeting house (in Ticklemore Street Totnes), and would take responsibility for taking them over to Plymouth.
• more about British Red Cross support for refugees here

You can download an invoice
(Word docx file), updated May 2017 with new BACS information, 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

Rough sleepers around Totnes
We have been advised to call the Police or PCSOs on 101 to report on any rough sleepers in the area, or if we have any concerns about anti- social behaviour.
Please note the above number!

Freedom Centre website
For the most up to date news re the Marketplace Food Bank and The Drop In, visit the  Freedom Centre Totnes website. This really replaces the Totnes Mobile Food Bank who are now mainly working with CAP clients. Food donations for The Totnes Mobile Food Bank can be made at Morrisons who have a brown Wheelie Collection bin for them by the Post Box at the exit.
Marketplace Food Bank is a walk in food bank and they are working with statutory agencies to help those referred. This is also an Emergency Food Bank.

Parish Giving Scheme
There are various people using the Parish Giving Scheme who would be more than happy to answer any queries and help with the paperwork if necessary.
• please contact Julian Hall on 01803 867537 about this in the first instance

Help & Advice
The Need Help poster has recently been updated (March 2017).

• click here to download a printable A4 version

stjohns21_72bigBooking enquiries re. St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Please call 01803 865615 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 12noon (enquiries will not be taken at any other times), or email us.
Carolyn & Tony are no longer dealing with this!
• St John’s Hall & Lettings information
• St John’s Hall & Lettings photos

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!
• information about Food Bank opening times is here

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.
• you can now also take your food bank donations to Morrisons in Totnes – there is a collection bin by the toilets
please check all sell-by dates (see above)!
further information from Liz Waterson on 01803 84934
more about Totnes Food Bank here

totnescaringdriversTotnes Caring
We are always 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

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

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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