recent news & updates

stmarysseal1000pxWE ALWAYS WELCOME photographs, and some lovely ones have recently arrived to echo recent events and to brighten up this bulletin. As summer fades, Harvest Services arrive at the Team Churches (see below for the current list). We even have advance news of some (not all, yet) Christmastime events – though we’ve kept most of those dates just to the Events page for now, so that we can focus here more on Autumn…but do go check the listings if you want to fill your diary up.
Displaying once again St Mary’s huge potential as a venue for all kinds of events, the Bodykind Festival has chosen the Church for its ‘Core Event’, which features talks, entertainments and workshops. A few days later there’s an important evening happening at the Civic Hall, highlighting drugs-related safety issues for the young people of this town.
If you are into tales of the unknown, head over to St John’s in late October and Bob Mann will tell you things you didn’t know about Bridgetown. Or, if you envy Doctor Who for being able to ‘talk baby’, take your tiny one to St John’s on a Thursday morning and Amy will teach you both some baby signing.
We’ve added a very warm round-up to Wild Church‘s page of their past year of adventures and eco-spiritual services, and hints of more to come
Scroll down this page for various bits of community news (someone asked how to donate money to the Food Bank and related projects; a good question, and we’ve found the ideal answer and replied on here).
Thanks as always to everyone who sent in words and pictures.
PS Last but never least, the October Parish Newsletter is now online – a link and contents details are below.

ORDINATION OF PRIESTS 24th September 2017

Rt Reverend Nicholas McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth, plus our Curate, Steve Jones (left) – along with Robert Densmore and Stephen Yates (both from the Torquay Mission).
• photograph by Reverend Prebendary Julian C Ould
• click the images to enlarge them

MARY HARRIS’S GARDEN PARTY photos from July 2017

So many people enjoyed a wonderful tea at Mary Harris’s Garden Party, at the end of July.
With generous donations the final figure is over £1600, boosting the fundraising for St John’s New Windows Appeal. Mary would like to thank all who helped from all our churches in Totnes, a fine Ecumenical effort of fellowship over the tea pots and bric-a-brac! Click the images to view them larger.


The Community Café at St John’s Church, Bridgetown, continues to run on Wednesdays, 10am to 1pm, on a pay what you feel basis. 

A place of friendship and fellowship to the community.

SPECIAL SERVICES in Totnes, Brooking, Bridgetown & Dartington

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
• this will be the first celebration of the Eucharist by Steve and we invite you to join us for light refreshments in the Church following the service.

Sunday 1st October at 3pm
St Barnabas’ Church, Brooking

Sacred Space Poster December 2014Sunday 1st October
from 6.30pm to 7.15pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
theme: The River of Life
A continuing initiative of St Mary’s and St John’s churches, an opportunity for alternative and creative worship.
all welcome
• for more information, call Reverend Debbie Parsons on 01803 840113

Sunday 8th October at 11am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
followed by LUNCH
no 11.15am service at St Mary’s Church, Totnes on this day

Sunday 8th October at 11.15am
St Mary’s Church, Dartington

Sunday 15th October at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Introit: O Holy Spirit, Lord of grace – Tye
Responses: Sumsion
Hymn 418 Father, Lord of all creation
Psalm 139 vv1-11
Mag and Nunc: Noble
Anthem: O Lorde, the Maker of all things – Joubert
Anthem after the prayers: O Thou the central orb – Wood
Hymn 166 Crown him with many crowns
Musical Director: Jan Dietz

Sunday 5th November at 11.15am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
These services are 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!

for your diary: Sunday 3rd December at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
• Christmas is coming, and so are further details for this event!
• further Christmastime listings are on the Events page


Tuesday 3rd October at 4.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Dartington
Discussion about ideas and plans for Christmas events.
• free coffee and biscuits

Wednesdays 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th October
10am to 1pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
A place of friendship and fellowship to the community.
The café runs on a pay what you feel basis.

NEW: Saturday 14th October from 10.30am to 4.30pm
Core Event at St Mary’s Church, Totnes
An innovative weekend about looking at ways of feeling more comfortable in the skin we’re in.
 Inspiring speakers, workshops, art, photography, theatre, dance, film and music. St Mary’s Church is the venue for the Core Eventthe overall festival runs from 13th to 15th of October and features events in other venues, elsewhere in central Totnes, too.
full details and ticket sales are on the event’s website

Saturday 15th October at 3pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet Op 18 no 4 in C minor, Heitor Villa Lobos String Quartet no 1 and Maurice Ravel String Quartet in F
A most stimulating and varied programme beginning with Beethoven in dramatic mood. Villa Lobos’s Quartet is in six short movements which take the form of a suite, alternating song and dance movements. Ravel’s Quartet is one of the greatest works in the string quartet repertoire. Altogether a varied and easily approachable programme.
tickets £12 children & students free, from Divertimento 01803 863677 Drift Records, High Street, Totnes 01803 866828 or at the door

NEW: Tuesday 17th October from 6.30pm to 9pm
Totnes Civic Hall
You are invited to help make a positive, constructive community response to the recent, tragic deaths of local teenagers through the misuse of drugs.
Want to find out about support for young people offered by local organisations?
Affected or concerned about issues related to the misuse of drugs by young people in the area? Want to share your concerns and ideas with other parents and interested members of the community? Could your experiences and ideas contribute to a programme of positive activities with and for young people in our town?
Then please join us!
light refreshments will be available from 6.30pm
for more information see posters further down this page, and / or email

messychurchjoyhansonSaturday 21st October
from 3.30pm to 5.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
theme: Creation
more about Messy Church here
• see some photos of Messy Church
• photo (right) by Joy Hanson

CANCELLED Saturday 21st October at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Totnes Early Music Society regrets to have to announce the last minute cancellation of this concert, due to the illness of one of the players, who has been taken into hospital. Both TEMS and Convivio are keen to arrange a future date. Members and advance ticket holders are being contacted, and we hope to be able to publish a revised date as soon as possible.
TEMS website

Wednesday 25th October from 7.30pm to 9pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Unknown Stories of Bridgetown
Speaker: Bob Mann
• donations in aid of St John’s Windows fund

NEW: Saturday 4th November 10.30am to 4pm
St Mary’s Church Hall, Totnes
Tasty food, freshly prepared to order – raising money to pay for a Children’s Singing Workshop, coming soon with Choir Director Stephen Tanner.
(Free refreshment for St Mary’s Working Party on that day.)
• enquiries please email
Bric a Brac wanted!
To sell at the above fundraiser. Collection of small to medium size items possible in Totnes area by arrangement.
Please contact Jan Dietz 01803 770515 or Sandra Nicholson 01626 330049.


Thursdays from 10am to 11am
Learn to communicate with your baby before it can speak, at a baby signing class. The classes at St John’s Church, Bridgetown, will be half an hour of singing familiar nursery rhymes, learning some signs to help communication with babies, and then there is a different sensory aspect to the class each week, including bubbles, scarves, mirrors and more. The second half of the class is social time – a chance for parents / carers to meet other families and enjoy a hot drink and biscuits.
• please contact Amy on 07973932477 or email

KEEPING YOUNG TOTNES SAFEa Caring Town Information Exchange event


Totnes Team Afternoon House Group
updated: Our next meetings are on Tuesdays 17th & 31st October at 2pm. We will meet at Mary Harris’s House: 4 Riverside, Totnes. We will continue studying the book, Living Faithfully by John Pritchard.
• any queries please ring Liz Waterson on 01803 849345

Tuesday Evening House Group
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 3rd October at 7.30pm. We will meet at 3 Sparrow Road. This term we will be continuing to discuss topics raised in the book, Living Faithfully by John Pritchard.
• any queries please ring Carolyn Stillwell on 01803 863030

Totnes Food Bank logoFood Bank collections
You can now donate food at Morrisons once again. Look out for the large black plastic bin labelled ‘Food Bank’. You can also drop food off in my porch any time and it will be collected every week.
Liz Waterson32 Copland Meadows Totnes TQ9 6ER 01803 849345
• more about Totnes Food Bank here

Food Bank suggested donations list
download a printable pdf of this list

Donating money to the Food Bank / Drop In / Transition Club
If you wish to donate to any of the above please make the cheque payable to GIVING BACK and pop a note in with your donation designating the particular area that you wish to give you gift to.
Then either post it or pop it in to Market Place Ministries, 2a Burke Road Industrial Estate Totnes TQ9 5XL.
If you wish to give cash it would be wise to donate in person during the Drop In open hours Monday – Friday 9.45am to 12.45pm, when we can always guarantee that someone will be there. Once again, pop in a note along with the donation designating the gift. Thank you!

Calling charity Christmas Card shop volunteers
Could you join the friendly team manning the Totnes Cards for Good Causes pop-up charity Christmas Card shop? We are seeking more volunteers to help run their charity Christmas card shop in Bogan House in the lead up to Christmas. The shop will be open from 20th October to 9th December.
Volunteers are asked to just give three hours of time once a week or fortnight over seven weeks to help raise funds for national and local charities. Training is provided and volunteers usually work either a morning or afternoon session. A chance to meet new people, get some work experience or simply get involved in something worthwhile and rewarding.
• please contact Frances Guy, Regional Organiser, 01392 439599 or email

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 October 2017 issue is online

Parish News October 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:

  • Mary Harris’s Garden Party – photographs
  • You Can’t See Me, Can You? – by Reverend Gill Still
  • It’s Just A Thought – by the Reverend Cliff Berdinner
  • St Mary’s: The Reformation? (part 2) – by Ian Wintersgill
  • Ideas For Growing Your Rural Church – Exeter Anglican Church
  • Full Steam Ahead For Steve – the new Railway Chaplain for South West England
  • God’s Guidanc is Better Than Sat Nav –  Ven Ian Chandler Archdeacon of Plymouth
  • God Has A Plan, Trust Him – another extract from UCB’s Word For Today booklet (available free in both churches), see also UCB’s website

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


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’.

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 once more 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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