Christmas 2017 services, events & more!

stmarysseal1000pxWELCOME to our Christmas News blog. Below are listings for the upcoming seasonal services at our Team Churches and also a separate list of other festive events. Alternatively, head over to the Events page which at the moment has services & entertainments woven together, so you can work out when not to try to be in two places at once. It’s worth checking there now and then anyway, in case of additions or alterations.
We’ve also included, below, a few further events, stretching a bit deeper into the New Year, so that all those who received diaries and calendars amongst their gifts can start filling up 2018 now!
Don’t forget to scroll down to the Community News section – there are quite a few important and informative new items on there.
Many thanks to everyone who sent in words and pictures throughout 2017. We hope everyone has a Very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. 

CHRISTMAS BANNERS at St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Reverend Prebendary Julian C Ould and Reverend Steve Jones preside over the unfurling of one of the Christmas Banners.

Banners on display from local charities.
• click the photos to enlarge them

PET SERVICE 2017 at St Mary’s Church, Totnes

The Pet Service was a resounding success!
Above are photos of just a few who attended and participated.


Sunday 17th December at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Traditional Bible readings, carols, choir anthems and congregational hymns.

• all welcome

Thursday 21st December at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Dartington
CAROL SERVICE with the Dartington Brass Consort

Saturday 23rd December at 3pm
St Mary’s Church, Berry Pomeroy

Saturday 23rd December at 7.30pm
St Mary’s & St Gabriel’s Church, Stoke Gabriel

Christmas Eve at 9.15am
St Barnabas’ Church, Brooking

stjohnssnowChristmas Eve at 9.30am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

Christmas Eve at 11am
St Mary’s & St Gabriel’s Church, Stoke Gabriel

Christmas Eve at 11.15am
St David’s Church, Ashprington

Christmas Eve at 11.15am
St Mary’s Church, Berry Pomeroy

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

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

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

Christmas Eve at 4pm
St Mary’s & St Gabriel’s Church, Stoke Gabriel
CRIB SERVICE & Santa on the Quay

Christmas Eve at 11.15pm
St John’s Church, Marldon

Christmas Eve at 11.30pm
St Mary’s & St Gabriel’s Church, Stoke Gabriel

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

st peter's church ugboroughChristmas Day at 9.15am
St Peter’s Church, Cornworthy

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

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

Christmas Day at 10am
St Mary’s & St Gabriel’s Church, Stoke Gabriel

Christmas Day at 10.30am
St Mary’s Church, Dartington

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

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

Tuesday 26th December at 10am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Wednesday 27th December at 10.30am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Sunday 31st December at 8am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Sunday 31st December at 10.30am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown


Sunday 7th January at 8am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Sunday 7th January at 9.30am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

Sunday 7th January at 11.15am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

Sunday 7th January at 11.15am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

FURTHER 2018 SPECIAL SERVICES in Bridgetown & Totnes

Sunday 7th January at 2.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Service of Celebration
Mary would love you to join her in a service to celebrate her life, her husband Roy, her family and all of her friends. They look forward to seeing you!
• the service will be followed by light refreshments in the church
if you would like to make a cake or help in any way with the food preparation for this very special occasion, please contact Sandra on 01626 330049 (evenings are best) who will be coordinating all contributions. Thank you!

NEW: Sunday 21st January
9.30am—St John’s Church, Bridgetown
11.15 am—St Mary’s Church, Totnes


in aid of The Children’s Society
Speaker: Gill Ford, Relationship Manager, South West
The plate collection from the two morning services and Evensong will go to the Children’s Society. Please bring cash or cheque. Your regular monthly giving is not included.
• if you aren’t able to come to the service but would like to donate, please contact the churchwardens, Lynne Birch or Carolyn Stilwell


Friday 15th December at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

with Words For Voices and The Devon Waites
directed by Bob Barsby
in aid of St John’s Church and Kampala Music School, Uganda
tickets £10 ( U16 £5 ) including mulled wine and mince pies, from Creative Crafts and Needlework shop, opposite St Mary’s Church, or from Carolyn Stilwell 01803 863030
download a printable poster

Saturday 16th December from 2pm to 4pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
• talk

Saturday 16th December at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Devonly Voices & The Singers Upstairs
with Pretty Noises & The Rockettes
Come and join us for a winter-wonderful joyous evening of BIG a capella harmony singing!
• proceeds to Rowcroft Hospice
£10 on the door (children under-16 free / donation)
• download a printable poster

Saturday 16th December at 7.30pm
St Luke’s Church, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0DA
Christmas Concert
Following their sell-out concert in Buckfast Abbey in November, The Collati Singers conducted by Trefor Farrow are back – this time at St Luke’s Church Buckfastleigh – with a new programme for their Christmas concert. The programme features Bob Chilcott’s On Christmas Night, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and other shorter seasonal pieces. Organist Robin Stubbs.
entry is FREE, no booking necessary
• retiring collection
• singers
include Reverend Prebendary Julian C Ould and Jane Mountford

Wednesday 20th December
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.


cancelled: Saturday 27th January
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Friends of St Mary’s Coffee Concert
by Elie Fruchter
• updated 25.01.18: Elie has contracted an infection following recent surgery and will not now be able to perform. Get well soon, Elie!

Saturday 10th February at 2pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
by Veronika Shoot and Sasha Grynyuk
Including Rachmaninov Suite, Schubert Fantasie and more.
In aid of the Friends of St Mary’s stained glass window restoration fund. As a child aged 7, Veronika Shoot was hailed by Lord Yehudi Menuhin as “destined to become a great pianist”. Sasha Grynyuk received guidance from Alfred Brendel and Murray Perahia, among others. He was described by the legendary Charles Rosen as “an impressive artist with remarkable, unfailing musicality always moving with the most natural, electrifying, and satisfying interpretations”.
‘Don’t miss this very special event by two amazing young Russian-born musicians! And don’t forget to invite your family and friends along too.’
tickets £8 (accompanied under-16’s free but still need tickets) online or from Julian Hall – update: tickets are now also on sale at the Creative Crafts and Needlework shop, directly opposite St Mary’s; this is open 9.15am to 5.15pm Monday to Saturday, telephone 01803 866002 (people are asked to bring the right money i.e. £8 per ticket if possible ,as they don’t like having to give change)
join the Friends of St Mary‘s from just £1.43 per month and help preserve our beautiful church for posterity

SPONSORED WALK to Team Churches

How many wise men does it take to raise the money needed to complete our ‘Windows of Opportunity’ project at St. John’s in 2018? The answer, according to Steve Jones and John Luscombe, is as many as possible!
John and Steve are inviting ‘wise’ men and women to join them on a Sponsored Epiphany Pilgrimage around all nine churches of the Totnes Team on Friday and Saturday, 5th and 6th January. The plan is to start at Stoke Gabriel with breakfast (kindly provided by Stoke Gabriel parish) and a prayer on Friday morning, taking in Marldon and Berry Pomeroy before stopping for lunch at St John’s, Bridgetown.
We shall hold a short Pilgrim Liturgy in each church, inviting church members to join us. After lunch we shall carry on to Dartington, by which time it will probably be getting dark, so time to stop!
On Saturday we shall gather again at Dartington for another breakfast (thank-you, Dartington!) Then back into Totnes via Brooking and the ridge above Follaton, and a visit to St Mary’s, then lunch. After lunch we shall continue along the John Musgrave trail to Ashprington and Cornworthy. At Cornworthy there will be an Epiphany Tea and a chance to rest our weary feet before Evensong.
John and Steve are looking for (a) fellow pilgrims and (b) sponsors. You are invited to join them for all or part of the pilgrimage. The route has been planned to stay away from roads and traffic as much as possible and is about 24 miles (13 on Friday, 11 on Saturday), but you’re welcome to do just one day or one section. Or just come and meet them at one of the churches and join in the Pilgrim Liturgy. Sponsorship forms are available to sponsor them – or if you’re going to walk, to get your own sponsors.
• you can also give through our Just Giving page

TIME OUT for Messy Church

Owing to the building and repairs to St John’s Church, there will be no Messy Church for the whole of 2018. We will certainly come back in 2019.
• read about Messy Church


Fundraising FeedbackSome of the pupils from Ontrack Education and their teacher Rebecca Robinson (also a parishioner at Dartington), who sold handmade goodies and Christmas decorations outside St Mary’s Church in early December when it was so wet and windy. Rebecca writes:
“Thanks for everything on Friday. We raised over £110! I gave it to Bonita at the Freedom Centre and they were delighted. The pupils loved the church with its banners- I will be coming back up with them to look around if we have time again this week!”
• click the photo to enlarge it

Crib Figures
Mary and Joseph crib figures are seeking overnight shelter in homes on Totnes and Dartington on their travels through Advent. This is a good way of making friendships and they bring blessings on your home!
Please sign up on the sheet by St John’s coffee table or contact Joy Hanson on 01803 445470 to book a date. Hospitality involves providing simple refreshments for their carriers then visiting the next hosts the following afternoon.

Parish Yellow Pages
Following a meeting between members of St John’s and St Mary’s congregations, it has been decided to collect names & addresses of people attending both churches using specially designed forms. People will be invited to complete these simple forms between January and March with a view to publishing the first Parish Yellow Pages booklets in April. The Yellow Pages will be a valuable resource for the Parish, enabling people to keep in touch with each other and contact Church officers and event or group organisers as necessary.
• participation in the scheme is entirely voluntary but we hope it will be well supported

Candle-makers wanted!
Mike Winter has been making candles for St Mary’s church, following John Scott’s careful written instructions, for the last 10 years and now feels that it is time to hand on the job to someone else. We’re looking for someone to take on this rewarding work and produce candles every now and then, when needed.
• please talk to Mike or contact the Reverend Prebendary Julian Ould if you’re interested

RISE Recovery and Integration Service
at The Mansion, Fore Street
(above the Totnes People’s Cafe, next to the Library)
If you would like to talk to somebody about drug our alcohol use, our drop in is open:
Thursdays 10am to 12:30pm
Our service is free, confidential, friendly and open to everyone;
• support for Family and Friends
• advice and Information
• help to make changes
• access point for further treatment

Totnes Drop In has a new website

• click here or click the image!

Afternoon House Group
Our first meeting of 2018 will be on Tuesday 9th January at 2pm.  We will meet at Anne Binns’ house: 8, Roswell’s Lane and we will be studying Chapter 14 of Living Faithfully: Nurturing Friendship.
On Tuesday January 23rd we will meet at Mary Harris’ house; 4, Riverside Swallowfields and we shall study Chapter 15 of Living Faithfully: Building Community.
• further details from Liz Waterson 01803 849345

Totnes Street Pastors
• click the image to enlarge the Autumn 2017 newsletter – or click here to download a printable version

Totnes Food Bank logoFood Bank collections
You can donate food at Morrisons. 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!

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 December 2017 issue is online

Parish News December 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 digitally each month, please email Julian Hall.
Many thanks to the advertisers* in the latest edition!

This issue includes:

  • Advent – by Reverend Steve Jones
  • Follow Our Star – a Sponsored Epiphany Pilgrimage around all nine churches of the Totnes Team
  • It’s Just A Thought – by the Reverend Cliff Berdinner
  • Journey Of The Crib Figures – by Joy Hanson
  • Reaching Out To Refugees This Christmas – Church of England, Devon
  • New Dean’s Ministry Of Welcome – Dean Jonathan Greener comes to Exeter
  • Our Compassionate God Reaches Out – by the Right Reverend Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter
  • Practise Humility – 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


One thought on “Christmas 2017 services, events & more!

  1. Pingback: Seasonal Services at Team Churches (updated) | St Mary's & St John's Churches, Totnes

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