news, events & special services

stmarysseal1000pxLOTS OF UPDATES this time for things to know and things to do. The really BIG news at the moment is the next wave of consultation exhibitions, for ideas and plans for St Mary’s, taking place later this month at St Mary’s Church and also, in early March, at The Mansion – see below. Please help spread the word – we hope as many as possible will come along, to give their views and offer any ideas of their own.
LENT will be beginning soon, and there are courses, events and services to read about below.
After the usual quiet start to the year, the entertainments side of things is getting very prolific and very eclectic too. We’ve room in this blog only for February and March listings, but to find out what’s happening in April head over to the Events page.
Don’t forget to scroll down to the Community News section – there are quite a few interesting, inspiring and informative new items on there, including a Help for Hard Times compilation of all sorts of really useful information from Caring Town Information Exchange.
Many thanks as always to everyone who sent in words and pictures. 
PS If you are getting a deja vu feeling, it’s because we’ve repeated a few important things from our last big News blog, in case some people missed them amidst all the hustle and bustle around Christmas and the New Year.

ST MARY’S ‘HERITAGE FOR LIFE’ PLAN Consultation Exhibitions in early 2018

Thursday / Friday 22nd to 23rd February 10am to 5pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Friday / Saturday 2nd to 3rd March 
10am to 5pm
The Mansion, Totnes

You may remember that in June last year the St Mary’s Partnership held its first public consultation events. Prior to that, St Mary’s with Bridgetown Parochial Church Council had embarked on a major scheme to restore the magnificent ‘At Risk’ fabric of St Mary’s church, and to reorder the interior of the building so that it is more suited to modern community use. At the same time, Totnes Trust, which is dedicated to preserving heritage buildings and improving public spaces, had embarked on a project to make the area around the Church one of the most attractive and unique heritage areas of any town in the UK.

Our two organisations had come together in the St Mary’s Partnership, and shortly afterwards were joined by the Town Council, which is responsible for the upkeep of the churchyard, and has a strong interest in one of our aims: to create better public access to the Guildhall.

the first consultation event, June 2017

The first consultation was very well received. Consequently we were able to commission sketch designs from professional designers, and these have now reached the stage where we can hold a second public consultation to finalise the proposals.

It has become evident that these projects, focusing on the St Mary’s Precinct, have so much in common that they should be master-planned under a single banner, which we have named the St Mary’s ‘Heritage for Life’ plan. This will coordinate the work, assist with the case for obtaining finance, and potentially provide a model for heritage improvement in other parts of the town.

The second consultation exhibitions will be held 10am to 5pm at St Mary’s Church on 22nd to 23rd February, and at the Mansion on 2nd to 3rd March. Our project comes from the community, is for the community, and depends on its approval to move ahead. So we would be very grateful if you could publicise these events and encourage people to attend and make their views known.

One element of the masterplan involves creating a new ‘Place to Remember’, with better siting of the War Memorial, and space to record the names of those killed in recent wars. This is a sensitive matter, and we wished to hold an early consultation with relatives of the Fallen. The Mayor of Totnes kindly hosted this special advance event in the Guildhall at 2.30pm on 30th January.

We look forward to extensive participation in shaping the final development of these exciting proposals. Best wishes,
Louis Victory (Totnes Trust) and John Birch (Parochial Church Council)

SPECIAL SERVICES in Totnes & Bridgetown

Wednesday 14th February 10.30am & 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Imposition of Ashes & Eucharist (Order 1)
• all welcome

Sunday 18th February at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Introit: Lent Song – James
Responses: Smith (with Lord’s Prayer – Stone)
Hymn 96 Jesu, lover of my soul
Psalm 119  vv 17 -32
Mag & Nunc: Dyson in F
Anthem: Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks – Howells
Anthem after the prayers: Litany for Lent
Hymn 547 Oft in danger, oft in woe
Vesper anthem: Jesu, priceless treasure – Cruger
Musical Director: Jan Dietz

NEW: Friday 2nd March at 2pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Special Service: All God’s Creation is Very Good!
The interdenominational movement of the Women’s World Day of Prayer invites everyone to attend one of over 5,000 services being held on Friday 2nd March with the title All God’s Creation is Very Good! We will join an estimated 3 million people around the world that day in a service which has been written this year by the women of Suriname in South America.
Starting in Samoa as the sun rises, and ending as the sun sets off the coast of American Samoa, the service will have been translated into more than 95 languages and 1000 dialects as we are reminded that we have responsibilities in caring for this wonderful world we live in. With its vast rainforest and wealth of resources,
Suriname asks us to pray for conservation and the protection of wildlife, through an awareness of pollution, misuse and abuse, as well as for the situation in Suriname and concerns for the future. This is not simply a day of prayer for women, but for everyone who cares about our world and those who live in it.

UPCOMING EVENTS in February & March

Wednesdays throughout February
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.

Saturday 17th February from 10.30am to 4pm
St Mary & St George RC Church
The day will look the plight of refugees from a global perspective and discussions about our practical response at a local level. There will be presentations from a Christian / CAFOD perspective and from the perspective of the Charities Beyond Borders, Totnes and Open Hearts, Open Borders.
facebook event page

NEW: Tuesday 20th February from 12pm to 2pm
St Mary and St George Catholic Church Hall
are being held for five Tuesdays during Lent (nearest parking: Budgens carpark)
please support St Mary’s Parish and Priory Church Team on Tuesday 20th February be- tween12pm and 2pm
• offering a choice of 3 homemade soups with bread and butter.

Thursday / Friday 22nd to 23rd February 10am to 5pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Friday / Saturday 2nd to 3rd March 10am to 5pm
The Mansion, Totnes
Consultation Exhibitions
Have your say about designs for a St Mary’s Heritage Area in Totnes with a church building improved for community use in the 21st century.
read more about this here and in other pages under the Projects menu
• or scroll up for fuller details

updated: Saturday 24th February at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Former Girl Choristers of Exeter Cathedral Choir directed by Stephen Tanner
A  Miscellany of Choral Music, Sacred, Classical, Folk and Popular Tunes in Close Harmony.
tickets £6 on the door
• download a poster

cancelled: Friday 2nd March at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
Postponed due to adverse weather.
• we’ll let you know if and when this event gets rescheduled

updated: Friday 9th March at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
sung live for Alice Oswald (local poet & BBC Radio 4 Resident Poet)
by Global Harmony, Viva and friends
• tickets £8 )concessions £6) from Oxfam (60 High Street Totnes), or choir members or on the door
• refreshments available
• download a poster

NEW: Saturday 10th March from 10am to 4pm
at Dartington Church & Dartington Church Hall
A Lent Quiet Day
Led by Reverend Jane Frost, Team Curate & Richard Frost, Team Reader, Totnes Team Ministry. During this period of Lent, we reflect on how God called different people in both the Old Testament and New Testament to follow him, and we consider our response to that same call.
• booking required by email or call 01803 865196
• a small donation will be requested to cover costs
• download a poster

Saturday 10th March at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Totnes Early Music Society presents
Music of the Restoration
An evening of music, words and song from Restoration England to partner the lecture (on Thursday 8th March at the Seven Stars Hotel, Totnes) by historian Ian Mortimer.
After years of civil war and an Interregnum, Charles II has ascended the throne…
Accounts of the period come from Pepys, Evelyn and anonymous ballads describing momentous events, including the Great Fire of 1666 and Frost Fair in 1683. With theatre songs, tavern rounds, dance music and solos for the viol and cittern, and music by Wilson, Lawes, Locke and Purcell, plus pieces from Playford.
Passamezzo gave us a hugely enjoyable concert in 2012, and we are delighted to welcome them back.
• tickets for non-members £14 (under 18s £5) available in advance from the Dartington Box Office 01803 847070 (daily from 12.30pm to 7pm) or online or on the door
TEMS website

NEW: Saturday 10th March at 7.30pm
Community Space
at St John’s Church, Littlehempston
A programme of poetry, prose and music written during the First World War
Bob Barsby will be accompanying Tom Morris (tenor) singing songs by George Butterworth, Ivor Gurney and Vaughan Williams and there will also be some folk music and songs from Oh What a Lovely War, some of which you may be invited to join in!
Local writer Laurence Green will be launching his new biography of George Butterworth and the spoken words will be provided by Chris Waters, who has inspired the event, and other members of the reading group Visible Ink.
tickets £8 on the door
• enquiries to Chris Waters on 01803 865458
• in aid of Medecins sans Frontieres

NEW: Sunday 11th March at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
This concert is part of the COMA National Festival of Contemporary Music.
Stephen Montague: Dark Sun
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Soloist – Elena Abad
Mahler: Symphony no 1
Leader: Chris Eastmann
Conductor: Richard Gonski
• tickets
and more information available here

NEW: Wednesday March 14th at 7pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
by John Wellingham
John will talk about three Totnes organs; the Father Willis organ at St Mary’s Church , Totnes, the organ that was lost in the fire at St John’s and the present organ, built by William Drake, which he will play.
John has been a major influence on British organ students. He is now in his eighties, and still active as an inspirational organ teacher at Oxford and Cambridge universities. He studied at Dartington College when Imogen Holst, and later John Clements, ran the music department.
He taught piano, organ and recorder at Eton and was a counter-tenor lay clerk in the Chapel Choir before leaving to study organ , harpsichord, viola da gamba, Gregorian chant and Lutheran chorales at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland.
In 1974, he founded the Loosemore Centre for Organ and Early Music in Buckfastleigh, the first early music centre in Great Britain. It closed in the early 1990s, but the organ building workshop remains open.
There will be a small charge for the talk, which is one of a series of talks the church has arranged to promote the history and heritage of St John’s, and in aid of the St John’s Windows fund.

NEW: Saturday 17th March from 10.30am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
view a video:

• in aid of Friends of St Mary’s
entry £5 on the door
• homemade cakes and coffee on sale

updated: Sunday 18th March at 3pm
St John’s Church, Totnes
Experienced professional musicians Mary Eade, Anna Cockroft, Brenda Willoughby, Pam Canter, Andrew Gillett, Vicky Evans and Michael Allnatt will play lively and beautiful music by Telemann, Bach, Handel and Sarri on violins, recorder, cello, viola, bass and harpsichord.
• retiring collection is for Rowcroft Hospice and the St John’s Windows fund

* * * for listings for April and beyond, please see the Events page * * *

TIME OUT for Messy Church

This is to remind you that Totnes Messy Church will not be operating for the year 2018. This is owing to the building works at St John’s Church, where we hold our Messy Church once a month. We do not know exactly when the work will be taking place but it seems sensible to take a year out to allow the preparation and building works to take place. Messy Church hopes to return to the updated and more convenient St John’s Church in January 2019 and we look forward very much to seeing you there. We will contact you at the end of 2018 to let you know when and where exactly we’ll be in January 2019.
Diana Lusher and all the Totnes Messy Church team
• read about Messy Church

HELP in HARD TIMES a guide

click the image to view / download the two-page pdf, with a compilation of all sorts of really useful information from Caring Town Information Exchange


Thank you & News from the Food Bank & Drop In Centre
Totnes Food Bank logo 
A massive thankyou to all our congregations, schools and members of the community who have given me, food, clothing, towels, bedding and financial gifts for the Food Bank and Drop In Centre.

The Food Bank has had a lot of people coming for help for whom it has literally been a life line. With Universal Credit rolling out in Totnes next year, they are going to be very busy indeed.
The Family Fun House, and pay as you feel Café are open 2 doors down from the Drop In. As well as being a service to the community, Freedom Centre is hoping that it will provide a steady income stream, along with the Giving Back Scheme so that the work of the Drop In and Food Bank can be securely funded.
We have had some financial gifts given to the Care Gift Account. I am saving up a little so that as people move into homes (5 have done so, so far in 2017) we can help provide some of the essentials of furniture (often from Refurnish) and white goods. The CGA gave £100 to Christians Against Poverty in December which went towards preparing Christmas hampers for families in Totnes and the South Hams.
Fraser from Totnes CAP said that the hampers are the highlight of many of their clients’ Christmases.
Helped a homeless person move off the streets of Totnes on February 2nd into a flat. Great work from the Marketplace Drop in Centre support workers, local authority and other agencies combining together to make this happen. One supporter has really helped this person and she deserves a big thank you. On-going support will be giving by the Drop in with house visits, life skill training and moving in package.
Many thanks to everyone who supports the work of the Drop in Centre in Totnes. Your kindness helps us to help real precious people
from streets to homes, being supported and given a chance of a better future.
Two other ex-homeless people in Totnes now housed in flats had support visits from myself and another Marketplace support worker early this month to help them. Ongoing commitment from the Drop In to help people thrive and not just survive.
Together we are stronger and can touch the lives of people in our community and bring change, hope and a future for someone in need.|
Thank you, Mark Hatch

The Training Hub
at The Freedom Centre
When? – Tuesdays 2pm – 4pm
Details – Space and support to help you complete courses. Digital inclusion can be facilitated with access to computers.
• more information here
• scroll down for news about the Freedom Funhouse & Café

Tuesday Afternoon House Group
Our next fortnightly meeting will be on Tuesday 20th February at 2pm.  We will meet at Anne Binns’ house: Brooks’; Barn, 8 Roswells Lane, Bridgetown and will be starting a 5-week Lent Course. We will meditating on a selection of chapters from Bishop Stephen Cottrell’s book The Things He Carried, A Journey to the Cross – not just the cross itself but the crown of thorns He was forced to wear, the seamless robe that was taken from Him and the other burdens laid upon Him.
In order to understand the cross you need to stand under it, with imagination as well as the mind, with the heart as well as the head. Further dates…
March 6th: Mary Harris’ house: 4, Riverside, Swallowfields
March 20th: Anne’s house
10th April: Mary’s
24th April: Mary’s
• any enquiries please call Liz Waterson 01803 849345

Tuesday Evening House Group
Our next fortnightly meeting will be on Tuesday 20th February 7.30pm to 9pm.  We will meet at 3 Sparrow Road, Totnes.
In Lent we will be studying The Things He Carried, A Journey to the Cross by Bishop Stephen Cottrell.
February 20th: based on the first 3 chapters
March 6th: chapters 4 & 5
March 20th: chapters 6 to 8
• further details from Carolyn and Tony Stilwell 01803 863030

Life on the Frontline Lent Course
Mondays in Lent at 7.30pm, at The Rectory
Described as ‘a 6-session course for equipping whole-life disciples’.
• all welcome.
please let the Rector know if you hope to attend

Freedom Funhouse & Café
A new initiative from Freedom Centre Totnes
Freedom Centre,  Burke Road, Totnes Industrial Estate, Totnes TQ9 5XL
• telephone 01803 866650
download a poster

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!

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 February 2018 issue is online

Any donations to help pay for the newsletter’s publishing costs, however small, would be most welcome, even if you’re reading the magazine online. We can accept BACS payments, cheques to Totnes with Bridgetown PCC or cash. Email Julian Hall for details.

Parish News February 2018 – 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:

  • Lent – by Reverend Prebendary Julian C Ould
  • John Wellingham – by Carolyn Stilwel
  • It’s Just A Thought – by Reverend Cliff Berdinner
  • All God’s Creation Is Very Good – by Carmen Luscombe
  • Bishop Sarah To Be Bishop Of London – news from Exeter Anglican
  • Exeter Anglican – more news from the Diocese
  • A Life-Changing Trip – Steven Martin has recently returned from the Solomon Islands
  • Practising Love At Lent – by Archdeacon Christopher Lutcher
  • Don’t Just Read It, Do It – an 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 January 2018 with new rates, 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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