News from St John’s Church + recent Community News

stmarysseal1000pxWELCOME to an extended round-up of recent news. Most people will know by now that St John’s Church, Bridgetown, closed to the public a few weeks ago, whilst some major renovations and re-orderings are taking place. So we’ve taken a look at what’s happening with services and other events which are traditionally held within the St John’s Church premises – plus a week-by-week summary of the Windows of Opportunity works in progress.
Also in this bulletin are some general / essential Community News updates (scroll right down for these), including an in-depth report on recent changes relating to the structure and opening hours of services now available within Marketplace Ministries, including the Drop In, Food Bank and other agencies and resources. There’s so much happening now under one roof, they have renamed it the Totnes Connection Hub.
Many thanks as always to everyone who sent in words and pictures.
Coming soon: more community news updates, plus a look ahead at all Team Churches’ events and special services for late summer and autumn onwards


St John’s Services & Events – new venues due to closure of St John’s

Sundays at 9.15am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Whilst St John’s is closed for repairs and refurbishments, the Sunday service normally held at St John’s at 9.30am is being held in St Mary’s Church, Totnes, at 9.15am, followed by coffee in St Mary’s Church Hall.

Mondays from 10am to 12noon in school term times
Totnes Boating Association
The group, run by St John’s Church, is being held at the above venue while St John’s is closed.

Opening dates and times during September
for updates, please see Events page 
Totnes Boating Association
“A place of friendship and fellowship to the community.”
• the Café runs on a pay what you feel basis
• in early 2018, Bishop Robert visited “the café that’s making a real difference” – view a video

Sunday 9th September 6.30pm to 8pm
Totnes Boating Association
Is there Absolute Truth?

“A new way of thinking about being the Christian Church. This informal and relaxed service exists for people who don’t belong to a church, and facilitates real and honest conversations about the biggest issues of life.”
• Open to all. No strings attached. Every voice welcomed
• see the Events page for further dates and themes

Sunday 30th September from 6.30pm to 7.15pm
Dartington Church Hall

Psalm 23
A continuing initiative of St Mary’s and St John’s churches, an opportunity for alternative and creative worship.
currently being held at Dartington Church Hall
• all welcome
• download a poster


Welcome to St John’s | NewsHeritage | History | Services & Ministries
Windows of Opportunity Project | Uplift Project | Contact

So much has been happening this year at St John’s that it now has its own special section within the main website. New pages have been added, together with a large number of historical and contemporary photographs. Plus the pages above have detailed information about the projects at St John’s, including an ongoing bulletin of words and pictures (see below) relating to the progress of the Windows of Opportunity Project, which was launched towards the end of July.

many thanks to Keith McKay who sourced and provided most of the new content for the extended St John’s section pages, and who also took the ‘in-progress’ photographs below – click the images to view them full size

We suggest you take a tour of the new and updated pages, starting with the Welcome to St John’s page (quick links to all the pages are above)

WINDOWS of OPPORTUNITY • project progress (updated 03.09.18)

WEEK 1:  On Monday 23rd July we handed over the keys for St John’s Church building to Bovey Construction.  By the end of the month the construction compound had been put up, and the East Block (which will become our new kitchen and toilets) was completely gutted ready for the new internal layout.

above: Reverend Steve Jones handing over the keys to Matthew Gibbens, Bovey Construction Project Manager

above: the Handover Group on the first day

above: Bovey Construction’s site compound and recognition of Heritage Lottery Fund funding for the Windows of Opportunity project at St John’s Church

WEEK 2:  Week commencing 30th July, the scaffolders have started erecting the access scaffold on the east elevation to allow the new windows to be fitted and our rainwater goods to be partially renewed. Internal drainage works are also in progress. It feels like the project has gotten off to a really good start.

above & below: scaffolding being erected to the east elevation for access to windows and roof, and for security of the site

above: old kitchen and toilets removed ready for new drainage works and servery wall opening to right (marked out in pencil on wall)

WEEK 3:  Week commencing 6th August, real progress has been made this week on internal alterations to the old toilet and kitchen block. The servery opening has been formed and new drainage works are being installed. Scaffolding is now complete on the west side of the church, and with full access now available work can start on removing the first two windows next week – at last!

above and below: old kitchen and toilet block alterations in progress with servery opening viewed from inside the new kitchen and from the foyer area 

above and below: scaffold on the west side of the church now complete – site secure and safe access to all windows and rainwater goods now possible

above: rainwater goods accessible for inspection from East scaffold

WEEK 4:  Week commencing 13th August – kitchen works progressing, office plumbing being investigated, windows on east and west sides being removed and opening protected.

WEEK 5:  Week commencing 20th August – kitchen plumbing works, window sections delivery, first window installed above east entrance.

WEEK 6:  Week commencing 27th August

above: partition walls between new toilets and kitchen in progress

above: metal window sections and glazing for 5 windows on east side of church

above & below: East elevation: first floor new window fitted (kitchen end) and last old window (fire escape end) being removed

keep in touch with further progress via the News from St John’s Church page

Welcome to St John’sNews | Heritage | History | Services & Ministries
Windows of Opportunity Project | Uplift Project | Contact


Below is some essential information about recent developments within the Marketplace Ministries / Totnes Connection Hub – plus, further down, a couple of bulletins about House Groups and Community Potlucks. We will be sending out a longer Community News blog soon, with further bulletins relating to recent weeks.

Totnes Connection Hub Food Bank • updated August 2018

• download a printable poster

Food Bank Opening hours

Tuesday 10am to 12.30pm & 2pm to 3.30pm
Thursday 10am to 12.30pm & 2pm to 3.30pm

What do we do?

Totnes Connection Hub Food Bank serves Totnes and the surrounding region. We offer one-off Emergency Food Parcels, as well as ongoing support for those who need it.

We get donations from Tesco Fair Share, Morrisons Collection Point and Food In Community.


If you need ongoing support, you will need to get a referral.

We currently accept referrals from the following organisations:

  • Job Centre
  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau
  • South Hams District Council
  • Daisy Play Centre
  • Totnes C of E Team
  • Devon Home Choice
  • Caring Town Totnes
  • South Hams Children’s Centre
  • Family Advice Support Team
  • Devon County Council
  • Action for Children

Further information about the Totnes Connection Hub Food Bank

(click to enlarge)

The Marketplace Ministries building continues to house the Drop In Food Bank and Transition Club. Jobs are advertised weekly and training offered. They have a suite of computers for people to use and learn to use. There is a free computer course running throughout August and a range of courses are run in conjunction with the POA throughout the year.

download a printable poster

Hot meals for the homeless are available in the mornings, but people can drop in from 9.45am to 1pm (all week) and then again from 2pm to 4 pm, Tuesday to Thursday, plus Sunday 12.30pm to 1.30pm (closed on Saturdays).
This means anyone begging on the streets has access to help throughout the week.
Andy Callow from the Drug and Alcohol Service also has an office in the Marketplace Ministries building and is available from Tuesday to Thursday (similar hours to the Food Bank).
Because so much is going on under one roof, they have renamed the facility The Totnes Connection Hub in order to make it fully welcome to everyone in need whatever their need.
• there is a Teignmouth Connection Hub, too, which Marketplace Ministries has set up with the Council there in response to a rise in homelessness, this is just a couple of mornings and is held in Teignmouth Library.

Cleaning materials and toiletries are welcome for inclusion with the items which can be donated.

foodboxSuitable food donations could include:

  • Rice, pasta, noodles, cereals and other dried foods
  • Tinned soups (likewise tinned meat, vegetables and puddings)
  • Sugar, tea, coffee, squash, UHT drinks, biscuits
  • Other non perishables.

Tips: When you see a “Buy One Get One Free” offer – donate the free one! Or just buy an extra item anyway, everytime you go shopping.

NOTE: Fresh produce should be taken instead to the Drop In.

• please contact Liz Waterson if you need further information about donating items via the St Mary’s Church drop-off collection, on 01803 849345

Community Potlucks
Helpers are needed to assist in running these very popular events!
Potlucks run on the 3rd Friday of each month.
If you can help out, please click on the calendar (above) for dates, or click here to download a printable pdf. Then contact Liz Waterson on 01803 849345, who will put you in touch with the organisers.

Afternoon House Group
We restart on Tuesday September 18th at 2pm meeting at Anne Binn’s house – 8 Rowsells Lane Bridgetown.
We will continue to meet every 2 weeks until the end of November taking a break in December. The theme for this short term is the Sunday readings and Collects. We shall look at the readings and collects for the coming Sunday. It will then prepare us to hear them better and see the way in which the readings are chosen to complement each other.
• further information form Liz Waterson 01803 849345


Easter services in Totnes & Bridgetown

[For other services in Totnes and Bridgetown, please click here.]

Monday 26th March at 8.30am
St John’s Church, Bridgetown

Tuesday 27th March at 2pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
St John’s School PASSION PLAY

Wednesday 28th March at 10.30am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Maundy Thursday from 8pm until midnight
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
SUNG EUCHARIST with Meditation on the Servitude of Christ & Watch

Good Friday
10am WALK of WITNESS (Churches Together in Totnes),
starting at St John’s Church, Bridgetown
2pm Liturgy of the Passion, Meditation before the Cross & Eucharist,
St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Holy Saturday at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
EASTER VIGIL & First Eucharist of Easter

Easter Sunday 1st April at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Musical Director: Jan Dietz
Introit: From the rising of the sun – Ouseley
Processional hymn 147 Jesus Christ is risen today
Responses: Kate Phillipson-Masters
Hymn 149 Light’s glittering morn
Psalm 66 vv 1-11
Mag & Nunc: Stanford in B flat
Anthem: Rejoice the Lord is King – Archer
Anthem after prayers: This Joyful Eastertide
Hymn: Thine be the glory
Hallelujah Chorus – Handel
• there will be no Evensong on the third Sunday in April

Heritage for Life – rescheduled exhibition

Friday 23rd March
from 9am to 11am & 1pm to 4pm
Saturday 24th March
from 10am to 3.30pm
at St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Another chance to view the exhibition
, which was rescheduled due to the recent snows. 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.
Please come along and make your views known!
fuller details here

event cancellations

We regret that due to heavy snow in Totnes, the two events below have been cancelled / postponed. Please keep checking the website in case of further changes.

cancelled: Sunday 18th March at 3pm
St John’s Church, Totnes
• apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment, we will let you know if or when this event gets rescheduled

cancelled: Sunday 18th March at 6.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
• the next Evensong will be on Easter Day (1st April) at 6.30pm
• there will be no Evensong on the third Sunday in April

exhibition postponed due to severe weather

Thursday & Friday 22nd & 23rd February 10am to 5pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
postponed: Friday & Saturday 2nd & 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
• postponed due to severe weather closing The Mansion – we’ll let you know when this event gets rescheduled

Friday’s concert cancelled

cancelled: Friday 2nd March at 7.30pm
St John’s Church, Bridgetown
We’ve just heard that this event has been postponed due to adverse weather.
Apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience.
• we’ll let you know if and when this event gets rescheduled

Whilst the Siberian weather is with us, please keep checking the Events and Services pages in case of any updates.

Consultation Exhibitions + preview photos of St Mary’s Church, Totnes

Thursday & Friday 22nd & 23rd February from 10am to 5pm
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Friday & Saturday 2nd & 3rd March from 10am to 5pm
The Mansion, Totnes
Consultation Exhibitions
St Mary’s Church, a Grade 1 Listed building, is in urgent need of repair and renovation. The church is on the “Heritage at Risk” register and as such its future is under threat.
The church and its community have drawn up proposals to not only address the urgent repairs required but have a scheme to provide a much need community facility for performing arts as well as continuing as a place of worship.
There are also proposals for improving and making better use of the surrounds to St Mary’s, including the possibility of a new town square.
The public consultation exhibition is being held at St Mary’s Church on 22/23 March and 2/3 March at The Mansion. Please come along and make your views known.
John Birch
READ MORE about the background and context for the consultations in a special page on St Mary’s and St John’s website, under the Projects menu

PHOTOGRAPHS of St Mary’s Church, Totnes

A selection of preview photographs of the exterior of St Mary’s Church. 
• these photographs are, or will be, available in full resolution in the Friends of St Mary’s members galleries

Views from St Mary’s Church tower by Martha Fausset

Views of and from St Mary’s Church by Julian Hall

• information about membership of Friends of St Mary’s is here