The congregation of this church works together and with others to:
We also subscribe to the aims of Inclusive Church
Christ, when he was lifted up did not say
"I draw some people to myself"
"I draw all, all, ALL"
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
St. John the Evangelist Church, Park Street, Taunton, TA1 4DG
Serving the people of Taunton town centre and beyond through our tradition of catholic sacramental worship.
During the latest lockdown restrictions
all services and openings at St John's are suspended.
So there will be no Sunday worship or Thursday opening for private prayer.
This is in accordance with the Diocesan provisions.
There may be an opportunity to join worship by Zoom
and further information on this will be posted here when available
"God is our refuge and strength;
a very present help in trouble"
Psalm 46, 1
"We too have a constant friend and companion in the risen Christ on whom we can rely as we journey on through these weeks and months of uncertainty."
so we are alone, but together
Rev Jane will continue to offers a Eucharist prayers for our community,
so we can join her in spirit to take our part as she prays on our behalf.
To accompany us through all the sorrows and joys of the year ahead, our Diocese suggests we use this reading, as the words speak to us and are a prayer for us now, as much as ever:
"As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
" As the challenge of the coronavirus grips the world, and as the Government asks
every individual and every organisation to rethink its life, we are now asking the Church of England in all its parishes, chaplaincies and ministries to serve all people in a new
Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury and John, Archbishop of York
A prayer from Bishop Peter
Lord God, carer of all people, creator, sustainer and healer;
We pray for all who have contracted Covid-19. Be with them and their loved ones and bring healing to their bodies.
We pray for all medical staff and emergency services as they look after the physical health, worries and concerns of their patients, especially the vulnerable and particularly those who have reduced contact with the outside world. Let us be good neighbours, looking out and after each other.
We remember the work of scientists, discovering and testing vaccines for this disease, and we pray for all of us, caught up in our everyday lives with the effects of these outbreaks.
Bless your world Lord, and help us to be blessings to one another, in Jesus name. Amen
Reflection and Readings
Feast of the Epiphany
We quite often hear people say – ‘I had a real epiphany moment the other day’ – we may even have said it ourselves – that sudden flash of insight. We’ve had an epiphany moment - but is that the right way round? Isn’t it rather that an epiphany moment has us? I think that’s what this feast of epiphany is about. It’s not that we have a moment when we say ‘I’ve got it’; it’s rather it’s having a moment when we can say ‘It’s got me. It’s got me.’ Maybe you can recall such a moment or moments in your life and your task was to simply follow – I say simply, but the following can be hard, involving inner dyings so that new life can emerge.
The rhythm is always the same, an epiphany moment gets hold of us and we follow. That’s what happened to the magi from the east; that’s what today’s gospel and this
Feast of Epiphany are both about. The star had shown itself and the wise men were following - an epiphany got hold of them. But the following was not easy.
Listen to some of T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The coming of the magi’
‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter……
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
You don’t make a journey like that unless there’s an epiphany that’s got hold of you – a long journey, dead of winter, the ways deep, and the voices of reason ringing in your ears – turn back, this is all silly, you’re imagining this epiphany. But no, they don’t listen to those voices – they carry on, following a star, no matter how foolish it seems- because of God’s nudge in their lives, a nudge that cannot be ignored. It becomes for them a defining moment. Are there nudges of God that have turned out to be defining moments for us?
The last part of the poem:
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard
and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
The nudge leads us always onwards, in ways that mean we cannot go back to the way things were. God lures us onwards: to die to part of ourselves and to be born into something new. The epiphany is God’s nudge, often a strong nudge, in and on us. It is the continuing ‘yes’ of Christmas. It is God’s luring, nudging, inviting, for a response from us. What is the star of epiphany for you, now? Maybe take a moment or two to reflect on the nudge, the invitation of God to you at this time. If you are in church on Sunday, Sarah has made some stars that will be blessed at the end of the service -you are invited to take one home with you as a reminder of God’s invitation to you for this coming year. And may we all journey onwards in hope and peace as we move into 2021 -with the promise of vaccines hopefully soon to be available. In the meantime, keep safe and well.
Blessings to you all.
St John the Evangelist Church
serves Taunton in a Benefice with St Mary Magdalene
The Rev Tobie Osmond is the Vicar of the Benefice
of St Mary Magdalene, Taunton and St John the Evangelist, Taunton.
Rev Jane Eastell is Associate Vicar with responsibility for St John's
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