Four of our members, John Bodiley, Stephen Bell, Andrew Carter and Ian Heavisides presented this event on Saturday 7th August 2021. John gave a carefully prepared talk on Mendelssohn’s life and work, illustrated by extracts played by the other three members on the fine 3-manual Hill organ at Holy Trinity, which was recently restored by Andrew Fearn. This was a well attended event, and it was lovely to see people enjoying live music in person again after the long period of muting. Many thanks to all concerned.
We recently contributed an item on recently restored organs in Taunton as part of this countrywide survey of organs and organ playing – please see the YouTube clip below!
We are sure you will be sad to learn of the untimely death of our member Jerry King. Jerry and his wife, Eleanor, originally came from Loughton, Essex, to live in Backwell where Jerry joined the choir singing bass and was very willing to play the organ when needed. In 2000 when Jean Routley retired from being organist at Backwell Jerry took over. Jerry, Eleanor and their two daughters, Sarah and Hannah, remained at Backwell until Eleanor was ordained, and they moved away, first of all to North Petherton and then to Nether Stowey. Jerry held various roles on the RSCM Somerset Committee, and latterly was the highly efficient Secretary. In that role he organised many events for singers and organists. He was also a much valued committee member of SOCA. In addition, he became chairman of the Diocesan Choral Association which is responsible for the annual Diocesan Choral Festival in Wells Cathedral. His involvement in all these organisations has done much to facilitate communication and mutual support. Sadly in 2016 Jerry suffered the amputation of his left foot, but he still continued to lead an active musical life. His death at the age of 65, has come as a great shock and he will be much missed in the church musical life of Somerset.
7th May 2021
Following October’s successful Organ Meditation in St Mary Magdalene Church building, and November’s online Remembrance Meditation, we are now aiming to offer an Advent Meditation in St Mary Magdalene Church building on Sunday 6th December at 6.30 pm. Following the new guidance, we can have a distanced choir and a small pre-booked congregation (as previously in September & October – with rules observed in relation to distancing, masks, sanitisation and recording of attenders for contact and trace purposes).
We will present a 45-minute sequence of Advent readings and music, including a newly- composed piece God of our eternity with music by Chris Moorsom and words by Rowan Williams & Andrew Nunn. There will also be meditative organ & instrumental music and candlelight, similar to From Darkness to Light as in previous years, but shorter and quieter. No charge, but there will be a retiring collection to cover expenses and to support the church tower restoration fund.
Clearly we will not be able to have the usual large number in the congregation, so it is hoped that for those unable to attend in person the event will be live-streamed and accessible to anyone from our website.
Pre-booking essential, please contact church office: tel: 07523 322693
As part of an appeal to support church music in difficult covid circumstances, cathedral and other organists have knitted together a remarkable version of this well-known work, featuring some splendid organs and buildings – do have a listen – and make a contribution if possible!
As you will no doubt have realised, owing to the new restrictions it will not now be possible to hold this event live in St Mary Magdalene Church this Saturday afternoon 7th November as originally planned. However, thanks to modern technology and some hard work by various technologists, we have been able to record a short ‘Remembrance Meditation’ (amended poster attached!). This Meditation (consiting of two meditative pieces) will be available by the same time on Saturday as the live event would have been. The pieces will be played by Julia Trigg on the violin and Miles Quick on St Mary Magdalene’s newly renovated Father Willis organ. Please go to the ‘What’s on’ section of the St Mary Magdalene Church website and you will be directed to the Meditation.
We offer it, in addition to our online service for Remembrance Sunday, in the hope that it will help in quietly remembering and giving thanks for those loved ones who have gone before us, whom we see no more, but – as the Last Post and Reveille remind us – who now live ‘upon another shore and in a greater light’.
One advantage of online is that whereas before we were restricted by regulations to a small pre-booked audience, now there is no limit (‘that multitude which no man can number’ as it says in the King’s Carol Service bidding prayer). So please feel free to share it!
Thank you so much for joining us and we look forward to seeing you again in person.
In a cautious attempt to get back to some live music in church and to raise spirits we are offering the following 45-minute event, using our recently renovated Father Willis organ. We will use the same covid-safety procedures as we are now using for our Sunday morning services (see below). I do hope it might be of interest to you – if so please do contact the Church Office to book a firstname.lastname@example.org 322693
Pre-booking is required and there are only a small number of places, so please book asap!
Organ Meditation – St Mary Magdalene Church, Taunton, Saturday 3rd October 2020 at 3.30 pm – with Jonathan Price, Director of Music, Christ Church, Bristol City
The guidance now allows us to go ahead with this (with distancing, masks, sanitisation and records of attenders as on Sundays) with a small pre-booked audience. Bookings can be made with the church office. Following the success of a recent similar post-lockdown event in Wells Cathedral, inspiring music will be introduced and played, and the event will be a chance to come apart from the concerns of the day and be uplifted, soothed and roused – all in the course of 45 minutes!! New Father Willis can do all these things! Admission free, retiring collection. Following this event we hope to reinstate more events as the guidance allows – watch this space!