St Thomas Blog

Keep up to date with news and views from St Thomas Church!

Notes from Revd Eliza's sermon - Easter 3

Friday 19th April 2024

When Rev Sarah asked me to preach today - I responded with a question: May I talk about Gaza? I go to sleep and wake up everyday thinking about Gaza. I wonder how many more people have died. Al Jazeera reported 7 days ago that according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza : At least 33,137 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army in Gaza since the start of the war on October 7. Thousands more are missing under the rubble of collapsed buildings and infrastructure, and are presumed dead. This is not a war. A war presumes two equal sides attacking each other. This is a mass slaughter. When Ukraine was attack we in the western world were…

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Holy Week Reflections

Wednesday 3rd April 2024
Mike Clark

We were all grateful for the talks given on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week by Revd Mike Clark during the mid-morning masses. If you open the whole page there is a link below. You can read the text of the talks here.

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Easter Day sermon

Tuesday 2nd April 2024

Easter Day 2024 Revd Sarah When my grandparents retired, they announced that they were going to use their newfound freedom and explore Scotland, which was a lifelong ambition. They had gathered some savings and were going to take their time and see all of the sights. There was some concern when we got a phone call two weeks later - is everything ok? "Yes," they replied, "we've done Scotland!" They had indeed covered thousands of miles, visiting famous landmarks and cities, although we suspected that they had packed sandwiches and a flask each morning and never got out of the car! A tour of the carparks of Scotland might have been a better description. We are following Mark's gospel this year and…

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Evening Reflection for 3rd Sunday in Lent

Saturday 9th March 2024

The overarching theme we have as a Church this Lent, 'Watch and Pray', focusses our attention on the moment in the gospels, between the last supper and his arrest, that Jesus spends some time alone praying, and while he is doing so, his disciples fall asleep. In John, Jesus prays in a garden—John has a fondness for gardens. Luke only tells us that Jesus was on the Mount of Olives. Matthew and Mark put him in a place called 'Gethsemane' though they don't say it is a garden. Traditionally, we blend all three and think of a garden called Gethsemane on or near the Mount of Olives. Click here to continue to read John Morgan's talk. [Photo by Jasmin Ne on Unsplash]

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Bell Ringing at St Thomas Parish Church

Friday 23rd February 2024

The bell ringers meet weekly on Thursday evenings from 7.00pm to 8.30pm in the church tower. New as well as experienced ringers are most welcome to join us. If you have ever wanted to know how it's done come along and join in or observe. Contact the Tower Captain, Eric on 07966 927 834 or come along to the tower door at 7pm and see what's going on. We are able to teach new ringers the skills of Devon Call Changes. We also welcome interest groups such as schools, guides etc to visit for a small donation.

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Mary and Martha

Monday 18th July 2022

Read HERE Dr Jon Morgan's reflection on the interaction between Jesus, Mary and Martha.

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Happy Easter!

Sunday 17th April 2022

Revd Sarah shares some thoughts about the empty tomb on Easter morning. Read HERE

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Holy Week Scripts

Sunday 17th April 2022

You can download here the talks given by Preb Philip Sourbut on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, and the Thoughts for the Day during the Triduum given by the Rector, David Nixon.

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Mothering Sunday

Saturday 2nd April 2022

Read here the talk given by Prof Susannah Cornwall for Mothering Sunday this year. The lectionary readings are also included. [Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash]

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Statement and Prayers for peace in Ukraine

Sunday 27th February 2022

The following statement was read this morning at St Thomas by the Rector: I thought I ought to say something in response to the war and crisis in Ukraine, and also react to that weird feeling that we are going about our daily business with its normal quarrels and irritations, and then suddenly see foreign bombs falling on a capital city and people hiding in underground stations. The traditional Lenten disciples which we begin this week on Ash Wednesday are a useful prompt: prayer, fasting and almsgiving, almost like weapons in the Christian armoury. Prayer sees us in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and all those in Russia and elsewhere who are protesting for peace. We are able to pray for peace,…

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January

Friday 21st January 2022

We mark the importance of this week of ecumenical prayer with a recording in French of a short act of worship with Fr David giving the homily. This replaced the usual exchange of preachers between the diocese of Exeter and the Catholic diocese of Bayeux-Lisieux in Normandy, France. We hope to do these visits later in the year, Covid rules permitting. The text of the homily can be found here. Many thanks to all this group of French speakers, including media guru Nigel Walshe and members of Central Parishes, Exeter.

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Christmas Day - The Shepherd's Tale

Saturday 25th December 2021

Revd Sarah explores the Christmas story from a shepherd's point of view. Here is the text of the Christmas Day talk

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All Saints / All Souls 2021

Tuesday 9th November 2021

If you wish to read the texts of Revd Alison's excellent sermons for 31 October, click here: All Saints and All Souls

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Harvest Festival 3 October 2021

Sunday 3rd October 2021

Blessings for Harvest Here is the Order of Service we shall use tonight for our Zoom service at 5pm, and here is the text for Fr. David's talk.

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Zoom talk, 13th Sunday after Trinity (29th August 2021)

Tuesday 31st August 2021
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Ian considers the differing views on keeping God's law in todays readings. You can read it here.

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Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sunday 15th August 2021

Read here Fr David's talk at the 10.30 Eucharist, which attempts to respond to the recent tragic events in Plymouth and the unfolidng catastrophe in Afghanistan within the context of Marian imagery. Revd Alison spoke about Mary's Magnificat at our Zoom Evening Worship the same day - read her talk here for an interesting contrast. [Photo by DDP on Unsplash]

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Zoom talk, the Transfiguration

Monday 9th August 2021
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Ian contrasts the glory seen at the Transfiguration with the life Jesus lived as a humble servant. Read it here

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Festival of St James

Monday 26th July 2021

Revd Sarah wonders why we tell such unflattering stories about the saints, and draws upon St Paul's imagery that we are clay jars shining with the light of God. You can read her talk here.

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New service times for July & August 2021

Friday 23rd July 2021
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

From Sunday 25th July our service times are changing. You are very welcome to join us in our worship of the Lord at our new services. Our main Sunday worship will be a service of Holy Communion, held in the church building and starting at 10:30. There will singing of at least one hymn and in other parts of the liturgy. Our online zoom service of worship will be continuing weekly until at least the end of August, but will now begin at 6pm (still on Sundays). Zoom codes for access can be found on the latest Pew Sheet (available on this website under the "Pew Sheet" tab), as can the telephone numbers for phone access. From the 4th of August we will…

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18th July 2021 Trinity 7 Sermon

Monday 19th July 2021
Phil Baker

See Phil's Zoom talk here

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Trinity 6 Sermon

Monday 12th July 2021
Revd. Alison Whiting

Read Revd Alison's Zoom talk about the beheading of John the Baptist here

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Uniform Swap dates announced!

Monday 5th July 2021

After our successful uniform swap last year, there have been requests to hold this event again. If you have clean, unwanted uniform for local schools, please drop it into the church tower between 10 and 12 on Tuesday 13th or 20th of July. You can also donate at the church hall between 1 and 2pm on Thursday 22nd of July. The uniform can then be picked up between 2.30 and 4pm on Thursday 22nd of July. We will comply with the current Covid regulations.

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Patronal Festival St Thomas 4 July 2021

Thursday 1st July 2021

We are celebrating our Patronal Festival for St Thomas on Sunday 4 July to encourage more people to take part. Please see our pewsheet for more details. Revd Sarah shares her thoughts about our understanding of God. Read it here. [Picture credit: Pixaby]

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Climate Change Walk

Thursday 1st July 2021

We were fortunate on Tuesday afternoon (29/6) to welcome a small party of walkers to St Thomas Church as representatives of the Young Christian Climate Network who are walking from the G7 meeting in Cornwall to the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow in the autumn. Ian joined them for the Dunsford-Exeter stage. Our prayers go with them.

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St Peter and St Paul

Monday 28th June 2021

We've transferred the feast day of Peter and Paul from 29 June to Sunday 27 June as they are important saints - the apostles to the Jews and Gentiles respectively. This is also the time of year in some dioceses for ordinations, so we pray for those being ordained and those celebrating anniversaries this year. Read Fr David's Zoom talk here.

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Trinity 3 Painting of the Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Sunday 20th June 2021

See the Picture Phil showed at Zoom here.

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3rd Sunday after Trinity

Sunday 20th June 2021
Phil baker

Read Phil's Zoom Talk about the Storm on the Sea of Galilee here.

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2nd Sunday after Trinity

Sunday 13th June 2021

Read Revd Alison's zoom talk here. [Picture credit: Image by Darkmoon_Art from Pixabay]

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1st Sunday after Trinity

Monday 7th June 2021
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Read Ian Totterdell's zoom service talk about the opposition Jesus faced from different quarters early in his ministry here

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Trinity Sunday

Monday 31st May 2021

John White shares his thoughts about Trinity Sunday. Click here to read his talk.

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Pentecost Sunday

Monday 24th May 2021

Read Fr David's talk at the 10.30 Zoom service for Pentecost here. [Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash]

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Easter 7 Between Ascension and Pentecost...a waiting time

Monday 17th May 2021

Revd Sarah reflects on the time between Ascension Day and Pentecost, and how we manage times of waiting. You can read her sermon HERE.

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Easter 6 Zoom Talk

Monday 10th May 2021
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Ian considers the simplicity of Jesus's commandment to love one another, and how we should be open to God working in new ways. Read it here

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Easter 5 Zoom Talk

Sunday 2nd May 2021
Phil Baker

Read what Phil said about the readings for the 5th Sunday of Easter here.

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Easter 3 Zoom Talk

Monday 19th April 2021
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Ian considers how we, and all Christ's followers, can be witnesses to Jesus's death and resurrection and so spread the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins to all. Read his talk here

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'Easter Joy' photo competition winner U14 category!

Tuesday 13th April 2021

Congratulations also to Seren Woodland, the winner of the U14 category, for her fabulous Spring-time picture!

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'Easter Joy' Photo competition winner!

Tuesday 13th April 2021

Congratulations to Karen Williams, the winner of our 'Easter Joy' Photo competition! Karen has chosen the Royal British Legion to receive her charity donation. Thank you to all who entered; it certainly brought a lot of joy!

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Easter 2 sermon

Monday 12th April 2021
Revd Sarah

Revd Sarah considers the disciples' confusion and doubt as they encounter the risen Christ. How do we face our own questions and fears? You can read her sermon here.

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Easter Season

Saturday 10th April 2021

Happy Easter Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Here is the link for our Zoom services until the end of June using this Order of Service for our Eastertide worship. Click here for Fr David's zoom talk on Easter Day. You can find other talks in separate Blog entries for each Sunday.

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HRH The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021

Saturday 10th April 2021

Here are a series of prayers for the late Duke of Edinburgh: God of our lives, we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip, for his love of our country, and for his devotion to duty. We entrust him now to your love and mercy, through our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Amen. Merciful God, be close to all who mourn, especially The Queen and all members of the Royal Family. May they know the comfort of your love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Eternal God, we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip, founder of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. We remember his vision and imagination, his interest in young people and his support for them. Inspire…

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Holy Week Trail 6 - Resurrection!

Sunday 4th April 2021

Happy Easter! Join with Christians as we celebrate the life changing event of Jesus' resurrection from the dead!

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Holy Week Trail - 5 Jesus in the tomb

Saturday 3rd April 2021

On Holy Saturday, we join the first disciples as they watch and wait. Can we depend on the Easter promise given by Jesus?

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Good Friday 2nd April 2021

Friday 2nd April 2021
Phil Baker

Read Phil Baker's homily at the Good Friday Liturgy here

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Holy Week Trail 4 - The death of Jesus

Friday 2nd April 2021

The cross is a powerful symbol. To some, it suggests an agonising death, for others it is part of their story of forgiveness and salvation. What does the cross mean to you?

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Holy Week Trail 3 - Jesus on trial

Thursday 1st April 2021

Today we consider the trial of Jesus and the accusations made against him. How could you support someone who is rejected or falsely accused?

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Holy Week Pilgrimage for all ages

Wednesday 31st March 2021

Can you find a stone, a leaf and something in the shape of a cross? If you can, you are well on the way to completing this pilgrimage trail, which combines a scavenger hunt with retelling the story of Holy Week and Easter. Find the sheet HERE Suitable for all ages, this trail is free to use, and can take as much time as you have available. Thanks to Revd Caroline Beckett for sharing this resource.

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Holy Week Trail 2 - Breaking bread

Wednesday 31st March 2021

The next poster on our Holy Week Trail shows Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples. What could you share with others?

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Holy Week trail 1 - Palm Sunday

Tuesday 30th March 2021

Follow the trail through the church grounds to retell the story of Holy Week. There are questions to think about too.

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Children's Activities for Holy Week

Monday 29th March 2021

Look here for activities which invite children of any age to engage their senses in retelling the stories of Holy Week. With thanks to Engage Worship.

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Holy Week Trail

Sunday 28th March 2021

Look out for our Holy Week trail! Posters being added during this week to retell the events which lead up to Easter Day. Can you spot them all?

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Holy Week 2021

Sunday 28th March 2021

This is our programme for Holy Week. And you are very welcome to some or all of it On Palm Sunday, we will use this Lent Worship Sheet and read the dramatized version of St Mark's Passion. This worship is by Zoom with this link. We will be using this link for all worship in Holy Week and for Easter Day. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, we are delighted to welcome Andrew Beane, the Archdeacon of Exeter, as our speaker in three short acts of worship at 7pm each night. The liturgy we are following is here. On Maundy Thursday night, we are saying Compline together online via Zoom at 9pm, using this Order of Service. Good Friday, there will be a Stations of the Cross…

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Lent 5 Passion Sunday 21st March Zoom Talk

Monday 22nd March 2021
Phil baker

Read Phil's Zoom talk for Passion Sunday here

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A Mothering Sunday poem

Monday 15th March 2021
Karen Hedges

Thanks to Karen for permission to share her beautiful Mothering Sunday poem. You can read it here

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Mothering Sunday, 14th March 2021 Zoom Talk & Intercessions

Monday 15th March 2021
Martin Le Fleming

Read what Martin has to say here and Judith's intercessions from the Mothers' Union A Litany for Mothers Eve our first mother - thank you for stepping out and being the first to understand the complexities of life. Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth - thank you for your patience and courage in waiting for a miracle. May all people longing for children be strengthened by your stories and comforted in their pain. Hagar - thank you for your resolve in the face of exile. May all mothers who are forced to flee or are forgotten be given hope in you. Rebecca - thank you for your flexibility. Let us remember all mothers who have to raise their children in a different country or far from their relatives…

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'EASTER JOY' Photography Competition

Sunday 14th March 2021

Today sees the launch of a new photography competition 'Easter Joy'. Especially aimed at residents of St Thomas, we encourage people to see the Easter Joy in their local community at this time. Details of Terms and Conditions, as well as fabulous prizes, can be found HERE

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3rd Sunday in Lent, 7th March 2021 Talk

Monday 8th March 2021

Read Fr Terry's talk at the Zoom service for the 3rd Sunday of Lent here

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2nd Sunday in Lent, 28th February Talk

Monday 1st March 2021

Read Helen Pearce's Zoom Talk for Lent 2 here

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These Are Our Stories - the Exeter Diocese Lent Course

Thursday 25th February 2021

Here at St Thomas Parish Church we are running a series of 5 sessions based around the Exeter Diocese course - These Are Our Stories. Each session focuses on an our experiences of the last 12 months and how we can make sense of them - together. The course starts on Thursday 25th February from 7-8 on Zoom. Please contact Revd Sarah on rev.sarahcumming@gmail.com for more details.

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Devon County Council Grant

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

We are delighted to announce that the Parish has been succesful in another small grant application to support our outreach towards vunerable people, especially those with difficulty accessing the internet. Devon County Council has awarded us £437 as a contribution to the costs of our weekly postal mailing, which goes out to about 50 people in St Thomas and slightly beyond, and which has continued from the start of the pandemic. Thank you DCC!

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First Sunday in Lent, 21 February

Monday 22nd February 2021

Read John White's talk on Zoom to mark the start of Lent.

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Lent, Holy Week & Easter 2021

Monday 15th February 2021

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which is 17 February this year. We are marking this with a zoom service starting at 7pm, which will include optional ashing - that is the blessing of ashes and the marking of our foreheads with ash, as a sign of penitence, and as a recognition of our mortality: earth to earth, ashes to ashes etc We are using these worship resources for Lent including Ash Wednesday here. This is the link for Ash Wednesday and 10.30 on Sundays via Zoom. Please use this link also for all Zoom services in Holy Week, including Easter Day. Read Fr David's zoom talk for Ash Wednesday here Additonal resources will be included on this page including a help for prayer here. Especially…

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Sunday before Lent

Sunday 14th February 2021

Read the Revd Alison's Zoom sermon here

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2nd Sunday before Lent

Sunday 14th February 2021
Phil Baker

Read Phil's sermon for the 2nd Sunday before Lent here

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Candlemas and Christingles on Sunday 31st January

Friday 29th January 2021

We'll be making Christingles together at our Zoom Service at 10.30 on Sunday 31st January. The service sheet is here. Readings and other prayers from the pewsheet. An outline picture to colour in can be downloaded here. Find more information about The Children's Society here. We will also bless candles on Sunday morning so have one to hand if you wish. Click here for a delightful contemporary Candlemas story by Karen Williams.

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Prayers for the week beginning 25th January

Thursday 28th January 2021

A prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day Loving God, we come to you with heavy hearts, remembering the six million Jewish souls murdered during the Holocaust. In the horrors of that history, when so many groups were targeted because of their identity, and in genocides which followed, we recognise destructive prejudices that drive people apart. Forgive us when we give space to fear, negativity and hatred of others, simply because they are different from us. In the light of God, we see everyone as equally precious manifestations of the Divine, and can know the courage to face the darkness. Through our prayers and actions, help us to stand together with those who are suffering, so that light may banish all darkness, love will prevail over…

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Talk for Epiphany 3 - Wedding at Cana

Monday 25th January 2021

You can read Ian's talk for Epiphany 3 here. You might like to consider these three questions as you read it: What do the seven miraculous signs (performed by Jesus and recorded in St John's Gospel) mean to you? What signs showed you the way to faith? What signs might you be able to show to a friend who does not know Jesus that might help them to come to faith in him?

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Monday 18th January 2021

There is an annual week from 18th to 25th January when there is an especial focus in our prayers on Christian Unity, often with events in local neighbourhoods to mark the importance of this. The Diocese of Exeter is twinned with the (catholic) Diocese of Bayeux-Lisieux in Normandy, France. There are regular exchange visits, and every other year an exchange of preachers during this Unity Week. Fr David has visited France on several occasions for this purpose, with Fr Laurent Berthout making the reverse journey. The videos below in French and English mark this occasion, when because of Covid, we cannot make the visits in person. The text of Fr David's sermon is here. Let us also not forget the St Thomas…

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Talk for Epiphany 2

Monday 18th January 2021

Read here the talk given by Fr David on zoom on 17 January 2021.

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Talk for the Baptism of Christ

Monday 11th January 2021

Rev. Sarah raises issues from the baptism of Christ and how this affects our understanding of baptisms in church. Read her zoom talk .

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Feast of the Epiphany Zoom Talk & Prayers

Monday 4th January 2021
Phil Baker

Read Phil Baker's Epiphany zoom talk here and Fr Terry's Prayers.

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Talk for 27 December St Thomas Becket

Sunday 27th December 2020

Read Fr David's zoom talk for the Patronal Feast of Thomas Becket.

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Tidings of Great Joy!

Friday 25th December 2020

"To you is born this day a Saviour, who is Christ, the Lord" Read Fr David's Christmas sermon here.

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Look for the Light

Tuesday 22nd December 2020

Revd Tom Carson, the Chaplain at Exeter School, has written and performed a song for Christmas, from Joseph's perspective. Well done and thank you, Tom

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Talk for Advent 4 (20th December)

Tuesday 22nd December 2020

Please click here to read Fr David's talk at the Zoom service on the 4th Sunday of Advent.

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Intercessions for Advent 3

Wednesday 16th December 2020

Read Susannah's excellent intercessions here for the third Sunday of Advent.

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Talk for Advent 3

Monday 14th December 2020
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Read here Ian Totterdell's talk about what Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah and what he would achieve.

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Talk for Advent 2

Monday 7th December 2020
Mr John White

Read here John White's talk about John the Baptist's role in announcing the coming of Jesus's ministry.

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Talk for Advent Sunday

Monday 30th November 2020
The Revd Alison Whiting

Read here the Revd Alison's words about the season when we prepare to greet the Christ child anew.

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Advent Countdown - completed and archived

Saturday 28th November 2020
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Starting on Advent Sunday, 29th November, we worked backwards through the alphabet, from Z to A, as we counted down the 26 days to Christmas. Each day we looked at someone or something connected with the Christmas story, or with our Christmas traditions, linked to that day's letter. Update, 5th Jan 2021: All 26 articles have now been archived and can be found on our website here.

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Talk for Second Sunday before Advent - The Parable of the Talents

Friday 20th November 2020

Read here how we should not feel too guilty if we are "people of the one talent" during this pandemic crisis. There are also signs of the growth of the five and two talent slaves.

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Remembrance Sunday

Sunday 8th November 2020

We marked today by a Zoom service on line, and by a very brief Act of Remembrance outside at the war memorial in the churchyard, with a wreath laid by PCSO WIll Malcolm. Thanks to Helen for a copy of her painting of poppies to mark the occasion. Read Phil Baker's Zoom talk here

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All Souls - reading the names of those who have died

Monday 2nd November 2020

Revd Alison and Ian Totterdell, our Churchwarden, read the names of those who have died and have links to this community. We have produced this recording due to restricted numbers at the All Souls service where this list is also read. See and hear the recording here

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Sermon for All Saints Day

Monday 2nd November 2020

The feast day of All Saints challenges us to consider our own understanding of eternal life. Read Sarah's talk here

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Craft Display

Tuesday 27th October 2020

During Lockdown, lots of us started craft projects as a way of creating something positive out of challenging times. Come and see the results at a free display this Sunday, 1st November from 12-2 in St Thomas Parish Hall (behind the church).

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St Thomas Times

Friday 16th October 2020

Read the latest news and views in the St Thomas Times

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Trinity 18, 11 October. Philippians 4.1-9

Friday 16th October 2020

Read what Alison had to say here about these verses from St Paul's letter to the Philippians.

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Ribbons of Remembrance

Saturday 10th October 2020

As the weather changes, the ribbons outside St Thomas Parish Church are being taken indoors. On Saturday 17th October from 10-11.30 anyone who tied a ribbon is invited to carry it into church and light a candle. The ribbons will be made into an artwork which will be placed in the St Thomas Chapel during November.

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Harvest talk, 4th October

Monday 5th October 2020
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

Harvest is a time for being thankful to God for all he has given to us and done for us, through the year. Read Ian's talk here

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Trinity 16 Sept 26th Sermon

Monday 28th September 2020
Fr Terry

Jesus is confronted by the Chief Priests and Elders in the Temple when he counters their question about his authority with a question they cannot answer. Read Fr Terry's talk here

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Trinity 15 September 20th Sermon

Sunday 20th September 2020
Phil Baker

Phil explains how Jesus's parable of the vineyard workers shows that worldly values are transcended by those of the Kingdom of Heaven. Read his talk here

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Holy Cross Day

Sunday 13th September 2020

Rev. Sarah argues that 'the shame and suffering of the cross was the only possible means of bringing salvation through reconciliation with God'. Read her talk here

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Karen William’s Exeter ‘Coronavirus Community Diaries’ 2020

Wednesday 9th September 2020

Thanks very much to Karen, who has shared a further edition of her Coronavirus diaries here, about coming out of lockdown (scrummy looking cake Karen) and some thoughts about Firsts since February, arranged around the letter of Covid.

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Trinity 13 September 6th Sermon

Wednesday 9th September 2020

Jesus has some advice about how to deal with conflict in church: does it really work? Here is the text of the talk given at the Zoom worship.

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Trinity 12 Sunday 30th August Sermon

Sunday 30th August 2020
Phil Baker

Following the Way of Jesus is not always the way of the world. Here is the text of the talk given at the Zoom worship.

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Saying goodbye to Eliza

Thursday 27th August 2020

We bid farewell to Eliza (Revd Dr Eliza Getman) on Sunday, as she celebrated a final Eucharist and preached, before she takes up the post of Chaplain at Taunton School. Not only did Eliza lead worship here, and contribute to parish activities, she also provided the wonderful South African crib set seen here, for Christmas services. Eliza wrote this very kindly in response: Sunday was unforgettable. It was a reminder of just what a generous and articulate and compassionate community St Thomas' is. I have loved being among you for a season. And Sam and I will be back to visit often. Thank you for your kind words after the zoom service. And thank you for singing back to me (illegally!) at…

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Community Zoom Cafe

Tuesday 25th August 2020

There will be a Community Zoom Cafe meeting on August 29 at 11 o'clock. Link by Facebook here or by email:stthomaszoomcafe@gmail.com

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Theatre Alibi: St Thomas Tours

Saturday 22nd August 2020

There are a special series of St Thomas Story Tours happening from 5-13 September. The walk begins at Emmanuel Hall and takes about one hour and 15 minutes, including a stop at St Thomas Church. These are wheechair friendly and suitable for slow walkers.There are stories to be told and music to be heard! For further info and booking, please click here

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St Thomas Community Uniform Swap

Friday 21st August 2020
Rev. Sarah

Got unwanted, clean school uniform? Then donate to St Thomas Community Uniform Swap! Donations received on Tuesday 25th and Thursday 27th August from 10am-12 at St Thomas Parish Church Hall (behind the church). Any school uniform items for local schools will be gratefully received. No other clothing or school equipment, please, due to limited storage space. Need school uniform? Items of free school uniform can be collected from the Church Hall on Thursday 3rd September from 10am-12.

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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sunday 16th August 2020

We marked this Sunday as the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, transferred from yesterday 15 August. Here is the text of the talk given at the Zoom worship. Happy Feast Day!

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Books of the Bible Quiz

Saturday 15th August 2020

Here's a quiz to test your biblical knowledge This puzzle explains itself as you read through it. A Vicar once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible (merely by fluke): it kept people looking so hard for the facts and for others it was a revelation; some were in a jam, especially since the names of the books were not capitalised. But now the truth finally struck home to the numbers of readers. To others it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes, there will be some really difficult ones to spot. Others will require judges to help them. We will quickly admit it usually takes a minister to…

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A sermon for the Transfiguration of Christ

Monday 10th August 2020

"Transfiguration and disfiguration are closely linked. We can choose to see each other and ourselves differently - to look with new eyes and hear with new ears." Rev. Dr Eliza Getman urges us to wake up to engage with the transfiguring power of God. Read her sermon here

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Resource for Bible Study

Friday 31st July 2020

As part of the Zoom service this Sunday, we will be discussing the account of Jesus' feeding of over 5000 people. You can find the resource sheet here and the passage on this week's pewsheet. We will be thinking about what we notice for the first time, what questions we would like to ask after reading the story, and how it might impact our actions.

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St Thomas Safeguarding Prayer

Friday 31st July 2020

Jane has kindly given permission to share her Safeguarding Prayer, which we use regularly at our meetings. You can read the prayer here.

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Trinity 7 Parables about the Kingdom of Heaven

Sunday 26th July 2020
Phil Baker

In the reading from St Matthew's Gospel today Jesus tells his disciples a series of parables about the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven. Phil considers these in his sermon here.

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We're good to go!

Wednesday 22nd July 2020
Rev. Sarah

Delighted to announce that we have received the 'We're Good to Go' award from Visit England, in recognition of our hard work in meeting all of their enhanced Health and Safety standards due to COVID-19. Please remember to play your part by using hand sanitizer and maintaining social distance when visiting the church for private prayer or worship.

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Trinity 6 Rev. Sarah considers the nature of God

Sunday 19th July 2020

People 'simply assume that who they believe God to be and who God truly is are one and the same. God is as large or small as they believe the infinite one to be and none of the beliefs they entertain about God could possibly be wrong'. So says Miroslav Volf in his book 'Free of Charge'. How does this challenge us in exploring the nature of God? Rev. Sarah considers this in her sermon here.

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Knit and Natter

Wednesday 15th July 2020

Summer 2020 We are meeting, socially distanced, every Thursday from 10.30 to about 1pm in St Thomas Pleasure Ground throughout the summer. Some of us bring our own drinks and picnic, and some of us buy them from one of our wonderful cafes in Cowick Street which have opened again. Join us for a few minutes if you're busy or enjoy a leisurely time and a picnic lunch. It's all about being together. The only proviso is the weather! Ring Jenny Tuckett for more information on 01392 298725.

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Trinity 5 The parable of the sower

Sunday 12th July 2020

Parables are often the way that Jesus taught his disciples.These simple seeming stories contain a radical message about the Kingdom Jesus came to bring. It's a good exercise to try writing a modern parable for yourselves - it's harder than it looks! See what you think of the talk below and the text here.

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Lockdown Library

Thursday 9th July 2020

Ann King created a Lockdown Library during this pandemic crisis. George writes: In the course of Lockdown and when all manner of shops, venues and libraries were closed for what seemed to be forever the excited voice of a three-year old called out and carried down the silent street. "Look, Daddy! Here's the library!" She reached up, took her father's hand and led him to what was, for her, a place of promise, a place of hidden treasure to be revealed. In many ways her delight was repeated in what was to become a virtual stream of children and adults, many of whom voiced their own thankfulness when they came across 'St Thomas Lockdown Library'. From a seed of an idea, it…

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The Feast of St Thomas

Friday 3rd July 2020

Happy Feast Day! 3 July is the traditional feast day of St Thomas the apostle. While our ribbons still mark all those things we have lost in these strange times, we also give thanks for the life of St Thomas, who saw our Lord's wounds and believed, declaring: My Lord and my God. There is the video of a talk below and the text here. We will also be marking this on Sunday at our live Zoom worship.

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Trinity 3 - a strange homecoming...

Sunday 28th June 2020
Rev.Sarah

Rev. Sarah talks about the theme of homecoming within today's Bible readings and considers how this applies to our current situation. You can read her sermon here.

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Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Sunday 28th June 2020

One of the incidents in the Bible most closely linked with Peter is his denial of Christ in the High Priest's courtyard just before the crucifixion. Eric Auerbach (Mimesis 1953) writes of this event from a literary perspective: A tragic figure from such a background, a hero of such weakness, who yet derives the highest force from his weakness, such a to and fro of the pendulum, is incompatible with the sublime style of classical antique literature. But the nature and scene of the conflict also fall entirely outside the domain of classical antiquity. Viewed superficially, the thing is a police action and its consequences; it takes place entirely among everyday men and women of the common people; anything of the…

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Trinity 2

Sunday 21st June 2020
Rev. David Nixon

Fr David grapples with some big issues around suffering, Covid 19 and the nature of God. You can read his sermon here.

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God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and its Aftermath by Tom Wright.

Wednesday 17th June 2020

Book Review God and the Pandemic by Tom Wright So here's the thing. While the world and life around our Christian Church and personally became a whirlpool, a maelstrom of uncertainty, confusion and unpredictability due to the coronavirus; while globally the relative stability of the fabric of international affairs has been severely disrupted: while those who have direct power over the quality of our own personal and national lives have been caught off guard in this crisis, compounding that with knee-jerk, impoverished decision-making with all its now devastating effects - Tom Wright's book can be an enormous help to us personally, and corporately as the Church, in understanding how we should see our place now and the attitude, the character…

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Trinity 1

Sunday 14th June 2020
Ian Totterdell, Churchwarden

This week Ian talks about how God is active to heal people and bring them to Himself, and how He wants His followers (i.e. us!) to join Him in that task. Read what he has to say here

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Corpus Christi 2020

Thursday 11th June 2020

Following our practice for Ascension Day, we have recorded a simple Mass for Corpus Christi. You can read the talk here.

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St Thomas Lockdown Library

Wednesday 10th June 2020
Jenny Tuckett

St Thomas Library is shut for the duration. So is the City Library. And we have all this extra time to read! Spotting a 'niche need' Ann in Wardrew Road started a small lockdown library by popping a few spare books on the wall outside her house, with a notice: 'Take or swap a book and enjoy!'. Thus began St Thomas' Lockdown Library, now an established cultural feature and go to walking destination in these bleak days when libraries, bookshops, cinemas and theatres are all closed. Ann's venture has taken off, with many regular visitors including - most importantly - children, their parents, carers, neighbours and people from afar who have heard about it. Everyone has a story to…

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Extracts from Karen William’s submissions to the Exeter ‘Coronavirus Community Diaries’ 2020

Tuesday 9th June 2020

Karen Williams has been kind enough to send a couple of her diary entries from the Facebook page for a Community Diary during this strange time. I hope she will send a few more! 8 April Here is a little something I wrote at the end of my first week of working from home, 27 March: Blog of the Week of Change Sipping my coffee in the warm sunshine, I reflected on how much better I was feeling. My eyes were not strained and dry, I did not feel stiff from sitting for long periods of time and I was comfortably warm: not too hot, and not too cold. My finances may be taking…

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A Time to Mourn

Monday 8th June 2020
Rev Sarah Cumming

'A Time to Mourn' is a way of responding to the losses and disappointments many of us have experienced over the past few months of the pandemic. I invite you to join me tomorrow, Tuesday 9 June from 11am to 12 to mark what has happened in your life and family by bringing a ribbon* to tie to the railings outside St Thomas Parish Church as a memorial to your own personal situation. *I will have some ribbons with me if you need them I'll look forward to meeting you there tomorrow. With love and blessings Rev Sarah

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Trinity Sunday

Sunday 7th June 2020
Susannah Cornwall

Read Susannah's words here as she helps us understand the Trinity and what it means to us today. You can also listen to it below.

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Grant from Devon County Council

Thursday 4th June 2020
David Nixon

I am very pleased to report that we have been successful in a small grant application to Devon County Council's Covid19 emergency grant programme. We applied for help to pay postage and stationery for our mail-outs to support those who do not have internet connections. We have received £429. Thank you Devon

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Thoughts about Bob Mounce

Thursday 4th June 2020
Mary Daunton

Here is an an ode to my "Right Hand Man" written by Mary

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Judith works for 'Thy Kingdom Come'

Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Judith Southam

I have a couple of chronic conditions so I have some limitations in order to stay well. When the Covid19 lockdown occurred, I went quite mad volunteering for all kinds of nursing-related jobs; unfortunately, I was turned down or not called back. I felt useless, frustrated and angry! Then I was reminded from a Facebook page that I had another potentially useful skill: I can sew! I found out that the NHS, care homes, local surgeries, volunteer groups, neighbours and friends were desperate for scrubs, face masks, headbands with buttons, and scrub caps. I couldn't sew up 3 sets of scrubs in a week as other sewers could but I could make smaller items like face masks, headbands and scrub…

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Pentecost 2020

Sunday 31st May 2020
Rev Eliza Getman

Read Rev Eliza's sermon for Pentecost Sunday 2020 here

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Modern Beatitudes

Thursday 28th May 2020
Yve Taylor

All Saints Sunday, is a time when we remember and celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us, who Jesus would bless. I thought maybe it was time to have some beatitudes for this time of pandemic, for this place, and these people, remembering those who have succumbed to COVID-19 and those grieving the loss of loved ones, left to pick up the pieces, because I like to imagine Jesus here standing among us saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the agnostics. Blessed are they who doubt. Those who aren't sure, who can still be surprised. Blessed are they who are spiritually…

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A Review of Terry Waite's 'Solitude'

Wednesday 27th May 2020
Sue Morrish

The Lockdown Library in Wardrew Road has boasted a wide variety of genres, including this book. Our neighbour, Sue Morrish, has been self-isolating since the beginning of the pandemic and yet remains consistently cheerful and caring. So when she spotted this book from her window seat and enjoyed reading it, Sue seemed the obvious person to ask to review it. Read what she thought below: SOLITUDE By TERRY WAITE Review by SUE MORRISH When I first saw a review of this book in a group I follow, I fancied a read. When I saw the title standing out from a distance in the Wardrew Road Lockdown Library, I had to try it. What…

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Easter 7

Sunday 24th May 2020
Fr Terry Litherland

Read Fr Terry's sermon here or listen to it below. ASCENSION DAY PRAYER Risen Christ, you have raised our human nature to the throne of heaven: help us to seek and serve you, that we may join you at the Father's side, where you reign with the Spirit in glory, now and forever. Amen Common Worship

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Jenny's Lockdown Plant Stall

Saturday 23rd May 2020
Ann King

You may remember at the beginning of lockdown, Jenny set up a weekly free plant stall outside her home. Over the past six weeks, Jenny's generosity has inspired gardeners old and new and St Thomas vegetable and flower plots have been filled with her beautiful plants. Gardeners have been equally generous in return, supporting Jenny's appeal for donations to the Community Larder. In total, Jenny has passed 13 bags of groceries and £156.71 cash to the project that is supporting a growing number of local families in need of help because of the pandemic. Jenny would like to extend her thanks to everyone who has supported her and hopes that all your gardening efforts will bear fruit! (And you can continue to support…

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A prayer during lockdown

Friday 22nd May 2020
Gwen Matthews

Gracious Friend and Living, Loving Lord, the people of our world are under attack by a pretty little virus with evil intent - to try and drastically reduce the world population - in the most appalling way. Our people are fighting back, stoically nursing the sick and dying while taking care for their own safety. Many of the nursing staff have succumbed to the disease. Apart from the hospitals and care homes many people are still working to deliver food and necessaries to those of us who are in "lockdown" and isolated. This time of separation has united us in a common consideration for our friends and neighbours and those we see might need a little extra…

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Ascension Day

Thursday 21st May 2020
Rev David Nixon

Join the clergy and people of St Thomas in Holy Eucharist for Ascension Day.

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Easter 6

Sunday 17th May 2020
Rev Sarah Cumming

Easter 6 Sermon I will start by wishing you all a Happy Easter as we have 2 more weeks of Easter celebration left! I saw a cartoon this week which was designed to look like the London Underground map. You will find a copy of it on the pewsheet. Instead of Tube stations it shows our current destinations of chair, window and tv. It is a way of showing that our worlds have become smaller. My feeling is that many of us are starting to get a bit restless. In the verses which lead into our reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the people of Athens are also restless, constantly seeking something new. That's not a bad thing:…

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Thrashing about with God

Friday 15th May 2020
Fr Terry Litherland

Read Fr Terry's review of this book which is very appropriate during this period of lockdown

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Easter 5

Saturday 9th May 2020
Philip Baker, Lay Reader

Easter 5 10th May 2020 John 14.1-14 We are at a time when many are feeling hopeless. Will this virus ever be beaten? Will life ever get back to normal? There are people so totally isolated by the lockdown that they are finding it very difficult, particularly those of us who live alone. I am lucky in that I have, and am ready to use, modern technology to keep in regular contact with friends and colleagues. In fact, I speak by these means daily to some friends face to face that I might only see once or twice a week normally. But some do not have that luxury and they cannot get out to interact with friends…

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A Review of The City Is My Monastery

Sunday 3rd May 2020
Yve Taylor

'The City is My Monastery - A Contemporary Rule of Life' by Richard Carter Canterbury Press; 2019: ISBN 978-1-78622-213-8 This most compelling book is about the evolution and identity of the Nazareth Community at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Rev Richard Carter serves as an NSM there, among immigrants, the desperate, homeless, and broken. It is lived experience and practice within fully inclusive communities. Filled with beautiful poetry, prayer, Lectio-Divina and autobiographical stories, it is balm for the soul. Rooted in the unconditional, love, mercy and grace of Christ, the community epitomises the simple life of the Melanesian Brotherhood in the Solomon Islands where Carter lived before moving to London. At the heart of their Rule of Life is being with God and…

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Easter 4

Sunday 3rd May 2020
Rev David Nixon

If you need to remind yourself of the reality and hope of Easter, read Father David's sermon here or listen to it below

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Creative Challenge for the Lockdown

Monday 27th April 2020
Anne Sturt

A Creative Challenge for You! With all of us safely inside for the next few weeks, we would like to suggest some positive ways of using this time. For those of you who enjoy working with fabric or yarn, if you make an 8" square of sewing, knitting, crochet or embroidery, we'll assemble them all into a final piece of work. Or why not make a clay tile, grow a plant, knit a cardigan, decorate a plant-pot, write a poem, draw or decoupage a picture or take some interesting photos? Be creative! Then when we get back together, we'll display our creativity and celebrate our achievements. If your creation is too large to bring in, then take photos and we'll display them…

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The Road to Emmaus

Sunday 26th April 2020
Rev Sarah Cumming

Let's join Rev Sarah continuing the Easter message as she reflects on the journey on the road to Emmaus. You can also read her sermon here The Road to Emmaus painting is courtesy of Paintingvalley.com

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Easter 2

Sunday 19th April 2020
Philip Baker, Lay Reader

Lay Reader, Phil Baker, reflects on the parallels between today's Gospel (John 20. 19-31) and how we are living during this pandemic, with our churches closed. You can read his thoughts here or listen to his voice in the video link below.

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Jenny goes on giving during the pandemic

Saturday 18th April 2020
Ann King

Jenny is a wonderful example to us and her neighbours, showing how to make the best of our time and think about others who may need a helping hand during these difficult weeks. She's used her very green fingers and set up a plant stall outside her home, generously giving away some luscious house plants to brighten peoples' lives. Passers-by were thrilled by the plants and responded equally generously to Jenny's request for donations to the Community Larder. By the end of the morning, all the plants were in their new homes and Jenny had two big bags of goodies for the Larder and some cash donations too. Well done Jenny!

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Praying our farewells to Fr Charles

Friday 17th April 2020
Rev Charles Keay and Rev David Nixon

Fr David has adapted some prayers from the Anglican Franciscan Order to help us appreciate Fr Charles' ministry in St Thomas whilst wishing him well in his new adventure with the Royal Navy. Follow this link to join the prayers.

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News from St Thomas Community Builder

Thursday 16th April 2020
Ann King

The Church of St Thomas has been overwhelmed, as your local Community Builder, Chloe Pooley, has too at the great show of community spirit that has been unleashed in St Thomas during the past few weeks of lockdown. Chloe has helpfully drawn together information (correct at the time of writing) about what's happening in St Thomas. It includes information about:- Local services Opportunities to connect Contact details Ideas for staying at home Please take time to read it here Chloe would welcome any updates or new information to keep this document up to date. Let's keep the momentum going!

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Farewell Message from Fr Charles

Sunday 12th April 2020
Rev Charles Keay

At this time of our lives when the normal is no longer normal, we are saying farewell this Easter Day to our much loved Vicar, as Fr Charles leaves St Thomas to continue his ministry and joins the Royal Navy. Before he goes, Fr Charles would like to say farewell to us, in this very tech way! We will all miss him very much and all our good wishes go with him. We'll look forward to inviting and welcoming him back for a proper farewell soon! Click here to listen to his farewell message or you can read it here or below: Farewell Message Let me begin by saying 'Happy Easter!' Happy Easter to you and yours! Easter…

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Easter Day - Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Sunday 12th April 2020
Rev David Nixon

Today is the highlight of our Christian calendar when we would normally gather to celebrate our Easter faith. Although this year we are not able to be with each other, we can still be united at 10.30 and pray together and listen to Father David's sermon, or read it here. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

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Easter Sunday Service Sheet

Saturday 11th April 2020
Rev Sarah Cumming

Be ready to join in worship with Christians around the world tomorrow, Easter Sunday, with this service sheet, which you can download and print. You can also download and print Stations of the Resurrection or some Easter Graces to use at Sunday lunch or dinner.

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The Stations of the Cross for Good Friday

Friday 10th April 2020
Philip Baker, Reader

Join Philip and the congregation of St Thomas' as we take a virtual journey with Jesus on His way to the cross. This Good Friday will be like no other because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we can still join in this journey collectively, wherever we may be. Follow the journey and join the hymn singing and prayers using this sheet

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Holy Week in St Thomas, Exeter

Monday 6th April 2020
Rev David Nixon

Here are Daily Reflections for Holy week, based on seven paintings by Nebiyu Assefa. This second sheet gives pictures, words and activities for families to reflect on and do together during Holy Week. It again uses paintings by Nebiyu Assefa. Find out more about the artist from this link

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A Card for you for Holy Week

Sunday 5th April 2020
Rev David Nixon

Your card can be downloaded to print HERE The instructions for the 'origami' card are very simple: 1. print back to back 2. fold in half and half again in such a way that 'Holy Week' appears on the front cover of the booklet 3. the idea is to open up the booklet during the week and use the pictures and bible readings as a prompt for prayer

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Palm Sunday

Sunday 5th April 2020
Rev Eliza Getman

We join Rev Eliza on the journey into Jerusalem this Palm Sunday. Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. All: Glory to you, O Lord. Matthew 21.1-11 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, "The Lord needs them." And he will send them immediately.' This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 'Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and…

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Prayers, Blessings and Poems during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Friday 3rd April 2020
Rev Eliza Getman

Prayer for a Pandemic May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable. May those who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent. May those who have the flexibility to care for our children when schools close remember those who have no options. May we who have to cancel a trip remember those who have no safe place to go. May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all. May those who settle for quarantine at home remember…

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Rev Eliza's Home Eucharist

Monday 30th March 2020
Rev Eliza Getman

Eliza has shared her beautiful kitchen table Eucharist with us. You can follow the liturgy in the text below or you can download it in this service booklet. Follow this link to see and join in with the service. NB This is a FaceBook video. Click 'not now' on the pop up screen. When the video appears, please enable sound at the bottom and start it on LHS. Thank you for sharing this Eliza! An Informal Eucharist Service The Liturgy of the Word The president says: Grace, mercy and peace be with you. All: And also with you. Faithful one whose word is life Come with saving power - to free our praise Inspire our prayer - and shape…

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Passion Sunday - Lent V

Sunday 29th March 2020
Rev Charles Keay

Listen to Rev Charles' reflections on enduring love this week and how he links it to the very challenging times in which we all find ourselves living. If you prefer, you can read his thoughts below. Don't forget to leave a comment as we'd love to hear from you! Reflection - Lent V John 11:1-45 The Gospel for this Sunday is a lengthy one, St John Chapter 11 verses 1- 45 and recounts how Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead. But what can this passage say to us at this particular time? Well, I wonder if Jesus offers some words of hope when he says: 'I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will…

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Sermon on Mothering Sunday

Sunday 22nd March 2020
Rev Sarah Cumming

Rev Sarah delivered this sermon today in the parish church - for the first time without a congregation. But you don't need to miss out - read her message below in our new blog today. Or listen to it by using this link Don't forget to leave a comment as we'd love to hear from you! Mothering Sunday 2020 Pray: may I speak in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen How are you doing? How do you feel about Mothering Sunday? Mothering Sunday can be one of those days which reaches to our core; for some people it will bring to the surface feelings of loss and heartache. For others, it is the cancellation of a Mothers' Day meal or…

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