Services

Sunday Services

8.00 Eucharist

10.00 The Parish Eucharist

10.00 Junior Church

18.30 Evening Prayer

19.00 Benediction

Weekday Eucharists

Tuesday 10.00

Wednesday 19.00

Thursday 10.00

Friday 12.30

Saturday 18.00

Contact Details
Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3JG.
01823 354800
Facebook:  Holy Trinity Taunton
Photos
Tuesday
Jul312018

Fr Julian writes...

 

This quarter’s diocesan magazine, Manna, is devoted to our Zambian friends who are returning this diocese’s visit to them a few months ago.  We have the privilege of having Bishop Robert Mumbi and his wife Joy staying in the parish at the end of July.  Bishop Robert was also able to come and present our church school leavers with a bible as the parish’s gift to all 39 of them on 19 July and say a few words. 

We are establishing a link between Holy Trinity School and a school in Luapula, where Bishop Robert is the bishop, and it would be very good to make a parish link between us as a church and a parish there as well.  Fr Adam, after his visit there in April, gave a very thought-provoking and moving illustrated talk about his visit, as well some of the ‘fun’ events! 

Perhaps too often we are tempted when we have contact with such visitors and places to think it is us who can benefit them.  That’s very often not the case at all, and I would hope that any link we make would be based on mutual trust and understanding.  There s a lot we in this country can learn from the church in Zambia, and it will be both rewarding and challenging to discern what that might be. 

The church in Zambia is people rich but clergy poor.  Partly this is because of the vast geographical areas covered by each parish, partly to do with lack of money for training, and I suspect a cultural heritage based on the family and the clan which may not always fit comfortably with a western model of priesthood.

What is quite clear, is that the Anglican church in Zambia is thriving, despite being in the minority.  In Fr Adam’s words, ‘it punches above its weight’.  Listening to descriptions of worship – lively, colourful, tuneful and long! – shows a deep depth of love for the Lord, and a commitment to worship him as often as possible.

In this country, and especially in rural communities, priests may have a large number of villages in one parish, and it is not possible to get round to all every Sunday.  There is sometimes an attitude of ‘if it’s not happening in MY church, then I’m not going’.  The alternative is to have more lay-led services, and have mass celebrated infrequently.  For Zambians this is the norm, and it is the laity who teach, care for and nurture the members of their church.  Very often the building will only be able to hold a fraction of the number of people who make incredible efforts to get to church.  Very different from us!

The Anglican church, through its ‘guilds’ is responsible for many schools, hospitals and social care; one place in Luapula diocese is a refuge for the abused.  One of the strongest movements is the Mothers’ Union – Bishop Robert’s wife, Joy, is the Diocesan President.  The MU is involved in an incredible amount of work inside and outside the church, along with other women’s organisations – the Guild of St Veronica and the Girls’ Brigade as just two further examples.

We have the MU in this area (not at HT) and I guess that most people think that its purpose is for the (elderly) members sitting round in the afternoon once a month, having tea and gossip, and engaging in the knitting of baby clothes.  Or lese the go-to group for catering.  This is an example of how wrong and ignorant we can be, and also what a resource we are wasting (did you know MEN can be members?!).

The impression I get of the church in Zambia (and probably many others as well) is that people don’t just sit back in perplexity not knowing what can be done and harking back to a golden age that never really was, but rather they get on and have a go.  It is through the active ministry of lay people in every area that maintains the church in Zambia, and ensures that it continues to flourish.

Maybe some of Bishop Robert’s enthusiasm will have rubbed off on us, and more will respond to the challenge both of Stewardship and the Awayday in August.