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St. Mary’s, Totnes

August 30, 2013

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When I got to Totnes I found it very busy. The High Street had been closed off to traffic as there were orange races going on. This is one of the bizarre customs which us Brits seem to delight in. This involves rolling an orange down the steep street whilst running after it and kicking it along when necessary. All ages were involved but generously proportioned police woman got the best cheer as she ran after her orange. All great fun .

St. Mary’s church stands on the busy High Street. They run a cafe which does help to attract people inside (as well as to sit outside). The church is open every day and there is a board outside which proudly proclaims this. There is a shop here as well selling gifts and cards. There are some laminated history cards in several languages as well as a rack of welcome leaflets, again in different languages. For children there is a ‘Children’s Quiz’ leaflet which is a nicely drawn collection of the various images and symbols in the church to look out for. Very simple but very good. The welcome leaflet gives a brief history by outlining features on interest to look at. It concludes by saying;

Thank you for visiting our church. You have not been visiting a museum but a house of prayer and worship. Our forebears built this place for the love of God. We do our best to keep the church in good repair. If you would like to help with the cost of maintaining this building you will find a box, towards the rear of the building, in which to place a donation.’ A good example of how to word a reminder of why the church is here and the need for funds. Better than many I have seen! There is a good guide book also. 57 people in the visitors book in the last 20 days.

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There is a prayer chapel with a votive stand, a prayer book, an open Bible and various prayer leaflets to guide people. One feature of note is some reflective poems by Helga Watts. These are available by emailing her on helgajosewatts@gmail.com. I wonder how many do this?

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All in all St. Mary’s rates and excellent. A good example of what can be done by a relatively modest church in an area with many visitors. Go and have a look!

 

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