It’s The Real Advent Calendar’s fifth birthday!

The Real Advent Calendar is celebrating its fifth birthday this year with a fresh new redesign. For the first time, the 2017 Real Advent Calendar has 25 doors so there is a chocolate for Christmas Day.

Each calendar also comes with a line of the Christmas story behind each of the windows and a new 24-page Christmas story-activity book which is designed to be used every day in Advent. The book, illustrated by Alida Massari, gives more detail about the Christmas story and has a series of fun Advent challenges. The calendar is foiled and is made from high quality chocolate.

David Marshall, from The Meaningful Chocolate Company, said: 'We are delighted that the support of churches, schools and faith communities means we are in our filth year of production. Sales of the calendar have meant that half a million copies of the Christmas story have been shared around the UK and at least £70,000 has been raised for good causes.’ This year's calendar will be making a donation to help equip The Funzi and Bodo Trust baby clinic in Kenya.

The Real Advent Calendar costs £3.99. This year I shall be ordering the usual number of Advent Calendars and will be selling them on a first come first served basis after our Sunday services, or if you contact me directly. Please think about buying one (or more) to give to the Food Bank. I’m sure the families receiving them would appreciate it and it takes the Christmas story into their homes. Always a good idea!

Rebecca Harris

Get Involved with the Christmas Shoebox Appeal

A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child.  See the impact a simple shoebox gift packed and sent with love, has on a child and how it reaches into a community.

Leaflets are available in our churches, I know some of you have already thought ahead as one person has already done her shoe boxes and got them ready for collection more than one has given me hats and gloves for the shoe boxes that I do. With moving I had to think ahead and have already done some boxes but will hopefully do a few more yet.

If you don’t feel able to do a shoe box then the following are always put in every box i.e. toothbrush and toothpaste, sweets (not chocolate and sell date after March next year.). Also money towards the cost of sending the boxes is always welcome as each box costs £3 to send.

Last year the three parishes sent about 120 boxes to Eastern Europe.


We have now received the final version of the Ruishton Churchyard and Cemetery plan. Mr Eric Chown presented it to me at the end of May and a copy is now in our church for anyone to view when the church is open. To view the plan online please click here.  We are very grateful to Eric for producing this for us. It will be a great help to anyone wanting to research their family history, or find a relative’s grave. In case anyone is not aware, the cemetery is found through the gates of the Old Vicarage and behind the church meeting room. This is now in the hands of Taunton Deane Borough Council as it is now closed to new burials.

Eric has made a meticulous and detailed plan for us which will make it much easier for us to maintain and for future generations to research their family history. We have given a small gift to Eric to thank him for all his hard work.

Rebecca Harris

Bible Recycling

A homelbibleess person recently asked me whether I could give him copy of the Bible. He had lost his copy and wanted to read more. I was not sure where to find one in the church to give him at that moment and was frustrated at not being able to help

This led me to think about people coming off the street into our churches. People who might feel prompted to read more and don’t have God’s Word to take with them. They may not have enough money to buy their own Bible or they might just be desperate at that moment. It seems to me a bit bizarre that as an open church we might not be able to spread God’s word.

If our local churches were to offer free Bibles I think this might meet people’s need and so I feel nudged to collect and distribute them. Now I always carry a spare one, but would love to be able to offer more.

So I wonder whether you have an unmarked spare copy of the Bible you could donate me to give away? If so contact Shelly by email at or bring the Bible to a service at Ruishton Church and give it to me personally.

Shelly Froom

Creech St Michael in two World Wars

It has recently been announced that the War Memorial in Creech St Michael has been granted a Grade II listing by Historic England so perhaps it is fitting to ask about all the names of the men of the parish who lost their lives during the two major conflicts of the last century.

I am doing research into all the names on the memorial in the churchyard. Sadly so little detail has survived about them, who they were and their family lives before the war.

Do you have any of these local names in your family?





I am trying to trace all the family connections in the parish and to compile a commemorative book to be available in the church. I already have some details for all of the named men from the parish.

My aim is to give a very short biography of each serviceman, family connections to the parish and add details of their military service including the circumstances of their death. To include the military unit, rank, medals and any honours etc.

Most of the service records for the men of the Great War (1914 – 1918) were lost, being burnt during the Blitz on London during the 1939 – 1945 war, so military details are very sparse. But by using local sources, census information, newspapers and other lists available from the Somerset Heritage Centre, a picture of these men’s lives has emerged.

Anything that those with family connections can add either as a direct descendant, relative, friends or marriage lines will help to bring the memories back to the parish for us all to share.

Some of the families may have lost their ties to the village so if anyone reading this can add or give details of known family members who served and lost their life in the two world wars it would help to complete our knowledge of these brave men.

My list includes limited stories about the six men from the parish who are named during the Second World War (1939 – 1945). These men’s military details are closed* for 100 years so less personal information is known. *Families can apply for early release of sealed information from the National Archives, the current cost is about £30.

The on-going research is continuous, seeking details that will add to our understanding of the lives the men and families. Every endeavour will be made to ensure that the individual histories are correct. This is the reason for this appeal in the Church magazine.

If you have any details you wish to share please contact me via the Church magazine, phone or email me direct.

Thank you in advance

Eric R J Chown Bsc (Hons)

01823 442770;


St  Michaels Church now has a book of remembrance. If anyone would like a loved one’s name added please fill in a form available in Church or contact Maggie Savage 442523 or Liz Evans 442595.

Bell-ringing at Ruishton

If anyone is interested in bell-ringing, the new bell tower captain at Ruishton would be pleased to hear from you! Please contact Mr Mervyn Arscott at  He would be happy to teach you. We would love to get a band of local ringers together to ring as soon as the bells are able to be rung again.

Rebecca Harris