There are lots of activities happening in and around town this weekend, and all will surely help you get into a festive spirit! Our friends at Make the Sunshine are hosting a new group aimed at the over 55s to help people make new friends and try new skills. Held today at the Paul Street community centre between 10.30am-12.30pm, simply turn-up, no pre-booking required. Make the Sunshine are also hosting a pop-up Christmas Disco at tomorrow’s market; the children at St. Pauls practised their disco moves in the pouring rain on Monday so if you’re around please go along and join in! Saturday sees our popular Park Run take place in fancy dress form and of course later on in the evening, our park plays host to our fabulous Lantern Parade. Gather by the pond at 5pm to be mesmerised by the colours and shapes; it’s one of the most visually spectacular events in our town’s calendar. And Sunday sees a welcome return to the Sunday market; Victorian themed for this one, it’ll provide a great opportunity to pick up last-minute Christmas gifts. Straight afterwards at 3pm. St. Peter and St. Paul’s church has its annual Christingle service. A calmer way to end the weekend!

The events above are all organised by separate groups across the town but the Town Council is proud to support them by including them in our Winter Events marketing; we pulled together this activity under one umbrella so that awareness of the events could be bolstered by coordinated marketing and we start to attract a wider audience and even people who are not residents of Shepton. You can view the entire programme on our website – search for “Shepton Mallet Winter Series”. Thanks go to the Councillors who helped with this but especially to our two members of staff Conor and Tara who have managed the detail. Tara is now on maternity leave and congratulations to her and her partner on the birth of baby Ada! I’m also pleased to welcome Mary Cullen to the team who is covering Tara’s maternity as Project Officer. If you’d like to speak to Mary about any project the Town Council is involved with, please contact any Councillor or email

All the above events will continue to happen but with the necessary Covid-safe compliance measures taking place. Now the predictions of Omicron becoming the dominant variant become true, I’m pleased to say The Shepton Hub, the vaccination centre at Shape Mendip is gearing up to expand its opening hours and play its part in helping with the booster vaccination programme. To enable them to double their activity, they are looking for marshals and clinical vaccinators; to volunteer, please email Only with the effective deployment of the booster programme and the amazing job they continue to do at Shape will we be able to continue to live the way we are.

Until next time,

Matt Harrison, Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council