St Augustine's Youth Club

St Augustine's Parish run a Youth Club on a Wednesday evenings, fortnightly, for the leavers of St Augustine's school to be able to meet back together after they have gone their separate ways in secondary school. It is run by a committee of those parent's who work in teams to provide this lovely opportunity.

The Year 6`s are invited to join in July. They are then able to socialise with classmates outside of school hours. They are encouraged to return in September when they start at secondary school and are hence given a chance to see people with whom they might otherwise lose contact. We provide an environment that stimulates a growth in friendship.

We play team games, quizzes, bingo, sports and play-station games. We have at least one outing per term, such as laser quest, bowling or ice-skating.

It runs 7.30pm to 9pm every other Wednesday. 
(Membership and Subscription is needed)


Sacristans

The Sacristans prepare the altar and the sacristy for the Mass and for other services.

There are currently five Sacristans who share the duties of preparing the altar, the sacred vessels, the linen and vestments for Mass. They take responsibility for ensuring that the linen, (Albs, Altar Cloths etc) is laundered. They also clean the Sanctuary, the Sacristy, and the Servers' Sacristy. For further details contact Fr Frank.

Refreshments (after Sunday Mass)

The purpose of the refreshments group is to provide tea, coffee, squash and biscuits in the parish hall after Sunday mass, so that parishioners can meet with their families in a friendly atmosphere for a chat, and an opportunity to meet new people. This is a well-attended and enjoyable gathering for all adults and children.

You can help the group by volunteering to go on the rota. If you are interested contact Myra Woods.

The team work on a rota basis to put out tables and chairs etc. before Mass, and to serve people after Mass. They clear up afterwards.


 

Offertory Counters Team

The task of the offertory counters is to count the weekly offerings and to prepare for banking. The team also maintains records, which are required by the Inland Revenue in connection with Gift Aid.

There are normally three or four persons to each counting team, and eight teams who operate on a rota basis. The counting is done on Sunday morning after Mass, when the offerings for the whole week are counted and logged into the records. Note, Standing Order offerings are dealt with separately, not by the counting teams.

We are always looking for more volunteers to join the teams so if you can, and would like to, please contact Simon Doyle via the parish office.

Parish Hall

We are lucky enough to have a fantastic Parish Hall facility which is used most days of the year by Parish Groups, such as the Prayer Group or BBT's, parishioners own bookings for parties or events and by private companies for regular group sessions, such as Slimming World, Alzheimers Association and 'Ladies Probus'.

It is also used when we hold social events, such as the Murder Mystery nights, CWL Charity meals and Lenten Lunches.

The parish hall can be hired for a variety of social and family occasions. For details please contact the Hall Secretary Bernadette Thomson (in the parish office) for details of costs and availability.

The Hall in use for our busy Lenten Lunches



A happy day in the hall when Bishop Moses came to visit!




Flower Group

The flower group exists to decorate the Church with floral arrangements for Mass and for special occasions. The group creates the flower arrangements, co-ordinating them as appropriate with the Liturgy. You can help them by joining them, or by offering flowers,

The group meets to arrange flowers for each service (on a rota basis), and get together about four times a year for a general meeting. If you are interested, contact Pat Shrimpton

The Church decorated for the Flower Festival in 2006...


...and for Christmas

 

Drivers

As part of our wider service, S.V.P. provide transport for the sick, the housebound and the elderly. This is mainly lifts to Sunday Mass, but also when called upon to and from hospital.

If you would like to help with transport on some occasions, we would be pleased to hear from you. There are separate meetings for those providing transport, please see S.V.P.

If you would to help please contact one pf the following Chris Cottrell, Renee Farmer, Kath McBraida, or Frank Cully.

Church Cleaning

The purpose of this group is to ensure the church is kept in a clean and hygienic state. There is a rota for a number of small teams of people who clean a particular area of the church, at a time convenient for them during the week it is their turn. When their turn next comes up, it will be to clean a different area of the church. At present each team takes a turn every 6 weeks. The cleaning involves vacuuming / brushing floors, and cleaning marks from furniture, doors, glass etc.

You can help by volunteering to join one of the teams, which are comprised of men and women, or by joining with one or two or three others to form your own team.

If you would like to help, please contact the Parish Office.

Church Shop & Repository

The Church shop sells Catholic books, Christian cards and gifts for all special occasions, crucifixes, rosaries, and an extensive range of Catholic artefacts. Items not in stock can be ordered.

The bookshop opens at weekends, before and after Saturday evening and Sunday morning Mass. 

Uniformed Organisations (Scouts and Guides)


The purpose of the organisations is to promote the spiritual, physical and mental development of each member based on the Scout/Guide Law and Promise, which is made in accordance with the age and understanding of the different units.

The meetings of the units are designed to assist each member to achieve their potential in a variety of activities towards a series of Awards and Badges. Outdoor activities such as camping, cooking, hiking canoeing, etc. play a vital part of this process. We aim to make this process fun, as well as a learning experience.

You can help by becoming leaders or assistant leaders in the training units, or by joining our Supporters Association, which raises the necessary funds for the unit’s activities.
The units’ Headquarters are at St John Fisher Church and their meeting times are as follows:

Beavers (Boys & girls, age 6-8 yrs.)
Tues 4.30pm - 5.45pm

Cub Scouts (Boys & girls, age 8 –10 yrs.)
Tues 6.00 - 7.30 pm

Scouts (Boys & girls, age 10 - 14 yrs.)
Tues 7.45 - 9.15 pm

Rainbows (Girls, aged 5 - 7 yrs)

Thurs 4.30pm-6.30pm
with
Brownies (Girls, age 7 - 10 yrs.)
Thurs 5.30 - 6.45 pm

Guides (Girls, age 10 - 15 yrs.)
Thurs 7.00 - 8.30 pm .

For further details see the website at http://www.staugustinesscoutsandguides.org.uk/

Skittles Teams

The Ladies & Men’s Skittles teams plays in the Catholic Skittles Leagues, and aim to create a welcoming social atmosphere for their members.

The League involves winter league games against other Parishes in the Bristol area, most games being during the months of September to April.

For the men’s league they meet at the Horseshoe in Downend on a Tuesday 7.30 p.m. New members are always welcome to both the ladies and men's teams.

Pre-school

We ensure that our children thrive in a happy and safe environment.
Our community Preschool is run by a management committee of parents. We first opened our doors in 1978 and have gone from strength to strength.

The self contained building that we use is located in the grounds of St Augustine's Primary school, Downend, Bristol.

Read our OFSTED report here 

Putting children first

The Preschool uses the Early Years Foundation Stage as guidance for the activities we plan for the children. However, our main inspiration comes from careful observations of the children during play, regular reports are shared with parents and parents are always welcome to discuss their child’s progress with their key person. We communicate with other settings that a child attends, by doing this we are able to ensure that individual needs and interests are being met.
For more information contact the Pre school direct on 9561166 or go to the website 
- click here

 

The 'Not-so-Young Club'

The `Not-so-Young group is for retired people to meet and socialise.We have a monthly meeting, where we can listen to good speakers, exchange views, generally support one another, and on occasions raise money for charity. We also have lunches about twice a year; we have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, outings and even aim to have a holiday once a year.

If you would like to join, please contact the Parish Office as we currently have a waiting list. Others wishing to help could offer lifts, or pass on news of the club to potential members.

We meet in the Parish Hall at 10.00 a.m. on the last Wednesday of the month.

For further details contact Mike Ryan (Chairperson) via the parish office.

The Catholic Women's League (CWL)

The purpose of the C.W.L. is to unite all Catholic Women in a bond of common fellowship forming a national non party-political organisation. We aim to train and encourage members to use their talents and skills in the service of the church. The C.W.L. is part of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisation, which bands together women of all nations in Christian work and duties.

At Parish level, our members undertake many varied tasks in the community according to local needs and circumstances. They are ready to help in the work of the church and parish. i.e. visiting the sick, transporting the elderly to Mass, and many other duties including fund raising for overseas charities. We support human rights and give support to those unjustly imprisoned. The C.W.L. is one of the leading refugee agencies in England.

You can support us by coming to our meetings. A warm welcome awaits you, and even if you are unable to undertake works, your prayers and subscription will help the works of the `League` You can also support us when we are fund-raising, often by attending one of the functions we arrange, such as fund-raising dinners.

We meet in the Parish hall, on the evening of the first Friday of each month. For information contact the chairman, Mrs Myra Woods

Some of our CWL members at the Branch AGM 2012


 

Bumps, Babies and Toddler Group

This group was formed to provide an opportunity for carers with their under 5s to get together once a week and get to know others in the Parish.

A wide range of toys are available for free play for the children and tea/coffee is provided for the adults. The children also enjoy a storytime session with squash and a biscuit and we do regular craft activities.

As well as its weekly meetings the group also:
-Holds fund raising and social events
-Helps out at Parish events, the Christmas Bazaar, Soup Run and Lenten Lunches
-Supports various charities including sponsoring a 3rd world child’s education

Meetings are held during term time in the Parish Centre, on Friday mornings from 9-11.30am. New people who are members of the parish or have children are St Augustine’s school or Pre-school are most welcome. We encourage all to join in the social and fundraising events we hold and we have a large committee of willing helpers – the more the merrier.

Please contact Bermadette Thomson at the Parish Office for more information.

Fun at the end of Year BBT Party!


 

St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)

The S.V.P. is part of an international lay Christian voluntary organisation actively working in over 130 countries with the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised. Inspired by our principal founder, the Blessed Frederic Ozanam we strive to bring the love of Christ to those we serve, in the spirit of the Gospel message “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”.

The S.V.P. encourages its members to put their Christian faith into action by working at local level to help those in need. Accordingly we engage in a variety of works, primarily helping those who have material needs, visiting the sick and housebound, and supporting the elderly. Other special works are: Prison Visiting, Youth Work, Arranging Holidays, Welfare of Seamen, Fund-Raising and Maintaining Furniture. Many conferences are twinned with conferences in the third world, i.e. India, Sudan. The aim of this is to support those who are helping in their own communities.

You can help us in St Augustine’s by joining us, by responding to our occasional appeals for items of furniture etc., and by supporting our fund-raising. (Box in Narthex). In St Augustine’s we currently have six members, including our spiritual director, and need more members. Our basic work is in the Parish.

The Downend Conference meets every Thursday at 8.00pm, currently in the Sacristy.

If you would like to find out more, please contact any of the following Chris Cottrell, Renee Farmer, Kath McBraida , or Frank Cully.

Stewards

The Stewards assist the Priest and Deacons in the practical aspects of ensuring that the Mass and other Services runs smoothly.

We operate on a rota basis, turning up about 20 minutes before the start of the Mass. Initial duties include turning on the heating, obtaining bulletins, leaflets, collection baskets, attendance book, first aid box, and glasses and water from the Sacristy. We ensure that at least 3 people are available for the offertory procession. We assist people to find seats if the church is crowded, and ensure church ventilation is adequate, depending on the weather.
During Mass, we undertake the collection(s) from upstairs and downstairs. We also count the congregation as we take the collection. Congregation numbers are recorded in the attendance book. We ensure that the offertory procession takes place in the correct order, manner and time.

At the end of Mass we open all interior and exterior doors, collect and stack hymn books, tidy the Narthex, and return those items that are kept in the Sacristy. Finally we turn off lights and heating and close all doors.


You can help by becoming a Steward. Contact Fr Frank.

Soup Run

The soup run meets a need to support rough sleepers who are not covered by other agencies. Bristol Soup Run Trust is a registered charity approved by the City Council. All workers are voluntary, not even receiving expenses.

Every night of the year, the Trust's volunteers go out with food, hot drinks, clothes, blankets, and other essential needs. We meet rough sleepers at designated drop-off points, and at other places they are known to frequent.

The St Augustine’s rota is for alternate Saturdays. The people we meet are friendly, polite, and share a noticeable sense of community and support for each other.

You can help us in a number of ways. Firstly by praying for the homeless and the work of the trust. People with a genuine interest in helping the homeless can help for one evening, to see if the work suits them. We also need the following items: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, disposable razors, candles, matches, wrapped chocolate snack bars, and deodorant. (There is a place in the Narthex where you can leave all donations for the `Soup Run`) Also tinned sandwich fillings and items of clothing, and blankets –good condition please.

* * However, we cannot take bedding other than blankets - please, no duvets, sheets or pillows - as these cannot be used by people on the streets - imagine how heavy a rain soaked duvet is...

Note. New Underwear and socks are especially needed, as these cannot be purchased in Charity shops. To find out more, contact Deacon John or Philip McWilliams via the parish office.

Prayer Group

Hebrews 4:16


“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near
the throne of grace
that we may receive mercy and
find grace to help in good time for every need.”

Our charismatic and ecumenical “New Life” prayer group meets every Monday evening from 7.45 - 9.45 pm in the Parish Hall next to St. Augustine’s Church.  

God’s Holy Spirit is at the heart of our meetings.  Leave your worries and cares at the foot of Jesus’ cross and be blessed and uplifted.  

You are warmly invited to join our friendly group for some heartfelt praise and worship, deep sharing of the Word of God, quiet reflection, powerful prayer and sincere fellowship.  

Or you can write your prayer requests in our Book of Intentions at the back of the church which are prayed for each week.
We would love to see you!

For further information, please get in touch with us via the parish office email: bristol.staugustine@cliftondiocese.com or call 0117 9833939.

Parish Projects

Each year the parish selects a charity (or two: one local and one abroad) as the `Parish Project`.

Five percent of parish offertory income is donated to this project, in addition to the proceeds of various fund raising events. The projects are voted on annually after the whole Parish has been asked to submit new project nominations.

Previous projects include 'The Medaille Trust', the Haven Home project in India, local group ‘Paul’s Place’, Brain Tumour Support, HCPT and Bishop Moses Costa's Diocese in Bangladesh.

You can help not only by supporting fund raising events, but by prayer.

For further details contact Peter Taylor or Bella Harding from the Justice and Peace Group via the parish office.

Legion of Mary

The Legion offers us an opportunity through Jesus and Mary to advance in holiness, and in so doing foster the desire to be Christ’s representative in the community. It does not advocate the fulfilment of extraordinary things, but only the doing of ordinary things, extraordinarily well. Frank Duff is quoted as saying: “The Legion is Our Lady’s Spirit come to life in people”. This Spirit in-turn is made manifest in the undertaking of apostolic works.

We visit the sick and lonely, people often forgotten in a busy world. We offer them a listening ear, in what might otherwise be a silent day, and reassure them that their suffering is not in vain, but which in union with Jesus can be of infinite value.

We visit lapsed Catholics, to let them know that Jesus has not for one moment forgotten them, but yearns for their return to the Mass and Sacraments. We also visit Non-Catholics, and if the opportunity arises, they are humbly told of a treasure, based not on the luck of today’s lottery, but on the coming of Christ.

You can help us by becoming a member. The Legion offers two types of membership, Active and Auxiliary. The former is open to all from 18 onwards, and involves members attending a weekly meeting for prayer, planning and discussion in a friendly setting on how we can best serve the community. The visits are undertaken later in the week, in pairs, and would be of a nature comfortable to that of each of the member’s ability. Auxiliary membership is confined to the saying of the Rosary, and the Legion prayers on a daily basis for Our Lady’s Intentions. Auxiliary membership is considered an indispensable part of the Legion family.

We hold meetings throughout the year. For further information contact John Jordan

Justice and Peace Group

The aim of the group is to fund-raise and educate ourselves about important issues and campaigns, and to raise these issues before the church community.

We meet monthly, and also for some one-off events like the Traidcraft fashion show. We lobby M.P.`s as appropriate. There is usually an update in the weekly newsletter with things to think about or take action on, each week.

For more information contact Bella Harding via the parish office.


* * STOP PRESS * * 
The Justice & Peace group are currently leading the Parish to become award winners of the CAFOD 'Live Simply' scheme. See the updates on the main front page of the website or in the newsletters for the latest news on this.

H C P T - The Pilgrimage Trust

The purpose of the Trust is to take `Special needs` children, in family groups, on a spiritual holiday to meet Our Lady in Lourdes.

The activities of the Trust include recruitment of helpers, identifying children who can go to Lourdes, and fundraising to finance the trip, pocket money, and any day-trips that we might make. There is also of course the planning and organisation of each trip. You can help us by fund-raising, or by coming along to support our fund-raising events. We are happy to give a talk on our activities to any group interested. Finally, you can help by praying for the success of our activities, especially our trips to Lourdes. If you want to find out more, please contact Deacon Peter Hinchey

Parish Development Committee

The informal committee exists to arrange events of a social nature in order to raise funds for Parish Development. We organise Theatre Trips, the `Getting to Know You Meal`, the Christmas Bazaar, and the Annual Draw.

You can help by volunteering to arrange and run stalls at the Bazaar, or by helping with setting-up or clearing-up. Or you can join us to help organise and promote events.

We meet as and when necessary. The Bazaar meetings are in January (to review the last Bazaar) and then in Sept., Oct., and Nov. to prepare for the Bazaar. To find out more, contact the parish office.

Parish Finance Committee

The finance committee is required by Canon Law in each parish to help the Parish Priest to administer the goods of the parish.

The committee meets approximately every two months to review the income and expenditure of the parish from the reports produced by the Parish Treasurer and his assistant. The committee is also responsible for production of the parish budget.

The Trustees of the Diocese must approve any planned expenditure by the parish over £5000 (excluding VAT).

Members of the Finance Committee are normally invited to join because of their financial or other relevant experience. Current Members are:
Fr Frank, Shaun Boycott-Taylor (our Parish Treasurer), Deacon Michael Belt, Michael Norris, Marek Kowalewski, Rosemary Stephens, Neville Wooding and Bernadette Thomson.
For further information contact Fr Frank.
WELCOMERS
The purpose of the Welcomers group is to make visitors and parishioners feel welcome as they come to mass. We aim to offer a smile and a few friendly words to as many people as possible, whilst handing out the hymnbooks and the weekly church bulletin. This task is important, to make people feel at welcome.

You can help by joining the 'welcomers' rota. This requires you to be at church about 30 minutes early when it is your turn, to arrange the books and bulletins prior to handing them out. If you are interested, contact the Parish Office.

Readers

Readers have the responsibility to read one of the readings during Holy Mass. The aim is to read in a manner that the congregation can hear clearly, with intonation and punctuation that aid understanding.

They go onto a rota, which will lead to them reading about every six weeks. Training can be given to new readers, plus a chance to practice at the microphone.

If you would like to find out more about being a reader, speak to Gay Starmer via the parish office.

Extraodinary Ministers of Holy Communion

The main task of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion is to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass. This is done on a rota basis, on a Saturday Evening or Sunday Morning. Training is provided for new ministers. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion can ask other commissioned ministers to stand in for them as required.

In addition, if a Priest or deacon is unavailable, they may, with permission from the Parish Priest, take the Blessed Sacrament to a sick or housebound member of the parish.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must be Catholics in good standing, and are usually appointed by the invitation of the Parish Priest.

For further information contact Fr Frank.

Musical Talents!

CHOIR
The choir exists to lead the church congregation in singing at major ceremonies such as Christmas and Easter and others as required. We also sometimes attend at weddings and funerals, when requested.

The Choir holds practice and rehearsals on a Friday evening (About 8.00-9.30 pm) although rehearsals are less frequent during the summer. We welcome new members - Some knowledge of music is helpful, but not essential, the main requirement being that you are keen to sing!
If you would like to find out more, contact Andrea Barrett.

CANTABILE
Cantabile is a small music group of five friends who enjoy singing and making music together. Between us we are able to sing harmonies in three parts, play violin, viola, piano, flute, clarinet and three types of recorder.
We support the music of the Mass, lead congregational singing and encourage a variety of styles of music to be tried throughout the liturgical year. We also perform at other events e.g. school assemblies, 'ladies' nights', weddings etc.
Above all we try to share the love of God through our music making and have a good time whilst doing so!
If you would like our skills for either a particular church service or another function, please contact us through the Parish Office.

EZEKIEL'S WISH MUSIC GROUP
Ezekiel`s Wish is a duet who provide music and singing during Masses, and anything else, where-ever they are needed. For further information, please contact Janet Lewis

FOLK GROUP
The Folk Group is a blend of musicians and singers. We lead the singing during some Sunday Masses, and are available for other services, including weddings. We welcome new singers or musicians! Please contact us through the Parish Office.

THE YOUNG SPIRITS
Young Spirits are a talented group of our youth of the Parish who work together to provide musical accompaniment during Mass. If you have any musical talent and would like to join with other young members of the Parish then please contact the Parish Office.

Altar Servers

The purpose of Serving is to assist the Priest and Deacons at the altar in order that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass may be offered reverently. Servers are invited to volunteer after making their First Holy Communion. They receive training sessions and then begin serving. On the next Feast of St Stephen they will be inducted as Probationers. After a year of Probation, they will be enrolled into the Guild of St Stephen. Servers need to be at church at least ten minutes before the start of Mass.

Adult help is needed in the servers’ sacristy before and after Mass to ensure that all Servers are correctly vested. Laundering of the Servers' Albs is undertaken by some of these helpers.

If you would like your child to be a server, or would like to be a helper, please contact Peter Iles (MC) via the Parish Office.

Lenten Lunches 2012

Once again, our now famous annual Lenten Lunch was a great success raising a huge amount of money for CAFOD and giving us all a lovely lunch each Friday during Lent with great company and a fantastic selection of home made soups to choose from. Great work by the members of the CWL who ran the lunches so brilliantly.