Merry Christmas!

Fr Frank, Fr Jim and the Deacons of our Parishes in Communion would like to wish you all a happy and holy Christmas and a blessed New Year

Christmas Bazaar 2013

Saturday 7th December 2013 was our Annual Christmas Bazaar for the Parish - held in the Primary School.
We opened at noon offering lunch and Christmas Music with a Grand Entrance from Santa himself, ringing his bell and greeting the little ones (and bigger ones too!) before settling down in his spectacular grotto!
The cake stall run by the Catholic Womens' League, refreshments run by the Unit Leaders and Irish Coffees run by an elf named Petra, kept us all fed well and the games on offer, such as the two Tombola's run by the Toddler Group and the Guides, the Spinner and Key of the Door run by the Scouts kept everyone happy!

For the first time, we offered tables to 5 outside companies for Christmas Shopping, Gillie D's Traditional Country Crafts, Forever Living Aloe Vera Products, Flutterby Designs - unique jewellery, The Curious Cake Company -nappy and towel cake gifts and 'Made in the Temple' hand crafted Beanbag dolls.
We also had 3 charity stalls with crafts, gifts and homemade wreaths to buy - raising money for HCPT, Bone Marrow charity and for the 2 teenagers in the Parish who are off on the 'World Challenge Programme' to Peru next year. Also, for the first time Jean from CWL offered relaxing hand or foot massages for a moments tranquility in the hubbub of the day!

Other stalls included the Teddy Name Game run by the Brownie Leaders, sweets and decorations to by run by Jane, one of our Parishioners, the 'Piety Stall' selling Christmas cards, Advent Calendars and Religious gifts, the Bottle Stall run by the PTFA, Andrew and son's 2nd Hand Book sales, Clara and Elinor's Children's Book stall, Janet and Bill selling the Parish Prize Draw tickets and the Guides offering people to write a wish on an angel decoration to go up on the Christmas tree.

It was a wonderful example of our Parish Community coming together for a fun day, raising funds for the Parish. Thank you to everyone involved for all the hard work involved in making the day so successful. Money raised and a breakdown of the stall figures will be placed up on the notice board in the Narthex.

Merry Christmas!

A MO-vember to remember!

Here is the result of Deacon John's MO-vember efforts... we wonder if he had been using any GM crop sprays to get such a fantastic specimen!

Don't forget that if you wish to donate then visit his blog to see the link and to see why Deacon John wished to get involved.

Silver Jubilee of our Guild of St Stephen

On Sunday 24th November there was a wonderful thanksgiving Mass to celebrate the 25 years of St Augustine's enrolment into the Guild of St Stephen.
Our Altar Servers, past and present, gathered to serve at the Mass which Mgr Bernard spoke beautifully about the role of the Altar Server and how it links to the Feast day of Christ the King who was our servant.
All our Priests were there to concelebrate and there were servers from around the Parishes in Communion. At the end of the Mass there were some special presentations of the Guild medals:
Guild Silver Medals were presented to Eilis Higgins, Andrea Martin & Joshua Shuttleworth,
a Guild Silver Medal of Merit was given to Mike Norris,
a Papal Blessing was presented to Peter Iles and all Altar Servers and Barrie Teucher, one of our 1st Altar Servers and organist for the past 40 years received a Papal Blessing as a thank you from the Parish.
There was also a special thank you gift given to Petra Jordan who been Server Sacristan, responsible for the maintenance of the Albs for many, many years!
Afterwards, everyone gathered for refreshments in the Parish Hall.
A wonderful day.


You may have noticed that Deacon John has dispensed with the beard of late and is cultivating a rather fetching moustache (circa 1920's Poirot)
 all in aid of raising awareness and money for Men's Health issues during the month of November (or MOvember as it is now known!).
Visit his blog to find out more about why he is involved, to see the link if you wish to make a donation for this wonderful bit of face art and to keep up to date with photos of how the moustache is getting on.

Extraordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops - have your say...

Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops for October 2014 regarding questions over Pastoral challenges facing family life today. The conclusions of which will be taken to the General Synod in 2015.

Our Diocese, as with Diocese' all over the world, are looking to gather opinions from their people so that as many people as possible are actively involved with the preparation of the meeting.

We have attached below a few links which include; 
the online questionnaire which will give your thoughts, opinions and hopes directly to the main data:
the Lineamenta giving more information and background to the questions that will be discussed;
plus a copy of the questionnaire should a word or paper version be needed.

Click here to view the paper version of the questionnaire

The deadline for all responses is Saturday 30th November 2013 which we realise is quite a short period of time, however, it will be wonderful if as many of us can have a say as possible.

The questionnaire can be completed as an individual, a family or as a parish group.

If you know of someone who would like to express an opinion but has no access to the internet, please offer to complete it on their behalf, or maybe to print the paper version above for them to send to Anne-Mare Sparrow C/O St Ambrose, North Road, Leigh Woods, Bristol, BS8 3PW or paper copies will be available from the Parish Office.

CWL National Conference 2013

Jean Coombs and Kate Doyle attended the CWL National Conference in Scarborough last week, taking along with them the CWL Branch Chaplain, Deacon John.
The photo's show many attendees, including Lynne Temby, Worldwide President of the Mothers Union and the outgoing CWL National President, Margaret Richards.

CWL Charity Meal 2013

Great support for this event on Saturday 5th October with a very enjoyable meal.  
The musical Quiz and great humour from our star compere Mike Ryan with Philip McWilliams tinkling the ivories added to the enjoyment of the evening.
Monies raised from the event will be contributed to this year's Parish Project for the Preschool Rebuilding Fund.  
Thank You CWL for all your hard work for this event.  EXCELLENT!

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Our Bump's, babies and Toddler group are hosting the annual MacMillan Coffee Morning this Friday 27th September from 9-11am in the Parish Hall.
Everyone is welcome to come along and have a cake and a cuppa with donations to the charity and to browse the wonderful selection of stalls which will be on offer for some early Christmas shopping!
See you there!

INFO - "Have your say....."

Residents will have the chance to meet two of the top police chiefs in Avon and Somerset on Tuesday September 3, 7pm at Kingswood Civic Centre.
The Public Forum at the Kingswood Civic Centre will give people living and working in South Gloucestershire a chance to meet Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Nick Gargan and ask them their questions.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said 'These forums provide the perfect opportunity for me to engage with the local community and find out what they think about how their area is policed. I strongly welcome residents to come along and share their thoughts.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask you can email in advance. We recommend that you do this if you have a question that might need some research (ie: regarding a specific issue in your area).
Reserve  your seat by emailing or calling 01275 816377.

St Augustine's Animal Fair

The annual Summer Event happened on Sat 13th July and was a roaring success!

Our 'Animal Fair' was really well attended in the scorching sunshine with so many people from our Parish, School and Units and from the local area coming out to support our Community event.
Some of our Main attractions this year were..

a visit from The Bristol Shaolin Kung Fu Academy who performed some amazing demonstrations of animal moves and some down right dangerous things too!
The Little Zoo Company brought their amazing animals along for the people to see, stroke and even hold! A Tarantula, skunk, meercat, armadillo, snakes, a racoon and a honey bear (kingkajou) were just delightful to see (well, maybe not the tarantula!)

Monica and Roger from The Guide Dogs for the blind charity came along with the lovely 'Jangle' to show us all about the work of the clever guide dogs and to hand out fun things for the kids to do.

Our School Pop Choir performed the finale with 3 beautiful songs. A well polished, professional performance, down to their hard work under the leadership of Mrs Jones.

With food, drinks, swingboats, inflatable obstacle course, toddler play area, facepainting, coconut shy, splat the rat, ping pong panda game, crocodile tennis, bucking bronco and much more it was a wonderful day for us all to enjoy.

Well done to all the PTFA, Parish and Units who organised the event and to our wonderful volunteers.

Glastonbury Pilgrimage 2013

The sun shone upon all who made the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Glastonbury on Sunday 14th July.

There were coachloads of people who made th journey from around the Diocese to enjoy the annual pilgrimage together.

We are glad that most of the people were able to enjoy the day in the shade as the temperature soared to record levels!

A beautiful day with Mass, prayer, singing and devotion to Our Lady.

RISE Theatre visit

On Sunday 30th June we had a visit from RISE Theatre group who staged a thought provoking play with themes that resonate with many of us - friendship, sacrifice, the search for truth and the challenge to stand up for our beliefs in an increasingly secular society.
"Soldier to Saint" bring to life the inspirational true story of Saint Alban, Britain's first Martyr. It is the year 2020 and London is in crisis. As Christians are forced into hiding and rioting hits the streets, a soldier, John Alban, strikes an unlikely friendship with a fugitive Priest - a friendship that could cost him his life.

Fr Frank with Stephen and John from RISE

Written by Charley Pinfold, Managing Director and Co-Founder of RISE Theatre, Soldier to Saint was originally commissioned for the Brightlights Festival in St Albans in 2010 and was followed by a successful run in London a year later.
The play is touring nationally this year and St Augustine's Church was pleased to play host for everyone in our Parishes in Communion to enjoy it.
Many thanks to all who came and to RISE group for bringing the story to life for us all.

The stage set for the performance

RISE Theatre's vision is to make the Theatre company a full time, sustainable vocation, developing more project and taking the work to a wide audience, inspiring more and more people of all ages and abilities to discover their full potential. If anyone is interesting in finding out more about RISE or feel you are able to and would like to support RISE financially then please contact them to find out how to become a friend of RISE.  or

Congratulations to Martyn on his British Empire Medal!

Friday 10th May was a very special night within the Parish Community of St Augustine's and beyond as we celebrated the successes of the Soup Run in Bristol's City Centre and the Project to help Haven Home Orphanage in India.
Martyn Poole is the catalyst that has motivated our Community to give so freely and generously of time, money and prayers over many years to make these 2 projects so very successful.
Martyn was nominated for a British Empire Medal and on Friday evening the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucester, Dame Janet Trotter, and her deputy, came to our Church for a special Thanksgiving service and to award Martyn his medal in front of his family, colleagues, distiguished guests, such as the Lord Mayor and Sir George and Lady White, Counsellor Janet Biggin and many friends and wellwishers.
Hundreds turned up to celebrate with Martyn as all within our Parishes were invited to come along, as was the school community here at St Augustine's and in Silverhill, Winterbourne ( as large supporters also of the Soup Run and India projects) and many other individuals and groups too, all who have helped over the years with the projects.
Martyn has been involved with the Bristol Soup Run Trust for a long, long time and has helped set up 2 groups at our Church who run on Saturday evenings twice a month providing fantastic assistance to those who need it, with hot food, drinks and soup as well as sandwiches, cakes and practical items (razors, blankets, candles) and most important of all, giving time, a listening ear and a sense of worth.
Martyn also got involved the week after retiring from B.A.C. with Haven Home Orphanage in India, being 'persuaded' to go out to build play equipment, then visiting again to build bunk beds and then helping raise over £20,000 to build a school there! The money raised over the years for them now totals over £50,000 and a functioning Medical Centre for the local area now forms part of the thriving Haven Home Community.

On Friday the Church was packed and spirits were high in a mood of celebration and thanksgiving for all those that have been helped by the projects.
We continued the celebrations in the School Hall afterwards with refreshments and speeches praising Martyn for how hard he works, how well he motivates us all to care for others
and for his inability to say no to a good cause!
We congratulate you Martyn and all who are involved, in any way, with the work carried out for the Homeless of Bristol and for the Children and Community of Haven Home, India.

Happy Easter!

We have had a wonderful celebration of Easter here at St Augustine and St John Fisher Parishes over the past few weeks.

Holy week gave us some reflective and beautiful services and the Church was full with those who wished to celebrate the Easter message on Easter Sunday.
The Children even told the Easter story on Good Friday in their own way, with prayers, singing and readings to help us all
follow the Way of the Cross with Jesus. Thank you to the Leaders of the Units for organising the service.

A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in any way with our Holy Week and Easter services. 

We welcome Pope Francis

The Catholic Church in England and Wales issued a statement on behalf of Archbishop Nichols welcoming the election of Pope Francis, in which he expressed his "great joy".
"As he begins his new apostolic ministry, as the Bishop of Rome and shepherd of the universal Church, Pope Francis I may be assured of the prayers and loving support of the Catholic community throughout England and Wales," he added.
His predecessor Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor said the Church had been "very blessed".
Speaking to BBC News, he predicted Pope Francis would "bring a new kind of style to the Catholic Church".
"As you see, he's called himself Francis - Francis the man for the poor. And he is a man who is experienced over many years, especially in his own country but also elsewhere, something of that love for poor people."
"His own simplicity of life, I think, will be a great example to people," added the cardinal.
Kevin Flaherty, editor of the Catholic Times, said: "He travels by bus, visits the poor, lives simply and even cooks his own meals.
"In choosing the name Francis - after St Francis of Assisi - 'Fr Jorge', as the people still call him, obviously wants to continue to live simply and humbly.
"As a man of prayer, both qualities will bring a different style of leadership to the papacy, and inject a much-needed spirituality to the Catholic Church in the modern world."
From BBS News Website

Congratulations and Goodbye!

On Friday 1st February there was a wonderful Celebration Mass to thank Peter Upton for his 17 years as Head Teacher of St Augustine's School.

There were some lovely readings, poems and speeches during the service which reflected Peter's hard work, caring for over 1,000 children.

Peter was presented with a certificate from Bishop Declan and a Papal Blessing in honour of his many years in Catholic Education.
Everyone had a lovely time in the school hall afterwards with cake and coffee, catching up with Teachers, Governors, pupils and friends, old and new.

There was even a small icing 'Mr Upton' complete with tutu, amusing moustache and water soaker! But you'll have to ask the staff about that story!

Our community wishes Peter a long, happy and healthy retirement.