Christmas 2015 within our Parishes in Communion

Here are all the Mass times over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for our Parishes.

     Family Christmas Vigil Masses on Thursday 24th December:
           4.00pm-Our Lady of Lourdes       6.00pm-St Paul’s                    6.00pm-St Augustine’s
     Carols followed by “Midnight Mass”
          9.00pm-St Augustine’s           11.30pm-St Paul’s
    Mass of Christmas Day
       9.00am-St Lawrence   9.00am-Our Lady of Lourdes  10.30am - St Augustine’s  11.00am–St Paul’s

Fr Frank, Fr Jim & the Deacons of the Parishes would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas & a Blessed New Year

50 years celebrated in 1 fantastic evening!

The community of St Augustine of Canterbury celebrated in style in Downend on Wed 30th September with a wonderful Mass of Thanksgiving, led by Bishop Declan together with 15 other priests and many Deacons, all in front of invited local dignitaries and a packed congregation of parishioners, old and new.
Before the Mass began we enjoyed songs and hymns sung beautifully by St Augustine’s Primary School choir who were led by the Head teacher, Julian Clements.
The offertory procession was taken up by a selection of parishioners who were here 50 years ago when the Church community began as well as representatives from our most recent Confirmation and 1st Holy Communion programmes showing the bright future of our Church.
All our music groups were involved in the liturgy during the evening, 15 of our altar servers were delighted to serve at the special Mass and a large team of people worked hard to make the whole evening a great success.
During his homily, Bishop Declan spoke about the fact that we are not just celebrating 50 years of the church building being complete, but more than that, this marks 50 years of building a thriving Church Community. He presented Fr Frank with a beautiful Papal Blessing, given to the priest and people of St Augustine’s on this wonderful occasion.
Each family was given a commemorative booklet after Mass (Fr Frank joked that it wasn’t given out on arrival in case people read it instead of paying attention to Bishop Declan’s homily)! The booklet gives lots detail about the history of the Parish with many memories and photographs from those early days and events throughout the 50 years. The forward from Fr Frank talks of ‘community’ being a beautiful title as it symbolises unity and togetherness and that, in marking this special occasion, we are giving thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed on our community and we are looking forward to the future with confidence.
The celebrations continued after Mass in the school hall with speeches, cutting of a wonderful cake depicting a 3D icing sugar model of the church in 1965, groaning tables of food, glorious food and lots of catching up between friends old and new.
Here’s to the next 50 years!

Retreat – Who is the Holy Spirit?

This weekend I led a wonderful day retreat for the parishioners
of Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Bernadette, Kingswood.
We based the retreat around the Holy Spirit.
There is a post on my blog about the day. Deacon John Scanlon.

Click here to go to Deacon John's blog page

Golden Jubilee!

The newly built St Augustine's Church in 1965
We are getting ever closer to our Jubilee celebrations which will take place on the evening of Wednesday 30th September.
At 7pm Bishop Declan will celebrate Mass with many other members of our clergy from the Deanery, and then we will have toasts, speeches and refreshments in the School Hall afterwards.
It is looking to be a wonderful night to celebrate the successes of our Parish Community over the last 50 years.
All who have links to our Parish over the past 50 years are invited to come along and celebrate together.
See you there!

Baaaa-rilliant fun!

The sun shone on our 'Country Fair' on Sat 4th July where the whole community got together in the grounds of the School for Farmyard Fun, a theme chosen to build on the excitement of the impending Shaun the Sheep trail in Bristol.
The school even made their own "St Augustine's Sheep" and the winning design was revealed in front of the 300 strong crowd that had turned up to help raise money for the School's PTFA, the Parish funds and for the Scouts and Guides Supporters Association.
Shaun the Sheep himself even made an appearance to open the fair and lead the Farmyard Fancy Dress Parade to the amusement of the children (and to the terror of others!) and with the School's own Brass Band playing and the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy performing, the visitors has plenty to keep them entertained.
The crowds met the animals from Brandon Trust's Mini Farm, had pony rides, played 'Moo-pla', Splat the rat, Coconut Shy and many other Countryside games as well as enjoying the delicious BBQ and afternoon teas, betting on a Pig Race and fiercely competing in the Tug O' War and Bouncy Animal Space Hopper races in the central arena!
There was even a Farmer's Market Marquee with local stallholders selling an amazing array of produce, from home made rough cider to home grown geraniums!
"Seeing a crowded field of families enjoying themselves whilst raising funds for our community groups is such a pleasure to witness! Even if I didn't manage to bag some of the horse manure for my roses as I'd hoped to!" said one of the team of organisers.
So many of our Parish Groups got involved, running stalls and helping with the planning etc. Not-so-Young club manned the entrance table, The Unit Leaders ran the BBQ, Youth Club ran the coconut shy, BBT's facepainting stall, Parish Projects 'Splat the Rat' and jewellery stall, Governors Tea Rooms, CWL Home Produce in the Farmers Market, the Teacher's ran the Tombola and many PTFA helpers and extra volunteers ran the other stall around the arena.
As this goes to print, it looks as if we have made £2,700 profit from the event, so together with the profits from the Prize Draw, each of the 3 groups will have made over £1,000 each for their funds.
Great work everyone!

Sea Sunday 2015

On the weekend of 11th/12th July the Apostleship of the Sea are holding their annual appeal called 'Sea Sunday'.

They are a Catholic Charity providing practical and pastoral care to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race.

The Luck of the Irish!

Our Not so Young Group have returned from an enjoyable Holiday in the Emerald Isle blessed with wonderful weather.  
Staying at the 4 star Talbot Hotel, Carlow on the East side of Ireland to spring their excursions to Dublin for a guided tour of the City,  Glendalough in the heart of the scenic Wicklow mountains and to include Avoca.  The variety of visits included the historic Kilkenny, culminating in the fascinating Irish National Stud with a link to to the wonderful Japanese Gardens.  
Without doubt a most enjoyable and refreshing holiday.

Confirmation 2015

Bishop Declan was delighted to Confirm our Parishes in Communion Candidates on Wed 3rd June at a beautiful Sacramental Mass.
The 40 young people were a credit to their families and to our Parish Community as they received the Sacrament with dignity, respect and joy. The Church here was full of family, friends and well wishers, so many of whom have complimented the evening as an emotional, uplifting and inspirational service.
Congratulations to all 40 of you!
The photos below show the group on the retreat and during the Mass itself.

Quiz night fun

A huge Thank You goes to Mike Ryan and gang for organising another fun quiz night on Sunday 24th June.
Thanks to all who attended and for showing off your brain power! Congratulations to Team "Justice League" who were the winners.
It was a great night where £411.05 was raised for our overseas parish project, The Basillias Boys Home in India

Good Luck to our Confirmation Candidates

Please remember our Confirmation Candidates in your prayers this week as they received the sacrament from Bishop Declan this Wednesday.
Some of the 40 Confirmation Candidates at the Retreat a few weeks ago.

Ride for Vocations

On Saturday 9th May Fr Matt Anscombe visited our Church on day 17 of his Ride for Vocations where we held a Mass and prayed for an increase of priests and religious brothers and sisters.
For the full story of his exceptional feat of endurance around the Diocese please have a read at Clifton Diocese Website pages on Vocations.

Confirmation 2015

On Sunday 19th April our Confirmation Candidates attended a Mass of Commitment in which they publicly agreed to making a commitment to the continuation in their course of preparation.
In an earlier session they had all made glass tea light holders and these were brought up with candles and placed on the Altar for all the congregation to see.
This helped to symbolise that, in Baptism, their parents and godparents had been given a candle for them and now they are bringing their own candle to the altar as adults in the Church.
They also attended a Reconciliation Service that evening and are all doing so well in the course.
"I am so proud of them all and the commitment and maturity they are showing. They are a lovely bunch of young people!" said Maria Allinson, Course Leader.

Another fun filled day out!

Our ‘Not so Youngsters’ were blessed to enjoy a Sun-filled, Fun-filled day on Wednesday 8th April at Tredegar Park in 90 acres of Parkland and gardens heralding a colourful display of fresh spring blooms bathed in glorious sunshine.  The short journey by 53 seat comfy coach was almost full to capacity once again and what a treat to explore not only the 17th - century mansion but the great expanse of the Parkland, added with the wonderful weather to make a really enjoyable day.  Deo Gracias!

Happy Easter!

On behalf of Fr Jim, the four Deacons and myself, I wish you all a very Happy Easter.
This Parish Community is a joy to work with and I would like to thank everybody
for all the voluntary work for the good of the Christian Community.
Many people have been involved in preparing for Easter which is the highlight of the Liturgical year. Without mentioning any names, I wish to say a big thank you to all.
God Bless. Fr Frank.

The Church was a wonderful place to be over Holy Week and on Easter Sunday.  Beautiful displays by the Church Flower Group were enhanced by the children of the Parish at Liturgy Sessions and at Youth Club who decorated Easter Eggs and Crosses to hang off the 3 Easter Gardens created for the window displays.
A fitting tone was set for the Easter Vigil with the candles held by the congregation and on Good Friday the children presented a fantastic Way of the Cross, following Jesus on his last journey on earth.
What a wonderful celebration of our most important week in the Church.

Not So Young Lunch

83 Members of the 'Not so Young' Club enjoyed  their annual lunch, this year celebrated in the Parish Hall.  Tables and settings produced a remarkable ambience to equal any high class restaurant 
Outside caterers 'AHM Catering Experience' provided an excellent three course meal, enjoyed and praised by all.  
We were delighted with the presence of Fr Frank for the occasion, who gave us his blessing with a prayer and a remembrance of members who had passed away in the passed year. May they rest in Peace.
A tribute was sincerely offered to Julia Lee, the Club's Assistant Chairperson/Secretary who worked tirelessly, co-ordinated with the Caterers to arrange and ensure the event ran smoothly, which realised an outstanding success.  Julia extended an appreciation and thanks to the Caterers for the dining experience and professional application.  Wonderful !

Yee-Ha! All for a good cause!

Sat 31st January saw a hilarious hoe-down organised by St Augustine's Parishioners as a Fun Fund-Raising night in aid of The Pancreatic Cancer Charity.
The large School Hall was booked for the night and thank goodness it was, as there were approx. 180 people supporting the event!
The Lucky Seven Band played and instructed us in the art of the reels, waltzes, circles, squares and dashing sergeants which were attempted with varying degrees of success (and a few bruised toes into the bargain!)
With a 'Ploughmans', kids meals, bar and raffle it looks as if a fantastic amount of money has been raised to help the charity with a request that the money will go towards a new piece of equipment needed at the B.R.I. The full amount raised will be announced in the bulletin soon.
Julia Lee, who was the organiser
said "A HUGE Thank you to everyone who supported the event and to the team who made it happen! What a night!"

Not So Young - Post Christmas Fun!

Our intrepid Group of explorers have returned from the Post Christmas break in Torquay.
To see what they got up to and to see some photos of the break
click here
to go to the Not So Young's own blog.