A Christmas Message to you all from Fr Frank

My dear friends, during the past year many great events have taken place in our Parish culminating in us hosting the local council’s first, ecumenical, Carol Service which took place last week in our car park! 
Like any Parish, the population is continually changing 
but we continue to have a very vibrant community here. 
I wish to thank all the people who did so much for our community during the past 12 months especially during the difficult time of losing our dear Deacon Peter who was an inspiration to us all. May he rest in Peace.
As we approach the season of goodwill my prayer for all of us is that this community will continue to thrive during the forthcoming year. 
While the Priests are in charge of the parish, nothing can happen without the goodwill of the laity.
We congratulate you all on helping us to have such a wonderful year and
on behalf of Fr Jim, myself and the Deacons I wish you all God’s blessings.

Christmas services within our Parishes in Communion 2018

Family Christmas Vigil Masses on Monday 24th December:
3.30pm-Our Lady of Lourdes
6.00pm-St Paul’s
6.00pm-St Augustine’s

Carols followed by “Midnight Mass”:
9.00pm-St Augustine’s then 'Early Midnight' Mass
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

Prayer Group

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

We are now a "LIVE SIMPLY" Parish

We have now been registered as a CAFOD Live Simply Parish which means we will strive to "Live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor."
Bella Harding has resources from CAFOD and will be running our first meeting on Thursday 22nd November at 7pm in the Parish Hall.
What are we already doing for the poor? Lets celebrate that... Can we do more? What can we think about introducing in our lives which will help the planet? Can we live more sustainably?
Please come along for refreshments (including a sales of cakes for charity) and to hear from CAFOD via their new film with ideas of what we can do as individuals to live more simply and also for us to discuss what we can collectively do as Parishes to live our lives to help the people, the poor and the planet.

'Countdown to Christmas'

Our annual Christmas Bazaar is on Saturday 17th November at 11am until 3pm in the school.

Everyone is welcome to come along and start your Christmas Countdown together.

Come along for lunch (there will be hot lunches - soup - hot pork rolls etc)  and refreshments,
then stay for fun, games, activities, luxurious treatments from our resident beauty therapist Nicola,  many stalls for Christmas shopping, book stalls, face-painting and don't forget... a visit from the big guy himself! Santa's Grotto will be waiting for you!

Farewell to our Dear Deacon Peter

We said our farewells to Deacon Peter Hinchey at 3 special services in July.

Peter was received into Church at 5pm on Monday 16th July and then over 200 people came to a special Mass that evening which Fr Frank had arranged to give everyone a chance to say their goodbyes.

The next morning Peter's Requiem Mass was celebrated by Bishop Declan, supported by nearly 30 clergy members and was attended by just over 500 people.

Peter had already selected all the prayers and music of the Mass and it was a beautiful tribute to him and his ministry.

His family were all involved during the service, including the newest member of the Hinchey family, his great-grandaughter at just 2 days old, who received a blessing from Bishop Declan.
The family read a wonderful tribute to their father, with such great memories and reflections on his long and interesting life.

As he left the Church to go on to the final part of the service he was given a Guard of Honour by the District and Local leaders of the Uniformed Organisations of which he had been involved for most of his life.

Rest in peace dear Peter.


David, Dominic & Philip Hinchey would like to thank everyone for their kind messages & for their support over the last few weeks since the passing of our father. We really have appreciated it. It was so lovely to see so many of you at the services for him, especially the Masses which will live in our memories for ever. May God bless you all, Amen.

Not So Young Trip 2018

Our intrepid Not So Young Explorers had a wonderful week away together recently taking in the delights of Cumbria.
From seeing the local football clubs, to walking Hadrian's Wall, to shopping in Newcastle and Durham to visiting the holy island of Lindisfarne. They all had a wonderful trip!
Where will they be heading next?

Deacon Peter Hinchey RIP


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our own Deacon Peter Hinchey.
He died on Saturday 23rd June surrounded by his family in hospital and he was at peace.

God bless him.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Details of his Requiem are as follows:

At 5pm on Monday 16th July Peter will be received into the Church with a short vigil service.
At 7.30pm there will be a special Mass for Peter, this will give all those who cannot attend his Requiem the next day an opportunity to pay their respects - the Church will remain open until 10pm that evening.

His Requiem Mass, led by Bishop Declan, will take place at 11am on Tuesday 17th July at St Augustine's followed by his committal at Westerleigh Crematorium at 1.15pm.

Then there will be a reception at Mangotsfield Football Club.

St Augustine's COLOURFEST 2018

Saturday 30th June ~ 12noon until 4pm.
It is going to be a fantastically colourful day with lots to see and do & eat and drink - BBQ and bars, festival facepainting, bouncy castle, afternoon tea stall, tombola, toy pig racing, PLUS a local graffiti artist will be there making name plates - we are even staging a series of mini “Colour Runs” for all ages throughout the afternoon! We would love you all to be there to enjoy the day together as a Parish Community and to help us welcome many others from our wider community too and to raise much needed funds and local promotion for the Parish, the School, the Preschool & Uniformed Units. Thank you, from Fr Frank & the Summer Event Committee.

* RACE MARSHALLS NEEDED * We need your help! Could you volunteer to help with marshalling the colour run on the day? Can you help by coming along to the event, relaxing & enjoying the day, then popping on a ‘high viz’ jacket to help direct the runners for the short, fun, mini runs during the afternoon? Please contact the parish office if you can help.
* * Could you donate a bottle or a box of chocolates or an unwanted but new gift for our Tombola stall? Please bring any donations to the parish office  (PLEASE, NO 2nd hand items) 
* * We would love donations on the afternoon before or morning of the event of bought or homemade, cakes or scones for the afternoon tea stall. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

"Canterbury Belles" A review with special guest of honour!

On Sunday 13th May a very special tribute was paid to Deacon Peter Hinchey, in celebration of 40 years since the birth of 'Canterbury Belles', the long running show from the Scouts & Guides organisations and the Parish.
Graham Williams produced a review DVD for us all to watch in 2 parts - with an interval - just like in the show, with so many acts from over the years for us to remember.
We saw lots of singing, dancing, acting (?!), forgetting of words and laughs, fondly remembering those who took part in the show who are no longer with us.
The school hall was filled with well wishers who gave grateful thanks to Peter for all the hard work in writing, producing and co-coordinating over such a long time.
The Belles themselves even made a surprise appearance for Peter having been promoted to Ladies in Waiting for Meghan Markle!
After the event, Peter spoke of his own fond memories of the show and gave thanks to those who closely helped him to bring the show together over the years.

Peter says: "Having written so much material for Canterbury Belles from 1978–2011, I am now lost for words as I try to compose my appreciation for the tribute in my honour on Sunday 13th. More than anyone, I am fully aware of all the planning and preparatory work that goes into an event and this makes me all the more appreciative of the units and supporters for such wonderful memories that I could share with so many of you. In the tradition of the gang shows I mention no names as all involved are in stars in their own right. We are all equal, as in the eyes of God, and each one is important so I ask God to bless each and every one of you. Deacon Peter."

Charity Walk for Brain Tumour Support

What a scorcher!
Over 40 parishioners, young and not so young, came out after the rain had passed on Sat 21st April to walk together in aid of Brain Tumour Support.
The sun shone down on them all as they walked together for over 3 hours from St John Fisher grounds in Frenchay, through to Downend High Street, up through the whole of Staple Hill and through to Fishponds (with ice creams and plenty of water and sun cream along the way!)
The generous patrons of all the pub gardens along the route and kind passers-by on the high streets and in the park helped them collect £342.80 for the charity.
They then enjoyed a picnic and games in the evening sun.

Thank you to Clare Davis and Angela Serle for helping to organise the event and to all of you who came along for such a lovely afternoon.

Our wonderful Soup Run!

On Sunday 11th March approx. 30 people came along to an open meeting to talk about the homelessness situation in Bristol, what is being done to help and how people can get involved.
Philip McWilliams spoke about The Bristol Soup Run Trust – a charity set up in about 1980 whose aims are to ensure that, on every night of the year, food, advice and other essential supplies are made available, free of charge, to homeless and other needy people on the streets of Bristol.
Philip shared his many years’ of experience with the soup run and we learned that, while some of the clients are homeless and sleep on the streets, others may actually have accommodation of some kind. However, they are often people who lead chaotic lives, possibly down to loneliness, breakdown in relationships drug or alcohol addiction or mental health issues. Clients turn up at the Soup Run for many reasons:  hunger, isolation, companionship, advice.  Whatever the reason, the volunteers are not there to judge:  their job is to provide food, refreshment, a sleeping-bag, a pair of socks, toiletries, advice if needed and, above all, a friendly smile and a willing ear.
St Augustine’s Church in Downend got involved with the trust back in the 90’s and now provides 2 of the 20 teams who operate the 28 day, constant cycle of soup runs for the trust. Theirs operates on alternate Saturdays, nicknamed by some of the clients as ‘Super Saturday’ due to the large amount of food and supplies they are able to offer.
The Church’s teams have 62 ‘back office’ volunteers who, as part of a large rota, take turns to make rolls, heat soup, make cakes and even cook and fill a ‘hot box’ of burgers, pasties or sausages (it is Super Saturday after all!) ready for the ‘front line’ volunteers to take out and serve to those who turn up to the well-established meeting points in the centre of Bristol.
They also have a generously stocked store of essential supplies, such as blankets, sleeping bags, rain ponchos, toiletries, snacks, clothes, underwear etc that parishioners and friends kindly donate throughout the year when stocks run low and a small hard working team organise and prepare for every run – being as creative with the limited storage space as possible!
The soup run is a fantastic success story of the Parish. As Fr Frank Bermingham, Parish Priest, said, “This is a true example of Christianity in action.”
Phil concluded by saying that “If many do a little, something big can happen” proving that the willingness to help others, who, for whatever reason, are in need is alive and well in the community.
If you would like to find out more about the Bristol Soup Run trust, visit their new website at www.bristolsoupruntrust.org.uk

The first of four 'Way of the Cross' Services will take place on Wednesday, 28th February, at 7.30pm in the Church, helping to prepare us, during Lent, for the Easter Mysteries.
The second Way of the Cross will be on
Sunday 25th March at 1.30pm as part of Deacon John's Mission weekend, then the third is on Wednesday 28th March at 7.30pm
with the final one being run by the children of the parish on Good Friday at 11.30am.

Brain Tumour Support Event - "One Night Only"

A fantastic night was had by all on Friday 9th Feb as the Parish Project team put on a 'festival in one night' - but with no mud and nicer toilets!
4 Bands played to the 150 strong audience and with a bar, tea and cakes, a giant raffle of 38 top prizes, an auction of a signed, framed Laura Kenny (Trott) cycling shirt donated by HSBC, festival glitter, face-painting and tattoos we raised a wonderful £2,560.11!
Thank you to all who came along and supported the night or who bought raffle tickets or donated towards the evening. And a special thank you to everyone who worked so hard to put on such a fantastic evening of entertainment and community spirit.

We have included a photo of Bridie Ryan being presented with her winning raffle ticket of a days pass at a fitness centre... at the fantastic age of 97 we are looking forward to going along with her that day to see how she gets on!

Parish Projects 2017

We are delighted to announce that the total money raised for our international Parish Project, Medicine Sans Frontier, during 2017 was an amazing £3,902.73 (£2,572.73 through the Parish and £1,310 through Bella’s ‘justgiving’ page)
The amount sent to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, our local Project in memory of James Hedge, was £8,379.97 – although, due to many other events directly for JDRF within our wider parish community over the year in James’ name, the final total raised was £30,377.73

Congratulations to Bella Harding and Liz & Jason Knight for nominating them & to everyone for working so hard to help make such amazing sums of money for both charities.