The Giving Machine - raise funds while you shop!







You can now find St Augustine of Canterbury, Downend on TheGivingMachinea great fundraising site that lets you raise donations for our parish whenever you shop online.

It’s easy to use and doesn’t cost you (or us) a penny!
TheGivingMachine is a fundraising charity set up to help other charitable causes raise money online. By signing up and shopping online via TheGivingMachine you will generate a free cash donation for us.
With over 2,200 of your favourite retailers, including Amazon, eBay, M&S, NEXT, Tui, Sainsbury, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners, you are bound to find what you need and generate a donation.
To start raising free donations - Click here to go to the site
Enter our code:266690 to find us easily
or search for 'St Augustine of Canterbury'

So remember, when you are buying your online food shop, that new item for your home or shopping for Christmas presents online you can generate a free cash donation for our Parish just by clicking via www.TheGivingMachine.co.uk. So it’s easy for you to make a difference without it costing you a penny more than the normal purchase price of your item.


The Countdown is on!

Not long now until our fabulous, festive, community event.

Come along for a fun time together, getting ready for Christmas and enjoying each other's company.

Any donated items for our stalls will be very much appreciated - please bring any items to the parish office.

See you all there!


Brain Tumour Support - Clare's fantastic, fundraising year!

Please click the link to see the brilliant article on the Brain Tumour Support Website about Clare's amazing year in 2018, raising over £10,000!

What a tremendous effort and what a tremendous Parish Community to be part of.

Click here

Congratulations to our Altar Servers

Four of our Altar Servers were enrolled at the weekend into the Guild of St Stephen.
Josh, Isabella, Neoma and James received their medals in a lovely ceremony, conducted by Fr frank, they then received a lovely round of applause from the Sunday morning congregation after praying to St Stephen using the guild prayer.

"I offer myself to God almighty, to blessed Mary, our Mother and to our holy patron, Saint Stephen. And I promise to do my best to serve regularly with reverence and understanding, for the glory of God, the service of his Church, and my own eternal salvation."

1st Holy Communion Preparations 2019-2020

The new course is soon to begin for all those children whose parents have applied for them to receive the sacrament in June 2020.
The courses run from October the year before through to June when they receive the Sacrament at a special Mass - meeting monthly after Sunday Morning Mass - and the course is always advertised to the Parish and Primary School from May each year for a July deadline for applications so that the course can be planned and arranged over the summer.
This new course is now full
so please look out for next year's course when advertised in May/June 2020 if you have a child who is eligible for 1st Holy Communion. (Year 3 of school at the time of receiving the Sacrament)
Please pray for our new candidates and the catechists as they begin their journey together towards this most beautiful Sacrament.

NATIONAL CITIZEN SERVICE: Thank You from the Teenagers in action!





Several of our parish teenagers have been involved with this scheme in which they had just 2 weeks to plan & then carry out a social action project for a charity. 

A pop up Car Wash took place in our car park for which our ever generous parishioners donated over £400! Thank you! 
They did a 15 km sponsored walk from the children's hospital around to 3 McDonald's branches in Town, Filton and Cribbs Causeway, they ran a cake sale in the galleries, did some gardening at Ronald McDonald house itself & and put out requests for donated items for Ronald McDonald House to use when supporting the parents of critically ill children in the children’s hospital. 

Look how much you donated! 

The students wish to Thank St Augustine’s parishioners for such a generous & kind response to their project. The final total came to £980! Fantastic!


Frankie from Ronald McDonald House Bristol contacted us with this message “We are so very grateful to the community at St Augustine’s for their generosity & incredible support. We have been ‘blown away’ by the amount of donated items from our wish list as well as the amazing amount raised from the teenager’s car wash! Simple household items like cleaning products, bedding etc help keep our house running, ensuring we can provide a comfortable and inviting space for families in need. Likewise the £400 raised from the car wash will completely cover the costs of accommodating and supporting 1 of our families for 11 days which is fantastic! Without the generosity of people like you we would no longer be able to provide this vital space for families going through the toughest of times. We cannot thank you enough!” 

CAFOD ~ Live Simply

Click here to see the notes from the May meeting to discuss the planet, the environment and what we can do to help turn this crisis into hope.

Decorating time at the Presbytery!

After many years, the presbytery is getting a new lick of paint - and while we are at it, the Sacristy is also being spruced up!
However much disruption it causes, life and prayer and Mass still goes on at St Augustine's.
(Click the photo to enlarge
& feel free to enter a 'caption' for this photo!)

The Summer Fair is coming!

* * Can you help us with donations of prizes for the Tombola Stall? Please bring to the Parish Office (please don’t leave them at the back of church) any new, unopened gifts, chocolates, bottles etc that you can spare.    We would also love you cake bakers to bake (or you cake buyers to buy!) cakes for our tea & cake stall. Please bring them to the Parish office on the Friday or to the stall on the day itself. Thank you all so much! * *

European Elections....

This is part of a briefing by the National Justice and Peace Network on the European elections.

Voting in the European elections:  
* Be careful about promises: 
* Look at who is on the party lists:  
Look up: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/en/european-elections/european_elections.html 
*Be careful about giving your vote to those who have shown themselves to be abusive, corrupt or incompetent. 
“People say ‘I’m from this party’ or I’m from that party’, but effectively, they don’t have clear thoughts about the basics, about proposals. The people are sovereign. I will only say: Study the proposals well, pray and choose in conscience.” – Pope Francis. 
*There are many important issues:  Which party do you think has the best approach to dealing with as many of these questions as possible, as well as possible?
*Check where the funding comes from. 
* Listen to the Holy Spirit in your heart – what is God’s choice? 
*Look for a sense of deep peace – this is a clue that you have discerned well 

(Briefing from National Justice and Peace Network, full text available if you click here...)

Confirmation 2019

On Wednesday 15th May 2019 thirty six candidates from within our Parishes in Communion are to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Declan at St Paul's Church.
Please remember them in your prayers at this special time.



Vocation Sunday

On the weekend of 11th/12th May the Diocese celebrates 'World Prayer Day for Vocations'.
The Diocese currently have 7 seminarians in training and your spiritual and financial support is always greatly appreciated.
Pick up a prayer card (and envelope if you are able to make, and gift aid, a donation) or click here for the link for the prayer card.

CAFOD Working for the Climate

As part of our 'Live Simply' scheme, volunteers at St Augustine's got together on Saturday 27th April to plant up a disused plot of earth with insect attracting flowers and plants. They also planted wild flower seeds on the grassy banks of the car park and made an insect house.
Thank you to all who helped us to 're-wild' our parish grounds.

Click here for the notes from the last Live Simply meeting

Celebrating Easter

On Good Friday morning the children of the Parish invited everyone to come along to hear about the story of Holy Week and Easter in their words.
There were over 100 people who came to enjoy their service, with prayers, reflections and singing.
The children travelled round the stations with posters showing the journey of Jesus to the cross.
Thank you to everyone who came and to Luke & Catherine and all the others who helped and were involved with the service.







Holy Week & Easter 2019

Fr Frank, Fr Jim, Deacons Mike, John & Vincent and all within the Parish Offices would like to 
                                            wish all Parishioners a Happy and Holy Easter.

We have various services during Holy Week and at Easter.
You are all very welcome at any or all of these services. Please see the times and dates below:

   Date       Time      Location                Mass/Service                          Mass Intention
Sat 13
6.00pm
Downend
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord ~Sunday Parade Mass~
Johnny Hickey RIP
Sun 14
9.30am
Downend
Deceased Family & Friends of Jean Coombs
Tue 16
7.30pm
Downend
Tuesday of Holy Week
Clive Woods RIP
Wed 17
11.00am
Cathedral
Chrism Mass at the Cathedral
Thur 18
8.30pm
Downend
Holy (Maundy) Thursday
Fri 19
11.30am
Downend
Stations of the Cross ~ run by the children of the Parish
Fri 19
3.00pm
Downend
The Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)
Sat 20
8.30pm
Downend
Holy Saturday (Vigil)
Sun 21
9.30am
Downend
EASTER Sunday
of the Resurrection
Vera Pitman RIP
CONFESSIONS
Usual times~ Fri 7.00-7.20pm during Adoration & Sat 5.00-5.30pm
ROSARY
Usual times ~ Tues 7.00pm and Thurs after morning Mass



Baby Loss Matters Week: Sunday 17th March ~ Saturday 23rd March

From Sunday 17th March there is a special week of reflection & prayer for all those who have suffered the loss of a baby and in loving memory of all those tiny lives.
Masses will be said, ribbons can be tied in the tree and there is an area for people to reflect or pray and even write down their thoughts or the name of a baby who was lost - at any age or at any stage of pregnancy.
This week hopes to help us all be more open about the subject of baby loss, to help bring people closer to healing and to mark the passing of all those precious lives, however short.
Please feel free to visit the reflection area of the church this week, which is situation in the entrance area.
Contact Life charity for more information about receiving help following the loss of a baby, however long ago at lifecharity.org.uk

* * The positive feedback from this event has been overwhelming - we are delighted that it has brought so much comfort to so many people and therefore, we will be holding this again in the future * *



Congratulations Fr Frank!

On Wednesday 13th February our own, dear Fr Frank celebrated 10 years as Parish Priest of St Augustine's and St John Fisher Parishes.

He reflected on 10 happy years within this community.

The parishioners at Thursday morning Mass were invited into the presbytery for a cuppa and to share a cake in the shape of a number 10!

Congratulations on your decade of service to us all Fr Frank!



Confirmation 2019

Our Parishes in Communion welcomed the 2019 Confirmation Candidates to the community during their Mass on Enrolment on Saturday 2nd February.

They, their parents and the congregation all renewed their Baptismal promises together and the community promised to pray for and support the Candidates during this time of preparation for the Sacrament.

Each candidate brought up their personalised light to be displayed in the church.

CAFOD Live Simply Award


This year we are going to support CAFOD as a parish project along with seeking certification for the LIVE SIMPLY AWARD which is given to parishes who are becoming a community which ‘lives simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor and the whole of creation'. 
We already do so much - think of all we do individually & how we as a parish help the homeless of Bristol etc - but this is about 'ecological conversion', where we pray for our world, given us by God to take care of, that is under great threat, and where we become able to change the way we live for the better. 
Bella Harding will be giving a brief talk in Mass on the weekend of 26/27th January about how important this is & what wonderful ideas there are for truly making a difference & living in a happier & more fulfilling way. 
We will also be having monthly get-togethers to meet others & share ideas/plan what we can all do in our community to live more simply. 
Come along to the Parish Hall from 5-6pm on Fri 1st Feb (then next dates for your diary are Fri 1st March, 29th March, 26th April, 31st May (6-7pm that evening) & 28th June.) Today we are offering you pledge forms which have ideas of how to live more creatively & sustainably which you can fill in & register (anonymously) in a book in the parish. 
Let's lead the way in the Diocese & get the award!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a transcript of Bella's talk from the weekend;
Firstly, thank you to Father Frank for allowing me to talk today about a project for the parish, the CAFOD Live Simply project.
The readings today are so full of joy and hope: the people told to rejoice and not to be sad when they are read the law and realise they must change. And in the Gospel Jesus proclaims the Lord's year of favour. And in the second reading we have the second part of the theme we are all part of one body and responsible for one another.
First let's rejoice in our wonderful world and the miracle of life, our own and all people, and all life. The astronauts who went into space saw our beautiful blue and green planet, hanging in the vast immensity of space and for all we know the only one like it. And they were transfixed by its fragility and beauty. so let's thank God for the beauty of his creation. 
However all is not well. We are behaving like badly brought up adolescents, leaving our dirty clothes and plates and cups allover the house, spilling and staining everything. 
Why? Because there is a plastic island three times the size of France in the ocean and much more, strangling and poisoning sea and wildlife. We have on average only 40% left of the wildlife of fifty years ago due to intensive farming and pollution. The last 18 have been the hottest summers ever, with intense heat, natural disasters and the exponentially increasing melting of the ice caps. The International Climate Change Panel says we have 12 years, and probably less, to take action to prevent irreversible and uncontrollable climate change, when our beautiful planet will no longer be safe to live in. And we have no other.
People say, how do we know it is caused by us? But the evidence it is happening is so clear we must anyway do all we can. As Christians we are concerned for the poor and they are the first to suffer, they are suffering now. 
People also say we can make no difference. But we already have. By banning CFCs  the hole in the ozone layer is mending. By charging for plastic bags, their use dropped by 80%. By changing to long life bulbs domestic energy use dropped by 19% from 2000, although we have so many more appliances. If we used LED lights we would use 80% less. The Millennium Development Goals spurred major reductions in poverty. So we can make a difference, and press companies and governments to make a difference, even if the issues are incredibly complex. 
The Pope has said no action is too small, and every time we spend money we are voting powerfully for the future we want to see. He asks us to undergo and ecological conversion which does not mean going back to the stone age, but living joyfully, simply and sustainably in our beautiful world. I know so many of us already do so much, but the need if urgent.
So what can we do? Firstly, pray. Many Christians pray and fast for the climate every first of the month. Whatever small fast or self denial helps us to be serious about our prayer and God listens. 
Secondly, together we can gather ideas on how we can live better as a parish and in our communities. For that we need to meet and share. I invite you to monthly meetings, on Fridays on or near the 1st of the month, between 5-6 in the parish centre. The first it this Friday. To help us think of ideas I will be at the back of church with pledge forms where you can choose what else you would like and are able to do. Bring them to the meeting where you can inspire the rest of us, and have an anonymous register of all we are pledging to do. 
Let's be a beacon in the Diocese, for a new and joyful way of living, to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor, and become a live simply parish. 
Thank you for listening. 



Quiz Night

Mike Ryan & gang are back with a fun Quiz night on Sunday 24th February in aid of the World Scout Jamboree fund which one of our Scouts is attending. 

Tickets will be on sale after Mass soon at £2.50 pp. 

Join us, in teams of 6, for a BYO event in the Parish Hall starting at 7.30pm for Quiz rounds, games and a raffle.