WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE

This Parish website and our Facebook page will continue to be updated as regularly as possible to keep our Parish Community alive with news, information, scripture readings and updates from Fr Frank! 

Scroll down this page to see all our latest news posts (& click 'older posts' at the bottom of the page to look back over the previous news.)

Masses have now resumed following this latest lockdown.
Please remember to book a place at Mass by clicking this Eventbright link - this link will also confirm all the details of what we are doing to keep you safe and what you must do before attending and during Mass.

You can visit the Church Services website to watch Mass from our Cathedral each day at 9.30am.

PARISH OFFICE: Please note that the Parish Office is only open a few days per week due to staff furlough. Emails will be checked periodically. In the event of an urgent query, please call Fr Frank at the presbytery on 0117 9833939. 

DONATIONS: If you would like to make a donation to St Augustine's Church please do so below. Thank you for all your support.

Christmas Mass information 2020

CHRISTMAS MASSES ~ A message from Fr Frank.

We have now finalised our plans for CHRISTMAS MASSES at St Augustine's Church, Downend - Please read through the details below as there are many changes. (Please pass this on to anyone you know who will not see this online/newsletter message and assist them with any bookings.)

*Christmas will be very different for us this year and our Christmas Masses are no exception. We are not able to have the extra traditions like carol singing, booklets, candles etc that we are used to, and as sad as this is, our priority is to follow the regulations to keep EVERYONE safe.
The essential act of worship, however, remains a constant for us to enjoy, so we are pleased to be able to offer several Masses during the 'Octave of Christmas' (Christmas Day to New Year's Day inclusive) which ALL COUNT as your commitment to the birth of Christ – they are all of equal importance.

Realistically, we know that lots of people would prefer to attend Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so we need to be very careful in keeping our Church and parishioners safe as we cannot seat more than about 60-70 people safely inside Church.
Please attend on other days if you can in order to spread the numbers of people attending throughout the 9 days.

NOTE:
*Please continue to book a place at all Masses so we can control numbers attending using the Parish Eventbright link
*We will need to run a STRICT BOOKING SYSTEM for the 2 Masses on Christmas Eve and the 1 on Christmas morning as likely to be busy – please book your tickets online using the eventbright link or call the parish office if you do not have access to the internet and we will book it for you.
*Should anyone attend those 3 Masses who have NOT booked a place with us we will ask them to wait outside until we have seated all those with reservations and then we will do our best to try to find safe places for them to sit/stand inside the Church.

The 'Octave of Christmas' Masses are as follows:
Thursday 24th Dec / Christmas Eve at 5.00pm
Thursday 24th Dec / Christmas Eve at 8.00pm
Fri 25th Dec / Christmas Day at 10.00am
Saturday 26th Dec at 6pm
Sunday 27th Dec at 9.30am
Monday 28th Dec at 10am
Tuesday 29th Dec at 7.30pm
Wednesday 30th Dec at 7.30pm
Thursday 31st Dec at 10am
Friday 1st Jan at 7.30pm
Please choose the Mass you can attend and book your place.

In order to keep everyone safe and in line with government and diocesan guidelines, please observe the following:
-only attend Church if you do not have symptoms of Coronavirus, are not shielding for health reasons and have not been asked to isolate
-please bring a face mask/ face covering with you and keep it on at all times whilst inside the Church
-we ask you to observe social distancing with anyone who is not in your household or support bubble, both inside and outside of church
-please use hand sanitiser on entry
-please check in on arrival using our QR code on your track and trace app
-we will not distribute the traditional envelopes for the annual gift to your parish priest but there will be a basket ON ARRIVAL for any donations (there will be no offertory collection made during Mass)

Finally, it should be noted that there are no toilet facilities available in the church at this time. Mass duration will be approx 25 minutes.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience or distress these new measures may cause but we hope we can offer the gift of Safe, Holy Mass to as many people as possible this Christmas season.
God bless you all. Fr Frank

Latest news

Advent explained in 2 minutes
We are in a time of 'joyful waiting', and, as the short video says, if you are sick of Christmas by the 25th, you are doing Advent wrong!
What is behind your Advent Calendar door today? We would love you to email us a pic of your advent calendars! - does yours have pictures, pockets, chocolate? Is it home made, brand new or dusted off and brought out every year! Please share your photos with the parish.


Quiz round
Thanks to Mike Ryan for this week's quiz... how many did you get right? (How many of these cities have you been to?)
Let us know how you got on...

(A reminder, that Mike is happy to add your email address to his weekly Quiz round mailing if you would like it - contact us with your details via messenger or the parish email)







"Priest" - the film
"Priest is a beautifully shot film chronicling life in the Bradford parish of ‘Mary, Mother of God’ in non-pandemic times from the beginning of Lent to Easter Sunday. It is produced and directed by filmmaker Michael Whyte."
Watch the trailer here - The film is available on Amazon Prime or on DVD

Parish Shopping!
We have such talented Parishioners here at St Augustine's!
Sue Stricker and Petra Jordan are organising to sell lavender bags and Christmas wreaths for donation to our Parish Projects.
Sue says "The lavender bags smell divine, keep the moths at bay and the scent is good for relaxation very much needed in this time of COVID!"
The beautiful wreaths can be used as a fabulous table centerpiece.
If you are interested in buying them (suggested donation of £1 for 3 bags and £8-£10 for each wreath) then please contact Petra Jordan to arrange pick up and payment.
Thank you ladies!

Latest News

Pastoral Message
Bishop Declan issues his Pastoral message for the start of Advent.
Click here to watch him read the message & the text is attached here.


Happy St Andrew's Day
We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord,

that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew
was for your Church a preacher and pastor,
so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one god, for ever and ever.
Amen




'Carols on the Doorstep'
It is sad that we are unable to allow singing at Masses or to hold a Carol service this year, due to safety restrictions... our Carols by Candlelight events are always so well-loved.
However, we have come across this wonderful solution!

There is a 'Carols on the Doorstep' initiative with Premier Christian Radio being held on Sunday 20th December at 5.30pm.
They will play 4 carols for everyone to join in with, together with our neighbours or safely in our houses.
*Maybe you could sing on your doorstep with the people you clapped the NHS with earlier in the year? Did that forge any new community links or new relationships with neighbours you may not have known before?*
Click their website for all the information and to download your song sheet. There is also an invitation you can print off should you wish to invite your neighbours to do the same so you can all sing along down the street, along the crescents, round the roads or in your cul-de-sacs!

Thank you to everyone who is thinking of new solutions to keep our communities together. ❤️


Thank you Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for 1st Sunday in Advent Year B.
1st Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 63: 16-17, 64: 1, 3-8.
This section of the book of Isaiah is most probably written by disciples of the Prophet and was composed after the return from exile in Babylon. It is dealing with the disappointment of those returning from exile, as they find themselves poor, and the rich in Jerusalem oppressed them, and the great faith that had brought them across that vast desert was visibly weakening. Isaiah calls God, “Our Father”, anticipating Jesus’ understanding of God. There is this wonderful image of God tearing open the heavens and the Gospel writers pick up this theme with the heavens opening at Jesus baptism by John in the Jordan and declaring “this my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Isaiah has some wonderful images for us to contemplate and store in our hearts. This section is a cry from the heart, for God to remember that we are his creation, and Isaiah uses the beautiful image of the potter and the clay, the cry goes out to forgive us our sins and renew our hopes and desires that brought us back from exile and be re-united with Him. It is very appropriate for those of us exiled by the virus from attending Mass, and being able to receive the Blessed Sacrament. It is worth making this cry to God, together with those who had struggled to be close to the Father in his holy Temple. God willing, we too will be able to return soon and once again stand in the presence of Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament.
Psalm 79: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19.
This is plea to restore the vineyard that God had planted. The church is the vineyard, so we prepare ourselves to receive the arrival of our Salvation, by examining where we are on our journey to the Lord. We seek to have God’s assistance in striving to get ourselves back into the footsteps of God’s plan.
2nd Reading St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9.
All the graces we have, comes from Jesus Christ, it is because he has inspired us and provided us with teachers or friends or particular priests or holy peoples’ inspiration to help build us up. Because he has done this for us, we can be confident that he will always be there to assist us on our journey. We can rely upon God who is always faithful, for we were called by him into solidarity with Jesus Christ. We are not alone and this should inspire us to pick ourselves up, and look anew at our lives and trim them more closely into Christ’s footsteps, so that we can truly welcome the arrival of Jesus, the Son of God, as a babe at Christmas.
Gospel according to Mark 13: 33-37.
We are challenged by Jesus to stay awake and read the signs. He will not disclose times and dates, we must always be ready for the coming of Jesus. We are in the midst still of a terrible pandemic, which has ripped apart the very fabric of our civilisation. Parents have been denied the comfort of embracing children and grandchildren. We have been cut off from the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, but, although shaken and perplexed, we are not broken. God is still there with us, and in fact, we are beginning to grow up in the knowledge and appreciation of the presence of God, even when cut off from all human contact.
He really has set us free, and soon he will literally set us free by providing us with vaccines so that we can resume social contacts again. We need to still stay awake and not drift back into complacency.
This is a wonderful time to prepare our lives, so that when we can once again resume normal association, that we will move to improve the lot of the poor and hungry and the deprived. Let us make the world a better place than when we left it nearly a year ago.
God bless you all. Deacon Vincent

LGBTQ+ Mass

In his Pastoral Letter for the First Sunday of Advent, Bishop Declan refers to those who fear marginalisation due to their sexual orientation. The pastoral ministry to the LGBT+ community in Clifton diocese and elsewhere seeks to send a clear signal of inclusion and welcome to people who do indeed not infrequently experience marginalisation, and worse, in their daily lives.
See details below of the Mass for LGBTQ+ Catholics, families, and friends at St Nicholas' Church. All are welcome.



Advent ideas for a 'Healing Christmas', from Bella Harding


"This Christmas is going to be a Christmas like no other.
At least 50,000 people in UK alone will be mourning someone from their family.
Let’s make it a Christmas to remember, not just those who have died and those who mourn, but a different Christmas.
As Biden said, there is a time for healing…

We could pray:
-the rosary of Creation
-the canticle of St Francis including those who suffer and those who work for peace (cafod)
-a really meaningful Grace at all meals

Lets:
-Decorate not the inside but the outside of our homes, with lights, with baubles, with wishes hung on our bushes and trees, ribbons of prayer: peace, joy, love, hope, goodness, kindness, happiness, memories, harmony, beauty friendliness, nature, birdsong blue skies
-Eat modestly and leave treats for passers by (in good weather) of chocolates, mince pies, sweets
-Buy modestly what we need without waste, and spend our surplus on food for food banks good quality and non perishable
-Be creative in our gifts, making things from what we have, using skills and artistry
-Have a zero waste Christmas, think of different and exciting ways of wrapping presents so there will be no waste, ban all packaging that is not reusable, boycott Amazon
-Give away beautiful things that we love and have already, to friends and family that like them too
-Share Christmas with people in our street with music and socially distanced chat
-Twin our family with a family experiencing the effects of climate change and loss of biodiversity
-Give presents of our time, for a walk, a phone call, or to do things for one another, repairing."

Thank you Bella.
Happy Advent to you all.

Apart, yet together.   #ChurchAtHome

Latest News

Masses resuming
Our Eventbright link had a slight 'wobble' but should now be working properly and showing our Mass times correctly.
Please use this link (Eventbright link) to book a place at Mass when they resume from Thursday 3rd Dec. The Sunday obligation is still suspended so please attend any Mass during the week to suit your situation. Masses on weekdays are attended by fewer people should you wish to have a quieter / less busy experience - although we have all COVID regulation measures in place to keep everyone safe.
Our regular Mass times are as follows:
Tuesday evening at 7.30pm
Thursday morning at 10am
Friday evening at 7.30pm
Saturday evening at 6.00pm
Sunday morning at 9.30am
Please bring a mask, observe the one way system, social distancing and new way of receiving Holy Communion and check in using he QR code on arrival.
Please only attend Mass if you are well and free of COVID symptoms.
Thank you - looking forward to seeing you back.
God bless you all.


Liturgical Books
The Liturgical Diary and Diocesan Directories are now available to buy. This year, as we are unable to open our Church shop, we can offer you the online information so you can still make your purchase.
However, if it isn't possible for you to buy them online, please contact us at the parish office and we will help.


Quiz Time!
Our resident Quiz Master, Mike Ryan, has furnished us with another round to keep the grey cells working...
See how many world cities you can name...
BUT NO GOOGLING!😁

Mike has been emailing out a quiz round every week for so many months now to the members of the Not So Young Club and a few other parishioners. Thanks Mike! It is another great way to keep our parish community in touch with each other.
If you would like to go on the Quiz list, please contact us at the parish office and we can pass your email address to Mike for this purpose.
Happy Quizzing!







Statement from Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Work has already begun to implement the recommendations of the IICSA Report and the Independent Review of Safeguarding Structures and Arrangements in the Catholic Church in England and Wales (sometimes referred to as the Elliott Review).
Cardinal Vincent Nichols: "I say again: I am so sorry. I say this for many bishops who have gone before me over these 50 years. Many hearing this will feel that we let you down. Yes, we did let you down in many ways, in different times, in different places, for different reasons. I apologise again. I am so sorry for all that has happened over these years."


Alzheimer's Society
On Carer's Rights Day, we ask for prayers for those who look after loved ones on a regular or even 24/7 basis.
You may not know but our parish hall (in normal times) hosts a weekly group called "Singing for the Brain", run by the Alzheimer's Society, giving support to those living with Alzheimer's and to their carers. It is always a delight to hear their enthusiastic singing coming through the walls - we regularly have 'Roll out the barrel' or 'Daisy, Daisy' in our heads on a Thursday!

Alzheimer's Society, like most other charities, is in need of our help. You can donate to them via their website.


Latest News

Act of Worship
Thank you once again Martin for sharing your musical talents with us following the Feast of Christ the King

Haven Home
We are pleased to be able to share an update from our friends at Haven Home in India which was sent to Martyn and Sue Poole in a recent email.
Please continue to pray for the work they do for the children of the region.

"Greetings to you all from Haven Home and hope this email finds you all in good health and joy. Thanks for your email and also for your continuous prayers for all of us here during this pandemic time which has been affecting Haven Home and all its children, staff and family. Your continuous prayers are highly appreciated.
By the grace of the Lord the number of COVID cases have dropped in our state during the month of October which enabled the government to take steps forward to open the schools. So they decided to open in 3 phases. Schools to reopen for class 9 & 10 from November 2, so we have all the children back to Haven Home from these grades who have attended classes for a couple of days that’s when the COVID cases rose due to the spreading of the virus from teachers to students. So we stopped sending our children to school and now they are attending online classes through the smart television. As per plan the government is planning to open schools for classes 6,7 & 8 from November 23rd. Moreover the schools will reopen for classes 1-5 from December 14. So this is the present plan of the government.
We are hoping and praying that all the children could come back to Haven Home so that we all could celebrate Christmas together. Please pray along with us.
When the orphanage will open we will be having a lot of government and health officials visits to check the hygiene and sanitation process. Moreover we have to accommodate all the children sleeping arrangements by maintaining 6 feet distance from each other. So we have to use the dining hall and maybe the medical Center for sleeping arrangements. Continuous sanitation of dormitories, toilets, kitchen and school has to be done. So we are looking for bulk and wholesaler sanitizer supplier for HH. It’s quite expensive and we are also looking into buying a fuming machine as well to sanitise rooms. Your prayers are very much needed as we prepare ourselves to reopen HH after this lockdown as there are so many detailed things that we need to take care of.
We are also praying for you all and going into a 4 weeks of lockdown is not easy and it’s not what we want. We all are in his hands and he is a good God who is protecting all of us.
We love you all and also for your prayer and heart towards each and every one of us here. Shalom."
From - Prasant & Grace, Haven Home, India.

Photos from the visit in 2016.


Praying the Rosary for the planet
Thank you to Bella for suggesting a new idea to pray for the future of the planet.

Why not pray the Rosary with 5 Mysteries of Creation...
For each decade say the Our Father and Hail Marys with these intentions:
*We give thanks for the whole of Creation, birds, animals, bugs, fish, people, plants, cultures...
*We pray for all who care for the environment, farmers, activists, scientists, indigenous peoples....
*We give thanks for the air, water, earth, and all that is, which belongs to everyone, because of the fundamental universal destination of all property....
*We pray for a contemplative attitude to all the beauties that surround us...
*We pray for Jubilee, allowing for rest for land and animals, peoples all over the world and for our culture to value rest and contemplation...


Christmas Chutney

Anna Davis' is offering us her famous chutney for Christmas!
Her production line has sprung into life, in aid of our Parish Projects, Grassroots Suicide Prevention and The Patrick Wild Project.
Should you wish to buy some, please contact the parish office and we can put you onto Anna to organise your 'purchase'!
Thanks Anna.












Climate Saving Tips
Our own Climate Champion, Bella, has given us a list of ideas that she is trying in order to make effective changes in day to day living... See how many you are already doing or how many new ones you can adopt?

*Gardening - no peat, no chemicals, not much digging, grow food, let things grow for wildlife, so my garden is wild!! Feed wildlife (birds and hedgehogs, not foxes), coffee grounds to get rid of slugs, compost all waste titbits from cooking (not meat) but don't cook more than you will eat.
*Eating - eat all you buy and cook, compost leftover scraps, no meat or fish but dairy sparingly, preferably organic, milk delivery, organic veg box fortnightly, kettle used sensibly only boil what you need
*Transport - walk all local routes you can, use bus, bike, train where possible, combine trips, no flying this year, don't go unless necessary. Holiday, locally where possible, short trips, ecotrips to wildlife etc
*Cleaning - ecological products used sparingly where possible, cotton scourer for washing up, reduce wiping up, natural products like vinegar.
*Washing - less (!) dare we say it, clothes, selves, hair, a good wash more rarely is more effective, my hair is better for not washing, but use soap and shampoo soap when needed, sparing of water,
Teeth, wooden toothbrush, tooth gel in glass jar (toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes = plastic waste), do not run tap when brushing teeth, soaping up, or washing vegetables, save water when running tap for hot water.
*Waste - collect single use plastic for recycling in supermarkets, avoid unnecessary unrecyclable plastic, try not to buy any, reduce supermarket shop to essentials in bulk, recycle all cardboard, glass, tin, paper at kerb, reduce recycling and general waste as much as possible
*Try not to buy clothes, stuff which just becomes clutter, stop the flood of buying we have got into, we don't need it
*Keep old items, clothes, electronics. Turn of all items on standby, or unnecessary lights. Reduce heating or the hours you put it on. Insulate and draughtproof. Use the library for rare printing needs.
Make stuff, knitting and crochet, face cleaning pads instead of using disposable ones, in cotton, non disposable household washcloths ditto. Lots of other crafts possible... Avoid wet wipes (except for those with babies) don't clog the sewers. Avoid plastic bottles, try to remember to take own water bottles and coffee cups when needed
And, please pray for the planet...


Apart, yet together. #ChurchAtHome

WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE

This Parish website and our Facebook page will continue to be updated as regularly as possible to keep our Parish Community alive with news, information, scripture readings and updates from Fr Frank! 

Scroll down this page to see all our news (& click 'older posts' at the bottom of the page to look back over the previous news.)

Public Masses are now suspended during this new lockdown time. Please keep an eye on our website or Facebook page updates for details of any private prayer times we can organise or for when Masses can resume.
You can visit the Church Services website to watch Mass from our Cathedral each day at 9.30am.

PARISH OFFICE: Please note that the Parish Office is only open a few days per week due to staff furlough. Emails will be checked periodically. In the event of an urgent query, please call Fr Frank at the presbytery on 0117 9833939. 

DONATIONS: If you would like to make a donation to St Augustine's Church please do so below. Thank you for all your support.

Latest News

A Prayer for the Feast of Christ the King

Almighty ever-living God,
whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son,
the King of the universe,
grant, we pray, that the whole creation,
set free from slavery, may render your majesty service
and ceaselessly proclaim your praise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen





St Joseph's Home
Wishing many blessings to Sue on her retirement from St Joseph's Home in Bristol, a home which our parish has supported for so many years.
Thank you to Sue, to all the Sisters, and the care team who show such love and care for the residents of the home.
"Good Luck with your retirement Sue! Retirement of Sue Hobden from the Little Sisters of the Poor Bristol. After 34 years of working with the Little Sisters Sue has decided it is time to retire in order to enjoy special time with her Family and grandchildren. We are very grateful to Sue for her devoted service in Administration over the years, and we wish her all the best for the future."



Foodbank
For those who wish to offer help to those in need, see the latest information from the Resound foodbank, below.

Safeguarding Statement
Canon Frank has asked for the Bishop's Conference statement, issued over the weekend, to be shared immediately with all parishioners in line with Bishop Declan's regulations.
In it, the Bishops of England and Wales talk of how they stand together in profound shame and express their sorrow and contrition before God, following the recent IICSA report into abuse inflicted on children in the past 50 years.
They "reflected on our need to reach out afresh to those who bear the wounds of permanent damage caused by this abuse. It is our desire and resolve to be a Church in which every child and vulnerable person is not only safe but nurtured."
Please read the following statement to see the full response and hear what is happening to further strengthen the church's commitment towards the safety of others.

If you, or anyone you know, needs to talk, no matter how long ago the abuse took place, please come forward to be listened to.
Our Diocese has an office for Safeguarding who you will be able to contact for a private conversation: 0117 9540993. You can go straight to Clifton Diocese' Safeguarding page here.

Alternatively, there are many organisations that can offer help and support to survivors of abuse such as;

"In prayer we turn to Christ the Good Shepherd, the fount of healing of compassion, asking that this moment of painful truth becomes a time of grace as we strive to fulfil the ministry entrusted to us as bishops in an unshakable unity of purpose."


Apart, yet together. #ChurchAtHome