Bristol's Homeless... The Bristol Soup Run Trust

On Saturday, a reduced team of volunteers from our church carried on helping those who are homeless at this time, a different approach with the new restrictions in place to keep everyone safe.
This is through the Bristol Soup Run Trust who organise teams to make sure there is a soup run EVERY night of the ear.
This is an unusual time for us but one which is even more dangerous for those living on the streets.

Here are snippets of the reports from some of our volunteers:
"As we pulled up tonight we received a round of applause and cheers. Difficult to give out food when you are almost in tears. We have seen 50 people at pip (Ss Philip & James' Church). Very busy. Everyone was really helpful. They waited until we dropped bags on the floor and stepped back. No one has heard anything about hotels. Everything is shut and they were very hungry. 
Just finished at Redcliff (Redcliff Hill). We had enough food for only nine people so we were really worried we would not have had enough. We found nine people waiting.... Prayer answered! 
Everyone again really grateful. Happy to take food bags one at a time. It was heartbreaking out there tonight. Everyone was so grateful. So cooperative. These people shouldn’t still be on the streets. I hope the hotel promise works through quickly.
The interesting thing is that besides some of the people we know to be genuinely on the streets, there were a number of faces we haven't seen before. A reasonable number of young people (some on bikes) and we wondered if they have simply run out of money. 

Click here to watch Deacon John's film of how the team operated on Saturday night.

Bristol Soup Run Trust - New rota for St Augustine's

We have been provided with the new rota for Soup Run 'back office' actions, commencing this Saturday.
This has been emailed out to all the volunteers on the rota.
However, due to the current situation, anyone who appears on the rota in the coming weeks will be contacted separately by Philip McWilliams as their date approaches, as there is a complete change to the soup run process to allow for safety of the volunteers and homeless people whilst we are under the COVID-19 restrictions.
Therefore, look out for an email from Philip if your name appears on the rota for this weekend.

Click here to see the new rota for March 2020-April 2021

Pray with the Pope today.... Friday 27th March

At 5pm, our time, we can join with Pope Francis to pray together and receive his extraordinary "Urbi et orbi" blessing and plenary indulgence.

Click here to go to the Vatican News site

Church building closures

In light of the additional measures announced by the Government last night the Diocese has confirmed that all Church buildings will close to visitors with immediate effect.
The buildings may be closed but we, the people, are the 'Church' and we can continue to pray for each other until such time as we are back together in person.
Please stay well and stay at home.
God bless you all - Canon Frank.

* * * Go to the 'Newsletter' section for this weekend's bulletin sheet and newsletter * * *

Newsletter information

We are still producing our weekly newsletter of parish information for you to see.
CLICK HERE to see the latest newsletter for this week.
We will post these onto the website each week so you can see any other news, see which intentions Fr Frank is praying for during the week and also so we, as a parish community, can continue to pray for those who are sick, those who have died or whose anniversaries of death occur at this time.
We will do what we can to stay in touch whilst we are "Home Church".

Prayer Resources

We have been sent the following:
A Prayer Sheet for when Mass cannot be celebrated publicly. Click here
A Prayer Sheet for times of illness - including some lovely prayers for those who are ill, those in isolation, for health/key workers etc.  Click here

Sunday Bulletins...

Redemptorist Publications have now offered a free link to the Sunday bulletin sheets (the 'other side' of the Newsletter) so people can see the readings of the weekend and some commentary.
This weekend, just gone, looked like this - click here.
We will be able to post this bulletin sheet on here each week in time for the weekend from now on.
~ Go to the 'Newsletter' section of the website each Friday to see the link to read all the coming weekend's details. ~
Also, for the children, visit the CAFOD Education & Children's Liturgy site for lots of useful resources, including this page - click here - for a weekly online liturgy.

Live stream from the Vatican

Click here to go to the Vatican's website for live streaming of Holy Mass.

Public Worship

Message from the Diocese: In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. 
It is very clear that following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churchesThis will be from now until further notice.

Canon Frank will continue to say Mass privately for the intentions already booked - details will be regularly updated here.
Sacramental Reconciliation will also be suspended. The hospital chaplains will take care of all hospital visits for those who will need the sacrament of the sick. Please call the parish office if there is an emergency and we will try to work out how we can help.
We will update our website soon with details of how you can watch a live stream from our Cathedral in Clifton and any useful prayer resources we can find.
For now, please view/download this prayer sheet for worship at home: click here  Also, click here for a sheet of prayers to use in times of sickness.
Stay safe and contact the parish office if you, or someone you know, need practical or emotional help as we may be able to offer assistance from a volunteer.

Last public Mass

Mass will go ahead for the Solemnity of St Joseph on Thursday 19th March at 9.30am in St Augustine's Church. If you DO NOT have any symptoms of the Coronavirus (dry cough or fever) and you are not self isolating for any reason then you are welcome to attend. Please make an informed choice.
If you do join Fr Frank for Mass, please make sure that you distance yourself from other members of the congregation (sit apart from each other for example) for everyone's safety
This will be the last public Mass for the foreseeable future in the Church. Different options for worshiping at home will follow over the next few days and weeks, along with details of any live, broadcasted services for people to join in with. The Church will remain open for people to come along and pray whenever they wish, during the day, but no further public Masses will take place.
Canon Frank will continue to say Mass in private each day and will be praying for you all.
We will find inventive ways of keeping our sense of community and prayer life together. We will keep in touch. Stay well.

Latest Updates regarding suspension of Masses and Services with effect from Friday 20th March

Latest update from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales...
This is a letter from the President and Vice-President on behalf of all the Bishops of the Conference.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.
However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.
Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.
We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.
When Mass cannot be celebrated publicly, your own bishops and parish priests will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.
The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.
During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.
‘The Lord is my shepherd,
There is nothing I shall want.’
May God bless us all.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
President of the Bishops’ Conference
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference.

(Our own Clifton Cathedral will be live streaming masses, a link will be available when it's up and running, hopefully by Saturday. We will keep in touch)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In light of current events, there are likely to be many changes made to how we worship over the coming weeks and months.

We are awaiting news from the Diocese on how to proceed with services.
As it stands today (18th March) we are planning services as normal throughout the week and weekend with the current 'stage 2' measures in place. Of course, all this could change.

Please do not come to Church if you have any of the symptoms - dry cough or fever.
We also ask that people sit much further away from each other when in the church to assist with social distancing.
Click here to see the Diocesan's latest update

Click here to go to the Government's update page

Please keep in touch with this website or our new Church Facebook page - search for 'St Augustine's Church, Downend to find us - for all our parish's latest updates on what is happening and so we can all keep in touch.

Please contact the parish office via email or phone if you need any assistance whilst self-isolating, as we can try to give practical help, using the kind parishioners who have already offered to take action for those who need it.

We want you all to remain safe and well, that includes looking out for the health of Fr Frank and the Deacons and all who work or volunteer for the Church.