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We are back! The phone lines are now working again now, so we are here if you need to call us.









St Augustine of Canterbury
On this, our Feast Day, we pray with thanks for the life and work of St Augustine of Canterbury, who is considered to be the founder of the English Church.
Chosen in 596 by Pope Gregory to come from Rome to England to evangelise the Anglo-Saxons, he was cautiously received by King Ethelbert and eventually baptised many people, built the cathedral in Canterbury and established a See in London. He died c.604.

St Augustine of Canterbury. Pray for us.

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Our phone lines are currently down so please email us if you need to get hold of Fr Frank.

bristol.staugustine@cliftondiocese.com

There is an engineer visiting today so we hope to be back up and running asap! 


COVID UPDATE:
Since the latest Government roadmap date in May there have been many restrictions eased in various sectors. Luckily the rates of infection are now very slight in our region and rates of vaccination are speedily growing - for those eligible of course.
We pray with thanks for the work of all involved in this amazing vaccination success story!

We look forward to the easing of further restrictions when the time is right for the country, but for now, under the guidance of the Catholic Bishops, our public Masses at St Augustine's will continue in the same way, with wearing of masks, sanitising of hands, ventilation, social distancing, and communion under 1 form - We ask you to continue to book a place at Mass using our Eventbright link, so we can control the numbers we can safely fit into Church and also for the track and trace system.

One change is that Priests are now able to reintroduce Confessions and we have reconfigured our confessional boxes ready to allow for added ventilation/partitioning.
So, from 1st June onwards, Fr Frank will hear confessions AFTER 7.30pm MASS each Tuesday evening for the foreseeable future. We have chosen Tuesday evenings to fit in with our current sanitisation plans but this day/time may change as those restrictions ease in the future - we will keep you posted.
If you wish to come to confession please stay in your seats when the Mass has ended (please do not move seats to sit near to the confessionals) and then sanitise your hands before entering the confessional box.

Our Church remains a very safe place to visit for Mass and we will continue to be led by the regulations and do all we can to help it remain that way. We are very pleased that an average of 200+ people come to Mass over the course of each week - this is so encouraging as we all try to get back to normal life. We wish to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has volunteered and to all those who have abided by the regulations and helped to keep each other safe at Holy Mass over the past year.

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Our phone lines are currently down so please email us if you need to get hold of Fr Frank.

bristol.staugustine@cliftondiocese.com

There is an engineer visiting today so we hope to be back up and running asap! 


Thank you Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for Pentecost Sunday – Year B

1st Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-11.
Acts is the dramatic illustration of how the fire of the gospel spread throughout the Mediterranean world, the wind blown from Jerusalem to Rome, and then subsequently onwards through the centuries to wherever these words are read. The fire and mighty wind are symbols of what we shall see throughout the Acts. The powerful wind drives the story on, changing people's lives, driving Paul and Peter and the others on to the ends of the earth. The tongues of fire symbolise the speeches that make up one third of the Acts. The first speeches are to places that if you look at the map of the time form a circle round the Ancient Near East. Luke is setting out his stall for the Acts in the magnificent setting of Pentecost. Luke in his brilliant script is describing the birth of the Church, to which we have the privilege to be a part of. We truly are Blessed. We should always be thankful for the gift of that Spirit, which continues to drive us onwards.

Psalm 103: 1, 24, 29-31, 34.
The psalm is one of the loveliest in the psalter, singing the praises of God’s creation, the great wonders that his Spirit creates, and maintains. Here we share in The Spirit’s creativity.
2nd Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians 5: 16-25.
Paul sets out very clearly the choices that we have. For Paul, what really matters is belonging to Christ Jesus and sharing that crucifixion with him and accepting the Spirit, that means denying our selfish desires and passions, and adopting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self control, there is no law against any of these. If we live by the Spirit, then we must follow the Spirit. It is great exhortation to realise what is at our fingertips if we but believe in the Gospel Life as illustrated by Christ Jesus.

The Holy Gospel According to John 15: 26-27; 16: 12-15.
We are still at the Last Supper and Jesus is setting out for us a choice as to whether we belong to Jesus or the world. The Spirit is promised, who will assist us to stay in contact with the Father, and this will enable us also to bear witness to Jesus, just like the Apostles. The Spirit will open our minds to follow the Gospel life as illustrated by Jesus, and because Jesus and the Father are one we will be united in love with the Father, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God Himself.
We are a truly blessed people; let us never lose sight of that wonderful gift granted to us at Baptism and enforced at our Confirmation, namely the Holy Spirit together with all his wonderful gifts to us.
God Bless you all on this wonderful Feast. Deacon Vincent

Apart, yet together. #ChurchAtHome

Photo credit Needpix.com photo1857000

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Healthy Planet, Healthy People
The Bishops' Conference Pastoral letter for this Pentecost refers to a time of remarkable challenge and opportunity, referring to G7 and COP26 and poses the question 'Are we really demonstrating love, care and respect for our common home?'
2021 is a very significant year, not just because we are gradually emerging in UK from the pandemic, but because of some very important international meetings which could determine the future of our planet and its inhabitants.
There is the G7 summit in June and COP26 on the climate crisis in November, both of which are held in the UK; also, China will be hosting international negotiations on protecting biodiversity.
Now is our opportunity to join with voices from Catholics (and others of faith) around the planet asking the leaders of these global gatherings to urgently align national and global commitments with limiting warming to 1.5ÂșC at most. Alongside this we are asking that the wonderful diversity of creatures living in our common home be protected. Please sign the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition and ask family and friends to join with you. Click here to sign the petition


Please read the Bishop's Pastoral letter in time for the Feast of Pentecost this weekend.



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 Prayer for Peace

Thank you Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for the Seventh Sunday of Easter – Year B
1st Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 1: 15-17, 20-26
Peter is here exercising his leadership, to replace Judas the traitor. He directs who the candidates should be and their qualifications for the position, but he allows God to make the choice by the drawing of lots, and the lot falls on Matthias, who is then accounted as one of the Twelve. It is a very interesting qualification that the candidates needed to possess. They had to be in the company of Jesus right from the time that John was baptising in the Jordon, travelling with them right up to when Jesus was taken up from them. He has to bear witness to the resurrection to the people of Israel. That is all we know of him, and he is not mentioned again in scripture. It is a very impressive set of qualifications to possess, and God is happy to select such a person to be an Apostle. It illustrates how the Holy Spirit was guiding the early church as it was coming to terms with its task of conversion and shepherding the flock..
Psalm 102: 1-2, 11-12, 19-20.
A song in praise of God’s goodness and all he has done for us. Sometimes when we are dry and unable to articulate what we want to say to God, the psalms can say things for us that we sometimes forget about. They are a wonderful way of praying to God, and gradually learn to adapt and use our own words to express our love and thanks to our God.
2nd Reading from the First Letter of St. John 4: 11-16.
We continue our reading of John’s letter, with its echoes of his fourth Gospel. The themes of Love of God must be reflected by our love of each other (the community), we are united by the Spirit, who enables us to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. We live in love because God loved us first, and because we love, he lives in us, through the Holy Spirit. We are indeed a fortunate group of people, to have God deep within us.
The Holy Gospel according to John 17: 11-39.
Holy Mother Church continues to teach us through Jesus’ last discourse before he suffered. It is a wonderful prayer to the Father for our unity with God and each other in similar mode as Jesus and the Father are one. We are united by the Holy Spirit especially in the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, we receive one Christ, and if we love like Jesus, we will love the Father and Jesus and through the Spirit love each other. We need to work hard to maintain that unity for which Jesus craved of his followers. We should be Jesus seamless garment and not be tearing it apart. Let us take to heart his deep felt desire for us to all be one.
Praise God. Alleluia, Alleluia.
God Bless you all and stay safe. Deacon Vincent.

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The Ascension of the Lord

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
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.




LAUDATO SI WEEK: begins on 16th May.
Pope Francis invites us to 'prepare the future' celebrating the progress the church has made on its journey to ecological conversion & reflecting on what the COVID19 pandemic has taught us.
*****Here are some of the actions taking place this week within our Parish****
*Fr Frank is going to pray an intercession for creation every day this week & make it Sunday’s Mass Intention.
*Please pray for the success of all the international initiatives with the G7 & eventually COP26 in November to make real, lasting change to our suffering planet & our sisters and brothers.
*Using Christian Aid’s Campaign, please take a postcard from Church and post it to the Prime Minister to let him know that our city is there with him in Cornwall, in spirit, willing the leaders to do the right thing at the G7 summit. https://www.christianaid.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/g7-climate-finance-postcard-action
*Please (safely) help yourself to some seedlings/plants/seeds from the Creation Table when at Church next weekend (22/23rd) and feel free to donate online to CAFOD in return, to help those most vulnerable in the world.
*If you would like to help with a socially distanced weeding and planting session in the grounds of the Church at 11am on Friday 21st May please come along with your tools/kneelers - bring a sandwich and thermos of tea with you too, for enjoying a socially distanced outdoor lunch afterwards. (Please contact Bella if you would like to help as there will be a max 30 people allowed to gather, under the restrictions.)

Our Parish is such a proactive community and we can help to make effective change in the world, change for the good of the planet and for the most vulnerable and poorest communities who will be most affected by the effects of climate change.


Prayer at a time of world crisis
Thank you 24-7 Prayer for this practical breakdown of how we can pray when hearing of awful, tragic situations unfolding in the world.

   




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Dare to Dream.
Continuing the Diocesan 'Dare to Dream' programme, why not spend some time this week listening to the reflection on the 6th Sunday of Eastertide by Fr Frank Wainwright from Burnham on Sea.

Not So Young Club Holiday - update
"The NSYC committee met last Friday (for the first time since February last year) to discuss amongst other matters the NSYC annual holiday to Kent due to take place on 12th September. 
In the light of the concerns raised by many members and the fact that we are unlikely to meet again before September, the decision has been made to postpone (yet again).
The holiday will now take place on May 15th 2022
Would those going on the trip please advise me or any committee member by email that you are ok with the change of date? (Contact the parish office if you don't already have contact info) 
Also if anyone is interested in joining our jolly group for the holiday we can accommodate a few more... Please make contact, via the parish office, for details.
Thanks"
Mike Ryan - Chair of the NSYC

(Photo taken on the York trip in 2014)


A prayer for peace.
We join with the Vatican in praying for an end to the violence in Jerusalem and in all other parts of the world where people are suffering due to conflict and war... Click Here for the Vatican News report


God our Father, we bring before you our world
– a world full of challenges with divisions among nations, religions and ethnic groups all as a result of the struggle for power, wealth and might.
These divisions have caused the destruction of lives and properties.
Wars have destroyed homes and separated families.
In all of this, your Trinity is a unique symbol of your unity and solidarity for us all.
In all these challenges, Lord, you remain united and in solidarity with us; yes Lord we thank you for this.
We ask you God our Father to send us your spirit of unity among nations, ethnic groups and among religions to inspire us to be in solidarity with one another.
May we remain united in solidarity as you, Father, Son and Spirit are one.
Amen.
Joe Turay, Sierra Leone - CAFOD


Thank you Deacon Vincent for your Reflections for the sixth Sunday of Easter Year – B
1st Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48.
This episode is of immense importance for the history of the Church. The question of whether non-Jews (Gentiles) could be admitted to the Community. It was an extremely difficult one, and one which could have destroyed the Church at its very conception. We should regard this as Peter’s conversion, and it is of such significance that Luke will retell it in Chapter 11, and the issue is still under a difficult discussion at the Council of Jerusalem in Chapter 15. Luke has been preparing us for this issue of Gentile acceptance since his Gospel (Luke 2: 32, & 24: 47), and again in the Acts (1: 8, 9: 15). We should try to understand just how toxic this issue was for the Early Church. Jewish thought was “How could someone with no knowledge of the scriptures or Jewish thought, grasp exactly what the Messiah was about? Or have a concept of the ten commandments, and what sin really was or meant?
We, just accept it automatically, but within the Early Church it was a, make or break, issue. In this extract, the Holy Spirit intervenes, allowing Peter to overcome his prejudices and take this ground-breaking decision to admit Cornelius and his family to baptism and entry into the life of the Community. This decision was going to land Peter, and the Church in very hot water.
Psalm 97: 1-4,
This is a cry of triumph, for the Lord is coming, “All the ends of the earth have the Salvation of our God. Shout (sing) to the Lord all the earth, ring out your joy. (exult and utter a psalm). The words in brackets are alternative translations.
2nd Reading from the First letter of St. John 4: 7-10.
John is here proclaiming the absolute centrality of Love. It is telling us that the basic model for our love is the Love that God has shown to us in Jesus His beloved Son. This model of love should then reveal itself in our subsequent loving response to this, all enveloping Love which God has shown. Like a child loves his parents, because they have loved and nourished them, clothed and protected them, so we respond likewise to the Love which God has shown us by letting us be called his children. God loves us, so we love Him, we have been purchased by his Son, so we are now free, and this freedom should lead us to love and cherish the Lord our God. Alleluia.
The Holy Gospel according to John 15: 9-17.
Here we see the Love that we should emulate, as called upon in the second reading. The commandment that Jesus gives us is that we love one another as he loves us. This love is firstly God’s love for Jesus, which he has then shown to us. It is such an, all embracing love, that he will lay down his life for us, his friends. We are not slaves, we are his friends, simply because he has shared everything with us. The world will not understand this love, so just as it hated Jesus, it will also hate us, hence we might have to endure sacrifice and hardship, as we travel this road of love. It is not a selfish love, it is a total love of God’s creation and God’s creatures, especially his friends. Our task is to take this love out and make all people God’s friends, by sharing all he has bestowed upon us. God is love, not judgemental, so we also should be the embodiment of love, loving everybody into the salvation of our God.
Let us always be thankful. Alleluia.
God Bless you all & Stay Safe.
Deacon Vincent

(Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash.)


Monthly Mass for the LGBTQ+ community.
See the poster for details of May's monthly celebration of Mass at St Nicholas' Church, for members of the LGBT+ community, their families, friends and allies.
All are welcome.








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Our Primary School - September 2021

"Late applying for a Reception place for your child this September? It’s not too late!
St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School still has places for our 2021 class.
We offer a calm, caring and happy school, where children thrive. Please contact the school office on 01454 866690 for further details."





Haven Home
With the situation in India ever-present in our prayers, please see the latest update from our beloved Haven Home school and orphanage who have sent us this information about how they are coping.
Please remember them all in your prayers and pray for an end to this pandemic.
"We firstly thank each and everyone for your fervent prayers for our country and all those associated with Haven Home. Past 2-3 weeks has been a devastating situation throughout India and also in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. Many funerals and even losing family and friends due to COVID. It’s is heart breaking but at the same time it’s so shameful that we don’t have a chance to see the grieving family as well. Your prayers for our country is highly needed.
The government passed orders to evacuate all boarding schools so we dropped all the children to their homes. Our state works on volunteer systems. In this system each volunteer is assigned 50 families in the village to take care of their medical and other needs. So during this COVID if any one is affected then the volunteer is responsible to make sure they are hospitalise and medical care is given. So in a scenario if the member of a volunteer is in other region and he is affected with COVID then he or she cannot be guaranteed medial care. So with this situation we were directed by the government to drop all the children to their home. Please pray for safety and protection over each child as they are in their homes.
Right now we only had grade 10 children with us who are preparing for their upcoming exam in the first week of June. They are not attending school but preparing and revising. Please pray for them.
All the staff and family are doing well. Getting vaccination is becoming difficult as they have put an age limit. From May 1st it will be available to 18 years and above. So we dread huge and massive queues for the vaccination which will be a super spreader again. Prayer needs for this as well.
The local hospital are in a devastated situation of not being able to admit all the patients. The beds, oxygen, ventilator are in shortage. Hospital are requesting families to procure their own oxygen cylinders in order for them to carry the medical care. So people are running from pillar to post for oxygen cylinders.
Please pray for the situations."

Photo - Haven Home back in 2016 when visited by our parish.

An update from CAFOD:
As coronavirus brings devastation across India, CAFOD is working with experienced local Church agency, Caritas India, to provide vital support to poor and marginalised communities. Donations to CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal will help Caritas India distribute PPE kits to frontline health workers, promote COVID & vaccine awareness campaigns, and set up safely run isolation & quarantine centres. You can donate online here: cafod.org.uk/give.
Please keep praying for the people of India and all those affected by the pandemic.
CAFOD is holding a special online Mass on Friday 7 May at 6.30pm to pray for the people of India. You can register here: bigmarker.com/cafod/India-Emergency


Novena to the Holy Spirit
Bishop Declan invites us all to participate in praying a Novena to the Holy Spirit beginning this week on Thursday 13 May (Feast of the Ascension). Each of the nine days will focus on a different fruit of the Spirit. You can access the prayer resource for the Novena on the diocesan website: https://cliftondiocese.com/novena
We hope as many people will join us in praying the Novena as we continue to ‘Dare to Dream’ and invite the Holy Spirit to bless our diocese as we move forward.


Thanks for your updates Bella!
Living simply
"Living simply" means just being kind to everyone and everything. One thing you could do is to look at your food stores, all that we have bought 'just in case', and maybe take some to your local foodbank. Often we forget what we have, and don't use it, and there is such a need in food banks just now. Also we could think about the people who provided the food, and maybe we would think it worth paying a few pence more for Fair trade. There are also the Mayoral and other elections coming up and there are lots of Zoom hustings going on. You can see some information here:
I am proud of so much good stuff going on in Bristol.

Laudato Si Week
Beginning on 16th May a week of free online events is taking place world-wide leading up to Pentecost.
Designated Laudato Si Week, Pope Francis invites us to 'prepare the future' celebrating the progress the church has made on its journey to ecological conversion and reflecting on what the COVID19 pandemic has taught us.
To learn more about the week's events go to https://laudatosiweek.org/
I would add my personal encouragement that these are world class talks by major figures in the church and will culminate in the promulgation of the Laudato Si Programme for the next seven years, a programme of Jubilee. This is a fantastic opportunity to be in touch with what the Church is thinking. The events are at lunchtime and evening every day for about an hour. Please sign up!
Fr Frank is going to pray an intercession for creation every day that week and make it the Sunday Mass Intention, thank you Fr Frank. And please pray for the success of all the international initiatives with the G7 and eventually COP26 in November to make real and lasting change to our suffering planet and our sisters and brothers.
Bella.

With Laudato Si week approaching, let's look further afield for ideas and inspiration...
Check out this BBC documentary.
"In Bangladesh and Bhutan, Ade sees the damage that climate change is causing and finds out how we can fight it, and how a whole country can go carbon negative."