WE WISH ALL READERS OF OUR BLOG A VERY HAPPY AND TRULY BLESSED NEW YEAR
We are the Parish Church of Rush Green, Romford in the Catholic Tradition of the Church of England. Vicar: Father Martin Howse SSC. Hon. Assistant Curate: Father Mervyn Jennings SSC Sunday: Parish Mass 10.00 a.m.
A good congregation gathered at 4.30 p.m. for the Annual Christingle Service conducted by Father Martin. One of the teachers from St. Edwards Church of England School read the First Reading and the Head of Rush Green Primary School read the Second. In his address Father Martin introduced a rubber turkey which talked to him with a “squeak”. The turkey maintained he was not a turkey but a chicken although he looked very much like a turkey to everyone there. His various antics as Father Martin explained the Christingle Service had everybody in fits of laughter including the organist for the service Father Mervyn. The church looked lovely when all the lights were turned off and the children and some of the adults held their lighted candles whilst there were many other candles lit all around the church.
The church was lit by candles for the Solemn Mass of Midnight with just very subdued lighting to enable the congregation to read the Mass and Hymn Books. Father Martin and Father Mervyn concelebrated the Mass. Father Mervyn preached the sermon in which he drew attention to the generosity of the Innkeeper in responding to Joseph’s desperate plea for somewhere for Mary to deliver her baby, letting the Holy Family use the stable-cave at the rear of the Inn which the Innkeeper’s family would normally use themselves at busy times. He said that Joseph had showed generosity in his response to the message of the angel in taking Mary as his wife and caring for her, despite his doubts over her pregnancy. Mary’s response to God’s call to her had been equally generous in accepting the role that she had been given that she had been specially chosen by God to be the bearer of His Son. Finally, he said that the most generous gift of all was God’s gift to humankind when he gave us His Only Son to be our Saviour. He ended with the text “God so loved the world that he gave his Only Son that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life” It must be our act of generosity in response to God’s love for us to make the good news known to everyone we can. At the end of the well-attended Mass, Father Martin blessed the Christmas Crib and the Bambino was placed in it. Afterwards we enjoyed Sherry and Mince pies in the Hall.
We wondered, after the good attendances at the Christingle and the Midnight Mass, and the bitterly cold weather, if we might find Mass attendance somewhat depleted – it wasn’t. Father Mervyn and Father Martin concelebrated the Mass and Father Martin preached whilst Father Mervyn led us in prayer. During the singing of the Hymn “Away in a Manger” a little boy from the congregation came up the aisle to the Altar Steps. Father Martin went to him and then they both sat on the steps for the hymn and then Father carried him back to his parents. It was a most moving moment and touched the hearts of everybody present.
THE HOLY FAMILY/SOLEMNITY OF ST. STEPHEN Sunday 26th December
Again, today a good congregation came to the Solemn Mass concelebrated by Father Martin and Father Mervyn. Father Martin preached whilst Father Mervyn led us in prayer. We learnt this morning that the turkey who appeared for the first time at the Christingle was called Kenny Farmworthy Chicken - a likely story. Most of us still think he is a turkey in disguise just because it’s Christmas and he didn’t want to end up as somebody’s Christmas Dinner. Having successfully escaped the oven, the destination of many turkey’s this time of year, he will be making another appearance on Sunday 2nd January 2011.
This has been a very good Christmas at St. Augustine’s and we have been blessed with good congregations at every service – Deo Gratias.
Mass will be celebrated on Monday – St. John the Evangelist, Tuesday – The Holy Innocents Thursday and Saturday – Mary, Mother of God at 10.00 a.m.
Understandably the congregation was a little depleted this morning due to the appalling weather conditions but Mass went ahead as normal. Our Organist and Choirmaster was unable to get through and so the singing was mostly unaccompanied. Despite the snow laden roads and treacherous footpaths many of the faithful managed to come. Father Martin presided and preached as Father Mervyn was due to preside and preach at St. Barnabas, Woodford Green. Yesterday’s Saturday Shop took an amazing £166 although numbers attending were considerably down due to the weather. This will be last Saturday Shop of the year but we open for business as usual in the New Year.
Today Father Martin presided and preached at the Parish Mass - Father Mervyn was officiating at St. Barnabas, Woodford Green. During the notices it was announced that yesterday’s Saturday Shop made an impressive £196, meaning that this year, so far, the amount raised by the Saturday Shop and our eBay trading is around £10,000. Father Martin also drew attention to the Advertisement in The Church Times about the appointment of new suffrage bishops for the Sees of Richborough and Ebbsfleet which invited people interested to supply names etc. In jest, he said he wouldn’t mind if anyone in the congregation suggested his name!
Details about our Christmas Services were published on the Blog last week and are also on the handout in church.
Today Father Martin presided and Father Mervyn preached at the Parish Mass. During his sermon Father Mervyn related how Handel had written the Oratorio “The Messiah” in just 24 days, giving the work to The London Foundling Hospital for fund-raising. He mentioned that originally the London Clergy had been opposed to it and prevented it from being performed. Handel had written The Messiah as a thanksgiving to God for his talent as a musician. Handel directed the performance every year for 20 years at venues decided by the Foundling Hospital. Unlike the Scribes and the Pharisees in today’s Gospel who assumed that their salvation was assured because they were “sons of Abraham” Handel did not make a presumption of entitlement – the way of selfishness –instead, he prepared. John the Baptist calls us to “prepare” and Advent gives us the opportunity to prepare for his coming again.
During the Notices we heard that the event “Santa’s on the Run” which was to be held on the 2nd December had been cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions. It has been rescheduled for the 14th but those taking part from St. Augustine’s are unable to take part on that date. Instead, they will go from the church to Queen’s Hospital on the 18th December prior to Carol singing at the hospital.
Members of the PCC are reminded that their next meeting is on Wednesday 8th December (The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) Mass at 7.00 p.m. followed by the meeting
Christmas Eve 24th December
4.30 p.m. CHRISTINGLE S SERVICE
6.00 p.m. Vigil Mass
11.30 p.m. MIDNIGHT MASS followed by Mince pies & Drinks in the Hall
CHRISTMAS DAY 25th December
10.00 a.m. PARISH MASS with carols for all the family
Sunday 26th December (St Stephen’s Day) THE HOLY FAMILY
10.00 a.m. SOLEMN MASS.
Sunday 2nd January 2011
6.00 p.m. CAROL SERVICE.
Today, the freezing weather could have prevented people coming to Mass but although some stayed at home because of the icy conditions, the majority were there as usual. Father Mervyn presided and Father Martin preached. At the start of Mass the Advent Wreath was blessed and a child from the congregation lit the first purple candle. In his sermon Father Martin mentioned the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version of the Bible which is being celebrated next year. The initiative for this started at a meeting of the Havering Deanery Synod who sent a resolution to the Chelmsford Diocesan Synod who passed it and sent it on to General Synod who also passed it.
During the Notices at the end of Mass we heard that the total for the Christmas Bazaar had now risen to an outstanding £2,500.
There was a good attendance this evening for our Nine Lessons with Advent Carols in candlelight. The Choir sang The Advent Prose, Adam lay Y’bounden and When came in Flesh. Amongst the readers were three teenagers from our congregation. It was a lovely way to start Advent.
On Thursday 2nd December some of our congregation led by Father Martin will be taking part in the sponsored event “Santa’s on the Run” in aid of Richard House, London’s first hospice for children with life-limited and complex healthcare needs. It starts at Riverside Walk, St Gabriel’s Wharf (Southbank) at 6.00 p.m. when people dressed up as Santa’s will run, jog or walk for 2 km raising money towards the £1.8 million needed this year to ensure the running of the hospice.
On their Website they say this: Richard House is a purpose built children's hospice in east London. Our core purpose is to accompany families with children and young people life-threatening conditions or complex healthcare needs, during the child or young person's journey through life to death, creating positive experiences along the way which become good memories for the future. Our services are wide-ranging, completely free to families and tailored to our multi-cultural community. We need to raise £3.1 million each year to keep Richard House open.
If you are able to sponsor a member of the congregation please contact Father Martin or Father Mervyn.
Today we celebrated the Solemnity of Christ the King in a joyous service at which Father Martin celebrated and preached. We gave thanks for the resounding success of yesterday’s Bazaar and for all those who gave their time in preparation, for all those who came and spent their money and for a happy event. Father Mervyn was away officiating at St. Barnabas, Woodford Green.
Next Sunday is Advent Sunday and there will be an Advent Service of Carols & Reading at 6.00 p.m. Readings for Year A start on Advent Sunday
DATES FOR DAIRIES
Monday 22nd November (Tomorrow) the Redbridge & Havering Ordinariate Group will be meeting at 7.30 p.m. with Mass and a continuation of the course “Evangelium”.
Monday 29th November Deanery Synod at St. Albans, Romford.
Saturday 4th December NOT THE CHRISTMAS PARTY 7.30 p.m. All ages welcome. Cost £2 per head – bring your own Drinks & Nibbles.
Wednesday 8th December Mass at 7.30 p.m. followed by PCC meeting.
NEW YEARS EVE Social in the Hall starting at 8.00 p.m. and continuing until 2011. Admission free but names to Father Martin please.
Today, we held our Christmas Bazaar. The pictures were taken before the hall opened for the many people who came to patronise this annual event including our MP Andrew Rosindell. We hope to know the result tomorrow at the Parish Mass. Stallholders were dressed from the story Snow-white and the Seven Dwarfs.
Today, Remembrance Sunday, a Requiem Mass was held for those who gave their lives in the service of their country in two World Wars and in many subsequent wars such as Korea, the Falklands, Suez, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. Father Martin presided and Father Mervyn played the organ. Our Scout Group paraded their flags whilst our Guides and Brownies were unable to be with us this year as some had been chosen to be at the London Cenotaph, whilst others were at the Civic Service in Romford. The Mass started 15 minutes earlier than normal so that we could observe the Two Minutes Silence at 11.00 a.m. It had been arranged that those who wished to light a Votive Candle, for those who had died, close to the Statue of Our Lady were able to do so. During the Communion the Choir sang the beautiful piece “May the Choirs of Angels”. Just before 11.00 a.m. the Altar Party, Choir and Congregation processed to the Memorial Garden where a wreath and poppies were laid, Binyon’s Poem was recited and the Two Minutes Silence kept, marked by a guest trumpeter Michael playing the Last Post and Reveille. After the National Anthem, Father Mervyn played Walford Davies Solemn Melody as the congregation returned to the church and then went to the hall for refreshments.
Saturday 22nd November WINTER BAZAAR. Doors open at 10.00 a.m. Many Stalls, Christmas Cards at bargain prices, Refreshments, Grand Draw. Come early and get yourself a bargain.
Monday 22nd November Redbridge & Havering Ordinariate Group meet at 7.30 p.m. for Mass and will be continuing the Course “Evangelium”
Tuesday 30th November 7.30 p.m. ROSARY in the Lady Chapel.
Saturday 4th December NOT THE CHRISTMAS PARTY. ...fun & games for all the family. 7.30 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Cost £2 per person.
NEW YEARS EVE PARTY 8.00 p.m. ending in 2011. FREE ADMISSION!!!!!! More details to come.
Today Father Martin presided at the Concelebrated Parish Mass whilst Father Mervyn preached on the Gospel of the day. He pointed out that the Sadducees didn’t believe in life after death and it was pointed out to them, by Jesus, that God was a God of the living not of the dead: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. November was the month when we observed All Saints, and All Souls and we also we remembered those who had died as a result of two world wars and many other conflicts since. He mentioned that eternal life was now with the Church Triumphant, the Church Expectant and the Church Militant “here on earth” – all one church worshipping the one true God, a God of the living not the dead.
FORTH COMING EVENTS
Wednesday 10th November 7.30 p.m. Mass followed by a meeting of those exploring the Ordinariate. This is open to anyone who is interested.
SUNDAY 14th November REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY Requiem Mass starts at 9.45 a.m. followed at 11.00 a.m. with the Two Minutes silence in the Memorial Garden.
SATURDAY 20th November WINTER BAZAAR If you are able to help please let either Father Martin or Geoff know. Doors open on Saturday at 10.00 a.m.
Today we celebrated ALL SAINTS DAY with a Solemn Mass which included the Litany of the Saints. Father Martin presided and preached and Father Mervyn played the organ.
TUESDAY ALL SOULS DAY Tuesday 2nd November – Requiem Mass at 7.30 p.m. Names to be remembered during Mass should be entered on the sheet at the back of church.
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 14TH NOVEMBER We were reminded in the Notices that on Remembrance Sunday the Parish Mass will start at 9.45 a.m. with the Two Minutes Silence being observed at 11.00 a.m.
Wednesday 10th November 7.30 p.m. Mass followed by a meeting of the Redbridge & Havering Ordinariate Group.
Wednesday 17th November The Shoe Box Appeal ends today.
SATURDAY 20th November WINTER BAZAAR. If you are able to help please let Father Martin or Geoff know as soon as possible. We will set up the Bazaar between 5.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. on Friday evening and from 8.00 a.m. on Saturday. Doors open to the public at 10.00 a.m.
MONDAY 22nd November 7.30 p.m. Mass followed by a meeting of the Redbridge & Havering Ordinariate Group.
Today we celebrated Bible Sunday and Father Martin presided and preached. He reminded people that if they had lived a thousand years ago, the Bible would have been read to them in Latin which most of them couldn’t have understood and very few indeed could have read for themselves. It was several hundred years later before the Bible was available translated into English. Today, we have a choice of Bibles and we should value them, using them regularly.
Next Sunday we will be keeping ALL SAINTS.
Tuesday 2nd November All Souls Day – Requiem Mass at 19.30 p.m.
A list for names to be remembered is at the back of church. For those unable to attend the Evening Requiem there will be a short form of service at 10.00 a.m. in the Lady Chapel.
Sunday 14th November – REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 09.45 (Parade Service) and (weather permitting) will conclude in the Garden of Remembrance.
The total raised by Penny and Gail our two sisters, for Cancer Charities has now reached £1,909. They would like to thank all those who have contributed so far and they hope that within a short period of time the total will exceed £2,000.
On Sunday Father Martin celebrated and preached at the Solemn Mass with Holy Baptism. Father Mervyn was away visiting his grandchildren in the Cotswolds. During the service Emmanuel Bassit Babawale was baptised. His family wore traditional Nigerian costumes for the service which was full to capacity. After the service Emmanuel’s family treated the congregation to refreshments in the hall and presented Father Martin with a box of Holy Communion wafers.
This week’s Saturday Shop took £169.
PRAYER OF ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT
Our Lord told Saint Gertrude the Great that the following prayer would release 1,000 Souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners which would alleviate the indebtedness accrued to them during their lives.
"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."
Saint Gertrude the Great was born in Germany in 1263. She was a Benedictine Nun, and meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought floods of tears to her eyes. She did many penances and Our Lord appeared to her many times. Her holy Soul passed away in 1334. November 16th is her Feast Day.
We are pleased to report that, so far, the amount raised by Penny and her sister Gail, for Cancer Charities now stands at £1,600 with their sponsored shaving of their heads. There is still time to support Penny and Gail so please give generously to this very worthwhile cause
This morning Father Martin presided and preached and Father Mervyn concelebrated the Solemn Mass. During the notices we learnt that our Harvest Appeal raised £221 and the recent USPG boxes collection raised £105.14 for the link project in Tanzania.
Today is the start of National Baby Loss Week and Queen’s Hospital Chaplaincy Team (of which Father Martin is a member) will lead a service at 4.00 p.m. for those who have lost a baby in the past year.
Tomorrow Monday 11th October the Rosary will be prayed in the Lady Chapel.
Saturday 16th October our Scout Group are holding a Quiz Night in the Church Hall starting at 7.30 p.m. Adults £2 Children £1 or £5 for a family of 4.
Last night we enjoyed a fabulous Harvest Supper, cooked by the Vicarage Team of Father Martin and Jan, aided by Vicky and Charlotte. We enjoyed freshly made French Onion Soup, or Tomato Soup followed by Shepherd’s Pie with carrots and peas, and either Apple pie or Apple crumble with custard or ice-cream. The well attended evening made a profit for Church Funds.
Today Father Mervyn presided at the Solemn Mass and Father Martin preached. Last Saturday the Saturday Shop took £300 which means that, so far this year, the Shop has raised £6,210 with a further £1,100 made on our E-Bay trading. All this goes towards paying the parish’s Family Purse (Diocesan Quota)
Tomorrow, St. Francis Day there will be a Mass in the Lady Chapel at 2.30 p.m. to which well behaved pets are welcome with their owners.
Tuesday 5th October 7.30 p.m. Mass followed by an open meeting about the Ordinariate to which all are welcome.
MADE IN DAGENHAM
Gwen, a member of our congregation was part of the original 187 Dagenham Girls who, in 1968, took on the mighty Ford Motor Company when they went on strike for equal pay and won. Their efforts eventually led to equality for women although, at the time, none of them realised their action would change history and have an impact world-wide. Now a film has been released “MADE IN DAGENHAM” which tells the story of the strike which has given Gwen and the other 187 the limelight they deserved. As a result of the film she has appeared on television, has been on radio chat shows, has been interviewed by newspapers and has been to Parliament.
Today we celebrated Harvest and the church was full, with the Uniformed Organisations coming to join us at the Solemn Mass. Father Martin was the principal celebrant with Father Mervyn concelebrating. During the sermon, aided and abetted by Father Mervyn, Father Martin invited the Guides, Brownies, Rainbows, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers to come to the Altar steps and he then divided them into two groups. One group went up the chancel step towards the Altar rail with him, whilst the others stayed where they were with Father Mervyn. He then produced a tray of chocolate biscuits and gave one to each child in his group by the Altar rail, with the instructions not to eat them just yet. Father Mervyn encouraged his group standing at the Chancel step to complain that it wasn’t fair they didn’t have a biscuit too. There was much arguing between the two Fathers until, reluctantly, it was agreed that as there was not enough biscuits for everyone to have a whole biscuit of their own, the chosen who had them, should share with those who didn’t. When the second group received their half a biscuit they too were encouraged to share what they had with the rest of the congregation and surprise, surprise, everyone then had part of a chocolate biscuits. The moral is that there is sufficient in our world if only those who have the most share with those who have the least or nothing at all. (Apologies to our Church Cleaners who will have a few (?) crumbs to sweep up.)
Our new Card Shop is now open for the sale of very reasonably priced cards for all occasions including Birthdays, Anniversary’s, Get Well and Sympathy. There is also a small selection of Christmas Cards available; more will be available at the Winter Bazaar.
Our Winter Bazaar is on Saturday 20th November. If you haven’t yet volunteered to help on the day, please speak to Father Martin as soon as possible. The Bazaar will be set up on Friday 19th November between 5.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. and from 8.00 a.m. on the day. We open at 10.00 a.m. and close around 1.45 p.m. after the Grand Prize Draw. Tickets for the Draw are now available.
The Clean & Tidy Group meet on Thursday 30th September working in the Church or grounds, weather permitting.
This morning Father Martin celebrated and preached whilst Father Mervyn played the organ as our Organist was away. During the sermon Father Martin recalled a favourite saying of his: “Jesus took Tax Collectors and made them disciples. The church takes disciples and makes them Tax Collectors.” During the Communion the Choir sang Cardinal Newman’s Hymn “Praise to the Holiest in the Height” as a way of celebrating the beatifying of Cardinal Newman taking place in Birmingham contemporaneously with our Solemn Mass.
We learnt that a member of our congregation and a friend are to do a sponsored shave of her hair in the near future to raise money for Cancer Research. There will be more details on the Blog in the near future. Tickets for the Harvest Supper are going quickly so if you haven’t yet booked yours yet, please do so as soon as possible.
Father Martin will be standing for election in the forthcoming elections for General Synod; please give him your prayers and support.
At today’s Parish Mass Father Martin was the principal celebrant with Father Mervyn concelebrating. Father Mervyn preached and led the Intercessions. Our Sunday School reopened today after the summer recess. We had a very good congregation and it was great to see several new faces. Last week’s Saturday Shop raised £245.
The Harvest Supper is on Saturday 2nd October at 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 p.m. The menu is a choice of either Homemade Onion Soup or Tomato Soup, Shepherd’s Pie served with peas and carrots, and either Apple Pie or Apple Crumble with either ice cream or custard, and tea or coffee. Cost is £5 (bring your own drinks).
The Wednesday Mass this week will be according to the Book of Common Prayer in the Lady Chapel at 7.30 p.m.
Deanery Synod Members are reminded that the Synod meets on Monday 20th September at St. Edward’s Church, Romford at 7.00 p.m. for 7.30 p.m.
The Parochial Church will meet on Tuesday 21st September at 7.30 p.m.
Father Martin presided and preached at the Parish Mass today. As our regular organist was away a young man, Samuel, played the organ and was much appreciated by the congregation, stepping in at the last moment. We learnt that, so far this year, the Saturday Shop has raised £5,608.80 and our EBay trading a further £850.
The Last Night of the Proms which had been arranged for Saturday 18th September has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
Members of the PCC are reminded that the next meeting will be on Tuesday 21st September at 7.30 p.m.
Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.
"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"
"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.
The congregation welcomed Father Martin and Jan back from their holiday. Both look thoroughly refreshed after enjoying the sunshine in Spain for several weeks. The evening they arrived back it was really vile; the rain wasn’t just falling, it was pouring down and to add to the misery of leaving Spain at 38 degrees it was quite cold and they had to make the journey into Stansted Airport by foot as there was no transport available from the plane.
Father Martin celebrated and preached at the Parish Mass this morning. The number attending Mass today was up with several new people in the congregation.
The Saturday Shop re-opens next Saturday after being closed for the August Bank Holiday Weekend. Father Mervyn and Ann came from St. Mary’s Ilford where Father had been the Celebrant at the Solemn Mass; they came to join us for coffee and Father Martin presented Ann with a “Get Well” card and a beautiful bouquet. The entrance to St. Augustine’s Church Hall is all flat so Ann had no difficulty on her crutches.
God has created me
to do him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me
which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission -
I may never know it in this life,
but I shall be told of it in the next.
I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught,
I shall do good,
I shall do his work.
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth
in my own place
while not intending it -
if I do but keep
Therefore, I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am,
I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness,
my sickness may serve Him;
my perplexity may serve Him;
if I am in sorry,
my sorrow may serve Him.
He does nothing in vain.
He knows what He is about.
He may take away my friends.
He may throw me among strangers.
He may make me feel desolate,
make my spirits sink,
hide my future from me -
still He knows
what He is about.
Father Mervyn at the Statue of our Lady
Let us rejoice and celebrate this feast in honour of the Virgin Mary, at whose assumption the angels rejoice, giving praise to the Son of God.
Today we celebrated the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady Mary, Mother of God and Mother of us all. In his sermon Father Mervyn quoted the Theologian John Macquarrie who in his book “Mary for all Christians, he mentioned how, in 1946 whilst doing National Service, he visited the church in Jerusalem Called the Dormition or the Falling Asleep of Our Lady. He found it very gloomy, "just about the last place that would make one think of a glorious assumption". Having visited this church a few years ago Father Mervyn said it was still gloomy but moving. Never-the-less Macquarrie felt he must kneel and pray, despite mocking comments from his comrades. "Dimly," he says, "I sensed that the Assumption was part of the very fabric of Christian faith." When four years later, in 1950 the doctrine of the Assumption was solemnly defined by Pius XII, Macquarrie liked the way the pope put it: Mary, "on completing the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul" not simply to heaven (as though she were merely transferred to another place), but rather "to heavenly glory", which suggests a transformation of her human condition, from its earthly state to a state in which she enjoys the glory of a new relationship with God. He noted too that the pope had linked the Assumption with the intimate union existing between Mary and Jesus, between Mother and Child: she had conceived him, borne him, nourished him, done what every mother does for her child. Such an association surely could not come to an end when her earthly life was over. Father Mervyn said that John Macquarrie was absolutely right when more than forty years ago he sensed that the Assumption was "part of the very fabric of Christian faith".
Our Lay Reader led the Intercessions this morning. We were joined again today by several people who came for the first time last week. We learnt that the Saturday Shop had taken over £240 the previous Saturday and over £170 yesterday. At the end of the Mass we recited the Angelus.
Farewell, at the end of Mass at St. Augustines but see you at coffee in the Church Hall
help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Thy spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine.
Shine through me,
and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with
may feel Thy presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me
but only Jesus!
Stay with me,
and then I shall begin to shine
as Thou shinest,
so to shine as to be a light to others;
the light, O Jesus, will be all from Thee;
none of it will be mine;
it will be Thou shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise Thee in the way Thou dost love best
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach Thee without preaching,
not by words but by my example,
by the catching force of the sympathetic influence
of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to Thee.
This morning Father Mervyn presided at the Parish Mass and preached. He recalled the story of how Blondin had walked a tight rope across the Niagara Falls several times, at first solo and then with a wheel barrow full of earth. When one of the bystanders said to him that he thought Blondin could do it all day, he emptied the wheel barrow and invited the man to get in instead. He declined. He did not have the faith he would need in Blondin. Father Mervyn pointed out how Abraham and Sara by faith had been prepared to set off to find the Promised Land and how they had faith that despite their ages, an heir would be given to them and how, when God asked for the sacrifice of their only son and heir they had been prepared to sacrifice him if that was what required.
The Israelites had put their faith in God when they left Egypt .They showed that faith when they came to the Red Sea believing that God would protect them when they crossed it and they found that the waters parted for them. He said we all have times when we need to put our faith in God and sometimes we may be called to set out ourselves on a journey without any idea where it might lead just as the Israelites had set out on a journey putting their faith in God. Jesus reminded us that he would come again and we must put our faith in all that he promised. What is God calling us to do or to undertake? We must have faith and then we will be prepared to demonstrate that faith and get into the wheel barrow.
Next Sunday we will celebrate The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Parish Mass at 10.00 a.m. when again Father Mervyn will preside and preach
Lord, you call your people to a ever deeper love of the Eucharist - may this wonderful gift to your church unite us in the bonds of love and communion with you, and with one another. Lord in your mercy....Hear our prayer.
Lord, you call each person to discover their unique relationship with you; inspire all people to seek the vocation to perfect love. By being faithful to their Baptism may all Christians be led to the fullness of life. Lord in your mercy....
Lord God, give your people light and strength, that they may see the path you have chosen for them and accept it with hope and trust in you - may the young find friendship and guidance. Lord in your mercy....
Father of all, you entrusted your Son to the care of Mary and Joseph - help Christian parents to discover the values and joys of a vocation in the service of Church and the world. May those called to marriage or single life reveal your love in their faithfulness. Lord in your mercy..................
Eternal High Priest, strengthen those you have called to sanctify, teach and serve your people, to live their vocation with generosity - may they always be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God and find joy in their priesthood. Lord in your mercy...........
Lord God, through the prayers and witness of St. Augustine our Patron and all your saints, call others to serve you in the Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life - may they always receive from your people the support they need. Lord in your mercy.........
Heavenly Father, through the intercession of Our Blessed Lady may we, like her, ponder faithfully your saving Word and accept our vocation to bear Jesus Christ to the world - may our lives announce Him through our commitment to love, holiness and truth. Lord in your mercy..........
Adapted from Intercessions for Vocations published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood
Today, Father Martin presided and preached whilst Father Mervyn concelebrated at the Parish Mass. Numbers were slightly down due to the fact that school holidays are now underway. In his sermon Father Martin commented on a recent event he had attended organised by Bishop David, the Bishop of Barking on “Politics and Religion” There were people from various denominations in attendance. In Father Martin’s Group there was an Orthodox priest, Baptist Minister and other clergy from the Church of England. One of the subjects they discussed was “What does your congregation think of Heaven.” One Universalist insisted that everyone went to heaven anyway. Father Martin argued that if that was the case, why did Jesus die on the cross and other martyrs, like St. James, sacrifice their lives.
At the end of Mass Father Martin explained the new arrangements about Harvest. Boxes would still be available for individual cash donations but there would also be series of tombola’s to raise funds. Gifts for this would be welcome and could be brought to Mass or to the Saturday Shop. The tombola's would be held at the Saturday Shop between now and the end of September. The money raised together with donations from the match boxes would be sent to the usual Harvest Charity. The church would be decorated using some of the items donated to give more of a feel of Harvest.
Today at the Parish Mass, Father Martin presided and Father Mervyn preached and concelebrated. Father Mervyn talked about how Martha was so concerned with domestic chores that she failed to realise there was something far more important. Jesus was with them. Mary was listening to him and Jesus said she had the better part which would not be taken away from her.
School holidays have already started in the neighbourhood which is split between two Local Authorities so some children have already broken up and people have already started their summer break. The other area will break up during this week. This was reflected in the Saturday Shop which was very quiet yesterday. Also it was the Dagenham Festival in which our Guides and Brownies had a float celebrating 100 years of Guiding.
Can’t afford to go the Last Night of the Proms? Well, have no fear, you can come to St. Augustine’s on Saturday 18th September for an evening featuring Music, Hymns, jingoistic songs, recitations, monologues or anything else which celebrates “the old Country”.
Admission £3 per person but patriotic garb or a good-sized flag will merit a third off. Capacity is as many as we can fit into the church – first come, first admitted.
Want to do a turn of any of the above then see father Martin, otherwise turn up prepared to sing items like Land of Hope and Glory – I vow to Thee my Country – Rule Britannia etc., etc., and, of course, God Save The Queen
Today our Organist & Choirmaster Jon returned from his period away due to his heart operation so Father Mervyn, relieved of his spell of playing the organ, was invited by Father Martin to preside at the Parish Mass whilst Father Martin preached and concelebrated. After the well attended Service of Baptism, Confirmation and Solemn Mass on Friday with Bishop Keith, and the Concert on Saturday evening by the choir Notability we half expected our numbers would be down but, in fact, they were up on our normal attendance.
At the Peace the children who have been to Sunday School return to church and show us what they’ve been doing. They leave church after the first hymn and a prayer and go to the Church Hall for their own teaching usually based on the Gospel for the day.
During the notices we learnt that the Strawberry Tea the previous weekend made a final total of £377.60 after all expenses had been covered. A really magnificent amount! Despite many people being away on holiday or taking a day at the beach due to the wonderful weather, our Saturday Shop takings last week amounted to £172.
The Neat & Tidy Club which keeps our grounds and the hall looking neat and tidy will meet on Thursday 8th and 29th July and our Parochial Church Council will meet on Wednesday 20th July at 7.30 p.m. in the Lady Chapel.
On Friday night at a Solemn Pontifical Mass, Bishop Keith Newton SSC, Bishop of Richborough baptised Louise and then she and Carole and Marcelle were Confirmed and made their First Communion. During the Communion of the People the Choir sang the Anthem “Lead me Lord” with Jan singing the solo part very well. The service included hymns which had been chosen by the candidates. At the end of the service Father Martin presented the candidates with Cards and Prayer Books.
After the service there was a Reception in the Church Hall where the newly Confirmed and their families were able to meet and spend time with Bishop Keith and together they cut a celebratory cake.
Father Mervyn played the organ concluding with Karg-Elert’s Chorale Improvisation on Now Thank We All Our God. After several months away our Organist returns this Sunday.
Another brilliant, sunny day, just the weather for a strawberry tea which was held this afternoon in two adjoining gardens in the parish. Gazebos protected us from some of the sun and in addition to the strawberries and cream we enjoyed wine or ice cold beer, soft drinks, tea, coffee, tea bread, scones and an iced cake. It was a wonderful social occasion and at the end of the afternoon we joined together for Prayer Book Evensong in the garden. The event made a profit for church funds of over £300. Many thanks to all those who worked hard to make this a very successful and enjoyable afternoon.
It was good to welcome to Mass this morning some of our congregation who had been away for some time due to illness, now recovered or abroad. At the start of the Mass Father Martin welcomed everybody.
As well as playing the organ Father Mervyn preached on this Sunday’s Epistle from S. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. He pointed out that all people are equal regardless of colour, sex, social status or nationality. All were made in God’s image and to treat people with disdain or by any form of prejudice was to deny God and his wonderful creation. We were all brothers and sisters by nature of our Baptism. He quoted a black priest who once said: “If you do not like me because I am ignorant, I can be sent to school and educated. If you do not like me because I am dirty, I can be taught to wash and be clean. If you do not like me because of my unsocial habits, I can be taught how to live in society. But if you do not like me because of the color of my skin, I can only refer you to God who made me. “
During the Notices Father Martin reminded everybody about the Confirmation with Holy Baptism and Pontifical Mass on Friday 2nd July with Bishop Keith Newton SSC the Bishop of Richborough. The service would be followed by refreshments in the hall.
Every Sunday the Choir sing an anthem or quiet hymn during the Communion of the people. During the absence of our Organist and Choirmaster Choir practice on a Sunday morning has been led by Father Mervyn. We have a loyal adult choir who give freely of their time and talents and this is much appreciated by our congregation.
Today, at the Parish Mass we celebrated, and gave thanks for the achievement of the Saturday Shop which over the last 8 years has raised £50,000 plus an additional £10,000 from our sales on EBay. Father Martin observed that during the time the shop has been opened some 500,000 people had been to the shop. Not only did this give us a chance to get to know people, it also provided the opportunity for visitors to speak to a member of the clergy in a welcoming atmosphere.
We also prayed for Church Musicians, our Choir and our Organist, on this Music Sunday. It was good news to hear that our organist will be returning to play the organ on the first Sunday in July after his recovery from a serious operation. Father Mervyn will continue playing the organ and training the choir until then.
Confirmation Classes continued after the Parish Mass in readiness for the Confirmation and Solemn Mass at 7.30 p.m. on the Friday the 2nd July by the Bishop of Richborough, the Rt. Revd. Keith Newton SSC.
The Saturday Shop first opened in April 2002 using the Vicarage and later transferred to the Hall. With 8 years of experience, we now have more expertise in pricing items, getting the best possible price for everything donated. Items that we can’t sell, such as old clothing and ancient books, we recycle through a local source for cash.
Over the 8 years we have raised £50,000 with an additional £10,000 by selling items on EBay. Many weeks local charities have a stall, enabling them to raise money as well. In addition we keep back certain items to sell. or to use in Raffles, at either our May Fair or Winter Bazaar. In total we have now been open for 455 weeks and the Saturday Shop is staffed by a dedicated band of people.
The Saturday Shop provides a much loved community facility, recycling items which people have generously donated. Many people come every week to seek for bargains or just to have a coffee, cakes and a chat with friends. Our grateful thanks to all those who support our Saturday Shop especially those who collect items, man the stalls and clean and tidy the hall after wards also to our many regular customers.
Today we celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi with a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction at the end of the Parish Mass. It was good to see our Organist and Choirmaster back in church today although he hasn’t recovered sufficiently from his recent operation to start playing the organ yet. During the notices Father Martin told us that the Quiz Evening made a profit of around £250 whilst the Saturday Shop made £207.
Yesterday 12 members of St. Augustine’s went to the National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Leaving at 7.15 a.m. we picked up four members of St. Francis of Assisi, Barkingside en route. Father Martin drove the minibus despite having a bad back. We stopped at Brandon Woods for breakfast and then continued to the little village of Walsingham where hundreds of others, Bishops, Priests and pilgrims, had gathered for this annual event.
The procession from the Shrine Church began at 11.50 a.m. and we made our way to the Abbey Grounds singing Marian and other hymns. There was a very good representation of Catholic Bishops this year and the Mass was concelebrated at 12 noon led by the Bishop of Whitby the Rt Revd Martin Warner. At the end of Mass, Bishop Lindsey Urwin OGS the Administrator of the Shrine welcomed some important guests, including the Bishop of Norwich, the Bishop of Kings Lynn, the Administrator of the Roman Catholic Shrine, a contingent from the Orthodox Church, The Bishop of Stafford and the Bishop of Venezuela and he then gave the notices. Amongst the Anglo-Catholic Bishops present were the Bishops of Richborough, Ebbsfleet, Beverley, Chichester, the retired Bishop of Richborough, and many others.
After lunch we had an excellent and thoughtful sermon, preached this year by the Bishop of Stafford, the Rt. Revd. Gordon Mursell. Following the sermon we assembled to process back to the Shrine reciting the Rosary interspersed with the Walsingham Pilgrims Hymn. At the Shrine there was the service of Benediction led by the Bishop of Chichester the Rt. Revd. John Hind.
Members of our party visited the Shrine Church before heading back to the minibus for the journey home. We stopped at Swaffham for Fish and Chips at Old Mother Hubbard’s Fish and Chip Shop somewhat daunting the waitress when 16 hungry pilgrims arrived. After a very good meal we then set of home arriving back at around 10.00 p.m. A great day and one which those who attended will long remember.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us
Today we celebrated the great Solemnity of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. Father Mervyn preached. He showed an empty bag and then produced an egg from it. He explained that an egg comprised of three parts: the shell, the yolk and the white. All three parts performed a function but without any one of the parts the others had no purpose. This illustrated the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He broke the egg open and separated the three parts into three bowls to demonstrate the point that the three parts were truly egg: the shell is egg, the white is egg and the yolk is egg. Yet, whilst they are three parts, all truly egg, they can function independently but remain one egg.
Tomorrow we are taking a mini-bus to the National Pilgrimage of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. We leave at 7.15 a.m. and call in at St. Francis of Assisi, Barkingside to collect 4 passengers who are coming with us. We will be stopping en route for breakfast and after the pilgrimage we will stop in Swaffham for Fish and Chips on the way home.
Yesterday we went to the Trooping of the Colour rehearsal at Horse Guards Parade – for full report see Father Mervyns bog at: www. fathermervynjenningsSSC.blogspot.com
Today we celebrated the great Festival of Pentecost, the last day of the Easter Season. Attendance was up at the Parish Mass and it was good to see a couple of people who have been away due to illness for quite a few weeks. At the end of Mass Father Martin presented Ann with her permission to administer the Blessed Sacrament, authorised by the Bishop of Barking. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was great that the many who came had resisted the temptation to go to the seaside at Southend or Clacton.
Dates for Diarys
Saturday 5th June
Doors open 19.00 for 19.30 start
Bring your own refreshments
(£3 per team up to a maximum of 8)
Friday 2nd July at 19.30
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION & PONTIFICAL SOLEMN MASS
Principal Celebrant : The Bishop of Richborough
Saturday 3rd July
“NOTABILITY” will be giving a Concert in Church
More details soon.
Thursday 13th May
Solemn Mass 7.30 p.m.
Doors open from 10.00 a.m.
The Saturday Shop goes from strength to strength with people flocking here to be the first to get the bargains and there are many of them including nearly new clothes for men, women and children, books, bric-a-brac, children’s toys etc.,etc. Refreshments are available and include home made cakes.
Recently a prospective ordinand from the Evangelical tradition came to spend five weeks with us to experience how Anglo-catholic’s worship. In a letter published in the May edition of our magazine he writes “To summarise my time with you I would say that I was encouraged in three main ways. Firstly, I detected a reverence for our Lord in the way services are conducted. Whilst I believe it is perfectly possible to be reverent and informal, the formality of the service did remind me of how Almighty (and not ‘all-matey’) our Father in heaven is. Additionally, I very much valued the warmth of welcome always received, both during the sharing of the peace, and with many of you during coffee afterwards. Is it possible to be God’s gathered people and not be friendly? Please continue to do so all the more. Finally, I was greatly encouraged by Father Martin’s love of the scriptures (being evangelical myself!). Without the scriptures what else do we have? Many thanks therefore for making me welcome during my time with you. I am indebted to you.”
After Mass this morning, plants left from yesterday were available to buy and the money will increase our final total which stood at £1,014 announced during the notices at Mass.
Yesterday evening, with our hall bedecked with flags of St. George, we sat down to a splendid St George’s Celebration Dinner cooked by Fr. Martin, Jan and the family who also acted as waiters/waitresses. We started with Cream of Tomato Soup, followed by Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, superb roast potatoes, braised cabbage and carrots served with gravy. We then had trifle and finished the meal with Biscuits and a selection of English Cheeses, coffee or tea, and After Eight Mints.
The really wonderful beef was supplied by our local butcher Paul Hawkins of Dagenham Road. During the course of the evening we had readings from Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling and William Blake whilst we enjoyed patriotic background music before, during and after dinner. In the great Anglican Tradition we had a raffle with all the prizes donated. We had the Loyal Toast and a Toast to Shakespeare.
One of our Churchwardens, Cathy, proposed a vote of thanks to Father Martin, Jan and the family for all their hard work in making a very happy and successful evening which also raised £165 for church funds.
At the Parish Mass this morning Father Martin related that the mini-bus going to the National Pilgrimage at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham at the end of May is now full. Plans are now advanced for the St. George’s Day Dinner on Saturday 24th April and although many have booked there are still a few places available at a cost of £10 each (bring your own wine, drinks etc)
The Saturday Shop reopened yesterday after a break for Easter and made over £250.
As our Organist & Choirmaster is still recovering from his recent operation Father Mervyn played the organ for Mass again today. Some of our congregation who went to Spain for a short holiday after Easter are unable to get back home due to the volcanic dust preventing all flights.
On Holy Saturday the church was given a thorough spring clean before it was decorated for Easter and the Easter Garden prepared.
At 5.30 a.m. on Easter Day morning, Father Martin, the choir, servers and congregation gathered at St. Augustine’s Church to keep the Easter Vigil with the lighting of the New Fire, lighting the Paschal Candle, the singing of The Exsultet, with the readings of the Vigil including a celebration of the first Mass of Easter with the blessing of water in the font and the renewal of Baptismal Promises. After the service breakfast was served in the Church Hall.
At the 10.00 a.m. Solemn Mass the Easter Garden was blessed. Later that day we came together again for Evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer followed by Benediction. At all the services Father Mervyn played the organ. The services were well supported.
We started our Palm Sunday celebrations with the Blessing of Palms, the reading of the Gospel and a procession into church singing “All Glory, Laud and Honour”. When we arrived in church we sang the introit hymn “Ride on, ride on in majesty”. The Mass continued in the normal away with the Passion Gospel read in a dramatic form. During the Communion the choir sang “Drop, drop slow tears” to the the music by Orlando Gibbons.
Despite the clocks going forward we had a good attendance with nobody arriving late!
Tomorrow Father Martin, Father Mervyn and some members of the congregation will be attending the CHRISM MASS at Chelmsford Cathedral at 12 noon at which the Principal Celebrant will be the Right Reverend Keith Newton SSC, Bishop of Richborough
Today we kept Passion Sunday so all the crucifixes and statues had been draped with purple to indicate a period of mourning which will last until Easter Day. Amongst the congregation were three visitors who are studying on the Chelmsford Course of Christian Studies and who came to experience worship in a manner different to their own tradition. One of our congregation went to Dagenham Parish Church for the same reason.
At the beginning of Mass Father Martin welcome everybody and explained why all the statues and crosses were covered in purple drapes. As our organist is recovering from a heart bypass operation, Father Mervyn played the organ and also preached the homily.
After Mass we adjourned to the Hall for the:-
Annual Vestry and Annual Parochial Meeting.
One of our present Church Wardens had decided not to stand for election this year and with two nominations the new Churchwardens were elected by acclaim. Father Martin thanked the Churchwardens for their help and service during the past year.
Following an election, four new members joined the Parochial Church Council and they will serve a term of three years. Father Martin announced that the Electoral Roll had been revised and had resulted in no deletions and with the addition of 11 new members. During the meeting reports were received from various church organisations including the Sunday School, Deanery Synod, the Scout Group, the Guides and Brownies, and the Churchwardens presented their report on the Fabric of the Church and Ornaments. The annual accounts were presented and explained by the Treasurer. Father Martin gave his report and thanked everybody who had helped in any way during the past year.
Next Sunday, PALM SUNDAY, we meet in the Vicarage Garden (or in the hall if wet) at 9.50 a.m. for the Blessing of Palms and procession to the church.
Choir Practice will be at 9.00 a.m. in church
Nearly every Saturday there is what we call a Saturday Shop in our Church Hall. It is an opportunity for people to meet their friends and enjoy freshly made coffee, tea. cakes or hot toast and to view the many items on sale on the Stalls at bargain prices.
The stalls include Books, a large bric-a-brac Stall, furniture, nearly new clothes and children’s toys. Many weeks there is one of the local charities organising a Stall as well. Gifts of items to include are always welcome and we can even arrange to clear houses. The shop is open from 10.00 a.m. until 12 noon. There is no admission charge.
Why not pop along and grab yourself a bargain and enjoy a refreshing cuppa?
In a full church, we celebrated Mothering Sunday today. In addition to our normal congregation our Guides and Brownies joined us. At the beginning of the Mass Father Martin pointed out that we were celebrating Mothering Sunday and not “Mother’s Day” the American celebration. Mothering Sunday celebrates Mother Church, Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all and, of course, our own mothers.
During the sermon Father Martin demonstrated how much mothers do for their children by asking for a volunteer from the Brownies who was asked to hold an empty 6 pint milk container. The children were asked to name what their mothers do for them and various answers were given: cook our food, do the washing, cleaning, ironing, caring for us. As each answers was given he partly added water to the container until it was full and the Brownie could no longer hold it alone and had to be helped by another Brownie. He pointed out that the weight mothers carried could be made lighter by the help we given them.
Before the offertory, Father Martin blessed the flowers which had been prepared by the Guides and they were then distributed to the mothers in the congregation. Votive candles were lit by those whose mothers had died or who were unable to see their mothers today.
The fourth Sunday in Lent has various names including Laetare Sunday, Mid-Lent Sunday, Refreshment Sunday and Mothering Sunday. Rose vestments are worn only twice a year; once in Advent and on this Sunday in Lent.
It is a great shame that Mothering Sunday and Mother’s Day have become confused. The American version is celebrated on the second Sunday in May – this year on Sunday 9th May. It has become quite difficult to find Mothering Sunday Cards in the shops as the card manufacturers seem to have copied the American version and now sell Mother’s Day Cards........another example of the secularisation of our nation.
21st MARCH 2010
The Annual Vestry and Annual Parochial Meeting will take place in the Hall following the 10.00 a.m. Parish Mass.
VICAR: Father Martin Howes SSC
Hon. Assistant Curate: Father Mervyn Jennings SSC
9.50 a.m. Procession of Palms, Solemn Mass
(Assemble in Vicarage Garden or Church Hall if wet)
MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK
Mass with Devotion each evening.
8.00 p.m. MASS OF THE LAST SUPPER
Followed by Vigil until Midnight.
10.0 .m. Stations of the Cross
12 noon Procession of the Cross starting at the YMCA
1.00p.m. Hour of Devotion at the foot of the Cross.
2.00 p.m. THE LITURGY OF THE DAY
5.30 a.m. Vigil Mass with full ceremonies
10.00 a.m. Sung Mass of Easter
6.00 p.m. Evening Prayer with Benediction