More Photo’s later
Monday, 25 April 2011
Easter Day started very early for the people of St. Augustine’s who gathered to begin the Easter Vigil at 5.30 a.m. The New Fire was lit and blessed and we then walked the short distance to the church proclaiming “Christ our Light”. The Reading and Psalms followed. The Area Dean was our guest preacher.
After the service and the First Mass of Easter it was into the Church Hall for a breakfast of cereals, boiled eggs and sausages, toast, marmalade, fruit juices, tea and coffee. Breakfast finished it was back to church for the Solemn Mass of the Day when a full church celebrated Christ risen from the dead. The children were each given an Easter Egg. Father Martin celebrated and preached and Father Mervyn played the organ at both services. A wonderful Easter ended with Solemn Evensong and Benediction at 6.00 p.m.
Many thanks to all those who made Holy Week and Easter such a special time: the servers, the choir, the readers ,those who decorated the church, those who cleaned the church, the people who prepared and cooked breakfast and washed up afterwards, and especially all those who came to celebrate the Risen Christ with such joy and enthusiasm.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!
Friday, 22 April 2011
Last night the Mass of the Lord’s Supper included the Washing of Feet and a Watch before the Altar of Repose until Midnight. Father Martin preached the Homily whilst Father Mervyn played the organ.
THE PROCESSION OF WITNESS
THE OLDEST PARTICIPANT?
At 99 was Jo the oldest participant in a Procession of Witness?
Our procession walked from the Romford YMCA to St. Augustine’s Church and included the youngest, just 5 months old to Jo in her 99th year and possibly the oldest person in the country to take part in an act of witness.
Jo is a regular at our Saturday Shop.
After the procession hot cross buns and tea and coffee were served in the Hall before an hour of Devotion before the Cross was followed by The Liturgy of the Day, with the Reproaches, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion.
Monday, 18 April 2011
Today the Chrism Mass was held at Chelmsford Cathedral with Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS, Acting Bishop of Richborough presiding and in the presence of Stephen, Bishop of Chelmsford. I wondered if the numbers would be depleted but the Cathedral was very nearly full with around 40 priests concelebrating and I noticed several in the congregation. After Mass there was Reception in the Cathedral Chapter House with excellent refreshments provided by the local branch of Forward in Faith.
Father Martin and Father Mervyn attended with several members of the congregation.
Sunday, 17 April 2011
Today we met in the Vicarage Garden where Father Martin conducted the Palm Sunday Ceremonies and then a Procession walked to the church singing “All Glory, Laud and Honour”. At the entrance, we sang the Introit “Ride on, Ride On in Majesty”. After the dramatic reading of the Passion Gospel, Father Martin preached bringing to a conclusion the series of sermons on the theme for Lent “We are we here”. At the end of the Mass we went to the Memorial Garden where Father Mervyn blessed the new Calvary, given in memory of his parents and those who gave their lives in the service of their countries.
Yesterday’s Saturday Shop produced a magnificent £300. It will be closed next Saturday.
18th, 19th, 20th April – 7.30 p.m.Mass with devotion each evening.
8.00 p.m. Solemn Mass of the Last Supper with Washing of Feet and Watch before the Altar of Repose until midnight.
Stations of the Cross at 10.00 am
Midday Procession of the Cross from the Y.M.C.A.
1.00 pm Hour of devotion at the foot of the Cross.
2.00 pm Liturgy of the Day.
5.30 am Vigil Mass with full ceremonies
Don’t forget to sign up for breakfast after the Vigil
10.00 am SOLEMN MASS of EASTER.
6.00 pm Evening Prayer with Benediction (Sung).
Easter Monday Mass at 10.00 am
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Today Father Martin celebrated and preached whilst Father Mervyn played the organ. Father Martin’s sermon was a preparation for the Annual Vestry and Parochial Meeting which would follow the Parish Mass at 11.30 a.m. The choir sang the anthem “O Saviour of the World” by Goss. We were reminded that next week we would meet in the Vicarage Garden or in the hall if wet at 9.50 a.m. for the Blessing of the Palms, the Procession to the Church and the Solemn Mass of Palm Sunday
At the Annual Vestry and Parochial Meeting in the church hall our two retiring Churchwardens Kathy and Veronica, were thanked for their services over the last year and were then re-elected for a further term of office. The Financial Report showing our finances in a healthy state was received and approved and the Auditor re-elected for next year. Reports were received concerning the fabric of the church and the youth organisations .Three Deanery Synod representatives were elected: Jan, Carol and Ann and two members of the Parochial Church Council, Geoff and Mad, were also re- elected.
Finally, we received the Vicar’s Report which will be published on the blog in the next few weeks. He told us that a further attempt had been made to steal lead from the church roof. He noticed that there seemed to be something amiss on the roof and went up on it to it to investigate discovering that the lead had been removed and then been folded in preparation for its later removal. We will now have to get the builders to put it back which will cost us £95 – just slightly less than our excess on our insurance policy.
Yesterday’s Saturday Shop took £193
Monday, 4 April 2011
Please Pray For…...
Father Martin’s Monthly Letter
Every week on our pew sheet we have a section entitled ‘Please Pray For’ the section lists those who are sick, in remission or recovery, departed or whose years mind falls in this particular month. As a title I would hope that it is self explanatory and thus, that in your daily prayers you remember the people listed and do indeed pray for them.
At times the list seems to get quite long and full of names that few people, if anyone apart from me, seem to know, in itself this is not a problem indeed it can honestly be said it is a Christ like thing to do. However, when you ask for someone to be prayed for you are also meant to ensure that they themselves agree and that you keep me up-to-date with how they are doing. But sadly this is not always done and so the list frequently grows and can become out of date. Accordingly the Wardens and I have decided to revise the system, especially following several comments when for a couple of weeks I did not read out individual names because I felt the list was just too long (over 40 names) to be used at the main service of the day, especially when we have visitors amongst us. The names were though still being prayed for daily in the morning and evening offices.
What did concern me though was the hinted at suggestion that if I did not read out the names personally at the main Sunday service then they had not been prayed for. In many churches the prayers at the main service of the day are led by members of the congregation and not the priest or reader and no one would presume to say that that means those prayers are not valid, but more of that later on.
Before I explain the new system though I thought it might be useful to ask the question: "What is intercessory prayer?"
Quite simply, intercessory prayer is the act of praying on behalf of others. The role of mediator in prayer was prevalent in the Old Testament, in the cases of Abraham, Moses, David, Samuel, Hezekiah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Christ is pictured in the New Testament as the ultimate intercessor, and because of this, all Christian prayer becomes intercession since it is offered to God through and by Christ. Jesus closed the gap between us and God when He died on the cross. Because of Jesus’ mediation, we can now intercede in prayer on behalf of other Christians or for the lost, asking God to grant their requests according to His will. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).
A wonderful model of intercessory prayer is found in Daniel 9. It has all the elements of true intercessory prayer. It is in response to the Word (v. 2); characterized by fervency (v. 3) and self-denial (v. 4); identified unselfishly with God’s people (v. 5); strengthened by confession (v. 5-15); dependent on God’s character (vv. 4, 7, 9, 15); and has as its goal God’s glory (vv. 16-19). Like Daniel, Christians are to come to God on behalf of others in a heartbroken and repentant attitude, recognizing their own unworthiness and with a sense of self-denial. Daniel does not say, “I have a right to demand this out of You, God, because I am one of your special, chosen intercessors.” He says, “I'm a sinner,” and, in effect, “I do not have a right to demand anything.” True intercessory prayer seeks not only to know God’s will and see it fulfilled, but to see it fulfilled whether or not it benefits us and regardless of what it costs us. True intercessory prayer seeks God’s glory, not our own.
The following is only a partial list of those for whom we are to offer intercessory prayers: all in authority (1 Timothy 2:2); ministers (Philippians 1:19); the church (Psalm 122:6); friends (Job 42:8); fellow countrymen (Romans 10:1); the sick (James 5:14); enemies (Jeremiah 29:7); those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44); those who forsake us (2 Timothy 4:16); and all men (1 Timothy 2:1).
There is an erroneous idea in contemporary Christianity that those who offer up intercessory prayers are a special class of “super-Christians,” called by God to a specific ministry of intercession. The Bible is clear that all Christians are called to be intercessors. All Christians have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and, just as He intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will (Romans 8:26-27), we are to intercede for one another. This is not a privilege limited to an exclusive Christian elite; this is the command to all. In fact, not to intercede for others is sin. “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).
Certainly Peter and Paul, when asking others to intercede for them did not limit their request to those with a special calling to intercession. “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (Acts 12:5). Notice it was the whole church that prayed for him, not just those with a gift of intercession. In Ephesians 6:16-18, Paul exhorts the Ephesian believers—all of them—on the fundamentals of the Christian life, which includes intercession “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Clearly, intercessory prayer is part of the Christian life for all believers.
Further, Paul sought prayer on his behalf from all the Roman believers in Romans 15:30. He also urged the Colossians to intercede for him in Colossians 4:2-3.
Nowhere in any biblical request for intercession is there any indication that only a certain group of people could intercede. On the contrary, those who seek others to intercede for them can use all the help they can get! The idea that intercession is the privilege and calling of only some Christians is without biblical basis. Worse, it is a destructive idea that often leads to pride and a sense of superiority.
God calls all Christians to be intercessors. It is God’s desire that every believer be active in intercessory prayer. What a wonderful and exalted privilege we have in being able to come boldly before the throne of Almighty God with our prayers and requests! But if prayer is to be of benefit it has to be relevant, hence my request to be kept fully informed on any developments concerning those on the sick or recovery / remission list.
For a long time now we have remembered the recently departed from the time that we are made aware of them until one week after the funeral and those on the Year’s mind list are remembered during the month of their anniversary. Note though that this should be the month in which they died NOT the month that the funeral took place in, where the two are different.
And so to the new system which takes effect from Easter Sunday. From that date all names currently on the ill and the recovery / remission lists will be removed unless I have received a new style prayer request form for them. Forms will be valid for four weeks after which the name will be removed unless a fresh form is submitted. I am quite prepared to accept an e-mail update asking for someone to remain on the list, the important thing is that there will be a hard copy request and that I will be being kept informed of how people are progressing. Please also note that you will also be asked to sign the form to say that you do have permission to place the person on the list.
You may not think this last point is necessary, but in an age where people sue each other at the drop of the proverbial hat for infringing on their privacy, the church cannot afford to take the risk. Additionally not everybody always tells their immediate family how sick they really are. Would you want to find out that someone you love is not well from a relative stranger or friend when the person themselves is only saying they are a bit under the weather?
I am sure that to start with you will all think it is a bit of a pain, but in time I hope you realise its value. It is distressing for me to find out that someone we are praying for has either passed away or recovered and no one has bothered to say anything.
God Bless You – Fr. Martin
Ruth and Simon would be delighted for you to join them
at the Baptism of Liberty Frances Green at 3pm on Saturday 30th April 2011. And afterwards for refreshments in the Church Hall.
Equipment for the
We have recently given some walking sticks and walking frames, left behind at Chaseview, to Pauline McNally (one of our regular Saturday Shop customers). The simple reason is that her son - a fireman in Basildon - goes out with other volunteers in a lorry to Romania to distribute these basic mobility aids to Romanian children. It is a registered Charity (number 1048780) called Firefighters Aid for Children.
If you have any similar items, or wish to see photos of their work, please let me have them or ask Pauline McNally.
Saturday May 7th 2011
from 10.00 to 12.30.
So far so good. All stalls look like they have willing workers. I will always need extra pairs of hands and if the weather is nice we will have tables on the front lawn along with a stall from the local police.
At the moment I doubt we will be able to get in on the Friday evening. The Scouts will not have met for a few weeks before (due to Easter) and they will almost certainly want to meet that evening. However, as I am asking them to do a few games, we may find they will be OK with setting up on the Friday. But you should plan for the worst which will be an early start on Saturday morning (I’ll be at the Hall at 8.00 a.m.) to set up on the day. Sorry, but it would be unfair to evict our Scouts when they always struggle for members.
Leaflets will be available for local distribution the week before and there will be some printed earlier for handing out to visitors in the Hall.
All other arrangements are much as they normally are but, if this is new to you just have a chat with me - soon. Please provide your own floats.
As you can see we are having a Tombola AND a Raffle. The Raffle will be low key and really only on the day unlike the Winter Bazaar Draw.
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Today Father Martin celebrated and preached to a full church keeping Mothering Sunday. The Uniformed Organisations presented their flags at the beginning of Mass and collected them during the final hymn. During the sermon Father Martin was assisted by Murphew a mole, (his name is Matthew but moles can’t pronounce Matthew with a mouthful of earth) and a rather long green centipede. He reminded everyone that we were there to thank God for Mother Church, for Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all and for our own mothers. After the sermon he blessed flowers and they were distributed whilst those whose mothers had died were given the opportunity to light votive candles. Flowers were placed at the Statue of Our Lady as a token of our love for Mary. As our Organist & Choirmaster is away following an operation Father Mervyn played the organ. Whilst the flowers were distributed the choir sang the hymn “Father, in heaven, thank you for mothers”. During the Communion the choir sang the anthem “Gladness, Sadness, Joy and Sorrow” words by Nick Fawcett and music by Edward MacDowell arranged by Noel Rawsthorne. At the end of Mass Father Mervyn played a Chorale-Improvisation by Karg-Elert based on the tune of the final hymn “Now thank we all our God”.
Yesterday’s Saturday Shop made £153 which included a £10 donation.
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Street Party– Friday 29th April
We were going to have a bar-b-que (and we may still have one) but suddenly an old-fashioned Street Party to celebrate the Royal Wedding on the 29th April seems in favour.
Now, we have a bit of street outside the church and hall but using that stretch of road (as we once did) is a real problem as there is so much traffic. So, our SP (Street Party abbreviation for the in-crowd) is going to be inside the Church Hall.
Yes, I know that isn’t quite right but if it rains we will be dry and there will be very little traffic coming through the Church Hall plus we are near the kitchen and the toilets.
Along trestle table down the middle covered in red, white and blue plus sandwiches, jelly, crisps, cakes and balloons and bunting. Music of a suitable nature will be provided and games may be played.
Children are particularly invited so if your street isn’t doing a SP then invite them to ours. I’m not sure about cost but maybe it will be what often happens—BRING AND SHARE. Timing will be early afternoon after you have all watched the RW (Royal Wedding) on TV (Television)
Ask Cathy or Pauline if you want to know more.
Sunday 19th June
From 3.00 p.m.
This is very simple.
We are doing it again. Strawberry Cream Teas in the gardens of 33 and 35 Philip Ave.
All you have to do is come along, pay your money (£5 for adults, under 16’s £2.50) and eat and drink (plenty of light refreshing wine) and have a lovely afternoon sitting in the Summer sun and putting the world to rights. We cannot of course guarantee the weather but marquees will be up to protect against rain or sunburn.
There, I told you it was simple.
Stalls selling books and plants and anything else I think might sell will also be available, plus we finish with a raffle and finally Evening Prayers in the open air.
Not Glyndebourne but much cheaper.