Friday, 29 March 2013


Yesterday evening we celebrated the Solemn Mass of the Lord’s Supper with the Mandatum (the washing of feet), the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose with the watch until midnight and the Stripping of the Church whilst the choir sung Psalm 22. Father Martin was the Principal Celebrant and Father Mervyn concelebrated, read the Gospel and gave the Homily based on the Gospel of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and St. Peter’s initial protest.

Today Good Friday there was a Walk of Witness followed by an hour’s Devotional Service led by Father Tim Coleman, one of the Chaplains at Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

The Solemn Liturgy followed the Devotional Service with the reading of the Passion Gospel according to St. John, the Intercessions and the Veneration of the Cross. The choir sang the Reproaches and this was followed by bringing the Blessed Sacrament from the Altar of Reposes and Holy Communion. After the final hymn we left the church in silence.

My people, what have I done to you?
How have I offended you?  Answer me.
Good Friday Reproaches

O God, who by the Passion of Christ your Son, our Lord,
abolished the death inherited from ancient sin
by every succeeding generation,
grant that just as, being conformed to him,
we have borne by the law of nature
the image of the man on earth,
so by the sanctification of grace
we may bear the image of the Man of heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.

Sunday, 24 March 2013



Due to the awful weather we were unable to hold our normal Palm Sunday Procession from the Vicarage Garden, down the road, to the church. Instead we blessed Palms in the foyer and then processed via the passage way into the Lady Chapel and into the Church. Disappointing that we couldn’t hold it outside, as an act of witness, never-the-less it was a wonderful procession. Despite the atrocious weather most of our normal congregation were able to get to Mass. Father Martin presided at the Mass and Father Mervyn concelebrated.

The Passion Gospel was read by our Lay Reader Joan, Father Mervyn and Father Martin after which Father Mervyn preached. In his sermon Father remarked that the previous week was quite remarkable during which two Christian Leaders had begun their new ministry. Pope Francis the successor of Peter and Justin successor of St. Augustine, our Patron, who himself was a successor of the Apostles. Father Mervyn invited us to walk with the Apostles during this Holy Week so that we could experience something which they had experienced. It was only if we felt the great desolation they experienced on that first Good Friday could we expect to feel the great joy they had when the realised the wonder of the Easter story.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Holy Week at St. Augustine's.



9.50 a.m. Blessing of Palms, Procession and SOLEMN MASS.

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday

25th, 26th, 27th March Mass with devotion each evening.


Maundy Thursday

8.00 p.m. SOLEMN MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER with vigil until midnight.

Good Friday

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.

Easter Sunday

5.30 am Vigil Mass with full ceremonies.

10.00 am Sung Mass of Easter.

6.00 pm Evening Prayer with Benediction (Sung).

Easter Monday

Said Mass at 10.00 am in the Lady Chapel

All other Services as normal.

Confessions by arrangement with Father Martin or Father Mervyn

Monday, 18 March 2013


Behold the Man (Ecce Homo)

The words of Pilate to the crowd as he has Jesus led out to stand before them are as poignant today as they were then, they can also, though be taken as a reflection upon the Jewish crowds who just a few days earlier had lined Jesus route into Jerusalem. Both of these events are relived in our church year during the lifespan of this edition of The Pioneer. For us these events are a chance to remember, to remember the events of Jesus joyful entry into Jerusalem, which marks the start of Holy Week and leads us by prayer and contemplation to the foot of the Cross and then on to the Garden of Gethsemane at the Easter Vigil.

What did they go hoping to see, firstly as he rode into the city and secondly when they had turned on him? What is it that we really should be focusing on? Well the truth is that they went the first time for a great many reasons, some would have gone out of curiosity just to see what Jesus looked like; after all stories about him had been circulating and growing for the best part of three years. He had become something of a legend as a healer and preacher, so perhaps they hoped to see him perform a miracle; maybe some in the crowd hoped he would cure them. Some would have joined the throng just because their friends were going and they had nothing better to do than join in.

Others went because they believed he was the Messiah, not the Son of God, but the great leader who was about to raise an army and restore Israel to its people, free from the hated Roman oppressors. Still others went precisely because they did think he was the Son of God and offered the way to eternal salvation and yet more went because he frightened them and challenged their grip on power.

All these reasons and many more brought people out onto the streets to witness this son of a carpenter and his group of friends and followers enter into Jerusalem, he riding on a donkey (or ass)

that had never been ridden before and they walking along with him. None of them though knew the truth of what was about to unfold; only Jesus knew what the Father’s plan was to be. He had tried to tell them but they would not listen, he had tried to show them but they would not, could not see what had to be.

In our somewhat more ordered procession we miss out on the pushing and shoving that the crowd would have experienced, we miss out on the adrenalin rush that they would have felt and the rising excitement as he drew closer to wherever they were and then passed by; the crowd then closing in behind him and following along. To the Romans, as long as he did not start a riot, he was just another self-proclaimed Jewish prophet and they were two a penny in Jerusalem at that time, especially when a major feast such as the feast of the Passover drew near.

For Pontius Pilate, Jesus at that time was probably little more than a brief topic of conversation at the evening feast, someone to be aware of, and to keep an eye on but since he was not promoting attacks on Rome or its soldiers, Jesus was essentially a Jewish problem. Just another of the many that he would have expected the Temple authorities to deal with, as they had always done before, indeed as they always demanded the right to deal with as they saw fit according to their laws. Thus, from Pilate’s point of view Roman involvement in such a domestic matter was to be avoided if at all possible as it only stirred up unrest and further hatred against the relatively small group of soldiers he had at his immediate disposal.

The Scribe’s and Pharisee’s with the Temple elders however, already saw a threat to them and to their corrupt way of life; they were already plotting to get rid of Jesus, even before he got to Jerusalem. For them his presence in the city threatened not only their futures, but also the fragile peace they had with Rome. A peace that kept them in power with a very good source of income, no the last thing they wanted was more soldiers arriving to put down a rebellion.

That would be very bad for business and for their relations with the Roman Governor, in all probability it would see them forcibly removed from office so that more compliant (to Rome) leaders could be put in their place.

Jerusalem in the week leading to the feast of the Passover would have been packed to the very seams with people from all walks of life, all of them coming in obedience to the Mosaic law that required them to be at the Temple and many of whom would have needed only the very flimsiest of reasons to become violent. After all, they were coming to remember and give thanks to God for the way that he had delivered them from their Egyptian bondage and now before their eyes were the new oppressors.

The Jews wanted a figure head to lead a rebellion, they wanted someone to show them the power of their God by performing a great miracle that would once more free them from the yoke of tyranny and oppression. This was what they believed Jesus was going to do for them, when they first went to see him. When instead he challenged their corruption and threatened the rich and powerful they roused the people against him and so on that second occasion they went to see him punished as a fraud and an impostor. They felt betrayed and let down by their God and so it was not hard for the Temple authorities to stir up the crowd against him.

In many respects what unfolds, during that first Holy Week, mirrors the story of the Jews throughout the Old Testament, wherein they embrace and then reject God. However, whereas after a suitable time in the wilderness or captivity they are welcomed back with a fresh covenant, this time they are not for the new covenant is given not to them but to us. They are blinded by all those things that they have allowed to creep into their lives and observances and cannot therefore see the truth when it passes in front of them. Unlike the veil of the Temple, which is soon to be split in two they keep the veil in front of their faces as Moses did in his time.

It takes courage and faith to see the truth sometimes, especially when to do so will cause pain and suffering either to us or to those around

us. Just as those in the crowd who went to see Jesus, went with their own expectations or apprehensions so we too try to fit what we see into our own viewpoint, to make it fit our needs and not God’s plan. If we are honest with ourselves and reflect for a moment or two, how often have we thought if only ‘X’ would see it from my point of view or have we done what we wanted to do rather than seeing the bigger picture and doing what needs to be done.

If we then are to see the truth of what God was doing through Jesus we need to see beyond our present time, we need to see, in part the things that the crowd saw and understand why they saw what they did. We need to draw on our knowledge of the events, not just of that day but also of everything that had taken place before the crucifixion and indeed, what would follow it. From the first miracle at Cana in Galilee all the way to the Cross and beyond, to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is our knowledge of all of those events that affords us the opportunity to truly see what God is doing as he prepares a path for us by which we also may be saved if we place our trust in him.

However, as in all things, there is a problem and that problem is us. Sometimes the best way to see something is not with our eyes wide open, but closed and free from other distractions, so that we can reflect in our minds and see more clearly the path God has prepared for us. In times past I might have used the phrase ‘the minds eye’ and although such a notion is now proven false by medical advances it is still a good phrase to express what I hope you will take the opportunity to do this Holy Week.

From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday at services, or at home each day spend a little time just seeing in your mind the events that are unfolding and ask yourself how those events should, could and do affect your understanding of the Gospels and how they then influence you as a Christian in your dealings with those around you.

God Bless you and may you have a very holy Easter.

Fr. Martin

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Today Father Mervyn presided at the Parish Mass and Father Martin read the Gospel, preached and led us in our Intercessions during which we prayed for Pope Francis and Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury as they are inaugurated into their new roles this week. In his sermon Father Martin reminded us that until fairly recently this Sunday saw the start of the period known as Passiontide when in the readings day by day we followed the route Jesus took to Jerusalem. He mentioned the journey through the area known as the wilderness especially the part mentioned in Psalm 23 “When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” He mentioned the death of Lazurus and the house where Jesus stayed at Bethany and drew attention to the Mount of Olives where Jesus began his journey into Jerusalem which we would celebrate next Sunday, Palm Sunday.


The Vestry commenced with the election of our Church Wardens for 2013 and  Carol & Veronica were nominated and re-elected.

At the Annual Parochial Meeting 5 new members were elected to the Church Council, and Sides people elected for the next year. Reports were received from the PCC Secretary, the Church Accounts were approved and reports were received from various church organisations. Father Martin gave his report. At the end of the Meeting a Vote of Thanks was proposed and approved by acclamation to the retiring Church Treasurer who has been in post for many years and has given devoted service to the Parish in this and in many other roles

Yesterday’s Saturday Shop took £217

Palm Sunday 2013, 24th March

9.50 a.m.Blessing of Palms, Procession  & Parish Mass

Meet in the Vicarage Garden unless wet when we will meet in the Hall.


Sunday, 10 March 2013


Today a full church celebrated Mothering Sunday and amongst the congregation were members of our Scouts, Guides. Cub Scouts, Brownies, Beavers and Rainbows. Father Martin presided at the Parish Mass and Father Mervyn was at St. Mary’s
Ilford today.

At the sermon spot the Young Leaders from the Guides gave a brief talk and then the Rainbows and Brownies held a banner they had made. “What Mothers mean to us” The Guide Leader read some prayers written by the girls and the flowers, cards and candles were blessed and distributed. For those whose mothers were no longer alive, votive candles were available to be lit in their memory.


Sunday, 3 March 2013


Today Father Mervyn presided and preached whilst Father Martin preached at Goodmayes. In his sermon Father Mervyn suggested that his sermon today might be a big turn-of as he was going to talk about sin. He pointed out that we are all guilty of sin and that we all need both forgiveness, redemption and restoration. The Gospel pointed out that God did not visit harm on people because they sinned although, sometimes, they brought it on themselves. It laid to rest that statement : “wonder what he/she did to deserve that.” The story about the tower at Siloam squashed any idea that we need to ask that question because God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to save us from our sins ultimately offering his life for our salvation in his death on the cross.



MONDAY 4th Mass 7.00 p.m. followed by PCC


WEDNESDAY 6th 7.30 p.m. Stations of the Cross