St Augustine’s Church, Grove Park 336 Baring Road, SE12 0DX  Vicar: Rev. Gavin Berriman

Dear All

We once again enter a time of year when we get a whole range of festivals coming up one after the other.  It begins with Rogation Sunday this week, and is followed by the Ascension, Pentecost, our Patronal, and Trinity.  I have childhood memories of beating the bounds at Rogationtide in our village, asking God’s blessing on the forthcoming harvest.  The church would be full of the local farmers that week – they wouldn’t be seen again until Harvest Festival!  It was a festival that connected the church and the whole village with our fields and meadows and pasture in a very beautiful way.  Sadly, such rituals have died out in most places now.  The celebration of Rogation has even been moved in the church calendar so that it no longer falls on a Sunday but in the weekdays following.  Not in our church!

The following Sunday, the 16th, we will celebrate the feast of the Ascension.  We would normally keep this on Ascension Day (13th) but there is a funeral in church this coming week, so to make sure there is the required amount of time between church use, to fit Covid regulations, there will be no weekday Eucharist this week on either Wednesday or Thursday.

As I have said previously, Bishop Christopher was booked to be with us on the 23rd to celebrate Pentecost, the Patronal, the Mothers Union centenary, and the Church’s 135th birthday.  We have rescheduled the Bishops visit to Sunday 17th October in hope that restrictions will have been lifted somewhat by then and we will be able to do it more justice.  

Another date to remind you of is the Quiet Day at Aylesford Priory on Saturday 13th November. Those who usually come to this may well want to make sure that date is in your diary.  If you have never been on a quiet day and would be interested in finding out more, please talk to me about it.

Thank you to those who continue to contribute to the local food bank, I know those contributions are greatly appreciated and make a big difference to many people who are struggling in these times. Even though restrictions are beginning to lift, the impact of this pandemic will be with us for some time, and many rely on the food banks for the basic necessities of life.  Please do keep supporting it if you can.

Finally, just a reminder to remain vigilant in church as more and more of our church family return for worship.  Please go straight to your seats when you arrive at church and do not be tempted to chat by the entrance.  We must continue to sanitise our hands and wear face masks, along with keeping appropriate social distances.  Please take extra care when coming forward to receive holy communion.  Likewise, on leaving please wait till you get outside before chatting to people to ensure the exit is kept open at all times.  Thank you.


With much love and prayer



Father Gavin’ Pastoral Letter - Saturday 8 May 2021

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