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

Dear All

We are coming towards the end of the current lock down and from next Sunday, 6th December, the church will be open for public worship again.  Sadly, this Sunday, Advent Sunday, you will only be able to join in the worship on-line. However, the church will be open between 10.30 –11.30am for silent prayer, and holy communion will be administered at 10.45am and 11.15am to those who wish to receive it.  I want to say thank you once again to Martin for all he has done in making our worship available on-line, and to Brian and the choir for the music they have contributed.  Also to those who have contributed readings and intercessions.

As we enter into the Advent season we begin to look forward to our Christmas worship and how we can make that safely accessible.  Thanks to the generous offer of the loan of a sanitising fogging machine over the Christmas period, I hope it will be possible to celebrate both Midnight Mass and a Christmas Day Eucharist.  I will give more details as we go along but the intention is to do the worship by ticket only to make sure we do not go over capacity.  To give everyone an opportunity to get to a Christmas service I am asking you to choose whether you would prefer to come to Midnight Mass or Christmas Day and to email me to book tickets for that service.  When you book please give the names of all those you are booking tickets for, so we can arrange seating.  If you would like to attend both Midnight Mass and Christmas Day please say, but indicate your preference; if there is space for you to attend both I will let you know.  If you could book tickets as early as possible please, and then I will open it out to the general community.  Those not on email please let me know via phone or in person.  Sadly, as far as I know, we will not be able to sing Christmas carols together at these services because there is still a restriction on congregational singing, except for the choir.  We also plan to offer Christmas worship on-line for those who cannot attend church in the festive period.  

I also intend to do a crib service on the afternoon of Sunday 20th for children and families.  This will not be widely advertised as we can only have restricted numbers, but I want to offer something for our church families. I will contact those with children individually about this.

I have been asked about leaving Christmas cards at the back of the church.  This will not be possible this year I’m afraid as it would mean that we would linger at the back of the church putting them out and finding them; and we are supposed to go straight to our seats, and leave the building as soon as the worship has finished.  Hopefully next Christmas all will be back to some normality!

Thames Water have not completed the work on the water leak on the road outside the church, and there will be no access into the church car park for silent prayer on Sunday; and most likely not for silent prayer next Wednesday either. All being well it will be up and running when we return to worship on the 6th.

I look forward very much to being able to join with you once again for the Family Eucharist in church on Sunday 6th December.


With love and prayers



Father Gavin’ Pastoral Letter - Saturday 28 November 2020

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