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

St Augustine’s Church, Grove Park

336 Baring Road, London SE12 0DX

Rev Gavin Berriman, Vicar

Tel: 020 8857 4941 Email:

23 July 2022

Dear All

It seems a long time since my last pastoral letter at the end of June.  I have been on holiday in that time, come back to a heatwave, had two church funerals, and end of year events at Marvels Lane School – which included the year 6 performing Macbeth the Musical!  I wonder if the Great Bard would approve!

Hopefully by the time this letter comes out the temperatures will be coming down to somewhere near normal and we are all a little more comfortable.  By the time you receive this letter the schools will have broken up for the summer holidays and our children and young people will be enjoying a well deserved break, especially those who have been toiling with exams.  You all continue to be in my prayers while you wait for results. This current heatwave took me back to the time I was sitting O level exams in the 1976 heatwave, but it’s best not to dwell on that too much!

August is traditionally a quieter month without major festivals and with many people away on holiday at various times during it. Those who are able to get away for a break, I wish you an enjoyable time. It is usually the month I get an opportunity to begin writing reflections for the following year’s Lent course, so hopefully that will remain the case this year.

Just a few dates for your diaries: firstly, the Grove Park Carnival and Dog Show takes place on Sunday 4th September in Chinbrook Meadows.  As we have for the last two years, we will have a stall at the carnival to raise funds for the church and also to be a presence at a community event.  On the weekly sheet there is a list of items that we are collecting to sell on the stall, and we will also be looking for volunteers to give an hour or so to help run it. You will hear more about this in church notices in the coming weeks.

Harvest festival will be on Sunday 2nd October and hopefully we will also have a Harvest Supper on Saturday the 1st.  We have missed out on church socials in recent times due to the covid pandemic so it would be nice for us to enjoy some time together at such an event.

In my letter last month I mentioned that Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Naomi, popped into church unexpectedly on a visit to this country.  Naomi is a priest in the United States and has happy memories of her time living in Grove Park as a teenager when the family lived for a while on Chinbrook Road.  I said in my last letter that we would try and arrange for Naomi to preach at St Augustine’s when she was next in the country, which transpires to be at the end of October.  So Naomi will preach here on Sunday the 30th, which we keep as the feast of All Saints. It will be a great pleasure to welcome her here on that occasion.

Just two more dates for the end of the year. The Christmas Market will take place on Saturday 26th November and there will be a Quiet day at Aylesford Priory on Saturday 3rd December. More details for these will follow later.

We continue to offer Noon Prayers twice a week for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and in other parts of our world. The days will vary but will be on the weekly sheet and website.

Do please continue to contribute tinned, packet, dried food etc. for our local food bank. All the food banks in this area are being overwhelmed with people who genuinely need help to cope in these difficult times and are struggling to keep up with the demand.  Our contributions are greatly appreciated.  We were also able to contribute to both the Mottingham and Downham food banks from our annual church tithes to charities and have received letters of gratitude from both saying that they came at a time when much needed.

                                               My love and prayers continue you be with you all


This My Body    by Daniel O’Leary

This is my Body.

These words reverberate around the earth

and echo off the rim of the sun

with transforming power.

They were first whispered by our Creator

when the world was first brought to birth;

again when the word became human,

and now, a thousand times a day,

when people around tables receive the sacrament

of who they are.

This is my body.

it is God become atom, become galaxies,

become universes, become earth,

become flesh, become everything.

Father Gavin’s Latest Pastoral Letter

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