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

Dear All,

This Sunday we are joined by Bishop Christopher for the celebration of our 135th birthday and the Centenary of our Mothers’ Union Branch.  It will be lovely finally to celebrate these notable events properly, after having to re-arrange twice because of the covid pandemic.  Obviously we still have some restrictions in place at our worship to ensure social distancing and limit movement, but we are getting closer to being back to normal.  There are likely to be larger numbers at church than in recent weeks because of the Bishop’s presence, so please be very careful and sensitive to the space of others.  If you come with a large family or bubble could I encourage you, this week, to use the side pews, because it is easier to fit in individuals and couples in the central aisle. There will be some cake, wine, tea, and coffee in the hall afterwards, but again please be careful to keep social distance. We will continue to wear face coverings in church.  For those unable to attend there will be a video of Bishop Christopher’s sermon available for you watch on the website.

I would just like to say a big thank you to our Mothers’ Union at St Augustine’s, for all that it contributes to our life, worship and ministry.  I am very proud to be a member of it and am very grateful for all the hard work that is put into it by our current leadership team, and to those who have served in this way in past years.  The Mothers’ Union is a very important part of the life of this church and parish.  It is lovely for us all to be here at this important milestone for our branch.

On Sunday 31st October, we will be celebrating the feast of All Saints and All Souls. Please email me any names of departed loved ones you would like remembered at this service or write their names down on paper and pass them on to me. There will be another on-line Eucharist on this occasion as well.

The Quiet Day at Aylesford Priory will be on Saturday 13th November. If you are hoping to go please do get this date into your diary. If you have not been before and would like to find out more about it, please do not be afraid to ask. The cost this year will be £15.  I will now begin to take names of those who are planning to attend.

The Christmas Fair will take place on Saturday 27th November. There will be a short meeting after church next Sunday for anyone interested in getting involved.

A number of children are at the age for being prepared to receive Holy Communion.  We are allowed to prepare children from 7 years old who attend the worship regularly.  Classes will begin for this on Sunday 31st October and will run for 6 weeks until Sunday 5th December.  These classes will take place straight after the church service on a Sunday morning and will last for about 20 minutes.  The classes are designed for parents to attend with their children, so they can talk through the content with them afterwards.  We are a parish committed to children and adults learning and worshipping together.  Children who would like to be admitted to Holy Communion must be committed to attending all 6 classes. We will admit the children to Holy Communion on Sunday 12th December during our Family Eucharist.  Parents, please talk to me if you would like your children to be a part of this, and to receive the appropriate form.

I will be taking a few days break from Wednesday lunchtime next week, and the early part of the following week, so there will be no pastoral letter next Saturday.


With love and blessings,  


Introduction, Collect, Readings, and Blessing for 135th Birthday and Mothers’ Union Centenary

This Morning we celebrate our St Augustine’s 135th birthday

and the Centenary of our Mothers’ Union Branch.

and give thanks for Augustine of Canterbury, + all the saints of this land

who dedicated their lives to sharing and teaching the Gospel of Christ.

We give thanks for all who have served here over the years;

especially in our Mothers’ Union, for their ministry in this church, and the community we serve.


Christ the true light,

You shone through Augustine and the saints of this land,

and set it ablaze with the power of your love.

May that flame continue to burn brightly in the lives of your people today,

and may we proclaim the Glory of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

A reading from Isaiah 61:1-3
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
    to bind up the broken hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 5: 13-16
Jesus Said to them:

“You are the salt of the earth;

but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?

It is no longer good for anything,

but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world.

A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  

No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket,

but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  

In the same way, let your light shine before others,

so that they may see your good works

and give glory to your Father in heaven.


May God give us the grace

To serve this church and community In faith, in hope and in love

And may the Blessing of God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us;

and with all for whom we pray this day and always.  Amen.

Father Gavin’s Pastoral Letter - Saturday 16 October 2021

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