The exciting news is that thanks to the changes in the government guidelines we are now able to open St Augustine’s for public services from this Sunday at the usual times of 8, 10 and 6:30. There will be changes to keep us within the government’s guidelines, some of which are set out below for your information.
You are, of course, welcome to sit with members of your household but we will need to keep at least one metre away from everyone else, and the chairs have been arranged accordingly. Hand gel will be available for you to use as you come in and as you leave. The plate will be left by the door if you wish to make a financial contribution as we shan't be taking the collection in the usual way. The advice is that the names of those attending be kept in case Covid19 strikes down anyone, and track and trace is used. If you would care to write your name and phone number on a piece of paper (which will be provided) and leave it in the collection plate that will be appreciated. We are not permitted to sing, and we are asked to join in with spoken prayers quietly, but the organ will play and service books will be left out on the seats at an appropriate distance from each other and more than 72 hours before the service to reduce the chances of infection. Masks and gloves: current guidance says these are not necessary. However, if it gives you reassurance feel free to wear them. We won't be serving refreshments, and the usual chat after the service will best be conducted outdoors. There won’t be a junior church or children’s area but, of course, children are welcome to join their families for the service. Further guidance will be given at the service.
If you are poorly, shielding, clinically vulnerable, worried or your family will grumble at you...don't come - you’ll be with us in spirit, and your prayers will be joined to ours and our communion will be spiritually shared. We are only slowly making our way out of what has been an extraordinary time, but it is good to be making this step in the right direction.
With all good wishes,
Funerals in the time of lockdown
I am always happy to take a funeral at the crematorium, and to give someone a decent send-off even if the number attending is restricted is an important thing. Nonetheless, St Augustine’s is also very happy to host at a later date once the lockdown has eased a celebration of a life to which family and friends can be invited. There is no charge for this service, other than for the expenses of an organist etc, and instead people can make a donation. Please be in touch if you’d like to discuss this possibility.
Newsletter for Sunday 5th July 2020
The Lord's Prayer
All previous services, sermons, hymns and Lords's prayers can be found on The St Augustine's Broadcasting Service on YouTube
The church bell will still ring as a reminder
that prayers are still being offered - public services may be suspended but our ministry continues.
This from SAVS is full of useful local ways to respond to the Coronavirus crisis.https://mailchi.mp/
Please share our Southend Coronavirus Action Facebook page within your network to encourage people to sign up if they would like to help:
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For individual volunteers:
For volunteer groups or charities:
The Church of England has updated its guidance for churches in light of the latest advice from Public Health England.
Please follow the link -
Forthcoming Musical or Special Events - on hold at this time
Chelmsford Cathedral. The Dean of the Cathedral produces a quarterly events guide with the aim of encouraging everyone to discover what the Cathedral has to offer. To find out more and to view the guide, please click on the link below:
Church Extension Update
Having obtained approval from the Diocese Advisory Committee (DAC) some months ago for our extension plans, our architects submitted a formal building application to Southend council. We waited the seemingly obligatory 16 weeks for the council to approve the plans, only to be told that our application had been rejected.
The reasons for the rejection were to my mind, and that of our architects, relatively minor and we were extremely disappointed that the council thought it necessary to issue a formal rejection without any kind of prior notice or liaison from the council planning department.
I arranged a follow up meeting with the council and our architects on Wednesday 30th October to discuss the rejection and find a way forward. Following lengthy discussion about the role of the DAC and the processes we have been through to get DAC approval for our plans, I’m happy to report that the meeting went well and I am reasonably confident that the councils objections have been addressed. We can’t be absolutely sure because the council official we met with was not the person who rejected the plans (of course not!) but our architect will now submit a new set of plans, with minor alterations, which we hope will be approved.
Another delay is of course inevitable and we’ve been told that it could be another 16 weeks before we receive the councils response, that will be Mid February.
There won’t be much to report before then so I wish you all a very merry, albeit slightly early, merry Christmas and hope that the New Year will bring us good news! Best wishes to you all.
in normal times we aim to provide a wide variety of services for parishioners and visitors alike:
Monday to Friday:
9.00 am Morning Prayer
5.00 pm Evening Prayer
10.00 am Holy Communion*
8.00 am Holy Communion* - a traditional language service lasting about
10.00 am Parish Eucharist - with our choir, a junior church, and a small area at
the back of the church with books/crayons etc where parents can sit
with their younger children if they wish. Service lasts for about an
hour, followed by refreshments.
6.30 pm Evensong - a smaller reflective service using the Book of Common
Prayer and lasting about an hour.
*Gluten free communion wafers are available, please just ask when you come up to the altar rail.
We also hold a 'First Steps' service for tots. For those of you with pre-school children we have a monthly tots service here at St Augustine's at 10:45am, with songs, craft activity, story and Jaffa cakes. This service generally falls on the 2nd Wednesday in the month.
The Blessed Sacrament is perpetually reserved for the Communion of the sick and dying. Please inform the vicar of parishioners who are sick or in hospital.
This year's Lent Course 'Surprised by Prayer' will now be run next year.
Confirmation Sunday is now Sunday 13th December at 4 pm.
The Bishop of Bradwell will be coming to confirm at St Augustine’s on 13th December. This gives us an opportunity to consider our commitments, and off you have never get round to being confirmed (or baptised, for that matter), or you have children in year 6 or above who haven’t been confirmed, please have a word with Fr Jonathan. The service is the Church of England’s way of those who have come to maturity to affirm the promises made on their behalf at baptism, and when it is customary to begin receiving communion. We shall have mixture of adults and children this year, and preparation is done on a tailor made basis as candidates come from a variety of different backgrounds. Fr Jonathan
The vicar is always pleased to receive enquiries about christenings,
weddings and other services.
Telephone 01702 587597 or email email@example.com
Fr Chris Giles
We are pleased and saddened by the news that our own curate Fr Chris Giles has now received an appointment to be The Rector of the Stourhead Benefice, Suffolk, between the towns of Haverhill and Clare.
Fr Chris updates:
My Institution and induction service will be on the 29th April at St. Peter and St Paul’s Church Kedington. Thank you all for the congratulations and good wishes I have received about my appointment as The Rector of the Stourhead Benefice, Suffolk which lies between the towns of Haverhill and Clare. Fr Chris
Note: there is a website actually called ‘Stourhead Benefice’ which gives you pictures, maps and details of the 8 rural parishes it serves. It also has a lovely video from parishioners advertising for a new vicar! http://stourheadbenefice.org/wordpress/
Our congratulations and best wishes
to Fr Chris and his lovely family
If any of you would like to find out more about baptism, confirmation or marriage, please don't hesitate to contact me at
“We are committed to ensuring that St Augustine’s is
a safe place for all”
For further information please go to our safeguarding page, the link is here
We are located in the middle of Thorpe Bay, about two miles east of Southend on Sea and just a short walk from the sea front. We are easily accessible by train (Thorpe Bay station is on the main line from London Fenchurch Street) and bus (Nos 1, 7 and 9), and there is ample on-street parking around the church. The church itself is on an island site at the junction of Johnstone Road and St Augustine’s Avenue.
Our address is:
St Augustine’s Church,
St Augustine’s Avenue,
Thorpe Bay, Essex.
4th July 2020