St Augustine's Church Thorpe Bay
St Augustine's ChurchThorpe Bay


Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving: 


On Sunday 12th June our congregation is invited to join at 3 00pm a Deanery organised Platinum Jubilee evensong at our church followed by a picnic in the grounds [weather permitting]. Bring your own sandwiches. 


Jubilee Thanksgiving v1.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.2 MB]

Our Lent Sermons this year are called Heavenly Encounters 



Allen Littlejohns – Former Churchwarden of St John’s and Fr.Stephen


Below is the Encounter of St Peter and Pontius Pilate at the heavenly gates performed on Sunday 6th March 


Episode 1


It’s heavens waiting room.  St Peter is at the pearly gates.


Then Pontius Pilate enters much to the surprise of Peter.


Pilate tries to make some sense of the position he finds himself in.  At first Pilate tries to lay the law down but gets no joy from Peter who is not intimidated.


Gradually they warm to one another and Pilate realises that he has been in receipt of God’s forgiveness. 


This scenario you may find unlikely or plain ridiculous.  But, there is a theory that Pilate who had been summoned back to Rome by emperor Tiberius to explain his poor performance slipped into a deep depression, regretting having Jesus crucified.  Unable to explain his actions to the pro-Christian emperor, he prayed to God for forgiveness, and then committed suicide. 


No one but God knows the substance of Pilate’s prayers but God forgives those who truly repent. 


His prayers had been answered don’t you think?


Episode 2




Spanish Catholic priest and theologian

Much travelled in great hardship

Converted over 700,000 to the Catholic faith and formed the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)

Committed to the service of faith and the promotion of justice.

Wrote the Spiritual Exercises which was a guide to prayer life.




German priest, theologian, author and hymn writer

Believed faith in Jesus and not good works brings salvation.

The Bible is the final source of truth about God not church or priests.

He thought the Catholic Church was morally rotten and saw as corrupt the selling of indulgences to absolve sin.

The protestant had arrived in Lutheranism.


Episode 3    Oliver Cromwell and King Charles 1 


Oliver Cromwell and King Charles 1 became sworn enemies. Their quarrel was on various levels.  Cromwell believed in the supremacy of Parliament and the importance of democracy, at least for the middle classes.  Charles 1 was opposed to all of that, believing in ‘the Divine Right of Kings’ to rule his subjects as the continental monarchs did at that time.


Cromwell was Presbyterian and so strongly Protestant whereas Charles was High Church, and had Catholic sensibilities. He married Henrietta Maria of France who was Roman Catholic. He appointed the high church William Laud, as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Cromwell eventually became Lord Protector of England in 1653. His signature was on the death warrant that sealed Charles 1st’s fate in January 1649


1st May WINSTON CHURCHILL meets BISHOP GEORGE BELL  (opponent of the Allied bombing of Germany)


George Bell 1883 - 1958 was Bishop of Chichester when he opposed the Allied carpet Bombing of Germany during World War 2.

He supported the German resistance to Hitler and worked with the German Pastor & Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was executed by the Nazis in 1945.


George Bell was expected to become Archbishop of Canterbury but was thwarted by Winston Churchill who appointed Geoffrey Fisher instead.


Churchill did not believe in Eternal life but rather saw Death in terms of comforting ‘black velvet curtains’. However when asked if he was prepared to meet the Almighty he replied “but is the Almighty prepared to meet me ?”



Allen Littlejohns – Former Churchwarden of St John’s

and Fr.Stephen



Sadly our vicar Jonathan and his family, Judith, Rose and Lily left us at the end of September.  They take with them our love and best wishes for their new home and future in Cambridge.


Jonathan's last Sunday with us was an emotional affair but as usual sprinkled with the humour we have all got to know and love. a pricely sum was raised to see him off the premises :-)


We will miss not only Jonathan as a vicar but as a friend too along with Judith, Rose and Lily.


The beautiful cake was made by Esther Howe from our congregation 

Collation of memories - our leaving card to the family

050921jonathans leaving.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [550.6 KB]

Right Rev'd Ruth Bushyager 


On the 12th September we welcomed the Right Rev'd Ruth Bushyager (the daughter of Kay Twitchen, a longstanding member of our congregation) to preach at the 10:00am service.  Since July 2020 she has been Bishop of Horsham in the diocese of Chichester

Confirmation 2021 


The Bishop of Bradwell took our Cnfirmation service this year on 4th July at 4pm.  It was a Covid safe service and was well attended under the circumstances.  Our congratulations and welcome to all who were confirmed. 


Anyone interested in exploring this step of commitment is invited to contact the Phil Harrison on 01702 587597 to discuss the way forward.


Easter 2021


Covid this year brought obvious disruptions to the church services but luckily Easter fell during the breaks between lockdowns so we were able to hold a safely distanced and well organised service - but unfortunately with no singing.  As you can see from the picture below it was well supported with everyone staying safe and keeping their distance - the doors and windows were left wide open to keep the whole church well ventilated.  Hopefully in 2022 we will be able to celebrate Easter with our usual gusto and the Easter bunny will make his appearance once again!!

The Southend Lifeboat Carol Service: 


The Southend RNLI Carol Service has been hosted from St Augustine’s and is on the St Augustine's YouTube Channel - but you can watch and enjoy it below. 


My special thanks to Lorraine and the choir members for their big contribution in this.   Fr Stephen

Christmas Community Collection


A massive thank you to our community for their incredibly kind and generous donations on Saturday and to Thorpe Bay Methodist Church for hosting us. Members of local churches including St. Augustine's, St George's, Thorpe Bay & United Methodist churches, members of the Burges Estate Residents’ Association, parents from local schools, individuals and families came together to provide Christmas food, festive wrapping, clothing, books, toys and gifts. Spreading kindness to others in need. 


We were able to make six hampers which we are distributing to residential homes and sheltered housing across Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness. One of our first deliveries this morning was to the residents and staff at Delaware House on Maplin Way. 


Toys, chocolates, sweets and beautifully crafted home-made cards were delivered to Goldings Estate Agents who are collecting for the Salvation Army Shoeburyness and Turning Tides (a community project supporting isolated, older residents in our borough). 


We drove two cars full of food, toys, festive clothing and games to St Vincent's Southend - Short Street who, through their support hub, will be providing gifts and Christmas hampers to families in need as well as supporting the Kindness Kitchens Southend (a union of incredible charities who provide food and clothing for the homeless and vulnerable). 


More festive donations were made to Aspirations - a local organisation who are providing a safe haven for women on Christmas day. 


Welcome to the UK collected gifts for young children supported by their project. Many are living in hostels in our town and these presents will bring joy to these families at Christmas. 


Lastly, we were delighted to be able to support a special needs unit at a local school with covid-friendly donations of pre-loved toys and books for their children to enjoy. 


We thank you all for the joy that your donations will bring to so many across our town and wish everyone in our community a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and brighter new year. 


Elspeth, Gemma & Philippa 

Harvest Festival Service 2019


On the 7th October 2019 Fr Chris who was then our curate and who worked outreach to the homeless and dispossessed in Southend took our beautiful Harvest Festival service.  The gifts of food were blessed by Fr Chis before being donated to Harp and the other charity organisations in and around Shoebury and Southend for those in need.  The children of the congregation had great fun spelling out the word to a harvest poem and after a dodgy start they soon got into the swing of it.  Please see the pictures below of the children spelling out HARVEST and some of the lovely flower decorations which were arranged by our retiring flower arrangers Audrey and Peter and as usual looked spectacular - many thanks to all who made this service such a success!!


Unfortunately we were not able to have our Harvest Festival Service 2020 due to Covid


New Floor!


"Was it something I said, or was my sermon last week really that bad" thought Fr Jonathan as he stood in the pulpit!

Due to a legacy we were able to get the church floor re-polished and it looks absolutely beautiful and is all raring to go for the next wedding or christening as well as our regular services. 


See below - we are back in action


Do you fancy trying Bellringing - we are looking for those who want to learn or those who want to come out of bellringing retirement! 

Practice evenings are on Wednesday at 7pm all welcome at the church. 

See the pictures below of novice ringers having a go, some are more gifted than others but they all get there in the end.

The renovated Seafarers Centre



Since the Seafarers’ Centre at Tilbury came under the aegis of the Queen Victoria's Seamen's Rest, much renovation has been done and outdoor space acquired and equipped. Crew members can now access part of the Centre 24/7 to relax, play pool, etc and perhaps pick up a new hat or scarf. When the managers, chaplains or regular volunteers are present they can also buy drinks, snacks or souvenirs and, if they wish, seek counselling or just have a chat.  It is very pleasing to learn that Tilbury is now to be used as the "blueprint" for similar centres in Immingham, Felixstowe and Bristol.


As the Centre is now almost back to normal hours, we have been able to deliver 390 knitted items and 5 bottles of aftershave, all of which were very gratefully received. The managers aimed to distribute 2,500 parcels to ship's crews for this Christmas (2021).  A group of us went to help with wrapping some of those parcels, had a happy afternoon with other volunteers, and were rewarded with tea, cake and an invitation to the annual carol service.


If you would be interested in knitting, donating or simply learning more about the Tilbury Centre, please ring Mhoira on (01702) 588700.




The Rotas for Wardens, Sidesmen, Readers, Chalice duties, Intercessions, Servers ........ in fact any Rota you can think of ............. are available at the West end of the church on the notice board, or can be viewed/downloaded on the website by clicking here 

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COPPERPOTS - What is it?.  The idea behind our 'Copperpots' fundraising activity is very simple.  Every year the PCC identifies a deserving charity; at the back of the church, on the table on the left as you leave, you'll find a small plastic tray full of empty 35mm film containers (the 'copperpots').  The aim is simply to take one of the containers home and over time fill it with your loose change or 'coppers'.  Once the container is full simply bring it in to church with you and place it in the collection plate when the collection is taken, then take an empty container back home with you and repeat the process.  The treasurer counts all the funds and twice a year sends a cheque to the chosen charity.  The total amount raised is never huge but the charity is usually of the smaller type, which often don't get a great deal of exposure, and benefit from every penny raised.  The scheme has been going for a number of years and started when most loose change tended to consist of copper rather than silver coins, however don't let that stop you from donating silver, or bronze, or whatever the national mint is using these days!


COPPERPOTS 2021 - The 2021 beneficiary of the “Copperpots” is a local charity , Gold Geese, which supports children suffering from cancer and their families. Further details can be found on their website


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SEAFARERS.  Mhoira wants volunteers to help knit items for overseas seafarers.  Recently 93 knitted items and 5 pairs of socks were delivered to Tilbury.  Many hats have been given out in the recent cold weather and supplies for next Christmas parcels need to be started.  Your contribution is highly valued.  We have a stock of wool (patterns and needles are available as well) for anyone who would like to join in.  The knitting is very simple and does not distract from whatever you may be watching on the gogglebox!  Phone Mhoira on 01702 588700 if you can assist.



update from May 2022 


Seafarers The first delivery of 2022 comprised 63 knitted and 59 toiletry items, all of which were joyously received.  Although Chinese crews have to stay on board, generally the mariners are again able to visit the Centre and enjoy comfy chairs and the various amenities offered. 


The day I called one of the Chaplains was busy gardening and had put in some summer bedding.  The fruit trees are doing well and the managers convert the harvest into pies for sale to visiting crew.


I am told Christmas parcel wrapping will begin in October this year and dates are promised.  Doubt if we will be lucky enough to get fruit pies but tea and cake is always a certainty!


Please keep knitting – there are a lot of parcels to fill.


My thanks for your willing cooperation.




POSTAGE STAMPS.  Please keep your used postage stamps and place them in the box at the back of the church.  These will be sold and the money donated to The Leprosy Mission and The Dyslexia Institution.



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The Sick List


Please note that requests for the inclusion of names in the Sick List should be made using a special form obtainable from sidesmen.  It is important that this procedure be followed strictly to avoid confusion and potential embarrassment since without submitting the form it will not be known who to approach to enquire about an individual's progress.


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Year's Mind List


Requests for inclusion of the names of the deceased in the Years Mind section of the newsletter should be made by completing a form obtainable from sidesmen and handing it to one of the church wardens for him to record for future years.


Please note that unless representations to the contrary are received from current surviving relatives, the names of the departed who died more than ten years ago will no longer be included in the Years Mind List each week.


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The Lady Chapel


Book of Remembrance

The Parish Book of Remembrance can be seen near the Lady Chapel.  This is updated periodically and if you would like the name of a departed relative inscribed in it please ask one of the clergy, a sidesman or churchwarden for a form.




There is also a small book in the Lady Chapel where requests for prayer may be entered.  They may be anonymous if you wish and will be treated in the strictest confidence.  They will be used by prayer partners who pray daily for those on our sick list.  Prayer is a ministry which can be offered by anyone, young, old infirm or handicapped.


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100 Club


The 100 club has proven to be a really successful fund raising activity for St Augustine's and the club continues to go from strength to strength.  Every month there is a draw for a prize of £100 to the winner, with each share costing £1.  The club has been running for over 20 years.  There are currently around 180 shares. 250 prizes have been paid out to exactly 100 different winners and over £42,000 has been raised for church funds.


Forms are available at the back of the church if you wish to join; simply fill a form in and hand it to Dawn Holley,  74 Parkanaur Avenue, Thorpe Bay, SS1 3JB, 01702 589570,  or hand to one of the sidesmen or to a churchwarden.  Payment can be through standing order or you can give Dawn a cheque to cover your annual subscription.  Thank you and good luck!


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Roundabout Magazine


Editor: Geoff Mann

Telephone 01702 582008  or  Email: 


Roundabout Magazine is the parish magazine of St Augustine's; it is published six times a year and distributed around the parish.  If you'd like to contribute an article or have a business that you'd like to advertise, please contact the editor.


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The Weekly Newsletter


Anything you wish to be mentioned in next Sunday's newsletter should be sent to Barbara Black, preferably by email to: or by telephone to 01702 297401 no later than 4.00 pm on Thursday.  Contributors should provide their name and telephone number in case of any query.


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Our Website


Our website continues to attract visitors, with nearly 480 thousand hits since the site came online.  The website is a wonderful resource, so if there's anything you would like to see added please let us know.  Please contact:


Barbara Black  at       Tel: 01702 297401

Where to find us

Google says we're right 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.

SS1 3JH.

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27th June 2022

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