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St. Augustine's R.C. Church




Fr Michael's Retirement
Thank you to all who came to Aylesford to honour Father's retirement, and especially to the organisers and caterers.

Some photos can be seen here.
Thank you from Fr Michael. I am extremely grateful to you all for arranging and coming along to my wonderful retirement celebration at Aylesford on Sunday and for your such kind generosity in contributing to my retirement collection. As I said on Sunday I have been truly blessed to have served in the Parishes I have been appointed to over the past 57 years. I have always been shown such great kindness, generosity and friendship. I will be eternally grateful to you all for everything you have done for me. I will forever keep you in my prayers. Thank you and God bless you all. Fr Michael
A personal message from Kathleen. I was humbled yet honoured to be included in Fr Michael's retirement celebrations at Aylesford on Sunday. It was a very special occasion, being joined by my family and surrounded by so many parishioners from St Augustine's and Father's previous Parishes. I regard you all as my dear friends and will miss you all greatly. Thank you very much indeed for my Mass Novena, Flowers, special Photo Cake and extremely generous collection. I am very sad to be leaving my role helping Father and you all at St Augustine's but will still come to the Saturday evening Mass from time to time so will be able to keep in touch. I will do my very best to ensure Father settles into St Peter's well and has a most enjoyable retirement which we will all agree he most thoroughly deserves. My sincerest thanks to you all once again. With all my love, Kathleen

Fr Michael will move into St Peter's on Monday 29th April. Many of you will wish to visit him once he has settled in and he will certainly be delighted to see you. Kathleen will be your first point of contact as she will manage Father's diary and ensure visits are suitably spread out avoiding any double bookings etc Accordingly please telephone Kathleen in the first instance on 01634 710748. Father's new address will be St Peter's, Little Sisters of the Poor Convent, 2a Meadow Road, Vauxhall, London SW8 1QH. He will have a Landline in his room and once we have the number for this we will share it with you.

Our new Parish Priest has been confirmed as Fr. Peter Murphy. He is presently serving in the Parish of Bromley.
Fr. Peter Murphy will arrive on 30th April

Our Parish Coffee mornings will resume on Wednesday 24th April 10.15am to 11.45am. Please come and join us and take this chance to catch up with friends.

CAFOD A Year of Encounter
With a UK general election due sometime this year, politicians will be looking for our votes. We have a responsibility as Catholics to make sure that parties commit to tackling issues such as poverty and injustice. Raising our voices and contacting parliamentary candidates as a parish community will send a strong signal to those standing for election in our local constituencies. A Year of Encounter is a joint initiative between CAFOD and St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP), equipping Catholics to ask key questions of local candidates at the key moments. Please see www.cafod.org.uk/encounter for more information, including online sessions on Thursday 25th April and Saturday 4th May to learn more.

St John Fisher - Exam Invigilators Required
St John Fisher, Catholic Comprehensive School, in Rochester are looking for reliable, committed individuals to join their team of Exam Invigilators. This will be on a casual, seasonal basis with remuneration of £12 per hour Please see the Notice Board for further details including how to apply.

Pope Francis has designated this year as the Year of Prayer in preparation for the Year of jubilee in 2025. Our Parish is promoting the Give Prayer A Go campaign launched by The Archdiocese of Southwark to encourage everyone to pray and welcome Christ into their hearts. Please take a copy of the paper entitled "Give Prayer a Go" from the table in the Narthex. We are hoping to follow this in the coming months by introducing other prayerful events.

Hartlip Sunday teas walk: Sunday 5th May, meet 2.00pm outside our Church or for those not wishing to walk at Hartlip St. Michael's and All Angels Church around 3.15pm. If there are any bluebells in bloom, we will walk via Matts Hill Lane into Potters Wood.

Youth Day, lunch included for £5 - 6th July 2024, 11-5pm at
St. John Fisher School, Chatham for 10-14-year-olds. Please email youth@rcaos.org.uk

First Holy Communion, this year will be on Saturday 8th June,
11am Mass. Classes will start on Saturday 2nd March at 1.30pm. Classes are being held at 60 Wyvill Close, ME8 9NE. Please contact Deborah Dainesi on 01634 388496 for further details.

Parish Finances - Year to 31 Dec 2023
Our total income was £94,977 which compared to £93,428 in 2022. Much of this had to be paid back out e.g. Second Collections. Our key Offertory income totalled £44,396 which compared to £44,398 in 2022. Added to these figures were Gift Aid rebates from HMRC totalling £11,775 in 2023 and £11,068 in 2022. Excluding Capital Expenditure the Parish incurred a shortfall of £4,294 . The Parish has also been affected by the cost of living crisis that we have all been experiencing For example our energy costs increased to £7,980 from £2,472 the previous year. Excluding Capital Expenditure the Parish currently just about breaks even on a month to month basis. We do have Cash Reserves totalling £122,990 which are on deposit with the Diocese. We are indeed fortunate to have the comfort of such healthy cash reserves and the ongoing generous support of you all - we sent a total of £3,176 to the various Dew Association charities last year and a further £1,950 was donated from the Poor Box. There is no doubt we have benefited greatly from the sound stewardship of Fr Michael during his time here at St Augustine's for which we are all extremely grateful. On behalf of the Parish Finance Committee.

Called to Love
A new, unique retreat for singles, dating and engaged couples who want to think more deeply about relationships and the call to marriage. A relaxed weekend with input, prayer, discussion and social, as well as the opportunity to meet like-minded others. Runs from Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 May, with the option of a night's stay on the Friday. Visit https://christianheritagecentre.com/events/called-to-love/ to book and for more information.

Southwark Catholic Youth. There are a number of Youth Events being organised by the Archdiocese. Details here.
The Southwark Catholic Youth Service has several activities in 2024 for youth and young adults. For regular updates on forthcoming events, please sign up to our network at www.tinyurl.com/scysnetwork or see our website at www.tinyurl.com/scys1

Fr. Michael would like to give a special thank you to Pietro our young musician who plays the organ for us each Saturday evening. It is lovely to have the music.

Mass in Celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage July 13th 2024 at St George's Cathedral. If you are celebrating your 1st/10th/25th/40th/50th/60th + wedding anniversary this year, please let us know, and no later than May 31st 2024, providing the following details: your names in the format John and Helen Smith, your home address, the anniversary you are celebrating. You can then receive an invitation from the Archbishop for the renewal of vows during Mass. Email at mflkent@rcaos.org.uk As the title of your email, please write your parish e.g Parkwood & Wigmore St. Augustine's.

Retrouvaille: A Programme for Couples Struggling in their Marriages Help Your Marriage - Do you feel alone? Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue … or have you just stopped talking to each other? Does talking about it only make it worse? Retrouvaille is a programme to support couples who have difficulties in their marriage. It brings a positive focus, new hope and helps nourish and grow your marriage. It helps them through difficult times whether they are disillusioned or in deep misery. There is no group therapy or group work.For confidential information about 'Retrouvaille' or to register for the next programme commencing with a weekend in Welwyn Garden City on 14-16June 2024, call or text 07887296983 or 07973380443 or email retrouvailleukinfo@gmail.com- or visit www.retrouvaille.org.uk

Help your family get to heaven! Celebrate Trust has downloadable resources and family events to attend that bring faith alive, whatever your age. Go online at https://www.celebratetrust.org

The 2nd Sunday of each month we will resume our collection of food, toiletries and clothing, which can be left at the back of the Narthex, only on this week please. All food items will be donated to St. Margaret's Food Bank in Rainham and everything else (clothes, toiletries, money) to The Gillingham Street Angels. Emma MacQuillin has kindly volunteered to oversee this project but would like a reserve to call upon. Volunteers, please let Emma or any of the social committee know.

The Poor BoxIf you or someone you know are struggling financially and would benefit from a donation from our Poor Box funds then please do let me know. It will be in the strictest confidence.
Also if you /know of a local charity working to help the poor and needy in our community that would benefit from a donation then please tell me. I am extremely grateful for your ongoing generosity. Fr Michael

Total raised
is £820.11 so far.
Please do consider signing up and helping the Parish with this easy fundraising initiative. Thank you. Fr Michael.
You can raise FREE donations when you shop online with over 5,000 retailers. It's simple and only takes 2 minutes to sign up! Please sign up now at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/staugustineofcanterbury/
It is a simple free process. Instructions can be found here

Marriage Care - Volunteers are needed to train as Counsellors and/or Marriage Preparation Providers for Marriage Care. If you have a few hours a week to spare and would be interested in joining us please contact: Mrs Alma Payne for further details on 01634 362896 or e-mail, almapayne1@gmail.com

There is currently good availability in the Mass Diary so if you would like a Mass said please complete one of the Mass Intentions envelopes, which you will find in the Narthex, and hand it to Father or put it in the Collection Basket or through his letterbox. Thank you.

Eucharistic Adoration is on Thursday mornings from 10am until 11 am, straight after 9.30 Mass.
Come and sit before Jesus and soak up the peace that comes from His presence….. Even a short visit is very rewar

If anyone would like to join the team of altar servers we are particularly looking for servers for the 11am Sunday Mass. There is no age limit and both boys and girls are welcome. If you have made your First Holy Communion and are interested in this wonderful ministry then please let Father Michael or Deacon Charlie know. Thank you.

Tea & Coffee after the Sunday Morning Masses
Everyone is welcome and if you would be willing to take a turn to help serve the tea and coffee then please do let me know.
It is a valued opportunity to meet and chat with your fellow parishioners and indeed to welcome any new parishioners joining us for the first time. Thank you. Fr Michael.

Holy Communion for the Housebound and Hospitalised:
If you know of anyone who is housebound or in hospital who would like to receive Holy Communion then please give me their contact details and I will arrange a visit. Thank you. Fr Michael.

We are still looking for new members to join the Parish Social Committee so if you are interested please mention it to Father or e-mail parkwood@rcaos.org.uk.

Latest documents from Synod of Bishops can be found here and on our FaceBook page.

If you are unable to attend Mass live Masses can also be viewed via https://www.churchservices.tv/ or at https://mass-online.org/
Holy Communion will not be available online so you may like to make an Act of Spiritual Communion

Second Collection causes 2024 can be seen here.
Dew Association
causes can be seen here
200 Club
winners can be found here