Tuesday, 26 November 2013


If it turns out to be true that one of our national banks has been forcing viable businesses into liquidation so that they could obtain the assets at knock down prices only to then resell them to make the bank a profit, it is totally unacceptable and quite possibly illegal.

Prior to Ordination I spent some years working in commercial lending as Manager of Commercial Mortgage Department, for a major British Insurance Company and worked with many banks to obtain finance for clients. I have never come across the likes of this in my time; in those days banking/lending was highly ethical and the bankers themselves had very high standards of ethics. What has changed?

I believe, that regrettably, we have exchanged ethics for greed as shown by the amount some banker’s now pay themselves.

Sunday, 24 November 2013



Today I presided at the Parish Mass at St. Augustine’s Rush Green, Father Martin read the Gospel, preached and concelebrated and Pamela led our Intercessions which included a sung response.After Mass a card was presented to Ken who is currently exploring his possible vocation to the Sacred Priesthood. He currently attends a church in the Evangelical Tradition and the DDO wanted him to experience Anglo-Catholic worship which he has been doing for a number of weeks. He leave us, with our prayers, as he continues this exploration.


Following a meeting at the Town Hall a compromise has been reached over the proposed Parking Restrictions which were  highlighted in the Blog last week. Father Martin attended the meeting on Thursday armed with the many signatures we collected at our Winter Bazaar and at Mass last Sunday; also the Council had received objections via the on-line petition we organised on our Web Site.

The new proposals introduce Free Parking Bays on both sides of the road, near to the junction with Rush Green Road, giving a maximum stay of 3 hours stay, Monday to Saturday 8.00 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. (with no return within 2 hours) There will be no restrictions on a Sunday. This will mean people attending Sunday and/or weekday Masses, Nursery School, Beavers, Rainbows, Cubs and Brownies or folk attending a funeral or wedding or the Saturday Shop will be able to park.

Please agree to these revised proposals which meet all our requirements by contacting Streetcare, at Havering Town Hall  by email to schemes@havering.gov.uk : stating you are in favour of the proposals and if you wish to add further comment please restrict this to no more than 100 words

Friday, 22 November 2013

“Change or face Extinction”

The retired Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey recently forecast that unless the church changed it could face extinction within a generation. Is that true? Many commentators have agreed with this statement but what about those churches which are growing?

Certainly my experience at St. Augustine’s, Rush Green is that it has been consistently growing for the past five years. There are more communicants; the Sunday School flourishes; there are many members of the congregation who are in their thirties and forties – also many who are retired and quite a few teenagers. I believe that churches who preach the undiluted Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ are the churches that are growing and are either in the Catholic or the Evangelical sections of the church.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


I, for one, an opponent of both ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate, am pleased that after all these years a decision has been made. The day women were ordained to the priesthood it was inevitable that they would, at some stage, become bishops. It was never a question of if but when. The sad thing really is that since the original proposal was made and promises were made to those opposed, they have been steadfastly broken. So what value is it possible to put on any promises now being made? Only time will tell.

Monday, 11 November 2013


Please sign the online petition to Havering Council objecting to the proposed restrictions which will have a very detrimental effect on worshippers and hall users:

Please click here to sign

This will go direct to Havering Council

Sunday, 10 November 2013


Members of the St Augustine’s congregation were horrified this morning when they learnt of the scheme by Havering Council to impose Residents Only Parking in the road by the church where there are no restrictions at present. These will be in force everyday from 8.00 a.m. until 8.00 p.m. Objections have to be with the Council by the end of November and the new restrictions, if approved, will be in force in February. Many people who regularly attend church will be unable to park here as before and there is no where else apart from a very small church car park which is impossible to expand. It will affect the Nursery Scholl and other day time activities in the hall. After a well-attended Requiem Mass for Remembrance Sunday a petition was launched to object to these new parking restriction and so many signed extra sheets had to be made. There is to be no “dropping of” provision and with very active “spy” cars operating in this area no one will be able to stop for just a moment or two. It could mean the end of our well-supported Saturday Shop and our weekday Masses and other organisations which, at present, use our hall..
Residents will have to pay for the right to park outside their homes and I believe this is just another example of the council using car-parking as a fund raising opportunity; as well as inconveniencing church goers and hall users as there are no residents in the road on either side of the road by the church. Much of the problem with parking in this area has been caused by Queen’s Hospital charging prohibitive amounts to park in inadequate parking on the Hospital site as well as making little or no provision for staff parking. As a result of this policy people visiting the hospital or members of staff, park in adjacent roads with little consideration for residents who are justifiable angry at not being able to park outside their homes. The answer is for the Hospital being made to provide adequate parking on their site and charging a reasonable amount to do so.

Friday, 8 November 2013

THE PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND…………part 6 Sunday 27th October

This morning we went to St. Georges Cathedral for Mass followed by lunch in the Cathedral Refectory. After lunch we drove to Tiberias stopping at a site where the River Jordan has been diverted by the Israelis as the proper Baptism site is in Jordan.

Monday 28th October

Today we went to Mount Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration where we celebrated Mass and then on to Nazareth and the YMCA Nazareth Village  which is a reconstruction of 1st Century life in Galilee. The young lady who took us round was extremely informative relating village life to the early years of Jesus. We had a magnificent lunch at the Holy Land Restaurant and then visited the Basilica of the Annuciation where we said the Angelus. We walked through the souk to the Synagogue Church which is in the care of the Greek Catholic Church. Our guide Johnny is a Greek Catholic and we were able to visit the Greek Catholic Church next door. We then continued through the souk to visit St. Gabriel’s Church which we were unable to visit as a funeral was under way. We then drove to Cana to visit the scene of Jesus’ first miracle. Tired, we got back to the hotel for a swim before dinner.

Monday, 4 November 2013

THE PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND…………part 5 Saturday 26th October

Today we drove to the church and tomb of Lazarus and then paid a visit to Jeel al-Amal Boys Home which is a boarding school for boys many of whom are orphans. I is also a co-educational school for children up to secondary school age. Founded by Christians and funded by many Christian Charities and churches it now has only Muslim children and Teachers. (As we discovered in Bethlehem many Christian Palestinians have left the country). We had lunch at the Jerusalem Hotel and then visited The Dormition Abbey and the Tomb of King David. Before dinner we celebrated Mass on the hotel rood top overlooking the old city of Jerusalem.








Here we said The Angelus

Sunday, 3 November 2013

THE PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND…………part 3 Thursday 24th October

This morning we joined the queue to visit El Aqsa Mosque and the Dome on the Rock on the Temple Mount. Whilst queuing we were able to witness several Bar-Mitzvah processions to the Western Wall; many of the boys were in very colourful outfits and all were accompanied by dancing and a small band. We just managed to arrive inside the gates before they were closed.


Afterwards we walked to the Pool of Bethesda and the Church of S. Anne’s and then on to the Ecce Homo Convent for lunch and Mass before following the Via Dolorosa for Stations of the Cross  which concluded at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

part 4  Friday 25th October

Today we visited the Vad Vashem Memorial to the Holocaust then we drove toAbu Guosh for Mass. In the early evening we went to the Western Wall for the start of Shabbat.


Saturday, 2 November 2013

THE PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND…………part 2 Tuesday 22nd October

On Tuesday we went to Bethlehem for Mass in the Fields of the Shepherds and after some time exploring after Mass we went to the Olive Wood Co-operative Shop. Some examples of their beautiful handiwork are pictured below.
The picture above shows the wonderful Noah’s Ark.
The Christmas Crib
It was then on to the Bethlehem Rehabilitation Centre where Mary, one of the staff, talked to us about the important work they do as a local hospital with a Christian foundation.Then we went to the Church of the Holy Nativity and joined a very long queue to visit the Grotto of the Nativity and St Jerome’s Caves.
The Mass in the Shepherds Fields was wonderful and it was a very good day.

Friday, 1 November 2013

THE PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND…………part 1 Monday 21st October

We set out for Israel from Heathrow on the 21st October and we boarded quite quickly and easily. And then we sat and waited………..and waited………………and waited for around an hour with the only information being one of the Stewards saying "we apologise for the delay and will be taking of as soon as possible. One hour late, we actually took off. It appears the delay was caused by a passenger from the USA arriving with excess baggage and not having the wherewithal to pay the extra required. By the time that had been resolved we had to wait for a suitable slot. As a result of the hours delay we arrived in Jerusalem an hour late, some when after midnight, knowing that we would be leaving the hotel at 8.30 a.m. as we were booked for Mass at the Garden of Gethsemane for 9.00 a.m.

It was a wonderful Mass and we then went to St. Peter in Gallicantu, the Pater Noster Church, Ein Karem, the Israel Museum with the Dead Sea Scrolls. At lunch time we stopped for a splendid lunch at St. Andrew’s Guest House and eventually arrived back at our hotel exhausted but exhilarated.