St Augustine’s Church News


Notice Sheet No2: Sunday 29th March 2020


Sunday Readings: Ezekiel 37.1-14; John 11.1-45.

Wednesday Readings: Psalm 62; John 12. 1-11

Breathe on me breath of God

Lord for the years

Holy Jesu, by Thy passion


Dear Friends,

We are now coping with the effects of living in lockdown. It has been a very difficult week for everybody. We are creatures of habit and need our routines. Everything has now been disrupted and it is not surprising that some of us are feeling slightly unhinged by what is going on around us. Anxiety and fear can be very near and very real. We are in a wilderness experience, and the tunnel ahead seems very dark and foreboding and we cannot yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. It will take great courage and faith for us to be able to continue to walk towards the light even when we can’t see it.



The promised light at the end of the tunnel: Spring flowers in the vicarage garden.


I am sure within the last week you have gone through a whole gamete of emotions. Within this chaos and pressing fear somehow God’s words and our faith have a clarity about then and a resonance that in ‘normal times’ passes us by. As sleep has eluded me on several nights I have sunk into these words from Night Prayer: Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal: have mercy on us. Also, the reassurance that “these things too must come to pass” (Mat 24.7; 2Cor 4.17-18). There will be a light at the end of the tunnel; there will be an end to all of this, when these events will be a memory. We will get through this but we will also be changed.


Our Christian faith is built around the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It will be over the next few weeks when life around us will seem at its worse that as Christians we will proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia, alleluia alleluia! The readings for this Sunday give us a foretaste of Jesus’ resurrection. The story of the dry bones coming back to life and the rising of Lazarus. We will all experience over the next few weeks and months our own dry valley of bones: “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely” (Ezekiel 37.11). In the face of the loss of his friend Lazarus, “Jesus wept” (John 11.35), he was also “greatly disturbed”. Our experience of desolation, of feeling all our hope is dried up, of wanting to weep is a much a real and important part of our Christian faith as are feelings of joy and contentment. Joy will come in the morning but first we must weather the storm.


I shared this poem by Malcolm Guite on the first Sunday of Lent; I think it is worth sharing again:


Because We Hunkered Down by Malcolm Guite


These bleak and freezing seasons may mean grace

When they are memory. In time to come

When we speak truth, then they will have their place,

Telling the story of our journey home.

Through dark December and stark January

With all its disappointments, through the murk

And dreariness of frozen February,

When even breathing seemed unwelcomed work.

Because through all these we held together,

Because we shunned the impulse to let go,

Because we hunkered down through our dark weather,

And trust to the soil beneath the snow,

Slowly, slowly, turning a cold key,

Spring will unlock our hearts and set us free.



Prayer for Passiontide by Jim Cotter

Tender God,

You see my affliction

And you are unbinding my eyes;

You are bereaving me of the burden

To which I cling;

You are weaving my pain

Into patterns of integrity;

The wounds that I cherish

You are turning into worship,

And the scars I keep hidden

Into marks of truth.

You are touching me gently;

I see you face, and I live.





Church building is now closed until further notice.

We are holding Acts of Home Worship on Wednesday’s at 7pm and Sunday’s at 10.30am.

Please be in touch if you have any immediate needs or concerns.

Revd. Claire Dawson 0114 272 4987 Mobile: 07493912127


Claire’s day off is on Friday please respect my time off – thank you! Catherine Rooker-Brown: 0739 2087529