A great St Augustine’s Christmas

It may be over for another year but we enjoyed a superb, festive 2014 Christmas at St Augustine’s! The concert before Christmas was great fun, special thanks to the children and staff from The Bishops’ School. Our Christingle service on Christmas Eve was followed by a moving Holy Communion and then on Christmas Day we celebrated the birth of Jesus in fine style!  If you joined us over the Christmas period – it was lovely to see you.  If you would like to join us for our 10.45am service on any Sunday you would be very welcome. We look forward to seeing you.

Happy New Year from us all!

Don’t execute Meriam Ibrahim for bring a Christian

Save MeriamSome of us at St Augustine’s have signed the petition “Don’t Execute Meriam Ibrahim for Being a Christian” on change.org and we would like to ask for your support.
Meriam Ibrahim is Sudanese woman who, at eight months pregnant, was sentenced to death for converting to Christianity and marrying a Christian man. Two weeks ago she gave birth to her daughter in the prison where she, her newborn child, and her 20 month old son are still being held.
Meriam was born to a Muslim father and raised as a Christian by her mother. However it’s illegal in Sudan for a woman to convert from her father’s religion. When her marriage to a Christian man was reported to the courts she was sentenced to 100 lashes. When she refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam, she was sentenced to death.
After her story was made public people from around the world started to speak out on the Twitter hashtag #SaveMeriam and a student in the UK started a petition that’s now been signed by over 800,000 people — including me! — asking the Sudanese government to release Meriam and allow her to raise her family and practice her faith in peace.
A Sudanese court is now considering an appeal that would suspend Meriam’s death sentence and release her and her young children from prison. It’s more important now than ever to keep up the pressure to save Meriam.
Here is the petition link: www.change.org/SaveMeriam 
Thank you!

Easter Services

Thursday 17 April 2014
7.00pm – Maundy Thursday Service in the church

Friday 18 April 2014
9.15am – Good Friday procession of witness leaving from St Augustine’s
12.00 noon – Alternative, progressive Good Friday Service in the Church

Sunday 20 April 2014
10.45am – Easter Service (followed by an Easter Egg Hunt)

 

Help those suffering in the UK floods

A lot of the UK is under water right now. And more rain is forecast. Homes, farms, and whole villages are ruined. Thousands of people are having a really tough time.

On the ground, local charities are springing into action. They are pulling together emergency accommodation, pumping equipment, blankets and food. They are providing comfort and hope to communities in crisis.

The 38 Degrees office team have been in touch with local charities in areas hit by floods – charities like the Somerset Community Foundation, who are supporting flooded communities on the Somerset Levels


They’ve explained that 38 Degrees members could help with relief efforts across the UK by raising money quickly for the charities working on the ground. Any cash raised now could be spent straight away on help for flood victims.

Donations now will start helping flood-stricken communities within hours. So please can you help by chipping in to the flood relief fund?
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/UK-flood-relief-donate

38 Degrees staff will work with local charities around the UK to make sure your donation goes straight to the worst hit areas. Our donations will help families and communities get back on their feet as soon as possible.

Here’s what Mary Hancock, deputy chief executive of the Somerset Community Foundation, said:

“As a community foundation our role is to work with grassroots groups to make sure the relief money is going where it is so desperately needed. Donations from 38 Degrees members would be so valuable right now. We will work alongside 38 Degrees staff and our network of community foundations to rebuild flood affected communities.”

Here’s how donations from 38 Degrees members could help:

– Provide emergency relief grants to people whose homes have been flooded to meet the immediate financial burdens of moving out, pumping and drying, and emergency repairs.

– Help those who face additional financial burdens as a result of the flooding, for example through loss of earnings.

– Support local small businesses, charities and community organisations to ensure their survival and swift recovery.

– Support counselling and community services to help people cope with the emotional stress caused by the flooding in the short and medium term.

Please can you chip in right now? Make a secure donation by clicking this link:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/UK-flood-relief-donate

There are lots of big questions to be answered about how we can prevent flooding in the future. How can we do more to tackle climate change? [3] How can we improve flood defences? And whose responsibility is it to make sure this doesn’t happen again? But right now homes are underwater and families need our help.

Lots of 38 Degrees members have contacted the office over the last few days to say they want to do something about the floods. Sometimes helping means pressure on politicians to do the right thing. Sometimes, it means offering direct help. In this case, it probably means both – but let’s get started by getting cash where it’s needed this week.

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/UK-flood-relief-donate

Thanks for getting involved,

Becky, Maddy, David and the rest of the 38 Degrees team

PS: Here is a bit more detail on how 38 Degrees will make sure the money gets to those who need it most:

1. 38 Degrees staff will work closely with local community foundations in areas affected by the floods. These organisations have a track record of supporting local communities, and are already getting on with the job of helping those in need.

2. 38 Degrees will only pass donations on to registered charities – that means every penny spent will be subject to charity regulations and audited by the Charity Commission.

3. The office team will provide a report back to everyone who donates, detailing how the fund has been distributed.

If you can, please chip in here: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/UK-flood-relief-donate

Forced to marry her rapist — days until the vote

 


16 year-old Amina Filali — raped, beaten and forced to wed her rapist — killed herself because Morocco’s penal code allows a rapist to marry his underage victim. After years of struggle to reform the law, the big vote to repeal this shocking provision could happen in days! Let’s honour Amina’s memory by ensuring her tragedy is never repeated.

SIGN THE PETITION

http://www.avaaz.org/en/forced_to_marry_her_rapist_f/?bzjHGeb&v=33983