CANTATE Chamber Choir – concert – Music in Honour of St Mildred: 12th July

Cantate Concert - 12.7.14

Cantate Chamber Choir will perform a wonderful set of music in honour of the Patron Saint of the Isle of Thanet, St Mildred.

The concert will be at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate, on Saturday 12th July at 7.30pm

In the interval Pimm’s and other summer refreshments will be served in the Garth Cloister Garden (included in the price), and the second half of the concert will be sung outside.

It promises to be a most enjoyable evening.

Tickets are £10, and the price includes interval refreshments.

Cantate logo

Tickets are available from 01843 592071, or by e-mailing, or on the door.

Sat 12th July – 7.30pm – St Augustine’s, Ramsgate



The Architectural Works of A. W. N. Pugin – Dr Gerard Hyland Launches his Book at St Augustine’s

Gerard Hyland - Architectural Works of Pugin

Dr Gerard Hyland launched his new book at St Augustine’s on Saturday 7th June with a lecture in Pugin’s church and reception in the Cartoon Room next door. Dr Hyland’s book is the first ever gazetteer of all of Pugin’s buildings, and is a ground-breaking publication.

Dr Hyland’s talk was very informative, exploring Pugin, his life, his influences, his patrons, and his works. Dr Hyland demonstrated Pugin’s different architectural interests and styles, and showed how the styles of his buildings evolved over his career.

Pugin was said to have done 100 years’ work in 40 years, but Dr Hyland showed that the vast majority of Pugin’s work was done in just six years. He had at least 295 designs realised, and 84 unrealised, across five countries and two continents – and Dr Hyland suspects there are more to be discovered.

It was here in Ramsgate that Pugin accomplished his only building which was not interfered with by patrons. St Augustine’s was his pride and joy – “my own child” – built next to his home, The Grange. How appropriate, then, that the first collected volume of his architectural works was launched at St Augustine’s and celebrated next door at The Grange.

Dr Hyland has already written on Augustus Pugin’s son, Edward Pugin, and this catalogue is his latest contribution to the lively subject of Pugin studies.

As John Hardman said on Pugin’s death, “If you want to know him now, one must go to his Church-Tomb [St Augustine’s]”. Pugin’s legacy is his designs, and this volume is the first time all his buildings have been collected.


Dr Gerard Hyland’s book, The Architectural Works of A. W. N. Pugin: A Catalogue, is available at £35, published by Spire Books.

St Augustine Week in full swing

St Augustine Week is well under way and Ramsgate is celebrating one of its most important historic figures.

On Sunday 25th a concert was held, sung with very high musical standards by Victoria Consort, and was enjoyed by all who attended.

On Monday 26th Bishop Athanasius Schneider from Kazakhstan celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Shrine, and preached a sermon which inspired many. He was found to be a humble and holy man, who was very friendly to all. He seemed very interested to be toured around the site by the Rector, Fr Marcus Holden, before Mass.

The rest of the week has particular highlights, including a celebratory procession to St Augustine’s Cross, Ebbsfleet, from the Hugin Viking Ship; a tour of St Augustine’s stained glass; and a lecture on Pugin’s relationship to industrial production by Dr Jamie Jacobs.

All are welcome.

See the full programme here: St Augustine Week 2014 brochure

Phase 3 Begins!

This week Phase 3 of our restoration works began, which will see more of our roofs repaired and made watertight, and work to important windows. In particular, the Schoolroom’s roof will be repaired: it is currently in a very sorry state, but will eventually cover the entrance and main part of our Visitor Centre. The cloisters will also be worked on, including the windows which face on to the Garth. The Garth having been restored in the past year, Pugin’s original windows which look on to it will be repaired.


Work has begun with the removal of the roof over the ‘yard’ between the Schoolroom and Sacristy.

The East Window – one of the glories of the site – will be removed to be repaired and cleaned before being carefully replaced. It is one of the windows that Pugin himself put in the church and catches the visitor’s eye with its intricate designs.


With St. Augustine’s Week coming up 25th-31st May, the work has been carefully planned to present as little disruption as possible. The cloisters will remain accessible even whilst work is being undertaken on the windows. The church will also be open as usual.


Phases 1 and 2 have secured the future of the church itself and its tower by repairing those roofs – often using Pugin’s original tiles and techniques. The tower had a completely new roof put on, after making do with a leaking temporary roof for many decades. The Garth was also re-done, with ground-level lighting installed, turf put down, and the well head capped with the original stone. A major project was undertaken on some of the windows to repair and replace some of the glass (in particular in the Lady Chapel and the windows of Saints Stephen and Lawrence), as well as the stonework and Pugin’s clever drainage system to remove condensation. These phases were completed at the beginning and end of 2013 respectively.


The leaking ‘temporary’ roof from Phase 1


Pugin’s tiles – and one missing!


We are looking forward to working with our new contractors, Universal Stone, and securing the future of more of site.







Every Day Opening – 1st Week Success

On 1st April, St. Augustine’s began opening to the public every day, 10am-4pm. This is a major step forward, as our purpose is to be visited. St. Augustine’s audience is varied: religious pilgrims, Pugin fans (of all degrees of knowledge), architects and architectural historians, schoolchildren, families… many people fit into more than one category, and we try to accommodate them all. Therefore being open every day of the week is a very important step.
In the first week we welcomed approximately 100 people – an incredible number considering the amount of publicity and expected numbers. The number of people who must previously have walked past, or travelled especially expecting the place to be open, must be very high. We are pleased to be able to serve them every day and allow them to see the unexpected glory inside.

Daily Opening: Volunteers Meet for the First Time

On 25th March all the volunteers who will watch St. Augustine’s during the new opening hours met for a briefing session, get-together, and introductory tour. The new opening times are 10am – 4pm every day, which is a huge leap up from Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday. For this a rota of 30 volunteers has been drawn up, and almost everyone on the list was able to come on Tuesday.
The group began by assembling in the nave where Fr. Marcus addressed the group. The group contained several people who had not had direct contact with St. Augustine’s before, and several people who, whilst helping at The Grange next door, have not been involved with St. Augustine’s opening before. Therefore Fr. Marcus informed everyone of the latest progress in the project at St. Augustine’s; he told them how important it is to open St. Augustine’s to visitors; the group were shown plans to understand the plans for St. Augustine’s as it develops.
There was some time in the Schoolroom for relaxation and for people to chat. Then Fr. Marcus gave another brief address, and John Coverdale affirmed that this is an exciting project that should engage with various communities, from the local people, to tourists, to pilgrims, to Pugin experts, and also international visitors.
After this a short tour was conducted by Fr. Marcus. He showed the impressive stained glass, the details of the St. Joseph and St. John chapels, the stained glass, various architectural features, and the special Pugin items used in the church. The Volunteers were impressed and interested, and, it being a sunny day, the stained glass looked particularly impressive.
A photo was taken in the Garth of the volunteers, all looking very cheery!
St. Augustine Ramsgate volunteers 2014-3