“EN AVANT” – an art exhibition by Robert Dawson ~ Art in August

We are very pleased to welcome the artist Robert Dawson to St Augustine’s for his summer exhibition.

His work is fascinating, and must be seen.

The exhibition runs from Friday 14th July to Sunday 17th September; it is in the Visitor Centre and Cloisters of St Augustine’s, Ramsgate.

For this exhibition, all the works are new. Dawson has taken Pugin’s patterns and designs from tiles, windows, metalwork, and woodwork in St Augustine’s, which have inspired him to create brand new interpretations of the gothic style.

As the press release below says, “Dawson resamples and reinterprets many of Pugin’s Gothic motifs … then skilfully translates these on to canvas,  using more traditional materials such as paint, adhesive, and clay slip to build depth and complexity…”

The works are for sale, with a share of the price going to the Friends of St Augustine’s for the running and restoration of this inspiring place.

The exhibition is free. It runs 14th July – 17th September.



St Augustine Week returns for 2017 to celebrate the re-opening after the major Heritage Lottery Fund restoration.

You are invited to join the events!










Take a look at 27th May – National Pilgrimage Day with Cardinal Pell for the Feast of the Apostle of the English

Also come on 3rd June – Grand Re-opening with Archbishop Peter Smith to celebrate this £1.2 million restoration stage


We hope to see you during the Week!


GAUDETE – Christmas Concert, 17th December, 7.30pm


Celebrate Christmas with a wonderful evening of music from The Victoria Consort on 17th December.

Festive favourites and seasonal music will bring this wonderful time to life.

Christmas refreshments after the concert.

Tickets are only £10, including Christmas refreshments afterwards. Tickets available on the door, or phone 01843 606756, or e-mail office@augustineshrine.co.uk

Restoration: visit to see our tiles being made at Craven Dunnill Jackfield

St Augustine’s tiles are being lined up alongside tiles for the Houses of Parliament (the Palace of Westminster) at Craven Dunnill Jackfield tile manufacturers. Last Thursday our Rector, Centre Manager, and Architect (Fr Marcus Holden, John Coverdale, and Paul Sharrock) travelled to Telford to meet the team making the tiles and to see the processes involved.


A mould for tiles at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate

Craven Dunnill is a leader in specialist ceramics, and won the tender to produce the replacement tiles as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund restoration here at Pugin’s personal church in Ramsgate. Their factory near Telford was founded in 1872 and is the oldest purpose-built tile factory in the world. It is part of the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge, and is an active factory with a museum on site.

The team met with Chris Cox, head of encaustic tiles at Craven Dunnill, who spoke with them about the specific order at St Augustine’s, as well as showing the process of tile manufacturing.


Chris Cox shows the tile-making process


A blank mould and a mould ready to make tiles


Putting the slip on the tile

Encaustic tiles are a very important part of St Augustine’s. Augustus Pugin revived encaustic tile manufacture alongside Herbert Minton, who went on to tile buildings including the Houses of Parliament in London and the Capitol Building in Washington. Alongside stonework, woodwork, metalwork, and stained glass, tiles were part of Pugin’s revolution of design and style in the Gothic Revival.

New tiles are being made for St Augustine’s to replace lost and damaged tiles for the floors of the Chancel and Lady Chapel. They will be made using the same processes rediscovered by Pugin and Minton, copying Pugin’s designs used in those areas of St Augustine’s.

The Visitor Centre will have a display of original Minton tiles which were originally laid in Parliament, given to St Augustine’s from the Palace of Westminster.


PUGIN WEEK: 7th – 14th September

PuginWeekjpegPugin Week – the annual celebration of Augustus Pugin at his own site in Ramsgate – runs 7th – 14th September.

The week has talks, music, tours, children’s activities, and more. All events are FREE, except for the concert. There is something for everyone!

Join the workshop on Gregorian Chant to try this ancient singing for yourself. Bring children to make their own gothic buildings and designs. Tour the site with special emphasis on Stained Glass and the Great Exhibition. Hear about Rood Screens and more. Listen to Pugin’s own words read aloud.

A Concert on Saturday 10th, 7.30pm, will combine beautiful music and a talk about Pugin’s relationship with music. This will be a fascinating and entertaining evening. Tickets on the door for just £10.

See the poster for further details.

We look forward to seeing you at this Pugin festival!

SPONSOR A PIPE – keep the music playing : The Song Started Here music campaign

A new way to support the work at St Augustine’s has been opened up. Friends and supporters can make their mark by sponsoring a pipe for the restoration of the organ.


As part of the Friends of St Augustine’s vision for spreading beautiful music, the organ at St Augustine’s is being restored and brought up to standard. Unlike much of the other restoration works, this is not being paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The organ brings sound and life to this glorious site. It accompanies many liturgies,
and enables us to have beautiful voluntaries after Mass, as well as concerts and
other music. By restoring the organ, we will be able to expand our musical outreach
to help schools, families, retired people, and others to bring out their singing voices.

The organ is being entirely cleaned and the electronics are being updated to the latest specification. The bellows will be thoroughly cleaned and repaired internally, and re-leathered in finest quality sheepskin in traditional manner. The soundboards and chests will be properly overhauled and restored, to ensure continued reliability for 50 years or more.

The console and pedalboard – the keys that play the music – is being entirely remade. The old console was ugly and inappropriate for display. It was hidden behind the Lady Altar, but the restoration of the Lady Chapel will make it impossible for it to stay there. A new console, designed in sympathy with the church’s architecture, will be made. It will be moveable, and small with good proportions. It will usually be kept at the western end of the Lady Chapel, with good sights for the choir stalls. We need to raise £80,000 to fund this quality work, and to keep the music playing.

Supporting this singing tradition will be a unique gift for your family, your friends, for yourself, or in memory of deceased relatives or friends.

By sponsoring a pipe, you will be part of one of the long-lasting (and loudest!) elements of this special place.

Download the leaflet and sponsorship form here.

3rd September – SPONSORED WALK for The Song Started Here music campaign


A sponsored walk is giving an opportunity to contribute to The Song Started Here music campaign in Ramsgate. The success of this campaign will maintain and expand the excellent high-quality music at St Augustine’s, which has been featured on BBC Radio and is available on CD.

On 3rd September, a group will be travelling in the footsteps of St Augustine on this walking trail, rediscovering the great English stories held in the beautiful Stour Valley.

They are collecting sponsors, raising money for The Song Started Here music campaign at St Augustine’s. You can sponsor the walkers by clicking here.

Beginning at Canterbury Cathedral, the route travels by many historic sites, finishing at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate. The walkers will be given a Pilgrim’s Passport which can be stamped along the way. The walk is about 17 miles long and can be walked in a day, with an opportunity to travel 3 miles by canoe.

You can take part – on the day or by sponsoring the walkers!

The walk takes place on 3rd September, the feast day of Pope St Gregory the Great who sent St Augustine on his mission to England. He is also the name behind Gregorian Chant – the beautiful music so prevalent at St Augustine’s.

With the organ being brought up to higher standards, we have the potential to spread this excellent music to more people, to run workshops, and to involve local schools and groups in musical education.

If you would like to sponsor a walker, please contact the office on 01843 606759 or office@augustineshrine.co.uk. Alternatively, you can make a donation online at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/way-of-st-augustine-16

If you would like to come on the walk, please contact the office on 01843 606759 or office@augustineshrine.co.uk. We will give you further details and send you a sponsorship form. A sponsorship form can also be downloaded here.

The group leaves Canterbury West railway station, walking to the Cathedral, at 8.20am on 3rd September, expecting to be in Ramsgate for 6pm.

Wish us luck!



Sponsor the walkers here.

Register to come on the walk here.


After many months of planning, re-planning, and making arrangements, builders today have come on site at St Augustine’s.

They are beginning work on the Visitor Centre area, and work will continue into 2017. After the Visitor Centre is complete, the interior of the church will receive work to restore it to Pugin’s original designs.

Keep up to date online, and on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates!

This work would not be possible without the donations of our wonderful supporters and Friends. Please e-mail us to join the Friends or to offer additional help.

This is a Heritage Lottery Funded project.