Parliament donates original Pugin Tiles to St Augustine’s

Original Pugin-designed tiles from the floor of the Houses of Parliament were presented as a gift to St Augustine’s church at a Parliamentary reception for supporters of the proposed Pugin & St Augustine Education, Research and Visitor Centre for St Augustine’s church in Ramsgate.

Many supporters, volunteers, and community leaders joined MPs, Peers, the Archbishop of Southwark, and national supporters and donors. Lord (Tom) Pendry, President of Ramsgate Football Club, was present and has supported St Augustine’s in its work, having been a regular attender at the church in his youth.

Presenting the Tiles Catriona Blaker (Pugin Society), Jocelyn McCarthy (Ramsgate Society), Fr Marcus Holden receives a tile from Laura Sandys MP

Presenting the Tiles
Catriona Blaker (Pugin Society), Jocelyn McCarthy (Ramsgate Society), Fr Marcus Holden receives a tile from Laura Sandys MP

Supporters were also joined by national newscaster, Alastair Stewart, who is a Patron of the Friends of St Augustine’s church and supports many of its events; he spent his secondary school years at St Augustine’s College and regularly used the church.

Described as “Pugin on wheels,” the State Rooms of the Speaker’s House at the House of Commons were the venue for reception, hosted by Laura Sandys MP. Pugin designed the interiors of the Houses of Parliament – much work being done in Ramsgate – and the spectacular venue was most appropriate for the Ramsgate gathering.

The Pugin Society Catriona Blaker, Penny Perrott, Lady Alexandra Wedgewood

The Pugin Society
Catriona Blaker, Penny Perrott, Lady Alexandra Wedgewood

Volunteers enjoying the reception

Volunteers enjoying the reception

Speeches thanking Volunteers and supporters were given by Alastair Stewart, Laura Sandys MP, Robert Pugin Purcell (the great great grandson of Augustus Welby Pugin), and Fr Marcus Holden (Rector of St Augustine’s church) who has led the project. Paul Hudson, the Chair of the South East Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, who are supporting the proposed centre and have so far funded preparation of the final bid for delivering the project, also spoke about HLF’s support of the project.

Fr Marcus Holden with Paul Hudson, Chair HLF South East

Fr Marcus Holden with Paul Hudson, Chair HLF South East

Guests from the Ramsgate-based Pugin Society were present along with the Ramsgate Society, Friends of Kent churches, English Heritage, and the National Churches Trust, who have all supported St Augustine’s in the last three years.

 

Laura Sandys MP said, “Ramsgate has come to Parliament, and now Parliament has come to Ramsgate. The tiles – which come from the floors of the Houses of Parliament – will really add to the new Education, Research, and Visitor Centre at St Augustine’s. This project needs every support, and I am so pleased to have welcomed so many supporters to Parliament in aid of our Ramsgate project.”

Dominic Bevan of The Victoria Consort

Dominic Bevan of The Victoria Consort

Thomas Neal, Director of Music at St Augustine's

Thomas Neal, Director of Music at St Augustine’s

Catriona Blaker of the Pugin Society said, “All supporters of the proposed Pugin and St Augustine Education, Research and Visitor Centre, and in particular representatives of the Pugin Society, were most impressed to be at the State Rooms of the Speaker’s House, House of Commons. What more illustrious or fitting venue could there possibly be for such an event? This was the final rallying call before the second round funding submission next March to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Pugin Society is a hundred per cent behind this exciting project, which would so greatly advance knowledge of Pugin and St Augustine, and increase awareness of the remarkable heritage of the Isle of Thanet. Particular thanks should be given to the strong support of Thanet South MP Laura Sandys and Patron of the Friends of St Augustine, Alistair Stewart.”

Laura Sandys MP, Archbishop Peter Smith, Fr Marcus Holden, Alastair Stewart

Laura Sandys MP, Archbishop Peter Smith, Fr Marcus Holden, Alastair Stewart

Fr Marcus Holden, Rector of St Augustine’s, said,“Further support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and our Friends will make St Augustine’s a great place for the community, for tourists, for the whole of Ramsgate. I thank everyone who has already supported us in so many ways, and encourage everyone to come and visit this magnificent church. I would particularly like to thank all the volunteers from Ramsgate and elsewhere in Thanet who have given their time an expertise to get us this far. It has been a tremendous effort and we are making tremendous progress.”

He added “Our project is creating an experience of Pugin and St Augustine for everyone.”

Project Management Board members, Nigel Warner and Derek Benjamin, with Catherine Lloyd of Canterbury Cathedral

Project Management Board members, Nigel Warner and Derek Benjamin, with Catherine Lloyd of Canterbury Cathedral

 

Alastair Stewart, Laura Sandys MP, Lord Northbourne, Jacob Rees Mogg MP

Alastair Stewart, Laura Sandys MP, Lord Northbourne, Jacob Rees Mogg MP

Since opening its doors every day for the first time in April this year, St Augustine’s has welcomed over 7,000 visitors and is on target to hit 10,000 visitors this year. It is currently fundraising to match-fund a grant bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to create an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre. The new Centre will be an attraction for visitors, scholars, and facility for the local community.

 

To join or to enquire about the project please e-mail office@augustineshrine.co.uk, call 01843 592071, or visit www.augustinefriends.co.uk

St A State Rooms Westminster 2014 (127 of 199)

Donation from Parliament

The donated tiles were part of the floor of St Stephen’s Hall and were removed as part of Parliament’s encaustic tile conservation programme, a seven year project to restore the original patterns designed for the floors of the Houses of Parliament. Where possible, tiles are being restored and reinstated.

Encaustic tiles are also known as Minton tiles, named for Herbert Minton who collaborated with Pugin on the Palace of Westminster – Minton tiles are used throughout the public areas of the Houses of Parliament. The original tiles were made using a Medieval technique that was rediscovered by Herbert Minton in the early 1800s. It was a handmade process, from mixing the clay and making the moulds to pressing the tiles and adding the coloured clay – the pattern is baked into the tile, rather than added later as a glaze.

Old Augustinians return to St Augustine’s for Remembrance Service

On Tuesday 11th November St Augustine’s Church, Ramsgate, held a Service of Remembrance, beginning at 10.45am. The Old Boys of St Augustine’s School who died in the First World War were particularly commemorated.

Pupils from the Ursuline College attended, with the Headteacher Tanya Utton, and two of them read the Roll of Honour. Many of the 38 names on the OAs’ Roll of Honour came from a photograph of the now-destroyed school war memorial.

This was the first time for many years that the Old Augustinians have had a remembrance service. The School was based in Ramsgate for much of its existence, and St Augustine’s Church was used for many of the school’s important occasions. The School moved to Westgate in 1971 and closed in 1995. Many St Augustine’s boys moved to the Ursuline College, which is also in Westgate.

Two minutes’ silence was observed at 11am. Two wreaths were laid at the Pugin Chantry chapel.

Michael Thunder, a Royal Flying Corps pilot who was killed in 1916, was the grandson of Augustus Pugin, who built St Augustine’s Church. Thunder is buried in the churchyard.

Andrew Sharp, Secretary of the Old Augustinians, said, “It is very important that we should remember the sacrifice these former pupils at St Augustine’s gave for their country. In this centenary year since the start of the First World War, not only are they to be remembered by their families and communities, but by the former pupils of their schools too.

“We very much hope that as many former pupils at St Augustine’s living in and around Thanet will be able to attend this Remembrance service as well as any descendants of the families of those on the Old Augustinians’ Roll of Honour.”

John Coverdale, St. Augustine’s Centre Manager, said, “We are very pleased that the Old Augustinians will be returning in this centenary year of the First World War to honour their fallen Old Boys. It is very appropriate that they come here on this day, and we hope it will become an annual tradition.”

Afterwards the congregation enjoyed refreshments in the Cartoon Room at The Grange next door.