Historian, broadcaster and Politician, Dr Tristram Hunt MP is guest speaker for Friends of Pugin’s St Augustine’s, Ramsgate, regional fundraising dinner

Historian, Broadcaster and politician, Dr Tristram Hunt MP will the guest speaker at the first annual Regional Fundraising Dinner in support of the restoration of Pugin’s church of St Augustine in Ramsgate.

The dinner will also mark the end of the Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin’s biecentenary year celebrations.  The famous Victorian architect who was born in 1812 lived for many years in the Grange in Ramsgate and had built St Augustine’s church next door.  Many of his great designs were from his home in Ramsgate, including the interior of the Houses of Parliament and the famous clock tower, which houses ‘Big Ben’.  The dinner will also mark the regional launch to develop a visitor and education centre at the church in Ramsgate.

Chairman of the Friends of St Augustine, Fr Marcus Holden said “We are delighted that Dr Tristram Hunt MP has agreed to support our dinner.  He has taken such an interest in the life and times of Pugin and it is fitting that a Member of Parliament should be our guest speaker, connecting the work of Pugin in both Westminster and Thanet.

Commenting on his visit, Dr Tristram Hunt, who has presented many history programmes on television and radio, said “I am very pleased to accept the kind invitation by the Friends of St Augustine’s, to pay tribute to Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.  I am also pleased to support the Friends in their appeal to raise funds to restore the famous Victorian architect’s magnificent church in Ramsgate.”

Dr Hunt added “Pugin did much to influence Victorian attitudes towards architecture and the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are testimony to his fine work.  Here in Thanet he designed many wonderful buildings – none more so than the church he is buried in – St Augustine’s, Ramsgate – it is well worth saving and it deserves support.”

Proceeds from the dinner will go towards funding the next phase of the project to restore the church, which includes plans for a visitor and education centre, promoting the work of Pugin and the history of the landing of St Augustine in Thanet in 597 AD.

Friends’ chairman, Fr Marcus Holden went on to say “We are making good progress with the restoration project, but there is still much to do.  In 2013 we will be holding a number of events aimed at gaining support for this important restoration project.  This fundraising dinner is an opportunity for supporters and those across Kent interested in the project to come together to help take the restoration of Pugin’s church of St Augustine a step further”.

The fundraising dinner will be attended by guests from across Kent and will take place at St Augustine’s in Canterbury Road, Westgate on Thursday 7th March.  There are a limited number of tickets for the dinner still available from Friends of St Augustine, 72 Hereson Road, Ramsgate, CT11 7DS or emailstaugustineramsgate.appeal@gmail.com

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