Welcome

Welcome. The Friends of St Augustine supports and assists the restoration and promotion of the world-renowned church of St Augustine, Ramsgate. This church was built by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) and it is important for its continuing architectural, religious and cultural significance.

The main aim of the Friends is to preserve this historical monument for future generations and to support the restoration and repair of the church and its associated buildings and to promote greater awareness of its architectural and historical importance for all people.

A. W. N. Pugin (1812-52) was one of England’s most prolific and influential architects, whose famous achievements include much of the British Houses of Parliament; he has been credited

with influencing the reform of buildings and cities across the world.He led the Gothic Revival, producing magnificent Gothic buildings and his legacy continues today in his buildings and designs which continue to be copied and to inspire.

St. Augustine’s Church was Pugin’s own building. Gothic churches were his passion, and St. Augustine’s was his model church. He promised his son that “not one of my true principles will be broken”, so the church is a critical example for any modern student of architecture.

Architecture, though, is half the story. Pugin passionately believed that architecture helped the soul: that Gothic architecture raised the soul to God. He was a Catholic convert, with a devotion to St Augustine of Canterbury, Apostle of the English. The church is an official shrine and monument to St Augustine and the coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England. Pugin was himself inspired to moved to the Ramsgate site because ‘blessed Austin had landed nearby’.

 

With The Grange next door and St. Augustine’s Abbey across the road, this church – still in use – forms a most important complex of buildings: “…an inspiring testament to [Pugin’s] genius, faith and hard work. Unesco should celebrate this anniversary by making [this] a World Heritage Site.” – Clive Aslet, Daily Telegraph, 5th January 2012

St Augustine’s has received generous grants from the Lottery Fund, National Churches Trust, the Wolfson Foundation and others. Patrons of the Friends include the Archbishop of Southwark, local MP Laura Sandys, Lord Pendry and Alastair Stewart (alumni St Augustine’s Monastery school) and Clive Aslet of Country Life. It needs to raise funds for the future survival and restoration of this historic church. It also seeks to develop visitor facilities, educational resources and opportunities for research and community events. To save this church is to save one of England’s gems.

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