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.

Photographic Exhibition: Herne Bay Photographic Club – to mid-September

The north and west cloisters of St Augustine’s are the venue for an excellent display of photographic talent this summer.

From the Herne Bay Photographic Club, photographers have captured a large range of shots, including gothic architecture, scenic landscapes, and stylised artistic creations.

This is a wonderful opportunity to see photographic skill, and to admire the talent on show.

The display will be open until 15th September. Entry is free, and donations are welcome.

CONCERT – Hail, Gladdening Light – Thames Chamber Choir – 16th July, 7.30pm

Hail, Gladdening Light is the title of the Thames Chamber Choir’s concert, as they return to sing at St Augustine’s.

The concert will be on Saturday 16th July, at 7.30pm

Thames Chamber Choir

Tickets are £10, and the choir have generously offered the proceeds towards the restoration project at St Augustine’s.

Featuring lots of wonderful music, including Monteverdi Madrigals and Vaughan Williams’ Three Shakespeare Songs, the concert is one not to miss!

The Thames Chamber Choir, led by Andrew Campling and Christian Spielmann, is a London choir which sings around the UK. The choir has about twenty members, and sings mostly unaccompanied music ranging from Renaissance to modern day pieces.

The choir sang a wonderful concert in March last year, and are returning to St Augustine’s this summer on 16th July.

Further information and online tickets available at www.thameschamberchoir.eu

Ramsgate’s First Blessing of the Sea – Mon 30th May, 3pm, at the Ramsgate Harbour Obelisk


Come along to this first ever Blessing of the Sea – with the Mayors of Ramsgate, Margate, and Broadstairs.

A wonderful opportunity to reinforce our links with the sea.

Assemble at the Obelisk in Ramsgate Harbour, next to the Victoria Pavilion, towards the sea from the bus stops. The service is expected to take about 20 minutes, and will have hymns, readings, and prayers.

Part of St Augustine Week 2016: https://www.facebook.com/events/454527804717457/





The Festival programme is released here! All events are FREE, except the Concert and Day Trip.

<<< 27th May – 4th June >>>

Highlights this year include:

BLESSING OF THE SEA – 30th May (Bank Holiday Monday), 3pm

FIRST EVER complete translation of the medieval Life of St Augustine – 31st May, 7pm

AUGUSTINE LECTURE, by Dr Andrew Richardson – 1st June, 7.30pm

AUGUSTINE SERMON,  by Fr Tim Finigan – 4th June, 3.30pm

And lots more!

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Holiday let to open in church tower – April Fool!

A two-floor flat is to be created in the tower at Augustus Pugin’s personal church in Ramsgate. Spread over two floors, it will have spacious living areas with fantastic sea views. An atmospheric stone spiral staircase leads up to the flat, giving a truly medieval experience of tower living.

_MG_1242 - Credit  Ludmila Griffin

There will be an attractive roof terrace on top of the tower, with great potential for summer soirées and cocktail parties. Caution should be taken in windy weather.

The tower is 75ft high, and so has some of the best views available on the Westcliff. Overlooking the English Channel, France can be seen easily on clear days. The Goodwin Sands – with the world’s highest concentration of shipwrecks – are often easy to spot, and there are excellent views of the town of Ramsgate and the Kentish countryside too.

Architects Thomas Ford and Partners will create the flat. It will be made in the same Pugin style as The Grange and St Edward’s Presbytery next door.

It is hoped that the flat will be ready to use at the same time as the brand new Education, Research, and Visitor Centre opens in 2017, along with the restoration of the Chancel and Lady Chapel of the church.

Rector, Fr Marcus Holden, said, “Well, we saw the success of Landmark Trust and their custodianship of Pugin’s home and presbytery next door, and we thought that the tower provided an ideal opportunity for us to do something similar. We’re breaking the mould a bit, because Pugin never actually intended for people to live in this tower, of course.

“A church is often called ‘Domus Dei’ – House of God – because its primary function is worship of God. But, we thought, why not make part of it ‘Domus Populi’ – House of People – too, and make it a bit more domestic?

“Perhaps holidaymakers will invite pilgrims and parishioners up for parties in Pugin’s church tower. We’re especially looking forward to the April Fool’s Day parties.”


Notes to the Editor

Thomas Ford and Partners really are good architects (and are architects to St Augustine’s, as well as having restored The Grange and St Edward’s Presbytery with Landmark Trust)

The church really is being restored, and there will be an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre on the site. This is majority-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.