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.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider to celebrate Mass at St Augustine’s

The famous Bishop Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, is coming to St Augustine’s on 23rd February. He will celebrate Pontifical High Mass at 7pm on that day.

The celebration is in honour of King St Ethelbert, on the 1,400th anniversary of his death.

Schneider Ethelbert anniversary poster 2016 YoM

All are welcome to attend.

St Augustine’s is very pleased to welcome Bishop Schneider back to St Augustine’s. He last celebrated Mass here for St Augustine’s Day in May 2014.

For those coming from a distance, there is ample free parking on Royal Esplanade, just to the west of the church. Alternatively, St Augustine’s is about a mile from Ramsgate railway station, which is served by trains from St Pancras International, London Victoria, and London Charing Cross. There are buses and taxis available from the station.


King St Ethelbert was the King of Kent, and supreme king of the English up to the Humber, when St Augustine arrived in 597AD from Rome. King St Ethelbert allowed St Augustine to preach Christianity to the English, and soon Ethelbert was himself baptised by St Augustine.

King St Ethelbert, with St Augustine, established Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury. He was buried in St Augustine’s Abbey when he died in February 616, and he was soon venerated as a saint. His shrine-tomb and relics were destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538. It is through King St Ethelbert’s collaboration with St Augustine that England became a Christian nation.


Live National BBC Radio Broadcast: Sunday Worship, 21st February 2016

BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship will come live from St Augustine’s on Sunday 21st February 2016, at 8.10am.

Radio 4 logo

Members of the public are invited to join the congregation for this live national broadcast, and should be in the church by 7.45am. The service will conclude at about 8.50am.

Sunday Worship is a weekly programme on BBC Radio 4, with a listenership of about 1.5 million people.

The service from St Augustine’s will be a sacred meditation, comprising readings, reflections, prayers, music, and congregational singing.

The broadcast has the theme of ‘Pilgrimage: Taking and Leaving’. This fits in well with St Augustine’s growing association with pilgrimage.

In 2014-15 it launched the “Way of St Augustine” – a walking trail between Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s in Ramsgate. This follows the route St Augustine took when he travelled to Canterbury from Thanet in 597AD. The route was launched in collaboration with Canterbury Cathedral, the Green Pilgrimage Network, and Explore Kent. More information is available here:

A new DVD is co-presented by St Augustine’s Rector, Fr Marcus Holden, called To Be A Pilgrim. This was launched in October 2015. It documents the fascinating sites and histories of the ancient Pilgrims’ Way from Southwark to Canterbury. The route was made famous by Geoffrey Chaucer in his The Canterbury Tales. The DVD was produced by St Anthony Communications and is available here:

People wishing to join the congregation for this live national broadcast should be in the church by 7.45am. The service will conclude at about 8.50am.

Holy Door at St Augustine’s – Year of Mercy 2015-16

St Augustine’s has been granted a Holy Door for the Year of Mercy.

Pope Francis has given bishops permission to grant Holy Doors to places of pilgrimage and devotion in their dioceses. Archbishop Peter has graciously asked St Augustine’s to have a Holy Door for the Year of Mercy.

The Holy Door was opened by Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB, of Farnborough Abbey, on 24th January. The service included Vespers sung by the nuns of Minster Abbey and our resident local voluntary chant choir the Schola Augustini. More music was sung by The Victoria Consort.

14 OPENING HOLY DOOR (80 of 154)

The service was attended by several hundred people, with many local people coming as well as retreatants from the Divine Retreat Centre across the road.

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More photographs are available on our Facebook page here.




For Mass and Visiting times over the Christmas period, please see below:

1pm – Closed for visiting
9pm – Carols
Confessions available before Mass
9.30pm – ‘Midnight Mass’ – Extraordinary Form Missa Cantata sung by The Victoria Consort

Closed for visiting
8.30am – Mass
12 noon – Mass – Extraordinary Form Missa Cantata sung by The Victoria Consort

ST STEPHEN’S DAY (26th December)
Closed for visiting
12 noon – Mass (Polish)

Normal visiting times (10am – 4pm)
Masses as usual (12 noon each day, plus 8.30am on Sundays)

Closed for visiting
12 noon – Mass