SAVING A CENTURY: The Victorian Society FREE exhibition at St Augustine’s: 1st – 31st August

SAC Ramsgate poster

St Augustine’s is this year’s south eastern destination for The Victorian Society’s travelling exhibition, Saving a Century. This charts the first fifty years of The Victorian Society and is a fascinating display.

The exhibition is FREE and will be on display every day (10am-4pm) in the cloisters of St Augustine’s, immediately at the entrance. No booking necessary.

For more information please visit: http://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/events/saving-a-century/

CONCERT: SAT 4TH JULY – Cantate Chamber Choir: An Evening of Sacred and Secular

Cantate Poster

The cloister garth at Pugin’s St Augustine’s will resound with music sung by Thanet-based choir Cantate Chamber Choir this weekend.

The concert will begin in the church, with music written for religious purposes. The concert will fit perfectly with the beautiful interior of St Augustine’s, which will be illuminated with summer light streaming through the unique stained glass windows.

After the first half, the choir will show their versatility by entertaining concert-goers with secular music. The concert will move outside (weather permitting) to the cloister garth. This garden is the enclosed centrepiece of the site and will resonate with music.

Refreshments will be served, included in the price.

The concert is at 7.30pm, on Saturday 4th July, at St Augustine’s church, St Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate.

Tickets are £10. Tickets will be available on the door, or can be reserved by e-mailing office@augustineshrine.co.uk or calling 01843 592071.

Centre Manager, John Coverdale, said, “This is going to be an excellent concert. We are so fortunate to have such a lively and high-quality musical life here on Ramsgate’s Westcliff. I hope many people will come to enjoy this excellent evening.”

ST AUGUSTINE WEEK – featured on Vatican Radio

Vatican Radio covers St Augustine Week: Listen here!

A week full of events! See the programme here, or on Facebook, or below:

*SATURDAY 23rd MAY*

TOURS OF ST AUGUSTINE’S
11.15, 13.00, 13.45, 14.15, 14.45, 16.00

SHOWING OF ST AUGUSTINE DVD
Throughout the day

SPECIALIST TALKS — 1.30pm and 3.30pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/487449791404295/

*SUNDAY 24th MAY*

MASS: Missa Cantata (Extraordinary Form), sung by The Victoria Consort — 12 noon

BEDE CONCERT and PARTY IN THE GARTH — 7pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/1388602718135947/

*MONDAY 25th MAY* — BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY

***NATIONAL PILGRIMAGE*** to the Shrine of St Augustine
A full day of events, beginning with a Procession at 11am and Mass at 12 noon (Celebrant: Mgr Gordon Read, in the Extraordinary Form)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1443657322611884/

*TUESDAY 26th MAY*

WAY OF ST AUGUSTINE – DAY 1 – new walking route
The route runs from Canterbury, through the beautiful Kent countryside, via some pretty villages and significant sites, and to Ramsgate.
Overnight stop 26th-27th May in Stourmouth, courtesy of The Churches Conservation Trust.
Group 1 sets off from Canterbury — 8.30am
https://www.facebook.com/events/1445916545709123/

*WEDNESDAY 27th MAY*

WAY OF ST AUGUSTINE – DAY 2
Join yesterday’s group if you weren’t walking the first day!
Meet at Plucks Gutter at 10am (buses available to arrive at 9.42am)

ST AUGUSTINE DEVOTIONS and BENEDICTION with a SERMON BY THE RECTOR — 6.30pm

MASS FOR THE FEAST OF ST AUGUSTINE (Ordinary Form) — 7pm
Celebrant: The Rector, Fr Marcus Holden
Preacher: Fr Tim Finigan

*THURSDAY 28th MAY*

COACH TOUR OF SIGNIFICANT SITES IN EAST KENT
Setting off from St Ethelbert’s — 10am
Pick-up St Augustine’s — 10.05am
https://www.facebook.com/events/391069314415653/

LIGHT SUPPER in St Ethelbert’s Church Hall — 6pm

THE NORMAN CONQUEST AND ST AUGUSTINE, a lecture by Dr Eleanor Parker – THE AUGUSTINE LECTURE — 7pm
In St Ethelbert’s Church Hall
https://www.facebook.com/events/963294187064858/

*FRIDAY 29th MAY*

A PUGIN RAMBLE — 1.30pm
Setting off from the Granville Theatre
https://www.facebook.com/events/1644932229072905/

PILGRIMAGE AND SAINT AUGUSTINE, a lecture by Fr Marcus Holden and John Coverdale — 7pm
In St Ethelbert’s Church Hall
https://www.facebook.com/events/1590232554598658/

*SATURDAY 30th MAY*

PROCESSION TO ST AUGUSTINE’S CROSS and the AUGUSTINE SERMON by MGR ANDREW BURNHAM — 3pm
Setting off from Hugin Viking Ship
https://www.facebook.com/events/646452838821565/

CATHOLIC YOUTH AFTERNOON — 5.30pm
At Minster Abbey
https://www.facebook.com/events/926428740733688/

*SUNDAY 31st MAY*

MASS: Missa Cantata (Extraordinary Form), sung by The Victoria Consort — 12 noon

VESPERS AND BENEDICTION, sung by the Schola Augustini — 5pm

PUGIN’S HOLIDAY HOME DISCOVERED IN FRANCE

New research has revealed that the renowned designer of the Houses of Parliament – Augustus Pugin (1812 – 1852) – had a private holiday home in the south of France.

Pugin's retreat in southern France

Pugin’s retreat in southern France

Pugin is well known for making rapid tours of both the United Kingdom and of parts of Europe, but it seems that he would sojourn in southern France for several weeks every year. This leisurely side of Pugin has not been appreciated until now.

In a time when travel was slow, except for the railways (which Pugin often used), his retreat some way south of the Dordogne provided seclusion unlike anywhere in England. It also allowed him the opportunity to build a complete fortified project in addition to his seminal clifftop Gothic Revival site in Ramsgate.

Pugin’s French ancestry is believed to have influenced his choice of France for his private retreat. Although he was most familiar with northern France, and his ancestors were from eastern France and Switzerland, the new research unveils his admiration for King John’s military campaigns to overthrow the Cathars and to re-establish the English crown’s dominion over parts of south-western France.

It is believed that Pugin’s generous patron, the Earl of Shrewsbury, suggested that Pugin may want to build a private residence closer to the Mediterranean as the weather would be better for Pugin’s poor health than the weather at Alton Towers in Shropshire. Pugin was a frequent visitor to Alton Towers.

Many of Pugin’s letters sent from his French retreat are dated 1st April.

Holy Week and Easter Services 2015

Wednesday 1st April   Spy Wednesday

9pm       Tenebrae

 

Thursday 2nd April   Maundy Thursday

4.30pm   Mass of Maundy Thursday

9pm        Tenebrae

 

Friday 3rd April   Good Friday

11am     Stations of the Cross along Royal Esplanade, beginning at St Augustine’s, in collaboration with Divine Retreat Centre UK (based in the former monastery complex opposite St Augustine’s)

6.30pm  Good Friday Liturgy

9pm       Tenebrae

 

Saturday 4th April   Holy Saturday

5pm       Easter Vigil Mass

 

Sunday 5th April   Easter Sunday

8.30am   Mass

12 noon  Mass

St Augustine’s to celebrate Easter in the Extraordinary Form

The Shrine of St Augustine of England in Ramsgate will celebrate all Easter ceremonies in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite this year. It is one of only six churches in England and Wales that will have all these ceremonies in this form this year.

This will be the second consecutive year that St Augustine’s has had an entirely Extraordinary Form Easter. Celebration of Easter with Extraordinary Form liturgies has been unusual since reforms to the church’s liturgies during the 1970s. The ceremonies are becoming more common since the clarification of their status in the document Summorum Pontinficum by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.

The services will be sung by St Augustine’s resident choir, The Victoria Consort. Everyone is welcome to attend all or some of the ceremonies.

The ceremonies are particularly renowned for their beauty and deep meaning. Although they happen on separate days, they form a whole pattern that commemorates Jesus’s final days and resurrection. On Thursday (Maundy Thursday), Mass is celebrated in the evening and recalls the Last Supper and the Institution of the Eucharist. This is when Jesus ate his last meal with his disciples before his crucifixion, and when he gave the Eucharist to his disciples – when the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ – instructing them to, “Do this in memory of me”. At the end of the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament will be taken to Peter Paul Pugin’s Altar of the Sacred Heart where it will be reserved for Holy Communion on Good Friday.

On Good Friday the liturgy involves various prayers at the beginning of the service, followed by the veneration of a crucifix which is displayed to the congregation. This unique liturgy takes place on the day that Jesus’s crucifixion is commemorated. By kissing the foot of the crucifix, the people show their respect and love for Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, represented by the crucifix itself. This is followed by the distribution of Holy Communion, which was consecrated at Mass the evening before. Because Good Friday is the day that Jesus’s death is commemorated most solemnly, Mass is not said on this day.

On Holy Saturday the liturgy celebrates Christ’s resurrection, which prefigures our own resurrection and new life. It is therefore a very solemn and joyful ceremony. It begins with a fire and lighting the new Paschal Candle, which symbolises Christ who is called the “Light of the World.” A special text called the “Exultet” is sung which calls on the people to rejoice in the resurrection of Christ. There are readings from the Bible of the prophesies from the Old Testament fulfilled by Jesus, followed by New Testament readings. Mass is then celebrated for the first time since Maundy Thursday, which includes various unique ceremonies such as the blessing of the font (in this case, the one made by George Myers for Augustus Pugin and much admired by Queen Victoria at the Great Exhibition in 1851).

Tenebrae (Latin for ‘darkness’) will be sung on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. It is a sung version of the Extraordinary Form of the Divine Office – the series of psalms and prayers said each day by monks, nuns, priests, and laypeople – and has a particular character on those days. The candles are gradually extinguished until, at the end of the service, the church is in total darkness. Books are then banged on the pews. This dramatic effect symbolises the darkness and earthquake which are recorded to have happened at Jesus’s death.

Everyone is welcome to attend all or some of the ceremonies.

St Augustine’s, the personal church of the leading Victorian Gothic Revival architect Augustus Pugin, was built for Catholic worship beginning in 1846. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have supported the development of a bid to create an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre in several rooms on the site; the interior of the church will also be restored to Pugin’s vision by reversing modifications made in the twentieth century. The HLF project will open St Augustine’s to even more audiences and enable engagement with the considerable artistic, design, architectural, stonework, glasswork, and other skills that are able to be studied at this seminal and historic building.

St Augustine’s is within the Parish of Ramsgate and Minster but is not the parish church. The parish priest, Fr Marcus Holden, will celebrate Easter in the Ordinary Form at the parish church of SS Ethelbert and Gertrude. For service times at the parish church and at Minster Abbey, please see the parish website www.ramsgateandminster.com

The liturgies at St Augustine’s are generously supported by private donors and the Latin Mass Society. For more information on the five other places where these liturgies will be held in this form, please see http://www.lmschairman.org/2015/03/holy-week-in-england-and-wales.html.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation £25,000 Grant received, and Heritage Lottery Fund bid submitted

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded Pugin’s Church of St Augustine, Ramsgate, a grant of £25,000 toward restoration work and plans to build an Education, Research and Visitor centre inside the church.

An event was held on 2nd March at which Chris Maton, from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, presented a plaque in recognition of the grant. They are the 16th grant giving organisation to support the restoration of St Augustine’s, and over 400 people have donated money privately to the project.

The event also marked the submission of St Augustine’s bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in support of the project.

Approximately 100 people attended the event, including local schoolchildren, supporters, members of the Friends, as well as representatives of grant giving organisations. They heard speeches in support of the project from Clive Aslet (Editor-at-Large of Country Life), Robert Pugin Purcell (of the Pugin family), and Cllr Iris Johnston (Leader of Thanet District Council). The event was hosted by Fr Marcus Holden, Rector of St Augustine’s, which is the burial place of Augustus Pugin.

Fr Marcus Holden said “This project is locally driven, but it is a project that has a national importance. The things you see here inspired the architecture of a nation, Parliament was inspired by Ramsgate. We are very grateful for the donation from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Fund and for Lord Lloyd Webber’s personal interest and support for our project.

“It takes us one step nearer towards the church’s restoration and the setting up of a centre for Pugin inside the church.”

Robert Pugin Purcell said, “There is nowhere more suitable than Ramsgate for this project, and we hope that the Heritage Lottery Fund are able to support it.”

Cllr Iris Johnston said, “People will come from all over the world to see this amazing building,” and compared the project to the Turner Contemporary in Margate as a driver for the local area and centre of internationally-appreciated construction and art.

The site should become a World Heritage Site, said Clive Aslet, because of its importance. The site in Ramsgate is Pugin’s personal building where he exhibited, “A style, a passion, a religion, a community,” which continues to have direct influences across the English-speaking world.

The event took place the day after the 203rd anniversary of Augustus Pugin’s birth. The cost of the project to create the Education, Research, and Visitor Centre, and to restore the interior of the church to Pugin’s vision, is likely to be £800,000. The Heritage Lottery Fund are expected to make their decision on the bid public in June 2015, and funding continues to be sought.

For more photos of the event, please see our Facebook page.

CONCERT: Thames Chamber Choir offers spectacular programme – 21st March, 7.30pm

Thames Chamber Choir

The renowned Thames Chamber Choir will sing a concert in St Augustine’s, Ramsgate, on Saturday 21st March at 7.30pm.

Making their return by popular demand after last year’s impressive performance, the Thames Chamber Choir will be singing for one night only in Ramsgate. The centrepiece will be by the English composer William Byrd, with other pieces by Rachmaninoff, Tavener, and others.

Directed by Andrew Campling and Christian Spielmann, the Thames Chamber Choir is based in east London and performs across the British Isles. They sing concerts and for church services and have 20 members.

The centrepiece of Saturday’s concert will be the musical setting Mass in Four Parts by William Byrd (1540-1623), and other pieces include works by Chesnokov, Hawley, Lauridsen, Pärt, Rachmaninoff, Sisask, and Tavener. This represents a huge range of centuries and inspirations which is sure to produce an entertaining evening.

Tickets are £10, concessions £7.50. Tickets available on the door or in advance from 01843 850829.

Centre Manager, John Coverdale, said, “We are really looking forward to this concert, especially after the high standard of the Thames Chamber Choir’s visit last year. St Augustine’s is becoming a place for many groups to make music, and we very much enjoy welcoming the musicians who come to perform here and the people who come to listen and watch them.”

Full Text of Cardinal Burke’s Sermon at the Shrine of St Augustine, 9th March 2015

VOTIVE MASS OF SAINT AUGUSTINE, BISHOP, APOSTLE OF ENGLAND

SHRINE OF SAINT AUGUSTINE

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF RAMSGATE AND MINSTER

RAMSGATE, ENGLAND

9 MARCH 2015

 

1 Thes 2, 2-9

Lk 10, 1-9

 

SERMON

 

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

How great a blessing to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the Shrine of Saint Augustine, Apostle of England, so near to the place at which he, together with some forty other monks, arrived in the year 597 on a mission received from the Roman Pontiff, Pope Gregory the Great: the mission of the new evangelization of the British Isles. Here we witness directly the unfailing activity of the glorious Christ in His Church. Saint Augustine and his companions, not unlike the 72 disciples in the Gospel, were sent forth by the Vicar of Christ on earth to bring Christ alive in the Church to a faraway land. Venerating the tomb of Saint Augustine, we receive the grace of missionary zeal which is most fully and perfectly expressed in the offering of the Holy Mass.

From historical accounts, we know how much Pope Saint Gregory the Great desired to bring the truth and love of Christ to the English nation. He had seen the English youth brought as slaves to Rome, and his heart was filled with compassion for them and for their fellow countrymen. He felt in his heart, the sentiment of the Lord who exhorted the seventy-two disciples for the mission with these words:

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. [1]

Thus, he called upon the monks of the Roman Monastery of Saint Andrew, from which he had been called to the See of Peter and of which Saint Augustine was the Prior, to undertake the long and difficult journey to England and to preach the Gospel in a place totally unknown to them.[2]

One can imagine that his instructions to Saint Augustine and the other monks were, in substance, the same as those of the Lord to the disciples:

Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” [3]

Thanks be to God, Saint Augustine and his companions carried out the mission with total obedience. The integrity with which they carried out their priestly labors is well described in the words of Saint Paul in today’s Epistle:

For our appeal does not spring from error or uncleanness, nor is it made with guile; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but to please God who tests our hearts. [4]

They never doubted that their work was Christ’s, not their own. The measure of their ministry, therefore, was Christ alone, His truth and His love. Thus, their preaching of the Gospel and their ministration of the Sacraments has unceasingly borne fruit for centuries in the British Isles and far beyond.

Dom Prosper Guéranger, in his commentary on the feast of Saint Augustine, reflects upon the enduring fruits of their missionary labors with these words:

Thus the new race that then peopled the island received the faith, as the Britons had previously done from the hands of a Pope; and monks were their teachers in the science of salvation. The word of Augustine and his companions fructified in this privileged soil. It was some time of course before he could provide the whole nation with instruction; but neither Rome nor the Benedictines abandoned the work thus begun. The few remnants that were left of the ancient British Christianity joined the new converts; and England merited to be called, for long ages, the “Island of Saints.” [5]

One thinks, for example, of illustrious figures like the Venerable Bede and Saint Thomas Becket.

Contemplating the saints who were the illustrious fruit of the apostolic ministry of Saint Augustine and his companions, we recall also how many suffered, even to the shedding of their blood, to be true to the apostolic faith handed down to them in an unbroken line from the Apostles and, in particular, from Pope Saint Gregory the Great, heroic Successor of Saint Peter, and Saint Augustine of Canterbury, illustrious successor of the Apostles. In a most particular way, we recall the figures of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher who held fast to the tradition of the faith received from the Vicar of Christ on earth, when so many betrayed and abandoned the apostolic faith. At his trial on July 1, 1535, Saint Thomas More held firmly to the living Tradition of the Church, which forbade him, in conscience, to acknowledge King Henry VIII with the title of Supreme Head of the Church. When, during the trial, the Chancellor rebuked him, citing the acceptance of the title by so many bishops and nobles of the land, Thomas More replied: “My lord, for one bishop of your opinion I have a hundred saints of mine; and for one parliament of yours, and God knows of what kind, I have all the General Councils for 1,000 years, ….”[6] The English Martyrs gave up their lives in martyrdom rather than giving up their greatest and lasting treasure, the life of Christ alive for us in His holy Church. Many others, both canonized saints and unknown heroes of the faith, selflessly and enduringly practiced the Catholic faith brought to the British Isles by Saint Augustine and his companions.

Surely, too, we are conscious of the great challenges in living the apostolic faith in our time. Truly, Satan, “a murderer from the beginning” and “the father of lies”[7], cannot stand the truth and love of Christ shining forth in His holy Church. He never takes repose from his deceitful and hateful labors. He is always trying to corrupt the truth, the beauty and the goodness which Christ never ceases to pour forth into our Christian souls from His glorious pierced Heart. The pervasive confusion and grave error about the most fundamental truths, the most beautiful realities, and the lasting goods of human life and its cradle, the human family, as they come to us from the hand of God, are the tragic signs of Satan’s presence in our midst. When we see how he has succeeded in corrupting a culture which was once Christian and in sowing the seeds of confusion and error even within the Church herself, we can easily become frightened and discouraged.

But, as Saint Augustine and his companions knew and preached, there is another presence which always conquers Satan. It is the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in His holy Church and, most perfectly and fully of all, in the Most Blessed Sacrament: His Real Presence. Holding fast to Christ and to His truth and love, even in the face of persecution, the victory over sin, the victory of eternal life will surely be ours. Our Lord Himself, when he placed his Church upon the solid foundation of the Petrine Office, promised us that the forces of evil would not prevail against her.[8] The last chapter of the history of the Church is already written. It is the story of the victory of Christ, when he returns in glory to bring to consummation his saving work, to inaugurate “a new heaven and a new earth.”[9] The intervening chapters are ours to write, with Christ and as His faithful and generous disciples. They will certainly be the story of suffering for the truth and love of Christ, but they will also always be the story of divine grace at work in every Christian soul, filling it with joy and peace even in the face of great suffering and death itself. Let us not give way to fear or discouragement, but let us, with Saint Paul, rejoice to fill out in our time the sufferings of Christ for the glory of God and for the salvation of the world.[10]

Coming on pilgrimage to this shrine, I cannot fail to note the example of the Catholic architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, architect of this beautiful church which is also the place of his burial. Augustus Pugin was attracted to the truth of the Catholic faith through its reflection in the beauty of the great Church architecture of the Middle Ages. He, in turn, sought to express and inspire by his architecture the nobility and beauty of a Christian culture during a time in which the Christian foundations of society were already under serious threat from the radical secularism of the thinking of the so-called Enlightenment. Offering Holy Mass is this church which can rightly be called his, let us thank God for him and for the great treasure of the beauty of the faith which he has given to us.

Christ now makes sacramentally present His Sacrifice on Calvary. Christ now offers to us the great fruit of His Sacrifice, which He first offered to the Apostles at the Last Supper and which Saint Augustine brought to England in 597: the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ Who alone is the Savior of the world. As the glorious Christ descends to the altar of this great sanctuary, let us lift up our hearts to His glorious pierced Heart. As He offers up His life for us in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, let us, with Him, offer our lives as an oblation of love to God the Father for the salvation of all our brothers and sisters. With the Virgin Mary, Mary of the Annunciation venerated as Our Lady of Walsingham on this beloved island, let us be one in heart with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. In the Heart of Jesus our hearts will find the courage and strength to remain true to the apostolic faith for the glory of God and for the salvation of England and of all the world.

 

Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee, have mercy on us.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary and Foster-Father of Jesus, pray for us.

Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us.

Saint Augustine, Apostle of England, pray for us.

 

 

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE

 

[1]Lk 10, 2.

[2] Cf. Prosper Guéranger, L’année liturgique, Le temps pascal, Tome III, 19ème éd. (Tours : Maison Alfred Mame et Fils, 1925), p. 571. [Hereafter, Guéranger]. English version: Prosper Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, Paschal Time, Book II, tr. Laurence Shepherd (Fitzwilliam, NH: Loreto Publications, 2000), p. 606. [Hereafter, GuérangerEng].

[3] Lk 10, 8-9.

[4]1 Thes 2, 3-4

[5] “Ainsi la nouvelle race qui peuplait cette île recevait à son tour la foi par les mains d’un pape : des moines étaient ses initiateurs à la doctrine du salut. La parole d’Augustin et de ses compagnons germa sur ce sol privilégié. Il lui fallut, sans doute, du temps pour étendre à l’île tout entière ; mais ni Rome, ni l’ordre monastique n’abandonnèrent l’œuvre commencée ; les débris de l’ancien christianisme breton finirent par s’unir aux nouvelles recrues, et l’Angleterre mérita d’être appelée longtemps l’île des saints.” Guéranger, p. 570. English translation: GuérangerEng, p. 605.

[6] Gerard B. Wegemer and Stephen W. Smith, eds. A Thomas More Source Book, Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2004, p. 354.

[7] Jn 8, 44.

[8] Cf. Mt 16, 18.

[9] Rev 21, 1. Cf. 2 Pet 3, 13.

[10] Cf. Col 1, 24-26.