Schools: Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School on Retreat at St Augustine’s

The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, London, held its Year 10 retreat at St Augustine’s on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th June 2014, bringing its pupils to Ramsgate for the first time. Half the year came on Thursday, and the other half on Friday.

The main features of the day had the pupils put into two groups. One group watched a film telling the story of St Augustine and his place in English history – the film was partly shot in St Augustine’s itself. The other group was halved again, and taken on tours of the site. One group was led by the Rector and the other by the Centre Manager. These tours gave the pupils an appreciation of Pugin and his creation, and the meanings of the many items and designs in St Augustine’s. In particular the symbolism of the designs in the windows and stonework was pointed out. They were introduced to the medieval concept of conveying beliefs, ideas, and scriptural stories through stained glass and other images.

After the tours Fr Marcus gave a short talk to the pupils. Appropriately for a Catholic school’s retreat this talk was on the nature of Catholicism in England, and its long history dating back to the Roman Empire and, later but most especially, to St Augustine’s mission in 597. Fr Marcus explained how brave St Augustine had been in his mission, and that, in whatever line of work or life we live, we must be just as courageous in living the Christian life.

The talk was followed by a period of prayer led by the lead teacher, Mr. Kelly. After this, Mass was celebrated by Fr Marcus. The relic of St Augustine was venerated by the pupils and staff following Mass. During the prayer and Mass confessions were heard, and there was a steady stream of boys throughout.


Mass with Year 10 boys from the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

Fr Marcus said, “The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School retreat were excellent days. The boys seemed to engage with both the historical and spiritual aspects of their visit, and I hope they benefitted from their retreat. We very much look forward to welcoming them again, and expanding our provision to schools.”

The fundraising campaign for St Augustine’s to match fund a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant is ongoing and you can donate to it here. This will enable the construction of an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre which will greatly enhance school visits as well as opportunities for other groups, tourists, general public, and researchers to learn about and enjoy Pugin’s designs.

CANTATE Chamber Choir – concert – Music in Honour of St Mildred: 12th July

Cantate Concert - 12.7.14

Cantate Chamber Choir will perform a wonderful set of music in honour of the Patron Saint of the Isle of Thanet, St Mildred.

The concert will be at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate, on Saturday 12th July at 7.30pm

In the interval Pimm’s and other summer refreshments will be served in the Garth Cloister Garden (included in the price), and the second half of the concert will be sung outside.

It promises to be a most enjoyable evening.

Tickets are £10, and the price includes interval refreshments.

Cantate logo

Tickets are available from 01843 592071, or by e-mailing, or on the door.

Sat 12th July – 7.30pm – St Augustine’s, Ramsgate



The Architectural Works of A. W. N. Pugin – Dr Gerard Hyland Launches his Book at St Augustine’s

Gerard Hyland - Architectural Works of Pugin

Dr Gerard Hyland launched his new book at St Augustine’s on Saturday 7th June with a lecture in Pugin’s church and reception in the Cartoon Room next door. Dr Hyland’s book is the first ever gazetteer of all of Pugin’s buildings, and is a ground-breaking publication.

Dr Hyland’s talk was very informative, exploring Pugin, his life, his influences, his patrons, and his works. Dr Hyland demonstrated Pugin’s different architectural interests and styles, and showed how the styles of his buildings evolved over his career.

Pugin was said to have done 100 years’ work in 40 years, but Dr Hyland showed that the vast majority of Pugin’s work was done in just six years. He had at least 295 designs realised, and 84 unrealised, across five countries and two continents – and Dr Hyland suspects there are more to be discovered.

It was here in Ramsgate that Pugin accomplished his only building which was not interfered with by patrons. St Augustine’s was his pride and joy – “my own child” – built next to his home, The Grange. How appropriate, then, that the first collected volume of his architectural works was launched at St Augustine’s and celebrated next door at The Grange.

Dr Hyland has already written on Augustus Pugin’s son, Edward Pugin, and this catalogue is his latest contribution to the lively subject of Pugin studies.

As John Hardman said on Pugin’s death, “If you want to know him now, one must go to his Church-Tomb [St Augustine’s]”. Pugin’s legacy is his designs, and this volume is the first time all his buildings have been collected.


Dr Gerard Hyland’s book, The Architectural Works of A. W. N. Pugin: A Catalogue, is available at £35, published by Spire Books.

PUGIN BOOK LAUNCH – the FIRST EVER Gazetteer of all Augustus Pugin’s building designs, by Dr. Gerard Hyland

Pugin Book Launch 2014-06-07

Click on title to see poster.

This is a unique opportunity to hear the author launch his book in Pugin’s own personally-designed church.

7th June 2014  —  7pm —  St Augustine’s Church, Ramsgate

This is a Pugin Society event

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