St Augustine’s newest choir had its first outing on Sunday 25th January. The Schola Augustini is a voluntary choir dedicated to singing Gregorian chant, and especially to providing music for Vespers and Benediction once a month.

The liturgical and musical life of St Augustine’s are flourishing under Director of Music, Tom Neal, who directs The Victoria Consort (Artists-in-Residence) and the smaller Schola Cantorum as well as the Schola Augustini.

The new Schola Augustini is made up of enthusiasts from Ramsgate, Thanet, Canterbury, and other places in east Kent.

Tom Neal ran a workshop on chant on Saturday 24th January, the day before the Vespers.

Vespers was sung, and followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Photographs and an account are available on Fr Tim Finigan’s blog here.

The Schola Augustini after their first Vespers and Benediction, 25th January 2015

The Schola Augustini after their first Vespers and Benediction, 25th January 2015

Gregorian Chant is the traditional music of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, and was familiar to many famous composers. Famously it is named after Pope Gregory the Great, who sent St Augustine to England.

It is most appropriate to sing chant here. Not only was it brought here for the first time by St Augustine himself when he landed nearby, but Pugin was a great fan of this style of singing. He wrote fondly of how he had a band of people singing Gregorian chant in St Augustine’s, and how his family would join in too. This Schola Augustini is keeping a long tradition here.

The choir is voluntary, with singing commitments of the afternoon of the last Sunday of the month. If you wish to join, please contact Tom Neal at thomas.neal-at-cantab.net

NEW: Vespers and Benediction — 5pm, 25th January 2015

Vespers Poster

The new Schola Augustini will sing Vespers and accompany Benediction for the first time on 25th January at 5pm. It is intended that the group will sing Vespers and Benediction once a month.

The Schola Augustini – the School of Augustine – is a new voluntary singing group. They will meet for an introductory workshop on Saturday 24th January at 2pm until 5pm. If you wish to join the new Schola, please contact Tom Neal on thomas.neal@cantab.net or 07947883704.

Sung Vespers and Benediction – 5pm, Sat 25th Jan – at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate

All Welcome

Fr Abbot (Charles) Bernard Waldron OSB RIP

The Shrine of St Augustine is sorry to hear of the death of Fr Abbot Bernard Waldron OSB, Abbot Emeritus of St Augustine’s Abbey. St Augustine’s was the abbey church from 1856 until 2011.

Fr Bernard died peacefully at 9pm on 21st January 2015.

He attended St Augustine’s College, Ramsgate, in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He served in the RAF during World War II, and later became a priest in the Benedictine community of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate. He taught at the school and became Headmaster in 1957. The school flourished under he leadership which lasted 31 years.

In 1988 he became abbot of St Augustine’s Abbey and was central to the organisation of the celebrations of the 1,400th anniversary of the landing of St Augustine in 1997. He became Abbot Emeritus in 1996.

He is remembered fondly by Old Augustinians, who said, “His contribution over many years to the Catholic Church and Catholic Education in Thanet was immense. He will not only be remembered with affection by many Old Augustinians, but by many parishioners in Ramsgate and beyond.”

Fr Bernard’s funeral and burial will take place at St Augustine’s Abbey, Chilworth, where the abbey moved in 2011.

The funeral will be at 11am on 3rd February, at St Augustine’s Abbey, Sample Oak Lane, Chilworth, Surrey.

Requiem aeternum dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat In Pace. Amen.

St Augustine’s on TV – BBC South East Today

BBC South East Today focussed on the gift of Parliamentary tiles to St Augustine’s in its bulletins on 5th January 2015. The tiles were designed by Augustus Pugin and were recently lifted from the floors of the Palace of Westminster as part of a restoration programme.

Twenty four tiles have been donated to St Augustine’s, Ramsgate, reinforcing the historic link between Pugin’s own church and his most famous designs at Westminster.


Laura Sandys MP, who was instrumental in giving the tiles to Pugin’s own church in Ramsgate, said, “It’s an exciting day for Ramsgate, and it’s a very, very good day for Pugin and all who those love him.”

Tile close up

Catriona Blaker, of the Pugin Society, said, “They’re probably the most highly crafted and the very best tiles that Pugin would have designed … the very best for all those wonderful floors at the Houses of Parliament.”

Fr. Marcus Holden, Rector of St Augustine’s, said, “These tiles are a bond between Parliament and St Augustine’s.”

Pugin effigy close up

The tiles will be key artefacts in the new Education, Research, and Visitor Centre, to be constructed in the buildings on the site aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Centre will be an interpretive and educational space, and will also contain a library and archive for research and reference.

See the report here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-30682107

Funding is still being sought for the Centre. Please click here or e-mail us if you would like to support the project.

The BBC spent some time on an afternoon before Christmas filming at the site, shortly after the tiles were officially presented at the Parliamentary Reception in the Speaker’s House in Westminster.

Fr Marcus    Laura Sandys MP


Epiphany Mass

Epiphany Mass

All are welcome to Mass of the Epiphany on 6th January, 6.30pm

Mass will be a Missa Cantata, sung by Artists-in-Residence, The Victoria Consort.

The celebrant will be Fr. Tim Finigan, Parish Priest of Margate.

The Epiphany celebrates the arrival of the Magi – often known as the Three Kings – to worship the infant Jesus. They famously brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The music will be:

Introit: Ecce advenit
Kyrie & Gloria: Mass VIII (De angelis)
Gradual: Omnes de Saba venient
Alleluia: Vidimus stellam ejus
Credo III
Offertory: Reges Tharsis
Organ voluntary (Offertory): Ecce advenit (Colin Mawby)
Sanctus, Benedictus, & Agnus Dei: Missa O Rex gloriæ (Giovanni Pierluigi ‘da Palestrina’)
Communion: Vidimus stellam ejus
Organ voluntary (Communion): Prélude sur l’Introït de l’Épiphanie, Op.13 (Maurice Duruflé)
Organ voluntary (Final): Marche des Rois Mages (Théodore Dubois)