"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor" (Lk 4:18)

Divine Retreat Centre – Ramsgate

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Christian faith was preached in Britain for the first time in the blessed shores of Kent by St. Augustine the Benedictine monk, commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great. This “Apostle to the English” became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 597 AD.

In God’s Providence, St. Augustine’s Abbey is being transformed into Divine Retreat Centre UK run by the Vincentian Fathers of the Marymatha Province, India.

St Augustines Abbey
St. Augustines Road
Ramsgate, Kent
CT11 9PA
Phone: 0800 756 1053
Fr Chacko Panathara: 0782 521 4025
Fr Joseph Edattu: 0754 830 3824
eMail: info@divineuk.org

Origins of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate.

St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate was one of the Benedictine monasteries in Great Britain forming the English Province of the international Benedictine Congregation of Subiaco. The Abbey was founded as a result of the invitation made by Bishop Thomas Grant, the first Bishop of Southwark, to the Italian abbot Dom Pietro Casaretto, to send monks from St Benedict’s own monastery at Subiaco to undertake a mission at Ramsgate. By 1856 arrangements between Bishop Grant and Abbot Casaretto were concluded and the first monk, Dom Wilfrid Alcock, arrived to take charge at the Ramsgate mission which had been made possible thanks to the building of a Gothic church by the famous Gothic Revivalist architect Augustus Welby Pugin, which was donated to the Diocese of Southwark before his premature death in 1852.

St. Augustine’s Cross near Cliffsend

St. Augustine's Cross near Cliffsend

In the years 1860-61, with the help of Mr Alfred Luck, a wealthy and devout benefactor, the monastery of St Augustine of Canterbury was built, the first Benedictine monastery to be built in England since the Reformation. Shortly afterwards a full monastic observance was established. The monastery gained independence from Subiaco in 1876, becoming a Priory in 1881 and was raised to the status of an Abbey by Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1896. A school was established for in 1865, which grew to provide to a Catholic education for boys for well over 130 years, finally closing in 1995.