St Augustine’s Abbey was inaugurated as the Divine Retreat Centre on 16th March 2014 by His Excellency Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark Diocese. While blessing and inaugurating the Retreat Centre in the presence of nearly two thousand people, he emphasised his fervent hope that the Vincentian Congregation would bring a new spiritual wave into his people. It was Divine Providence, that the re-evangelisation should start from Ramsgate, the birthplace of Christianity in the UK.
Prior to its inauguration, the grounds were home to Benedictine monks. Christian faith was preached in Britain for the first time on 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. It is quite remarkable! The arrival of the Vincentians fitted perfectly with the history of Ramsgate, as this was where the first preaching took place, and where the first retreat was made for the English. The charism of St Augustine lives on through the ministry of the Vincentian congregation, their preaching, and charitable works. As the Centre continues to flourish, it is evident that the third spring of revival has already begun.
Retreats take place every weekend in a variety of languages, such as English, Malayalam, Tamil, and Konkani. These can be one day conventions, or residential retreats. The team also conduct outreach retreats in various locations (have a look on our upcoming events to see where we will be next)! As well as this, the centre conducts numerous online ministries and services – for more information, reach us on through WhatsApp 00447474787870 (message only) OR email us at [email protected]