Monday 11 March 2024

First meeting of the East Kent Chapter

 Lucy writes: I was delighted to join the East Kent Chapter for their inaugural meeting on 9th March at the beautiful Shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate, designed by Pugin.

The altar of St Augustine's, viewed from above the sacristy

As might be expected in such a prestigious church, many of the vestments are original to its foundation, and indeed are believed to have been designed by Pugin himself. These vestments are in remarkably good condition, a tribute to the care lavished on them by the sacristan there. The repairs will be entrusted to the new Chapter, a great privilege.

I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the founding members of the Chapter, and their high level of skill. The Cope pictured below was in need of patching in several places: by the end of the afternoon, it was half completed, and the Chapter hopes to finish it at the next meeting.

The Chapter is under the leadership of Gerrie Serpell, an erstwhile (and much missed) member of the Oxford Chapter, skilled not only in embroidery and vestment making, but also in bobbin lace. The launch of the East Kent Chapter has been made possible by her generous desire to serve the Church and share her skills.

I was delighted to see Fr Basden, the parish priest and custodian of the Shrine, who popped in to see how we were getting on. Fr Basden is a much-loved priest of Southwark diocese, and a well-known bulwark of the Traditional Mass there.

The East Kent Chapter plans to meet monthly at the Shrine: new members are welcome. For more information, click here or email Gerrie on

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