St Augustine's is the diocesan shrine to the 'Apostle to the English'.
St Augustine is so-called because he brought the Catholic Faith to England following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Augustine arrived from Rome in 597 AD, baptising King Ethelbert of Kent and 10,000 of his subjects within the year.
The church possesses authenticated relics of Augustine himself, St Gregory the Great, who was the pope who oversaw the mission, and St Lawrence, who became the second archbishop of Canterbury after Augustine. They are housed in a modern reliquary within the church built by the renowned nineteenth century architect and convert, Augustus Pugin, who decided to build his 'personal church' (his house is next door) in honour of Augustine who landed with his forty monks in nearby Pegwell Bay. The stories of both Augustine and Augustus are told in the new Visitor Centre where copies of the St Augustine Prayer Book can be purchased. A pilgrimage programme is available on the Shrine’s website