Project Canterbury

Missionary College of St. Augustine, Canterbury

Canterbury: Printed for St. Augustine's College Press by S. Hyde, 1848.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2008

[1] Missionary College


St. Augustine, Canterbury

Bless, O Lord, this place now set apart to Thy glory, and grant that Thy holy Name may be worshipped therein in truth and purity to all generations. Give grace and wisdom to all the Authorities, that they may exercise holy discipline, and be themselves patterns of holiness, simplicity, and self-denial. Bless all who may be trained therein. Take from them all pride, vanity, and self-conceit, and give them true humility and self-abasement. Enlighten their minds, subjugate their wills, purify their hearts, and so penetrate them with Thy Spirit, and fill them with Thy love, that they may go forth animated with holy, prudent, burning zeal for Thy glory; and may Thy holy word so burn within their hearts, that they may speak with that resistless energy of love, which will melt the hearts of sinners to the love of Thee. Bless, O Lord God, the Founders and Benefactors of this College, and recompense them with the riches of Thy everlasting kingdom, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

St. Peters' Day, 1848.




[2] (From the Banner of the Cross, U.S., July 29, 1848.)

ST. AUGUSTINE'S MISSIONARY COLLEGE-We think our readers will be deeply interested in the following account of this noble Institution, which we take from the (London) Guardian. The object for which this College has been established, invests it with peculiar interest to our Church. Had such an Institution existed while the United States were colonies of Great Britain, how different might our church be now! It is a great and glorious idea, this of establishing a College for the education of a Missionary Clergy, to supply the large demands for labourers in the vast field for whose spiritual condition Great Britain is responsible.

And this Missionary enterprise derives still greater interest from the fact, that its success is owing chiefly to the munificence of an individual, Mr. A. J. B. Hope. It is an example, a noble and blessed one, to the rich men of our Church. We have many "St. Augustine's" to be built and established. All our Church Colleges are "Missionary Colleges." All of them want endowments, and means for vigorous and successful prosecution. Let not our men of wealth wait, until they have no use for their money, to bequeath it to such blessed uses. But, like this noble son of our Mother Church, let them give it under their own direction, and while their own eyes may see the present fruits of their charity.

[3] (From the Guardian, July 5, 1848.)


It was our painful duty last week, to record events passing in a neighbouring country, unparalleled in the annals of civil warfare among Christians, for atrocity and bloodshed (1); [(1) In allusion to the frightful intelligence given in the previous number from Paris, and the atrocious murder of the Archbishop of Paris.] crowned too with the death of the chief pastor of the French Church, whilst engaged in the holy attempt to throw oil upon the troubled waters. We have this week to paint a scene of peaceful contrast, in which our Archbishop took a prominent part; and one we hope in all respects calculated to call down a continuance of those blessings upon our land, the receipt of which during the last few months has shown England indeed to be a "favoured nation." The consecration of St. Augustine's College, Canterbury, is an event of the age--a striking witness of life in the Church--that will speak to future generations in an eloquent tongue of piety and self-denial most conspicuous in an age of luxurious indulgence. It was on St. Peter's Day, 1847, that we had the gratification of witnessing the consecration of four Colonial Bishops in Westminster Abbey. A twelvemonth has elapsed, and again the festival of St. Peter is sanctified by the dedication of a College following up the good work of its predecessor, in giving strength to our Church in the colonies, and affording assistance in propagating the Gospel among brethren who have a peculiar claim to such a help from our hands. As the beneficent act of an individual sent forth Bishops for her guidance, so now another individual (2) [(2) A. J. B. Hope, Esq. (at that time) M.P. for Maidstone, and now M.P. for the University of Cambridge, was by far the chief Donor, and with him were joined, in remarkable liberality, a large number of Peers and Peeresses, Bishops and Clergy, Gentry and Ladies, and Colleges in their corporate capacity. At the head of all the names stand her Majesty the Queen, H.R.H, the Prince Consort, and Adelaide the good Queen Dowager.] has founded a college, the object of which is to train missionaries for their assistance.

At present the foundation of St. Augustine contemplates a Society consisting of a Warden, Sub-Warden and six Fellows, appointed or to be appointed, by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London. The Primate is perpetual Visitor of the college (which was incorporated by Royal [3/4] Charter on Wednesday last,) and the statutes are given by his Grace. There are to be fifty students or more, who will be admitted on application to the Warden, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two (3), [(3) Experience has shown that it is not advisable to admit students till they are nineteen, and it is better that they should be even a little older.] and will be maintained at a calculated average expense of 35l. per annum (4), [(4) The rise of prices, wages, &c., since 1848, has made it necessary to raise this item of Collegiate charge to £40 per annum.] in some instance assisted by studentships, four of which, for instance, have been already founded by Mrs. Sheppard for natives of Lincolnshire (5). [(5) These exhibitions are all without restriction, and are of £10 a year each.] The students will take all their meals in the hall, wear an academical dress, and be allowed twelve weeks' vacation in the course of the year. They will be trained especially for service in the Colonial Church, or as missionaries to the adjacent heathen, and will be ordained abroad. The Rev. Dr. Coleridge, formerly Bishop of .Barbados, has been appointed Warden; the Rev. G. C. Pearson, M. A., of Christ Church, Oxford, Sub-Warden; the Rev. A. P. Moor, Trinity College, Cambridge, a Fellow; and it is hoped the college will be in full operation in the Autumn.

The College is founded on the site for a monastery assigned by Ethelbert, King of Kent, in the year 605, to St. Augustine, from which date the following brief history will trace it down to the present time:--

The ancient monastery was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and was under the Benedictine rule. The monastery appears to have been a place of royal sepulture; King Ethelbert and St. Augustine were interred there, and many of their successors. By royal favour, and by the especial patronage of the Papal See, it grew in power and wealth. Canute, the famous Danish monarch, was one of the contributors to its grandeur, and nearly every Sovereign down to the reign of Edward the Confessor. Indeed, so great was its influence, that, though from its foundation to the Norman Conquest it acknowledged the rule of the Mother Church, in after years it refused to do so, and in the end so far established its independence that the Archbishop's benediction on the abbots was conferred within the Abbey Church, and without any profession of [4/5] obedience being exacted. In the midst of its pride, however, this famous monastery suffered many reverses, and was at length reduced to the same degraded condition as all the other religious establishments of the kind in this country. It was frequently sacked by the Danes; in 1168 it was nearly consumed by fire, and in 1271 an inundation did great injury to a large portion of the structure. After a reign of 69 abbots, the final overthrow of its power took place in the reign of Henry VIII., by whom it was seized as a royal palace, and the domains turned into a deer park and chase. In the second and third year of Philip and Mary, the Queen granted the estate to the Cardinal Archbishop Pole for life. Queen Elizabeth, in 1573, kept court there in a royal progress, and both Charles I. and Charles II. lodged there, the former on his marriage with the Princess Henrietta, and the latter in passing through Canterbury on his restoration. Queen Elizabeth granted it to Henry, Lord Cobham, who was attainted, when it again lapsed to the Crown. The Queen then gave it to Lord Essendon, Viscount Cranbourne, Earl of Salisbury, but it afterwards fell into the hands of Edward Lord Wotton of Marley, from whom it descended to Thomas Lord Wotton, and remained in that family till the Great Rebellion, when it was plundered. Sir Edward Hales, who married one of Lord Wotton's daughters, subsequently obtained possession, and from him it descended to Sir Edward Hales, of St. Stephen's, Baronet. At this time so little veneration was paid to the ruins of this once sacred place, that the apartments adjoining the gateway were used as an alehouse, the gateway was converted into a brewhouse, the court into a bowling-green, the (6) [(6) I.E. the north wall of the great Abbey Church.] chapel into a fives-court, and the room over the gate into a large brewing vat, or perhaps worse, a cockpit.

In 1842, the Rev. E. Coleridge, one of the Masters of Eton, began turning his attention to the necessities of a Missionary College, and drew observation to the subject. In June, 1844, Mr. A. J. B. Hope bought the site simply with a view o£ rescuing it from its continued degradation. But, in December the same year, Mr. Hope determined to devote his purchase to the purpose of a Missionary College as its best destination, and procured the assistance of Mr. Coleridge for carrying out his plan. Besides giving the site, Mr. Hope [5/6] undertook to rebuild the small chapel of the monastery, and to contribute a considerable sum of money towards the settlement of a College. In the following January the late Archbishop of Canterbury gave his cordial approbation to the scheme, which has since been carried on in the fulness of faith till the buildings have been completed, and on Thursday last were consecrated by the present Primate, who has followed the example of his predecessor in affording his warmest approbation and assistance to the plan. The commission to restore and rebuild the College was intrusted to Mr. Butterfield, the architect, to whom the highest praise is due, for beauty of design, in which the harmony of the whole is apparent to the most aesthetical critic, and for the subserviency of accurate and simple detail. We now proceed to a description of the buildings:--

The new College is built in the style of the 14th century, and accords admirably with the fine old Gateway, which has been incorporated with it, now forming the grand entrance. The porter's room and infirmary to the north, the dining hall, with kitchen and offices, the west front of the chapel, and the Warden's and Fellows' lodgings to the south of the gateway, form the principal street front. The walls all round are faced with square flint and ragstone, which, contrasted with the red tiled roofing and the quaint Gothic forms of the stone masonry where it intervenes, has a singular but very pleasing effect. The use of flint in this way is almost entirely confined to ancient times, and this may be considered the most successful modern imitation thereof. To a spectator the walls look like one immense mass of honeycomb--so curiously and regularly are the flints arranged. The general effect of the buildings is excellent, their character and subordination as a consistent whole being skillfully preserved, while over them is cast the air of modesty and grave seclusion well befitting an institution dedicated to theological study.

Entering the Gateway, you find yourself in a turfed Quadrangle, with diagonal and straight gravel walks; a gravelled terrace runs round the north and part of the south. On the north terrace stand the cloisters, with the students dormitory above them; they are one hundred and fifty feet in length, and occupy the space of eight arches. In the buildings above are apartments for forty eight students (7), [(7) The rooms available for students are forty.] consisting of a [6/7] sitting-room and small bed-room partitioned off for each; the rooms are warmed with hot water pipes, and open from either side into a gallery two hundred and fifty feet long. On the east side of the quadrangle is an undercroft, intended for a Museum, a fine room, floored with red tiles and vaulted with brick, the arches having stone groinings. Above the Museum is the Library, the entrance to which, with large open staircase, forms the principal feature in this portion of the building, and for the unostentatious beauty of which the architect has been much praised. The Library has a fine pitched oak roof and is lighted on each side by six windows and at the end by a large one, with stained glass, with figures representing St. Augustine, in a quatre-foil in the centre, on each side St. Peter and St. Paul. Some progress has already been made in the collection of books, and the arrangements for reading are very good. The south side is formed by a terrace under the north wall, and remains of the western tower of the ancient Abbey Church; this tower, known as St. Ethelbert's, was most unnecessarily pulled down a few years since, under a mistaken idea that it was unsafe. (8) [(8) In the year 1823.] A wall, shutting off the College garden, completes this side. A broad raised terrace is carried round in front of the students' buildings and library. An elegant stone conduit, the gift of J. C. Sharpe, Esq. the banker in Fleet Street, stands in the middle of the quadrangle. The College buildings are throughout designed to agree in style with the ancient gateway, which has long ranked among the finest remains in the kingdom. The west end of the Chapel is of early English or first pointed architecture; it had been very much mutilated, and was all that remained of an ancient guest chapel. The present chapel is half as long again as this was. On the west side of the quadrangle stand the apartments of the Warden and Fellows, the chapel of the college, projecting considerably beyond the other buildings into the court, the dining hall, and the kitchens. The chapel is fitted up with surprising taste, and merits, from the chaste simplicity of its details and its elegant proportions, a minute description. It is raised upon a crypt, is provided with seats in the antechapel for the lay members of the college, and is furnished with sixty-four stalls in the choir for the fellows and students, with a litany stool in the centre. The chapel is lit by an east [7/8] window, two on each side of the sacrarium, four in the antechapel, and a western triplet, all filled with stained glass, by Willement. The east window of five lights contains, in the three middle ones, the Baptism of our Lord, the Adoration, and our Lord's first Miracle at the marriage feast in Cana, under canopies, subjects which are commonly known as the three Epiphanies. In the external lights are figures of St. Gregory and St. Augustine, under similar canopies. Above, in two cinquefoils, is the Annunciation, being figures of the Blessed Virgin and the Archangel. In a wheel of trefoils above is a choir of angels. In the two north windows in the sacrarium, containing two lights each, are the full length figures of the four Evangelists, holding on labels the first words of each gospel. Above these, in quatrefoils, is represented our Lord, enthroned and supported by angels, with the inscription, "Sedebit autem Dominus Rex in Eternum," and the day of Pentecost. In similar windows on the south side are the four greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, with the offering up of Isaac, and the meeting of Abraham and Melchizedec in the tracery above. In the west windows of the chapel is the history of St. Peter and St. Paul, in memory of whom the Abbey was originally dedicated. The altar candlesticks are of silver gilt, and of a rich and ancient design. The sacramental plate is of the same material, and also carefully modelled after mediaeval examples. The great feature, however, of this exquisite little chapel is the sacrarium. The Altar is raised on three succesive steps, distinguished each by tesselated pavement of distinct patterns. The lowest step is covered with tiles relieving a fleur-de-lis stamp. On the second are tiles of a circular form, bearing each the inscription in old English "Miserere Domine Jesu." The foot-pace of the altar is a rich mosaic pattern of enamel-work, the colours being dark brown, green, red, and blue. The architect has sought, as far as possible, to restore each particular part of the ruins, in detail as well as style; thus the present library, chapel, and dormitories are built upon the exact foundations of the old. The library crypt is a literal restoration from the existing remains of the crypt of the old great refectory. The library itself is an original composition of Mr. Butterfield, though, of course, of the same size as the refectory. The Hall is a restoration, from remains [8/9] found in the course of the work, of its predecessor (which must have been the great hall). The arrangement of the hall and chapel opening from a common staircase was the ancient one. The common room was the bed chamber for the principal guests, The Warden's lodge and Fellows' lodgings are an original design of Mr. Butterfield's, but mainly on old foundations. Perhaps the most picturesque feature in this beautiful reproduction of our ancient monastic buildings is to be found in the "fair conduit," which occupies the centre of the quadrangle.

Canterbury was crowded on Wednesday evening, and there was great difficulty in obtaining beds at any price, although the principal parties concerned in the ceremonial did not arrive till Thursday morning. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr. Hope, and many friends, left London at 5 o'clock, by a special train, and at eight o'clock those who had received the privilege of an invitation assembled in the dining hall.

The company having been placed in the chapel, the procession entered in the following order:--

The Sub-Warden and Fellow,
The Bishop Warden,
The Bishops of Fredericton and Brechin,
The Bishops of Lichfield and Oxford,
The Bishop of London,
The Archbishop of Canterbury, followed by his Chaplains,
The Deputy Registrar and other Officials.

His Grace being seated on a throne, erected for the purpose at the north side of the Holy Table, the Warden presented and read the petition of himself and the Fellows for the consecration of the chapel of the College, situated within the precincts of the dissolved Monastery of St. Augustine, the site whereof had been presented for the purpose by Alexander James Beresford Hope, Esq. The Archbishop assented to the prayer of the petition; and then, attended by the other Bishops and his Chaplains, the Warden, Sub-Warden, and Fellow, moved towards the west end and back to the Holy Table, repeating the 24th Psalm. The consecration service, which had been drawn up specially for the occasion by the Archbishop, was then proceeded with by his Grace.

The alms were collected by the Fellows while the offertory [9/10] sentences were read by the Primate, and amounted to about £508. The prayer for the Church Militant was said by the Archbishop, and the Exhortation and Confession by the Bishop Warden, the rest of the office by his Grace the Archbishop. The Archbishop having communicated, the other Bishops proceeded, with the Bishop of London, aided by the Bishop of Lichfield and Bishop Coleridge, to administer to the other clergy and laity present. During the early part of the morning there was much and continued rain, but whilst the administration of the Holy Communion took place the sun broke forth, lighting up the chapel with its rays, falling in bright gladness on the crowd of devout worshippers, kneeling on the bare pavement in the centre of the chapel, offering a glad omen to the founder as it greeted him on his approach to the altar. God grant that it may be realized!

After these services at the Chapel, the congregation proceeded to the Cathedral, where the Archbishop preached the consecration sermon, choosing for his text the Epistle to the Ephesians, chap. 3, verse 10: "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God."

The Dean read the offertorial sentences and the prayer for the Church Militant; the Archbishop giving the benediction.

The crowded state of the Cathedral prevented the collection of the alms except at the doors, where plates were held by the Rev. Dr. Mill, the Rev. George Gilbert, the Rev. Thomas Darling, the Rev. A. P. Moor, (Fellow of St. Augustine's,) and the Rev. E. H. Woodall; and £480 was collected, including £50 from the Earl of Winchelsea, who was unable to be present. In addition, £50 was given in the afternoon; and the sum of £2,020, together with £100 a year was presented for the establishment of New Zealand scholarships, in memory of the Rev. Thomas Whytehead, late chaplain to the Bishop of that colony (9). [(9) There is some mistake here, for no such offering is recorded in the College Books.] During the day another contribution of £1,000 was announced, for the establishment of Australian scholarships (10). [(10) The generous donor was the late Rev. H. J. Hutchesson, in honour of his friend and former pupil, the Lord Bishop of Sydney.] The names of the respective benefactors have not transpired.

[11] At three o'clock an elegant luncheon was provided in the cloisters and museum of the college, of which Mr. Hope invited at least twelve hundred to partake. The College was now thronged with visitors that gave the quadrangle a most gay appearance, and the opportunity was taken to inspect the various buildings, which called down the admiration of a crowd of good judges, whose praises would be no slight reward to the pains-taking architect, and whose blessings on its founder, we trust, may be reiterated within its walls for ages to come.

The day concluded with evening prayers at the beautiful cathedral, amidst associations that space will not allow us to dwell upon here, though they must be coupled with the Festival of St. Peter in the memory of all present for time yet to come.


(From the Colonial Church Chronicle, August, 1848.)

Saint Augustine's, Canterbury.


The chill gray clouds of morning lower,
In shadows deep, o'er spire and tower,
And cheerless greeting give our Festal Day;
Meet emblem of that wilder time,
When sad with doubt, and dark with crime,
His Mission's first dim view before Augustine lay.

Yet come within. No flood of light,
When suns are soft and skies are bright,
Beams half so sweetly on the wistful gaze,
As where this solemn lustre, shed
On kneeling form and bended head,
The Oratory fills with all but heavenly ray.

And what if chaunted prayer and hymn
Join not adoring Seraphim,
And like their notes of praise triumphant rise?
Full, earnest voices blend their parts,
Responding deeply from all hearts,
Haply, for hour like this, more fitting sacrifice.

[12] It thrills the soul, that solemn tone!
And well before the Saviour's throne,
In meekest dedication may it seal
The pledge of every fervent vow,
Renewed in blest Communion now,
As Bishops, Priests, and Flock, first round this Altar kneel!

High thoughts, perchance, of future years,
Radiant with hope, or dimmed with fears,
As God shall guide His Church's destiny,
Deepen each prayer for grace that calls
On all, within these sacred walls,
Taught through the world to spread Redemption's message free.

And if Christ's own approving smile
Rest on the Consecrated Pile,
To Him, and His, in this meek service given;
May not the joyous gleam that pours
Its light to-day on after hours,
To hopeful fancy seem one type of favouring Heaven?

The dazzling, crowded Minster choir--
The strains that louder swell, and higher,
As now the Ritual's chastened pomp they lead--
The flow of generous hearts' devotion,
Called forth, as, fraught with pure emotion,
The Primate's fervent words for Love's best offering plead--

And last--the soft, calm even-song,
Floating the clustered aisles along,
Like sweetest airs at summer twilight's close--
All, all conspires some memory dear
To throw around this day, and cheer
Each soul that felt the glow, the fervour or repose!

Still may those memories freshly live,
And long, like withered violets, give
A fragrant charm, that fades or changes never;
Till, led in this bright path to move,
Such signs of Faith, such works of Love,
Throughout the Church arise and shine as stars forever!


Printed for St. Augustine's College Press, Canterbury, by S. Hyde.

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