St Philip the Apostle, Ilmington
was built in 1867 as a Catholic school which closed in 1931. It was converted into a church and opened by the Most Rev. Thomas Leighton Williams, 3rd Archbishop of Birmingham, in 1935. It replaced St Mary's Chapel at Foxcote House, the home of the Canning family. The church was consecrated by the Right Rev. Philip Pargeter, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, in May 1972.
Foxcote was a Mass centre for local Catholics from Reformation times onwards and a priest was probably always in residence. Mass was said in a room in the house until a chapel was built in 1814. This was used until Foxcote was sold after Philip Canning Howard’s death in 1934 when the chapel was closed. The Howard family presented the altar from Foxcote to the Church of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London.
Features of special interest
The benches and statue of St Joseph came from Foxcote, and the East window, depicting the Annunciation to Mary and containing fragments of medieval glass, was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin and made by John Hardman & Co. It came from Campden House, Chipping Campden when the chapel there, opened in 1851, was closed and demolished in the 1930s.
The altar, reredos and holy water stoup also came from Campden House and were probably designed by E. W. Pugin, eldest son of A. W. Pugin.
The north sanctuary window, by Donald Brooke of Long Compton, commemorates the local martyrs of the recusant period together with Ss John Fisher and Thomas More.
In the sanctuary pavement is a small portion of tessellated pavement from the house of St John and St Paul in Rome, given by Bro. Lambert of the Passionist Order.
The icon of St Philip was painted by Peter Murphy in 2008. The painting of the Sacred Heart is by the Irish artist Moyra Barry (1885-1960). The statue of the Sacred Heart dates from 1911 and came from the former Poor Clares Convent at Baddesley Clinton.
The wooden statue of Our Lady, Queen of Peace was carved by a Polish craftsman as a thankoffering for the ending of the 2nd World War.