Our Lady & St Michael, Shipston-on-Stour
was built in 1847 as the Anglican chapel of Shipston House, the Workhouse and Infirmary. The porch was added in 1858 to commemorate the marriage of Victoria, the Princess Royal, to Frederick, the German Crown Prince, later Kaiser Frederick and father of Wilhelm II. The building was rented for a few years and bought for use as a Catholic Church in 1978.
From the 1950s Mass was said in Shipston in various places, including the Old Mill Hotel and the Scout Hut, by the parish priest of Ilmington. The church was extensively renovated and restored in 1979-80 and the Church Centre added. The Centre was enlarged in 2010 and blessed on 29 September 2011 by the Most Rev. Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham. The church was consecrated by the Right Rev. Terence Brain, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, in 1992.
Features of special interest
The metal sculpture of St Michael overcoming the dragon, on the outside of the Parish Centre, is by Judy Brown of Shipston.
The east window, by A. J. Naylor of Birmingham, represents the descent of the Holy Spirit, in the forms of a dove and flames of fire, upon Our Lady and the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost.
The altar came from the convent of the Sisters of Charity of St Paul (‘the Selly Park sisters’) at Newbold Revel near Rugby.
The oak font was designed by Henry J. Harper and made by Ormsby of Scarisbrick in 2008.
The statues of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart, by Mayer of Munich, on the west wall came from the chapel at Foxcote.
The votive statue of Our Lady near the chancel is of Spanish workmanship. The statue of St Michael was brought from Lourdes.
There are carved heads on either side of the entrance door and carved corbels supporting the nave roof. The church was redecorated in 2011 and the inscriptions above the chancel arch (Ecce Panis Angelorum - Behold the Bread of Angels), the aumbry (Olea Sacra - Holy Oils) and the west door (Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus - Holy, Holy, Holy) were painted by Peter Drinkwater of Shipston.