About us

The Parish of St. Philip Neri, Smethwick, was founded by Fr. Edward Caswall (left) in 1863 with Fr. John Flanagan as the first resident priest. Fr. Charles Rhyder came to Smethwick in 1882 and by 1893 had the main structure of the present church built. The lady chapel and sacristies were opened in 1904 and the sacred heart chapel in 1908.

The church was consecrated by Archbishop Thomas Williams on 25th June 1936. After Charles Ryder, the parish experienced the services of so many local clergy coming and going, until 2007 when the Parish came to be administered by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) with Fr. Uche Njoku as the first Spiritan parish priest until 2012 when Fr. Erasmus Egenonu, CSSp (right) the present Parish priest, arrived Smethwick.

The Parish has experienced a tremendous decline in population from 2264 with mass attendance of 789 in 1969, to 600 and 200 in 2017. This was not unexpected due to demographic shifts and changes in housing provisions. In recent times there has been a lot of regeneration in Smethwick and around the Parish in particular, with the Windmill Heights developments.

Messenger Road has been completed too, giving the parish neighborhood a most beautiful face lift and more vibrant population.

The church of St. Philip is a family within the global Catholic family, a lovely one with a beautiful building and vibrant liturgical celebrations that you will love and wish to belong. She has a primary school (St. Philip's Catholic Primary School) which serves as an educative arm of the Parish through which the parish engages in primary evangelisation and reaches out to people of other faiths and religion. We are a vibrant and energetic community which welcomes children from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. St. Philip's School was judged by OFSTED as a very good school with outstanding features in 2013.

The Parish also partners with Fr. Hudson society and the infant Jesus Sisters in the project, Brushstrokes, through which she exercises the Catholic teachings on Justice and Peace. Brushstrokes aims to support the most vulnerable and isolated people in the parish, neighborhood and local communities through outreach, home visiting, providing practical resources, advice and guidance and delivering ESOL for speakers of other languages.

The Parish centre provides facilities for social activities and is open for bookings.

In accordance with her mission statement, we aim to be a welcoming community committed to the mission of Jesus Christ and sharing our rich multicultural diversity in a life of peace and love, she opens her arms to all people.