St Philips was built on a new estate in Wadgate Road, Felixstowe and was completed in 1952, the same year the Queen came to the throne
It was built by the Church of St Mary’s in Walton. The vicar of the time, Rev’d Ross Sage and the church council managed to obtain land in Wadgate Road for the princely sum of £1; it only cost £1497 raised by local church members and the local community to build the church.
The church was so thriving that by 1956 the Sunday School alone totalled 217 children a week, and in 1958 a church hall was added next door to accommodate this growth.
In the 1980s, church attendance declined, and in1991, St Mary’s took the difficult decision to close St Philip’s as a worship space after 40 years of success. However, the church and hall remained in constant use as Cavendish Community Church, which became Christ Church Felixstowe, used it whilst their church building was finished and beyond. In 2000, the church was used by the English Orthodox Church, Last service of worship in 199, creating a beautiful worship space using icons and ornate decorations, while the hall was used by a nursery.
Eventually, the Orthodox Church decided to relocate. At this time, another local nursery took up residence in the church. The hall has been used for various activities, including a Pop-up Shop since 2016, once again becoming the centre of the local community.
COVID-19 and food poverty have hit this area hard and in 2020 during the pandemic the hall was re-branded as St Philip’s Community Hub. The hub contributes many facets of the community’s well-being. Every Thursday the Hub is open for socialising: games, craft and art activities. Free coffee and tea are available as well as a light lunch. Both
Parish Nursing and CAP, a debt counselling service, are available. All together the Hub is able to meet social, financial, physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing services.
The Hub has made fantastic links with other like-minded businesses and community organisations and is part of a group providing free school meals during school holidays, the Hub takes its turn on Thursdays.
2022 marks the platinum jubilee of the church in Wadgate Road and what better way than to celebrate this much loved community building than to start church again . From September 25th St Philip’s, as a worshipping community, will be reborn in the hall and café style Morning Worship services will be held each Sunday at 11am.
Who knows what the next chapter of St Philip’s will look like? It is hoped that generations to come will continue to have this essential community space, and with that in mind, the church is looking at options for redevelopment to make this space even better.