From a wooden hut to a parish church...


In 1954 a young priest, Jeremy Wooton, moved into a house on Taddington Road to begin his ministry. The Rt Revd Alfred Rawlinson, the then Bishop of Derby, arranged for a wooden hut to be erected for the faithful to meet. With the help of some members of the tenants association, Fr Wooton prepared the wooden hut for worship.
The first Mass was held in the building on Sunday the 7th of November 1954. Six people attended the Mass. The congregation continued to meet in the hut on Brailsford Road and simultaneously the architect Mr Mulburn of Sunderland drew up plans for a more suitable building. Local industries were generous in their response to requests for monies and donated large sums. And together with a Diocesan grant the total reached the sum of £25,000.
The Duke of Devonshire was invited to lay the foundation stone at a simple service in February 1954. The Church and the vicarage were completed in August 1955 by Gee, Walker & Slater of Derby.
  The Revd Alfred Conway of St Edmunds, Allenton was appointed Vicar of the new parish of St Philip, Chaddesden. The Church was consecrated on Saturday the 17th December 1955 at 3:00pm by the Suffragan Bishop of Derby, The Rt Revd George Skier. Mr S Long and Mr S Adams took office as the first churchwardens.
On the 28th of March 1957 the young Queen Elizabeth together with Prince Phillip on their visit to Repton School also came to the new Church of St Philip, Chaddesden. Many of the furnishings were second hand, including the organ and the heating system, which have since been replaced. The altar and the pulpit however, were new. The font was discovered discarded in the churchyard at St. Mary's, Chaddesden. Over the years, many furnishings have been donated to St Philip's by worshippers and benefactors. And it is now quite different from the very plain interior it had at the beginning.