Our Parish History

The first housing development in Llanedeyrn was opened in 1968, and building continued during the 1970s in both Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn.

The parish of St Philip Evans was established in 1975. Sunday Masses were originally celebrated in Llanedeyrn High School, and then moved to St Philip Evans School when this was opened, also in 1975.

Because of the rapid expansion of housing and population in the area, a second Catholic primary school was built – St Bernadette’s in Pentwyn – and it was not until October 1985 that the parish church, with its adjoining presbytery, was opened – following years of concerted fundraising by the congregation. The foundation stone for the church was blessed by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Cardiff in June 1982, and laid (in the ceremony pictured) by Archbishop Ward in May 1985.

After the opening of the church, the next priority was to build a church hall as a centre for social and community events, and this was accomplished in 2000.

Since then, the parish has benefited from the opening of the Archdiocese of Cardiff Centre for the Deaf, commonly known as the ‘Small Hall’, which gives ample meeting space when not being used by the Deaf Service.

The parish, which is part of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, serves the areas of Llanedeyrn, Pentwyn and Pontprennau. In addition to the two primary schools mentioned above, the parish also has close links with Corpus Christi High School, which is just on the edge of the parish boundary.

After the opening of the church, the next priority was to build a church hall as a centre for social and community events, and this was accomplished in 2000. Since then, the parish has benefited from the opening of the Archdiocese of Cardiff Centre for the Deaf, commonly known as the ‘Small Hall’, which is available as a smaller group meeting space when not being used by the Deaf Service. Archbishop Peter Smith formally blessed and opened the Centre for the Deaf in October 2007. Since 2007, St Philip Evans has therefore been the “Designated Parish for the Deaf” with a wider role for ministry to Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing parishioners throughout the Diocese.

St Philip Evans also became the Mass Centre for Welsh-speaking Catholics around 2009 when the then parish priest took over from an ailing priest and brought the Welsh congregation to the parish to allow back-to-back celebration in Welsh at 9.30 am followed by Sign-Supported English at 11 am. Following a consultation exercise in spring 2015, the Mass in Welsh moved to an evening slot in a more central Cardiff venue and SPEP Masses moved to 5.15 Saturday and 10.30 Sunday. From September 2016, Mass in Welsh will be celebrated at St Teilo's, Whitchurch, on Sundays at 4.30 p.m.

In October 2015, Archbishop George Stack celebrated Mass to mark the 30th anniversary of the dedication of St Philip Evans Church.

Parish Priests – all have been diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of Cardiff
1975-1991 John Maguire
1991-2001 Tony Cullen
2001-2002 Martin Wilson
2002-2003 Interregnum
2003-2013 Tony Hodges
2013 (July-Sep) Barry English (temporary administrator for the summer)
2013-present Gareth Leyshon

In 2011, Deacon Steve Melhuish, ordained for the Portsmouth Diocese, moved into the parish and now exercises the ministry of Deacon within the parish.

Image: 
Archbishop Ward and congregation in the church building, which is without its roof