Our History

The Centre was born out of the 2001 disturbances, the 2001 census findings, 9/11 and 7/7 events. The Church of England nationally encouraged local dioceses to engage with what became known as Presence and Engagement. In 2008 the Anglican communion published ‘Generous Love’ and in 2010-11 this was followed by further General Synod debate and endorsement with new papers ‘Sharing the Gospel of Salvation’ and ‘Generous Love for All’. In Leicester, the Bishop took all this to heart and put local support behind creating a P & E Centre - a new idea in 2004,  which became a task group in 2005, and it formally became the St Philip’s Centre at the beginning of 2006. Since those earliest days the Centre’s work has much expanded.

The Centre's first director was Revd Dr Andrew Wingate. On his retirement in 2010, Revd Dr John Hall arrived from a post in Coventry to take on the position until his own retirement in November 2014.

In September 2015, Revd Dr Tom Wilson became our third Director.  Tom's previous role was as Vicar of St James and Christ Church in the Diocese of Gloucester.

Awards

St Philip's Centre has received or been shortlisted for a number of awards for its work.  

In May 2012 St Philip's Centre was chosen to receive a Lord Lieutenant's Diamond Jubilee Award. The honour was in recognition of the Centre's work to promote good inter faith relations and bringing to prominence the concept of 'service' through its work with faith communities. Riaz Ravat and Sister Chris James received the award on behalf of the Centre at a special celebration event at Beaumanor Hall.

In August 2012 the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom awarded  St Philip's Centre a Quality Badge for its Schools and Colleges educational programmes. Launched in 2009 as part of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, the badge combines learning and safety and identifies for teaching staff recognised  providers of quality educational visits. Beth Gardner, CEO of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said "Educational visits are among the most memorable experiences in a child's school life. The LOtC Quality Badge offers teachers a guarantee that  not only is the venue providing  the sort of educational value that they can build on in class long after the visit, but that they also have the appropriate risk management structure in place."

On Wednesday 20th March 2013, St Philip's Centre together with volunteers and staff who worked on a major inter faith project for Sewa Day in October 2012, celebrated a major award in recognition of their efforts at a ceremony held in the House of Commons.  Fifty volunteers from Buddhist, Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities had teamed up with St Philip’s Centre to mark Sewa Day, an international special day of selfless service to important causes. The uniqueness of the project was evident as volunteers from Christian, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds also took part in the event. Judges praised the project for “involving many faiths, the Council, the Mayor and people of all ages”.

At the National Diversity Awards ceremony held in Leeds on Friday September 20th 2013, St Philip's Centre received a Certificate of Excellence. The Centre had been shortlisted from over 4500 applicants for the category 'Race, Religion & Faith' . The Awards honour the outstanding achievements of grass root communities who have contributed to making a more diverse and inclusive society.  

In October 2014, the Centre was shortlisted for a European Diversity Award under the category of 'Community Project of the Year'. 

European Diversity Awards recognise and celebrate innovation, excellence, creativity and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion by organisations and individuals throughout Europe during the year.