St Alphege Church is located in the very heart of Solihull, eight miles from the centre of Birmingham.
The church has stood at the end of High Street for over eight hundred years. It is one of the landmarks of the town and is an enduring witness to the Christian faith. The building is a fine medieval Grade I listed church and is open during the daytime for quiet prayer and reflection.
We strive to give our best to God in worship, through our liturgy, teaching and music. St Alphege uses the rich traditions of the Christian faith alongside elements of modern worship, offering services to suit all ages. The worship at St Alphege is centred around the Eucharist where we offer our worship to God, and bring to God the needs of the community and the wider world. Sunday is the high point of our worship, where we seek to encounter the transforming love of God and the presence of Jesus in the Bible, in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, and in each other.
People of all ages worship at St Alphege's, and a variety of services are offered to cater for many needs and preferences. The Junction, which takes place on Sunday Morning in the Oliver Bird Hall next-door to the church, is created especially for families with young children, and is a mixture of lively worship, engaging activities and relevant teaching. There are also quieter, more reflective services throughout the day on Sunday, where more traditional forms of worship are used, and where our choirs perform.
However, we realise that faith is not just for Sundays! In all that we do, whether in learning, caring for one another or at social events, we try to put the Christian faith into practice in 21st century life, and to reflect God’s love and care for the whole world.
Where we are
St Alphege Parish Church is in The Square which is at the junction of New Road, Church Hill Road and the High Street.
Postcode for satnav is B91 3RQ.
There is limited parking (ONLY if you are attending a service or have a timed permit) in the church hall car park (Oliver Bird Hall) lower down Church Hill Road. The Council car park on Church Hill Road is available on Sunday mornings until 12 noon for those attending services. Public car parks are close by.
St Alphege – The Square, Solihull B91 3RQ
A sacred site since the 12th century
St Alphege Church has been a dominant presence in the centre of Solihull since the late 12th Century, around 1190.
Construction of the present church began in the 13th Century around 1277 but was not completed for over 250 years in 1535.
There has been a history of change and development through the centuries as the church has met the challenges and needs of the Parish. Major challenges to the structure have included a collapsed spire and pillars to be buttressed.
It is a fine medieval building with Grade 1 listed status, many beautiful stained glass windows of varying ages and other interesting internal and external features.
The latest innovations include the installation of screens and audio visual equipment to enable all who attend to take part in the service even when a medieval pillar is in the way!
The Church at the centre of Solihull
St. Alphege Church is an active place of worship and home to a vibrant congregation of Christians.
Discover here a church which seeks to welcome and include everyone.
The people of Solihull have worshipped God here for over 800 years.
We hope that you are inspired by the beauty of our ancient building.
We encourage you also to experience our church life.
We pray that all who come here may see Jesus and know a fresh sense of God’s love in their lives.
Come and join us on the faith journey
Go on your way strengthened and refreshed
Here faith in Jesus Christ who brings God’s gift of fullness of life, is taught and lived. We try to put the Christian faith into practice in 21st century life, and to reflect God’s love and care for the whole world.
Archbishop of Canterbury 1006 -1012
St. Alphege was born in 954 and was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1006 to 1012. By an early tradition Alphege's birthplace was Weston, near Bath. He entered the important Benedictine priory at Deerhurst near Tewkesbury and became Abbot of Bath in 973.
Appointed by Archbishop Dunstan, Alphege was consecrated Bishop of Winchester on the 19th October 984. His self discipline, holiness and encouragement of alms-giving to the poor became legendary. Despite renewed raids by the Danes he completed the substantial extension of the Anglo-Saxon cathedral.
When the Danes raided in great force in 994, King Ethelred asked Alphege and others to make peace with them. This was agreed after a Danegeld payment of 16,000 pounds (£500 million today). Olaf, one of their leaders, was confirmed a Christian by Bishop Alphege, the King being Olaf's sponsor, and he agreed never to fight in England again. Soon after Olaf, now King of Norway, converted Norway, Iceland and Greenland to Christianity.
At fifty-two years of age, Alphege was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 1006. He led the church in England through the disruptions and uncertainties of renewed and extensive attacks, which came to a head in 1011. The Danes overran nine counties in south-eastern England and then besieged Canterbury. They entered the city, killed most of the people and burnt everything. Alphege was taken in chains with other worthy prisoners to be exchanged for ransoms. After seven months the Danes wintered at Greenwich where an epidemic broke out. Alphege was allowed to minister to them and converted some to be Christians. When he refused to allow his people to pay a ransom of 3,000 pounds of silver the Danes felt deceived and on Easter Saturday, the Saturday after Easter, the 19th April, in a drunken rage they disobeyed their leaders and pelted him with ox bones and stones. One of the soldiers, Thrum, who had recently become a Christian, put him out of his agony with an axe blow to his head. He was buried at St. Paul's in London and in 1023 his body was translated to Canterbury by King Canute, with great ceremony. It was buried on the left of the High Altar where monks venerated it for long after.
St. Alphege died for justice. His life and death give a special Christian meaning to reconciliation.
Worship is the heartbeat of the church
At St Alphege worship is based on the Eucharist. Through this daily offering, we give opportunity for worship, and we undertake the task of bringing the needs of the community and the wider world – and our own needs – to God.
Sunday is the focal point for this worship, where we seek to encounter the transforming love of God as we experience the living presence of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We strive to give our best to God in worship, through our liturgy, teaching and music. The congregation at St. Alphege is large and diverse but we try to make sure every person who comes is made to feel welcome.
8.00am Said Eucharist – Common Worship Order I - traditional language
A simple reflective eucharist incorporating a brief homily.
9.15am Parish Eucharist with Sunday Club – Common Worship Order I
The principal eucharist where the music is led by one of our choirs. Families are welcome but may prefer to go to The Junction which takes place at the same time.
On the 2nd Sunday in the month there is an All Age Eucharist lasting about 50 minutes with both contemporary and traditional hymns and songs. The music is led by a band and the young folk are present throughout. Readings, presentations by various youth groups and homily are designed to appeal across the age range. Coffee/squash are available in the church hall after every Sunday 9.15am celebration.
11.00am Sung Eucharist – Common Worship Order I - traditional language
In term time either a full choir of boys and men, ladies and men, or girls, ladies or boys alone sing a choral mass setting and a motet. Those attending this liturgy are invited to the Parish Hall from 10.15am for coffee. On the 4th Sunday of the month we seek to build the relationships among members of the congregation by sharing drinks and nibbles at the back of church after the service.
6.30pm Choral Evensong and sermon following the Book of Common Prayer
In term-time the choir sings this as a 'cathedral' style with different settings for responses, psalms, canticles and an anthem. This offers a reflective style of worship; the congregation sings the hymns.
On the 4th Sunday and during the holidays a simpler 'parish' evensong is sung by the congregation.
In addition to the normal Sunday pattern there is worship every day.
On weekdays the Office of Morning Prayer is said at 9am (8.30am on Wednesdays in term time) and Evening Prayer is said at 5.00pm. Anyone is most welcome to attend and participate in these services. For evening prayer please enter the church through the choir vestry door.
On Solemnities and Principal Holy Days there is a Solemn Eucharist at 7.30pm.
In addition the Holy Oils are available for the sacrament of Anointing and the Blessed Sacrament is Reserved.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is offered by mutual arrangement with the Rector, particularly on Saturdays at 6pm and before the Solemnities, as announced.