Warminster Parishioners Visit Welsh Castle Home of Former Vicar

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Dec, 2018 03:00 PM

Not many incumbents start off their life in a castle but, as the parishioners of the Minster and St John’s Warminster discovered, that was where their former Vicar grew up.

Warminster Parishioners Visit Welsh Castle Home of Former Vicar

The parishioners outside the Picton Castle home of Canon Sir James Erasmus Philipps, Vicar of Warminster in the 19th century.

Led by the Reverend Jacques Desrosiers, Rector of the Minster St Denys, the group of parishioners made a special pilgrimage to Picton Castle in Wales, the family home of Canon Sir James Erasmus Philipps, Vicar of Warminster in the 19th Century.

The group had received a special and personal invitation from the widow of the great grandson of James Erasmus Philipps to visit the Castle and its grounds.

After a service in the Castle Chapel, Susie Philipps and her daughter Nicky gave the parishioners a tour of the castle, and treated them to some personal family stories about the former Vicar who did so much for the town of Warminster and who gave his name to so many buildings there.

Apart from the reordering of the Minster St Denys, James Erasmus founded St John’s Church, Warminster Hospital, the Orphanages of Pity, St Monica’s school for girls (now part of Warminster School), St Boniface College for Missionaries and the Sisters of St Denys Convent.

He lived for a time in retirement in Picton Cottage, now Westdown House on which he added a turret with a semi circular window so that he could survey much of his achievements.

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