Birmingham Oratory - A Birmingham Gem!

Newman's Oratory is a quite amazing Grade II* listed building. The church with its ornate ceiling and marble pillars is simply stunning. Newman was created a saint by Pope Francis I.

The Birmingham Oratory is located on the Hagley Road in Ladywood.

Birmingham Oratory

Birmingham Oratory on Hagley Road (June 2011). Photography by Elliott Brown


It is an English Catholic religious community of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Part of the complex of the Oratory is the Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception, commonly referred to as the Oratory Church. It now serves as a National shrine to Newman.

Birmingham Oratory

From the Cloisters at Birmingham Oratory during Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown


History of the Birmingham Oratory

The Oratory of St Philip Neri was established in 1849 by Cardinal Newman. At first based at the Church of St Anne on Alcester Street, they later found a more suitable site on the Hagley Road, the community relocated there in 1852. The current church began between 1907 and 1910 in the Baroque style to replace the original structure as a memorial to Newman. It was designed by Edward Doran Webb. Additions by G B Cox in 1927, including earlier work by John Hungerford Pollen of 1858, Henry Clutton of 1872-3. Also including the presbytery building by Terence Flanagan in 1851, plus the former Oratory School buildings designed by Henry Clutton in 1861-2 and 1872-3. It is a Grade II* listed building.

Birmingham Oratory

Inside of Birmingham Oratory during a guided tour as part of Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown


Cardinal John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman was born in the City of London during 1801 and died at Edgbaston in Birmingham during 1890. At first he was an Anglican priest before he converted to become a Catholic priest in 1845. He founded the Birmingham Oratory in 1849. In September 2010, Pope Benedict XVI came to Birmingham to Beautify Cardinal Newman at Cofton Park. While there he unveiled a new blue plaque from the Birmingham Civic Society. 

Blue plaque Newman Oratory

Blue plaque unveiled by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010 at the Oratory, seen on Hagley Road (June 2011). Photography by Elliott Brown


By October 2019, Pope Francis I created Blessed John Henry Newman as the first English saint since the Reformation. This took place in Rome.

Newman bust Oratory

Marble bust of Cardinal John Henry Newman at the Oratory seen during Birmingham Heritage Week (September 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

24 Feb 2021 - On-going


History & heritage, Classic Architecture


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