Philpot, Anthony Rev (1935-2016)

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Philpot, Anthony Rev (1935-2016)

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Tony Philpot was born in 1935 in Croydon. When war broke out the family moved to Bedford. Following education at Bedford School, he began his studies at the English College in Rome, was ordained in 1959, and returned to the Northampton diocese to serve as curate in Bedford and then the Cathedral.
His first pastoral charge was Leighton Buzzard, and, thereafter, all his parish appointments were in what became the East Anglia diocese. He went to Ipswich, Newmarket, and to Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Cambridge, where he remained for fourteen years. His time there, where his gifts as a talented preacher and a gentle pastor were much appreciated, was one of change.
Tony was involved in reorganisation of Catholic state secondary education in Cambridge. When the East Anglia diocese was established, Bishop Clark put him in charge of RE, and later made him vicar general. The 1980s were a time when support to diocesan priests was given priority, and he co-ordinated this work. He also become involved in the Jesus Caritas Fraternity, and eventually became the worldwide responsible. This took him out of the country frequently, and, as a seasoned traveller, he soon learnt the perils of lost luggage. He boasted that he could be away for three weeks, just taking hand luggage with him and washing his clothes on a daily basis.
He was elected to the Old Brotherhood of the English Secular Clergy, the successor of the body which had, in penal times, been responsible for governing the Church in England. When he left Cambridge in 1994, Tony took the unusual step of returning to Ipswich, but was soon asked to look after Palazzola, the country villa of the English College, close to Lake Albano. He was increasingly asked to give retreats, and many dioceses benefited from his accessible wisdom and deeply-rooted spirituality. He wrote two books – ‘Priesthood in Reality’ and ‘You Shall be Holy’. Unsurprisingly, he was asked to move to the College to become Spiritual Director, a post he held for five years.
Retirement took him to Peterborough, where his linguistic gifts were harnessed in ministering to the large Portuguese-speaking community. After some years there he decided to move to London when an independent-living flat became available at St Anne’s in Stoke Newington. On being diagnosed with cancer he was transferred to the nursing home section of St Anne’s, where died on 16th July 2016.


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History by Mgr Rogers March 2019

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Ordained 1959

Vicar General



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