A KIDDERMINSTER church is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a series of special events.

Father Douglas Lamb, of St Ambrose Church in Birmingham Road, said the church would officially celebrate reaching the milestone on Saturday, December 6.

Father Lamb, who has been a priest at the church for 16 years, added: “I am extremely proud of the church’s 150 year heritage and thrilled to be here.

“It is wonderful for me to be able to celebrate it. It has also been great to see how the church has developed and grown bringing in new families and individuals.”

He explained that there had been a three year preparation period building up to the anniversary with a time of “parish renewal” followed by spiritual preparations and celebratory events.

Father Lamb said the parish of St Ambrose was formed in 1831 while the church was built on the site in 1858 in the Gothic style.

He added that a spire was added in 1901 at the time of the church’s most distinguished priest, Father Ambrose Wheatley, who later became vicar general of the diocese in Birmingham.

He said that more recently a “precious” statue of the Virgin Mary made in Germany in the 1850s had been restored for the church’s Lady Chapel.

Father Lamb added that the church also had a statue of St Ambrose made in English lime by the celebrated Staffordshire artist Dennis Parsons.

He said: “The church itself is a place of great beauty and is much loved in the community. People love to come here, even non Catholics.”

Weekly mass attendance totals more than 650 people and that the church is proud of its strong links with the area.

He said that the church’s Borromeo Hall was used by a number of parish groups and organisations including parent and toddler, pre-school, active retirement and bible study groups.

Father Lamb explained that the three final events to celebrate the church’s anniversary begin with a pageant by pupils from St Ambrose School at 7pm next Thursday, December 4.

The following day, there is a lecture on the life of St Ambrose given by distinguished Benedictine monk, Father Brendan Thomas, at 7.30pm.

Finally, there will be a St Ambrose Day mass at noon on December 6 with Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Birmingham, in attendance.