Banbury - St Joseph the Worker

Edmunds Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX16

title= title=

A hexagonal building of the mid-1960s, originally built as a multi-purpose church and hall. Although the building is not of particular architectural or historic interest, its striking roof form gives it a certain landmark quality in an area of low-rise post-war housing.

The church was built in 1965 to serve a large post-war housing estate on the western side of Banbury. It was built as a multi-purpose church hall, pending the time when a permanent church could be built. The architects were Peter Lucas Associates of Banbury, the builders Messrs N. Collinson Ltd of Bicester; the church was opened and blessed in December 1965. Originally a chapel of ease to St John the Evangelist, Banbury (qv), St Joseph’s became an independent parish in 1968. The intended separate church has never been built; instead the 1965 building is used exclusively as a church, with an attached parish hall (by the same architects) added later. 

The church is hexagonal on plan, with a striking roof form of steeply pitched raised gables, which are glazed with hardwood subdivisions except for that over the sanctuary, which is rendered. The roof pitches of the raised gables are of slate, dropping down to the centre and a slender extruded aluminium fleche. The lower walls are unglazed and faced in grey brick. There is a shallow projection for the sanctuary at the southern end. The entrance is at the northern end, via a flat-roofed link which also connects with the parish hall, which is built of matching brickwork and has a hipped concrete tile roof.

The interior has not been inspected. Photographs on the parish website and in historical documentation show a single space with horizontal beams radiating from the centre. The undersides of these have channels cut to allow for the insertion of patent folding partitions, denoting the originally intended multi-purpose nature of the building.  Above this, the steep internal roof pitches are lined with timber boarding. The glazing in the clerestory/gables incorporates some rectangular panels of coloured glass. The internal walls are faced with bare brick, apart from the sanctuary, which is rendered. The sanctuary recess is framed by a shallow Tudor arch, a later adaptation. Wooden pews have replaced the plastic chairs shown in early photographs of the interior. There do not appear to be any furnishings of particular note.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Peter Lucas Associates, Banbury

Original Date: 1965

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed