Hutton and Shenfield - St Joseph the Worker

Highview Crescent, Hutton, Brentwood, Essex CM13

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A modern church with a stark exterior of mostly blind walls. It retains several of the original furnishings.

A Mass centre, served from Brentwood, opened in 1954. A first church opened in 1959 and a resident priest arrived in Hutton in 1960. The parish was erected in 1962. The present church was built in 1968-69. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Wall on Candlemas 1969 and the church was opened on 16 July 1969. The architects were Burles, Newton & Partners. The contractors were A. Saunders & Son (Brentwood) Ltd who had also built the adjacent primary school.

The church was consecrated by Bishop Casey on 30 April 1976, after the Brentwood Cathedral parish had paid off the remaining debt of £19,000.

The church is facing northwest. This description uses the conventional, liturgical orientation.

The church is built of loadbearing brick (externally laid in stretcher bond, internally in Flemish garden wall bond) with a light steel lattice framed roof. The sides of the upper roof are tile-hung. On plan, the church is approximately square, with a higher nave with flat-roofed side aisles and ancillary rooms at the south. The west narthex is flush, with a covered porch which has a crucifix and the foundation stone. Most of the exterior consists of blind brick walls.

The interior is lit by clerestory window bands above the junction of nave and aisle roofs. Additionally, there are two ‘dormer’ windows in the nave roof at the northeast. The ceilings are clad in pine boarding. The two entrances have freestanding holy water stoups of black marble. Between them is a raised area with benches. The north wall of the church has two abstract coloured glass windows. In front of the easternmost one is the sunken baptistery with a square stone font with metal lid. The electric organ stands in the northeast corner. The raised sanctuary has timber and steel altar rails. Lectern and altar are of dark green marble and a large timber crucifix hangs on the east wall.

In the southeast corner is the Blessed Sacrament and weekday chapel. Perpendicular to the main body of the church, it is screened off by glass partitions and lit by two skylights. It has another green marble altar, a tabernacle stand of the same material, a free-standing metal crucifix, and a wall-mounted metal crucifix. The tabernacle features the letters Alpha and Omega, as well as the Eucharistic symbols of vine and wheat. The south aisle has top-lit niches with statues of the Holy Family and Our Lady of Walsingham. The sacristies, parish room and confessionals are also to the south of the nave. The Stations of the Cross are carved timber reliefs.

Diocese: Brentwood

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed