Peasedown - St Joseph

Ashgrove, Peasedown St John, Bath, Somerset, BA2

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A small church of the 1980s, not of architectural or historic interest. Furnishings include three sculptures by Peter Watts. 

The mission was founded in 1920 by Dom Ambrose Agius of Downside and Radstock who said Mass initially in a cottage. In 1927, a plot of land was acquired and a temporary church erected. In 1932, a hall was built behind the church. In 1951, the care of the mission was passed to the diocese. A presbytery for the resident priest was built in 1954 (since sold). In 1958, a former cinema was acquired and converted into a church by Gerard O’Brien. It was opened on 30 April 1959.

In 1989, a new church was built on the site of the 1927 church and care of the parish passed again to Downside. The new church was opened by Bishop Alexander on 20 December 1989. The architects were Atkins & Walters, Bristol, working with Stone Design Build. Since 1999, it has been served from one of the Bath parishes (currently St John the Evangelist).

The church faces northeast. This description follows conventional liturgical orientation.

The plan of the worship space is square, with a shorter oblong at the west containing ancillary spaces including the sacristy. The external walls are of split-face concrete and brick dressings; the roof is covered in natural slates. The west elevation has a gable while the east end and the ancillary spaces have gablet roofs. A timber cross is attached to the east gablet. North and south elevations are similar, both having a brick soldier course below narrow clerestory windows and brick pillars to the central bay (which in the south elevation frame an emergency exit).

The interior is lit by a long skylight in the roof slope above the sanctuary, a window in the west gable and the clerestory windows. The northeast and southeast corners are enclosed as storage spaces. The main furnishings are two stone sculptures of the Virgin Mary and St Joseph, as well as a carved timber panel of the Baptism of Christ. All three are by Peter Watts (born 1916), who carved some of the replacement angels on the west front of Bath Abbey. The Stations of the Cross are by local artist Sue Symons, combining needlework and collage techniques. The font has a stone bowl on a square pedestal and the tabernacle is set into the wall of the southeast chair store.

Diocese: Clifton

Architect: Atkins & Walters of Bristol with Stone Design Build

Original Date: 1989

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed