Jarrow - St Joseph

St Joseph’s Way, Hedworth, Jarrow, Tyne & Wear NE32

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A centrally-planned church from the early 1970s, built to serve a post-war housing estate, with a fan-shaped worship space.

By 1969, the primary school, presbytery and social club had been built in the parish, as well as a temporary church erected by parishioners in 1962. On 8 December 1971, the parish priest, Fr Christopher Rice, laid the foundation stone for the church which was opened in July 1972. The architects were Rossi, McCann & Partner. The cost including fittings was about £53,000. The small former hall is now used as a weekday chapel. The presbytery is currently rented out and the church served from St Bede, Jarrow (qv). 

The altar in the church is in the southwest corner. This description uses conventional liturgical orientation, i.e. as if the altar was at the east.

The building is steel-framed with brick walls of stretcher bond, and pitched felt roofs. The plan is square, with an oblong flat-roofed section at the northwest containing the porch and the former hall. At the south, a diagonal corridor connects the church to the sacristy and the presbytery. The western half of the roof has a lower pitch than the eastern half, creating a west window above where they meet which gives hidden lighting to the sanctuary.

Inside the porch is the foundation stone. The west narthex has the repository and lavatories. The internal walls are panelled in timber. The western half of the church has a suspended ceiling, which is cut away where it is lower than the clerestory window band. The southwest wall has slim vertical window bands. There are internal windows between nave and the porch and the weekday chapel (former hall). On the northeast wall are reliefs of the Holy Family. The square stone font is placed in the west corner. The sanctuary is lit by the concealed window in the roof, as well as by lateral windows and thin vertical windows in the tabernacle recess. Lectern and altar are of rubble stone, like the font. A crucifix hangs above the tabernacle on a shelf. There is a confessional at the southeast. The furnishings of the weekday chapel are of timber. The Stations are metal cast reliefs mounted on timber panels.

Diocese: Hexham and Newcastle

Architect: Rossi, McCann & Partner, Consett

Original Date: 1972

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed