Stockport - St Joseph

St Petersgate Stockport, SK1

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A little-altered mid-nineteenth century urban church by M. E. Hadfield, striking  and  plain, with a  lofty interior  designed  to  provide unobstructed views of the sanctuary, in reaction to Puginian principles. There are contemporary adjoining schools which with the church make a positive contribution to the Stockport conservation area.

Catholics in Stockport were served from Manchester during the late eighteenth century; Fr James Blundell first said Mass in 1798 in a room on Windmill Street before building a church dedicated to St James and St Philip on Chapel Street in Edgeley in 1803. The Catholic community in the town grew due to the influx of workers for Stockport’s mills. It was from the Edgeley church that the forerunner of St Joseph’s was established; Mass was first said in 1845 in a temporary school in Parson’s Yard. The schools on Tatton Street were built in 1858, designed by Hadfield and Goldie, shortly before the church was built. The foundation stone for the church was laid in 1861 by Bishop Turner.  The interior is depicted on a framed watercolour by M. E. Hadfield dated 1862, hanging at the west end of the nave. An industrial school, part-funded by the Duke of Norfolk, was built south of the schools in 1888.

The list description (below) provides a general overview of the building.  In addition, the former baptistery is in situ, although no longer used at the west end of the south aisle. This retains a polygonal marble floor and an octagonal marble font, now used as a plinth for a statue of St Joseph.  The nave floors are laid with terrazzo tiles, with concrete beneath the pine pews.

The church is connected internally to the presbytery via the north east sacristies; the clergy sacristy is fitted with a good set of pitch pine cupboards.

Diocese: Shrewsbury

Architect: M. E. Hadfield

Original Date: 1862

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II