Building » Chorley (The Moorland Sanctuary) – St Joseph

Chorley (The Moorland Sanctuary) – St Joseph

Bury Lane, Withnell, Chorley PR6

The group formed by the church, school and presbytery has some historic interest. Architecturally they are not of strong interest, but the integration   of   the   church   with   the   school   below   is   a   relatively uncommon survival in Roman Catholic Churches in the area.

The church was set up to serve a relatively remote rural community. Canon Worthy, who had been instrumental in the planning of St Mary Euxton (q.v.) where he also designed altars and furnishings, was in correspondence with the local priest and was responsible for the design. The integration of church and school was not uncommon at this time, although this was usually intended as a short-term measure pending erection of a permanent and separate church.

Church, upper level, and school below, of stone, simple rectangular plan. Each level has a range of windows with segmental heads. Gable ends have a small bell cote, west end, and a small cross, east end. The interior has a narthex formed or replaced in the late 20th century by placing a glazed screen beneath the west gallery. Arch braced roof trusses rise from stone corbels, the tops concealed by a flat ceiling.  The sanctuary has been reordered, probably in the later 20th  century. Simple furnishings of this date stand on a low dais. A font of timber with clustered columns is the exception as this is probably of late 19th century date, as is the bench seating.

The school has extensions of late 20th  century date. Plain presbytery of two storeys with a hipped roof and large windows with replacement glazing.

Heritage Details

Architect: Canon John Worthy

Original Date: 1884

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed