Building » Pembroke – St Joseph

Pembroke – St Joseph

Monkton, Pembroke, SA71 4EU

A small modern church on a centralised plan built in 1970 to the designs of Patrick White, partly to serve a new housing estate at nearby Monkton. The fittings include some stained glass salvaged from an unidentified London church.

In the 1930s and 1950s Mass was said at Pembroke in a rented drill hall. In 1954 a lease was taken on a small building in The Green on the north side of the river known as the Ranter’s Chapel. With the building of a new housing estate at Monkton to the southwest of the town centre there was a need for a larger church. Funds were raised to purchase a site near the estate and build a church, to the designs of Patrick White, who had designed St Mary’s School at Pembroke Dock in the late 1950s and the more adventurous octagonal church of St Anne, Wrexham in 1962 (qv). St Joseph’s opened in 1977. While wholly modern in style, it incorporates stained glass salvaged from a London church (unidentified) by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The church was designed with a subsidiary space on the north side which could be separated from the main space by a glazed partition for use as a side chapel or crying room. The partition has long been removed.


The church is not orientated; the liturgical east end faces towards the south. All directions in the following description are liturgical.

The building is of steel framed construction and modern in style. The external walls are roughcast, the roof covered in concrete tiles. The main church building is square on plan, with glazed gables on all four faces and lower flat-roofed extensions across the west and north sides. On the west side the wall of the flat-roofed extension is windowless, but has a projection for a front porch. Behind rises the glazed western gable of the main church. The north side is similar but has window and door openings for the sacristy at the east end. The east and south sides have a roughcast lower wall with a wide glazed gable above.

The main interior space has the steel frame fully exposed, with panelled walls and ceiling. The gable windows on the west and north sides are clear glazed, those on the east and south sides with a mixture of small coloured panes and geometrical patterns. Above the sanctuary is suspended a large roundel of stained glass, presumably part of the consignment of salvaged glass brought from London. The other furnishings are of timber and modern.

Heritage Details

Architect: Patrick White

Original Date: 1977

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed