Building » Sale – St Joseph

Sale – St Joseph

Hope Road, Sale, Cheshire M33

  • Parish website

  • Parish website

An impressive Gothic Revival design, particularly internally. Despite being built incrementally, the church has architectural and stylistic coherence, and the later work is of notable quality. 

A school-chapel was opened in 1866. This was superseded by the present church, built in 1884-9 to the designs of the local architect William Henry Rawle (1855-1904). The old building continued in use as a school until its demolition in 1900, when the presbytery was built on the site. A baptistery was added to the church in 1922 (as a war memorial) and a new sanctuary in 1929, the latter with an altar and reredos by Joseph Reubens of Bruges and painted panels by Sister Margaret Rope (better known for her work in stained glass). According to the parish website, the architects for the sanctuary addition were Charles Heathcote & Sons (Charles Heathcote had been in partnership with W. H. Rawle in the late nineteenth century; he later went into partnership with his son Ernest). Stained glass by Hardman was put in the east window, more panels by Margaret Rope installed, and side altars and Stations of the Cross added before the consecration of the church in 1935. At a later date a west porch was added in matching style.


The church is of red brick with a west entrance with a porch, paired lancets, wheel-window and cross motif in the gable. There is a tall clerestory and aisles. Simple round-headed lancets. The east end incorporates a free Decorated style east window, and cusped lancets to the flanking chapels, the latter all work of 1929. The interior is of polychromatic pale grey and red brick with arcades supported by low circular piers of polished granite with foliated caps. There is a tall hammer beam and arch-braced roof, confessionals on the south side and a west gallery of timber. The east end dressings are of red sandstone. The sanctuary is richly adorned with stained glass by Hardman, with with painted panels depicting Shropshire and Cheshire martyrs by Margaret Rope, framed by ornate Gothic carving which continues as a reredos. The altar is of black and white marble, separated and brought forward probably in the late twentieth century. The side altars have reredoses in similar style, with Gothic timber screens and altar rails.

Amended by AHP 09.02.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: W.H. Rawle; Charles Heathcote & Sons

Original Date: 1889

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed