Building » Staveley – St Joseph

Staveley – St Joseph

Chesterfield Road, Staveley, Chesterfield, S43

An economical brick Gothic Revival design, built in the interwar years with volunteer labour to serve a poor mining district. The interior has been reordered on several occasions, and contains good figurative stained glass, a historic organ and a tabernacle by David John.

Staveley grew during the nineteenth century with the establishment of industries dependent upon coal and iron. The workforce attracted to the area included large numbers of Catholics from Ireland. Fr Syraest SJ began giving instruction in a joiners shop, and in 1883 a Mass centre was established. By the spring of 1884 Bishop Bagshaw of Nottingham established Staveley as a separate mission and appointed a priest, the Rev. Robert Dunham. Services were first held at a room in an inn, and the priest also served a Mass centre in nearby New Whittington. In about 1889 land in Duke Street, Staveley, was donated by the Arkwright family of Sutton Scarsdale Hall, and a temporary iron church was built. Plans for building a new church were current from 1923, but did not come to fruition for several years. During the early 1930s local newspapers record fundraising events for the new building. It was erected in 1933, using voluntary labour, and the foundation stone was blessed on 12 July that year.

Over the years the church was embellished with stained glass windows, mainly by the Hardman firm. A parish hall and presbytery were built beside the church in 1966 to the designs of John Rochford & Partner), and in 1969 an organ was obtained from The Zion Methodist Church, Speedwell. The church was reordered in 1977 by John Rochford & Partner and was dedicated and consecrated in 1983. Further reordering and refurbishment took place incrementally between 1999 and 2008, during which time benches were replaced with chairs and redecoration and facilities upgraded.

In 2006 the church hall and presbytery were demolished, leaving the link between church and presbytery which forms a west porch. The church is now served from St Hugh of Lincoln, Newbold, Chesterfield (qv).


All orientations given are liturgical. The church is built of red brick laid in English garden wall bond, with contrasting dressings of terracotta or artificial stone and a slate roof with cross finials at each end. It is of steel portal frame construction. It consists of a nave with a narrower chancel, southeast vestry and low flat-roofed west end extension, forming a porch with ancillary facilities. Windows are generally paired, with simple pointed heads.

Inside, the building has exposed arched roof trusses. A former baptistery with ironwork gates at the southwest end is now used as a chapel of the Sacred Heart. On each side of the chancel arch are shrines dedicated to Our Lady and to St Joseph, with statues in marble surrounds. The chancel and sanctuary is raised and there is a forward altar and modern sanctuary furnishings, including a tabernacle by David John. A standard fibreglass representation of the Risen Christ is attached to the east wall. A fine imported pipe organ at the west end is by Albert Keates of Sheffield, built in 1908. It is included in the National Register of Pipe Organs, and there is a technical description of the instrument on their website. The church has several good stained glass windows, mainly by the Hardman firm and mainly of early-mid twentieth century date. A window depicting Our Lady and St Anne of circa 1950 is signed Hardman, but others are not signed. A window on the north side depicting the Virgin enthroned with the Christ Child was originally in the west wall, but moved during alterations of the 1960s. Other windows are filled with oblong quarries of differently coloured and textured glass, creating a warm colourful effect.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1933

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed