Building » Stockport – St Joseph

Stockport – St Joseph

Gorton Road, Reddish, Stockport SK5 6AZ

A late nineteenth century design by Herbert Tijou, transformed by a fairly imaginative remodelling by Reynolds & Scott in the early 1960s. Old and new elements work well together and there is stained glass of some quality from the original building. 

Reddish originated as a small settlement in Lancashire, which expanded with the advent of industry in the nineteenth century. It became administratively part of Stockport in 1901. Land was bought for a church and school by John Higginson and the present church opened in 1882. The architect was Herbert Tijou, who was also responsible for church designs at Pendleton and Levenshulme, both now demolished.

The church was substantially remodelled in 1960-2 by Reynolds & Scott, when the liturgical orientation was changed to make best use of the restricted site. The sanctuary was rebuilt at the opposite end of the original and a new transept added to match an existing transept. The existing sanctuary, facing the main street frontage, was demolished and a new (liturgical) west front and tower erected with narthex and baptistery. The only part of the old church to survive was the nave, and even this appears to have been rebuilt and re-roofed.

The old presbytery was demolished and replaced by a new building to designs by Greenhalgh & Williams in 1971-2. A post-Vatican II reordering, probably undertaken in the 1970s, removed the altar rails, introduced a forward altar and brought the font into the main body of the church. 

All orientations given are liturgical. The church is of red brick, laid largely in stretcher bond with concrete or artificial stone dressings. It has a T-shaped plan, with very long transepts, that on the south side longer than the other.  The northwest tower is broadly Italianate in style. Windows, including those to the nave, are of concrete or artificial stone with mullions and arched heads. The entrance at the west end has mosaic over it and leads to a narthex, with a bowed west gallery with a hardwood front. The sanctuary is vaulted in concrete with a parabolic arch to the crossing, and another parabolic arch frames the east end. Here there is a crucifix beneath a canopy, original work of 1960-2. Bench seating appears to date from the 1960s.  There is a scheme of good late nineteenth or early twentieth century stained glass in the nave, all by the same maker, commemorating the laying of the foundation stone, opening of the church, and relatives of the founder, John Higginson. A window probably of 1960s or 1970s date at the west end shows St Joseph, and a glass screen at the southwest end of the nave commemorates fifty years of service to the diocese by Fr O’Connell.

Heritage Details

Architect:

Original Date: 1882

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed