Crow Orchard Road, Wrightington, Wigan WN6
St Joseph is a large and striking building which represents a characterful late 19th century design and a monument of some power. Built from the designs of James Sinnott by Charles Clifton Dicconson, whose family had long recusant associations with Wrightington.
Wrightington was the seat of the recusant Dicconson family who had a chapel at Wrightington Hall. Edward Dicconson was educated at Douai and after ordination was appointed Vicar Apostolic of the north of England in 1741 with a base at Finch Mill house in Wrightington. Charles Clifton Dicconson reformed the local ecclesiastical organisation by compensating the bishop for the Finch Mill estate and building a church at Wrightington. The church was consecrated in 1894.
There is a scheme of early 20th century stained glass, probably by Hardman. The fine sanctuary ironwork canopy is probably also by the firm. There are three good late 19th century and early 20th century brass memorial plaques to the Clifton Dicconson family in the north chapel. Alterations which were undertaken in the late 20th century include a conservative sanctuary reordering when the altar rail was removed and altar brought forward. Low screens have been inserted at the west end of the church to facilitate nuptial and other processional entrances to the church. They are of sympathetic design.
The presbytery is linked to the south-east end of the church. It is a large three-storey building with a pair of full-height bays but otherwise simply treated. Ancillary buildings east of the presbytery, which is used as a home for retired priests, have been converted as a residence and garage for the parish priest.
Roman Catholic church and presbytery. 1892 by Charles Clifton Dicconson. Sandstone rubble with slate roofs. Church comprises a nave, south porch, north and south transepts, crossing tower, and apsidal chancel. Nave of 3 bays with windows of 2 trefoiled lights under a pointed head with quatrefoil. Porch is gabled with outer doorway chamfered in 2 orders. West window of 4 lights under a pointed head with tracery. Crossing tower has pyramid roof. On each side are 2 bell openings of 2 lights with pointed heads. The apse is 3-sided and has paired trefoiled lancet windows. In the north wall of the north transept are 2 similar windows. Above is a rose window. The south transept also has a rose window, above a single-storey lean-to link to the presbytery. Projecting from the south wall of the presbytery are 2 square bays under hipped roofs. Each has sashed windows with no glazing bars separated by flat-faced mullions, of 2 lights on the ground floor and 3 lights on the 1st floor.
Interior: nave roof is boarded. The trusses have curved braces to collars and are carried on corbels. The crossing arches are pointed and chamfered in 2 orders. The inner orders spring from semi-octagonal responds carried on carved corbels. The south transept contains an organ. The north transept is divided from the crossing by a timber screen. The chancel has alabaster inlay below the level of the windows, which have stencil decoration to the reveals. Behind the altar is an iron openwork canopy.
Architect: James Sinnott
Original Date: 1892
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: II