St Joseph's Church, Southampton

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St Joseph's Church
St Joseph's RC Church, Southampton - - 495140.jpg
Main entrance
St Joseph's Church is located in Southampton Central
St Joseph's Church
St Joseph's Church
Location in Southampton
Coordinates: 50°53′57″N 1°24′21″W / 50.89925°N 1.4057°W / 50.89925; -1.4057
OS grid reference SU4188611250
Location Southampton
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic
Status Active
Founded 1830 (1830)
Dedication Saint Joseph
Functional status Parish church
Heritage designation Grade II listed[1]
Designated 14 February 1969[2]
Architect(s) Augustus Pugin, J. G. Poole and Leonard Stokes
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking March 1843
Completed 1845
Parish St Joseph and St Edmund[3]
Deanery Southampton
Diocese Portsmouth
Province Southwark

St Joseph's Church is a Roman Catholic parish church in Southampton, Hampshire. It is situated on Bugle Street, in the centre of the city, north of Town Quay. The church chancel was designed by Augustus Pugin and built in 1843. It was the first Catholic church founded in Southampton after the Reformation. It was the pro-cathedral of the Diocese of Portsmouth in 1882.[4] It is a Grade II listed building.[1]



In 1789, French Catholics fled to Southampton after the French Revolution. They worshipped in secret in a room in 13 St. Michael's Square in the city. In 1792, they opened a chapel in 67 High Street. In 1828, a presbytery was built. Two years later, St. Joseph's Church was built in the presbytery's garden.[1]


In the early 1840s, a new St Joseph's Church had to be built to accommodate the growing congregation. In 1842, Augustus Pugin was asked to design the church. In March 1843, the foundation stone was laid. However, the parish could not afford Pugin's designs. Once the chancel was built, J. G. Poole, an architect and local surveyor, was asked to complete the church. The nave was built to his designs and in 1845, the new church was opened.[1][2]


On 19 May 1882, Pope Leo XIII established the Diocese of Portsmouth. As the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Portsmouth was under construction, St Joseph's church served as the pro-cathedral until 10 August, when the new cathedral in Portsmouth was opened.[4]


In 1888, Leonard Stokes was asked to renovate and expand the church. The north and south walls were rebuilt. A seventh window was added to the north side of the church. The height of the church was raised and the ceiling along the nave was replaced.[1]

In 1911, the high altar, designed by Pugin was moved from the sanctuary to the Sacred Heart chapel in the church. In 1971, it was moved back and became the main altar. In 1981, a restoration of the church was undertaken.[1]


In 2006, the diocese reorganised its parishes. St Joseph's parish was merged with the neighbouring St Edmund's parish to form the Parish of St Joseph and St Edmund, which is sometimes referred to as the Southampton City Centre Parish.[3]

Attached to the church is the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre. It is situated between St Joseph Church and the Anglican St. Michael's Church next door. It hosts parish events and meetings of local organisations.

St Joseph's Church has two Sunday Masses, one at 6:15pm on Saturday evening and the other at 10:00am on Sunday morning. St. Edmund's Church has four Sunday Masses. They are at 9:00am, 11:00am and 7:00pm on Sunday and there is a Mass in Polish at 7:00pm on Saturday evening.[3]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f St Joseph - Southampton from English Heritage, retrieved 13 December 2014
  2. ^ a b British listed buildings retrieved 13 December 2014
  3. ^ a b c Directory from Diocese of Portsmouth, retrieved 13 December 2014
  4. ^ a b History of Portsmouth Diocese Archived 2014-04-16 at the Wayback Machine. from Catholic Association Pilgrimage, retrieved 13 December 2014

External links

  • Southampton City Centre Parish site
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