St. Joseph, Avon Dassett

st joseph 200In the middle of the last century many Catholic churches were being built in England in the Gothic style

- a movement inspired by the great Catholic architect Augustus Pugin and encouraged by the generous Catholic laymen such as the sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury.  St. Joseph's is a church of this period, and was built by Joseph Knight in 1854.  Knight had a nursery garden well-known in Victorian London and he had already been responsible for the older part of St. Mary's Cadogan Street in Chelsea, as well as some alms houses there.  The architect at Avon Dassett was Thomas Meyer - thought to have been a London man - and an elevation of the church and presbytery signed by him (in April 1854) is still to be found in the presbytery.

St. Joseph's stands half-way up the village street.  It's slate-covered spire contrasting with the stone spire of the parish church further up the hill. The design is a Gothic mixture. The lancet windows are derived from 13th century churches, although some are from the well-known Victorian firm, Hardman of Birmingham .  Inside, the mouldings of the four wide arches are carried up without the interruption of capitals or other detailed carvings typical of some later Gothic churches.  Their simplicity shows up admirably the beauty of the local stone - ranging from fawny to golden brown, to bluish grey and even sage green. In contrast to this simplicity is the brightly coloured glass of the windows and the great crucifix handing in the Chancel arch, purchased in Italy especially for St. Joseph's.

St. Joseph's was established as the parish church in 1855 and consecrated in the same year. The first entry in the baptismal register was dated 22 August 1857, when Fr William O'Grady baptised Pauline Mary Perry, whose mother was a member of the Knight family earlier referred to.  St. Joseph's remained the parish church until 1971 when Kineton became the home of the parish priest.

Sunday mass is still celebrated at 3:15pm on Sundays in Polish:

  • 1st and 3rd Sundays, where there are 4 Sundays in a month
  • 1st and 4th Sundays, where there are 5 Sundays in a month