St Joseph’s Church was completed in 1911, seven years after the foundation of the parish and ten after the establishment of St Joseph’s School. It is the work of Catholic architect Leonard Stokes.
On the south wall of the church is the restored statue of St Joseph believed to be the work of one of the sons Augustus Welby Pugin.
As you enter the church, you see the Eric Gill stone carved font. Note the four panels, one with St Joseph and the child Jesus surrounded by carpenter’s tools.
There is a statue of Blessed Nicholas Postgate at the back of the church, showing him with his staff and dressed for travel across the moors in the seventeenth century. His portable altar stone hangs at the front of the altar.
The sanctuary lamp was made by Polish soldiers billeted in Pickering during the Second World War from the metal of brass cartridge cases. Their names are engraved on the base of the lamp.
Saint Joseph’s has acquired two treasures in recent times. One is an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help – a hand-painted copy of the original, sent from Rome through the generosity of a parishioner. The original was stolen from a church in Crete by a medieval merchant. Repenting on his death-bed, he asked that the icon be given to a church, where it could be venerated by all. After several moves, it now resides in the Church of Saint Alfonsus, the headquarters in Rome of the Redemptorist order, who have supplied St Joseph’s with an authenticated copy.
The second treasure is a mosaic by well-known local artist Audrey Murty of Christ blessing the five loaves and two fishes. Audrey made the mosaic many years ago, but presented it to St Joseph’s just a few years before her death.. It draws its inspiration from an ancient mosaic of the loaves and fishes which still survives at Tabgha beside the Sea of Galilee.