St Joseph’s Church
182 Thimblemill Lane
Telephone: 0121 327 0235
Parish Priest: Father Solomon Tesfamichael Ghebray
- Weekday – 9.30am (days vary – please see Parish newsletter)
- Mass in St. Joseph’s School – Wednesday 2.00pm
- Sunday – 9.45am
- Baptisms, Funerals and Marriages on request
A Brief History of the Parish
St Joseph, the husband of Mary, our Blessed Mother and foster father of our Divine Lord Jesus, is patron of our parish and school.
In 1850, the present sanctuary of the church was designed by Pugin as a mortuary chapel for the new four-acre cemetery surrounding the existing church. It was at this time that the origins of this caring parish began, firstly by burying the dead and caring for the grieving families.
The parish which began as a new mission, soon realised the need to care for the children of the parents that were moving into the area, particularly the families fleeing Ireland at the time of the great famine, and after. The early parish community was caring, hardworking, and co-operative.
The Parish Priest, Father (later Canon) Greaney, opened a new school in 1868. This came about through the hard work and co-operation of parishioners working under the leadership of Messrs. Smallwood and Rigby. In 1867, they handed over the sum of £115/7/6 to the newly appointed Parish Priest, together with a plan for a small school building. Fifty pupils were enrolled in the school, which opened on 7th July 1868.
Management and staff for the school were sought from the Sisters of Charity of St Paul, and Mother Regis became the first Head Mistress of the newly founded school. Many developments took place in the following year, leading to the establishment of separate girls’ and boys’ schools.
Since this time, we have always strived to follow the ways of Jesus. Parents are the first educators of their children in the ways of faith, though their example of what they say and do, in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is affirmed through the rite of baptism for children.
The work of parents is built upon by our teachers, school staff, governors, and the Parish Priest, who strive for excellence in the education of each individual child. So home, school, and the parish, work closely together to place Christ and the teaching of the Catholic Church, at the centre of our children and their parent’s lives. This is the purpose of our Catholic school.