The Chapel Project
An iconic and impressive building, the Chapel sits at the very heart of our community, in both a physical and spiritual sense. Unfortunately, flaws in its construction, together with an absence of functioning guttering and poor-quality glazing on the cupola, led to significant water ingress over a protracted period. This caused serious structural damage, which forced the closure of the building in February 2017 for safety reasons.
With Historic England’s decision not to list the Chapel, and having received a Certificate of Lawfulness for the planned works from the Local Authority, the project was launched and is now well advanced. When completed, it will provide a water-tight, well-lit, comfortable gathering place for our whole community, a centre for worship. It will be used for whole school assemblies, concerts, performances, debates and lectures. As a local facility, it will also serve our neighbours as a venue for weddings, christenings, Holy Communion, carol services and funerals, and facilitate a wide range of activities, enhancing our community ethos.
Whilst many schools claim to be different, St Joseph’s College really is, because we live our values rather than just listing them. Our vision is ‘Being our Best’ and we aim to equip our students to be the best they can be in every aspect of life, wherever their interests and abilities lie. Moreover, we choose to achieve this within a caring, high achieving community, guided by Christian values, at the very heart of which lies our Chapel – currently out of commission for urgent repairs.
Our ethos and culture are clearly attractive to our students and their families; St Joseph’s is very much on a rising curve, with increasing pupil numbers and excellent academic achievement, matched by our students’ outstanding performance and participation across sport and the Arts.
As the College grows and develops, we are keen to provide the breadth and quality of facilities necessary for our students to thrive across and beyond the curriculum. Whilst we have achieved a great deal since purchasing the freehold of the campus in January 2014, there is still much we would wish to do. Our ambitions for the next three academic years, as listed in our Strategic Development Plan, include as a priority the renovation and enhancement of the Chapel.
St Joseph’s today is in a sound financial position, underpinned by a consistent, though not excessive, operating surplus. However, as a College without financial endowments we are not a wealthy school. Whilst we are able to fund a significant proportion of the costs required to carry out the Chapel project from existing College resources, in order to realise the full amount required we must undertake a fundraising campaign. We hope this will be generously supported by our community, both past and present, and all those who appreciate the values of the school.
If you are able to contribute and help us to conserve and enhance this special building, the heart of our community, please make your donation below.