While many schools claim to be different, at St Joseph’s College we really are, because we live our values rather than just listing them. Our vision at St Joseph’s is ‘Being our Best’. We therefore enable and 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 and supportive, high achieving community, guided by Christian values and working together as a team, to the benefit of everyone in the community.
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. This is matched by our students’ outstanding performance, attainment 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 to help our students perform to the best of their abilities 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 one particularly urgent priority: the renovation and enhancement of the chapel, the heart of our community.
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 value of everything associated with St Joseph’s College.
The Chapel Project
The Chapel is an iconic and impressive building that lies 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, have led to significant water ingress over a protracted period. This has caused serious structural damage, which led to the closure of the Chapel in February 2017 for safety reasons.
Whilst we have been eager to get on with the refurbishment programme for a considerable time, the architectural nature of the building, together with a recent anonymous request to Historic England to have the building listed, have prevented us from moving forward. With Historic
England’s decision not to list the Chapel, we now have a detailed, fully costed plan ready for implementation. We have also recently received a Certificate of Lawfulness for the planned works from the Local Authority.
The project, when completed, will provide a water-tight, well-lit, heated and comfortable space in which our community can gather. As well as providing a space for religious worship, it will be a focal point and facility for a wide range of activities, enhancing our community ethos, which is strongly rooted in Christian values. The Chapel will also be used for whole school assemblies, services, concerts, performances, debates and lectures, and as a community facility for weddings, christenings, Holy Communion, carol services and funerals.