Roman Catholic Parish of St Joseph's
Tilehurst,   Reading

Parish Clergy: Mgr John Nelson (Parish Priest & Co-ordinating Pastor)


Part of the Pastoral area of English Martyrs and St James & St William of York


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The Presbytery,
Berkshire Drive,
Tilehurst
Reading RG31 5JJ.

Tel 0118 942 8632.

Office E-mail:
sjtilehurst@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

Reg. Charity No.246871



Map of how to get to St Joseph's Church




A Brief History of St Joseph's

In the time before the Reformation St Michael's in New Lane Hill, St Nicholas' at Sulham and St Laurence's at Tidmarsh were all Catholic churches. However after the Reformation, it was not until the latter half of the 20th century that Tilehurst was again able to boast a Catholic church of it's own.

When St James' was built in 1837-40 it was the first legal Catholic church to open in the area in 300 years since the Reformation, and it was another century before the parish was divided and the Church of the English Martyrs was built near to Prospect Park.

The new church was still quite a trek from Tilehurst and in 1935 Mr and Mrs
John Eppstein, who had moved into Quarry House in Kentwood Hill, allowed Mass to be said there one Sunday a month for congregations of more than 60.

The Catholic population of Tilehurst had increased by the start of the Second
World War and in 1941 the congregation began renting the Village Hall in
Victoria Road for Sunday Mass, served by priests from English Martyrs.

In 1950 Father William Kirk was appointed parish priest at English Martyrs
and immediately began a major fund-raising drive to build a church in Tilehurst.

Work began in Park Lane in August 1955 on a building designed for both
worship and social functions and Fr Kirk said the first Mass in St Joseph's
the following July. Father Pat O'Donnell succeeded Father Kirk in 1957 and in 1964 gave one of his curates, Father Francis Scantlebury, specific responsibility for St Joseph's and daily Mass was said at the church for the first time.

But in 1966 St Joseph's was made a parish in its own right and Father Colm
Kelleher arrived in the April to begin 33 years' devoted service to the people of Tilehurst, during which St Paul's School was built and opened in 1969, and on Christmas Day 1976 the first Mass was said in this magnificent church.

Maurice O'Brien

Click here for a more detailed history