History of the Parish

The history of St. Joseph’s goes back a long way. In fact as far back as 1894 when an attempt was made to set up a Mass centre in Stonehouse. Mass was celebrated once a fortnight at this time in a rented room. Before the first world war the congregation numbered only about 12. Eventually the Mass centre moved to a converted outbuilding near Eastington and then to the Subscription rooms at Stonehouse. It was served from Stroud by the Dominicans, (until they left the parish in 1947), and then by Diocesan priests. The efforts of local fundraising enabled a site to be purchased and the foundation stone was laid in 1965. After their Church was built, Stonehouse continued to be served from Stroud until 1973 when it became a separate parish. The Fransalians were entrusted with the parish remaining until 1989 when the Parish had its first diocesan priest, Fr Peter Slocombe.