St Joseph’s was built by the much loved Rev. Charles ‘Priest’ Gordon in 1842. This was a response to the tide of immigrants who arrived in the 1840’s, lured by the possibility of work in the Don-side’s massive textile mills. Mainly they came from Ireland, and so a church was needed to minister to their spiritual needs. Rev. ‘Priest’ Gordon had earlier been responsible for building St Peter’s church in Castlegate and St Peter’s School.
Initially the building was used as a chapel and a school, with St. Joseph’s being served by priests from St. Peter’s Church. 1880 was the year in which a priest first started to reside at St Joseph’s.
Following the establishment of the Woodside Mission, priests assigned to St. Joseph’s had to travel both near and far, as the neighbouring Mission to the North was as far away as Peterhead! Past ‘territories’ ministered to by our priests included the Orkney & Shetland Islands as well as the present-day parish of Ellon.
In recent times St Joseph’s was linked to St Columba’s RC Church in Bridge of Don. However, due to the latest restructuring of the RC Diocese of Aberdeen St Joseph’s is now linked to Holy Family Parish in Mastrick. St Joseph’s also serves Catholics in the Dyce area.
In 1899 the church was extended to include a new chancel with cupola, and 3 years later stained-glass windows were installed in the chancel. More recently this year we extended in the opposite direction, replacing the small porch by a more spacious foyer. This has been much appreciated by families with vocal young children!
The parish is a community of folk “frae a’ the airts”, of all ages and with connections to many walks of life in the Granite City and beyond. We have been blessed by having the fairly large percentage of parishioners who have come from various parts of Africa and Eastern Europe. This gives our warm and welcoming congregation an international flavour.
We pray for all the Priests who have resided at St Joseph’s and served our community for so many years.
We pray for all the parishioners, past and present, who have served God and neighbour faithfully here in many ways – especially those who, like St Joseph himself, do so quietly without fuss or public recognition.
We thank the Lord for the many blessings He has bestowed on our community over the years. We ask that He fill us with is Spirit, and continue to use us for His greater glory.
Our future is in God’s hands!