The story of St Joseph’s is one of struggle and hardship and of the triumph of faith over things material. It was the dream of Father Wulstan Richards, OSB who came to Greenhill in 1875. It was designed by Peter Paul Pugin, took two years to build, cost £10,000, and was opened on 25th November 1888.
The total length of the church is 146 feet and the height to the apex of the roof is 60 feet. The chancel is divided from the nave by a stone arch rising to a height of 43 feet and on the jambs of the arches are niches with the figures of St Patrick and St Benedict. Music-playing angels are carved into the spandrels of the arches and, far above, an arch-braced roof supported on long wall-posts. There is a five-sided chancel, with stained glass by Harding, over the High Altar.
The Church was not fully complete at the time of its opening. Fr. Bede Cox was successful in obtaining Lord Petre’s Woburn Organ for the Church and Fr. Volckxsom made a successful begging tour of the continent and was given the gift of Stations of the Cross from Antwerp. The altar rails were erected by Fr Wulstan Richards with money received from his Silver Jubilee. A new High Altar completed in 1907 and new pulpit the work of Bolton’s of Cheltenham. Outside the Cathedral entrance a War Memorial in the form of a Celtic Cross stands 18 feet high. It was unveiled in 1919. In May 1923 Our Lady’s Grotto at the end of the church was permanently erected.