In 1975 a catastrophic fire almost completely destroyed the pretty Roman Catholic church of St Joseph in Stokesley. The roof was badly damaged, the north wall ruined and interior furnishings scorched. The subsequent renovation and reordering of the church, pragmatic in the immediate aftermath of the fire, did not meet the long-term needs of the congregation. Now, more than 40 years later, St Joseph’s has been restored to its former glory.
After extensive consultations with the congregation, it was decided to reinstate the original sanctuary, to place a brand-new altar in the sanctuary, to paint the internal roof, to modernise the heating and lighting and to relocate the existing doors to improve access.
Treske were involved in the refurbishment at an early stage. This helped to achieve an overall unified design in which the new pieces of furniture were considered integrated elements. The existing benches in the church were made by Treske in the 1980s and these were adapted and refinished bringing a significant cost saving to the church.
Treske also supplied a brand-new oak altar with eight octagonal column legs; an oak ambo with legs matching the altar; an oak presidential chair with upholstered seat; an oak baptismal font; an oak paschal candle stand; an oak tabernacle stand; and oak stacking stools.
Treske were also able to provide four stained glass window panes of saints (St Helena, St Jude, St Joseph and St Peter), originally given to them by the Sisters of Mercy from their Sunderland convent with the idea of finding a suitable home, to grace the four windows facing north.
The furniture has created a freshness and a fluidity within the church, which mirrors the work done by the architect and the builder. The project has been considered a huge success by all involved.