The parish of St Joseph began on Grafton Street in 1868. The school chapel was opened on Friday 26th May. Then, in response to the growing number of Catholics in this part of Bradford, St Joseph’s Church was built on Pakington Street. It was opened on 14th September 1887, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. The Church was consecrated on the same feast day fifty years later, 14th September 1937.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Sisters of the Cross and Passion came to the parish to run the school. After the Second World War, many people came from different parts of Europe to settle in England. There was a large Polish Community at St Joseph’s until the 1960s, when the Polish Church in Edmund Street was opened. At this time many new immigrants were arriving from the West Indies and became a part of the Catholic Community at St Joseph’s.
The Parish Community has responded to the many changes in our society. We see this in the composition of today’s congregation, which numbers about five hundred people. Our church community is richly diverse. It seems as though people from every country in the world have made their home at St. Joseph's! This is a wonderful reminder of God’s loving call to all people to live in the unity and peace that is His gift.
In 2009, the Lady Chapel at St. Joseph's was instituted as a shrine. It bears the title of "The Annunciation Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Bradford". Mass on weekdays is celebrated in the Shrine Chapel.
In 2016, the parish became the site of the Catholic Chaplaincy to the University of Bradford and Bradford College. The students are warmly welcomed into the community, many of whom have come to study in Bradford from abroad.
The same year, St. Joseph's became the stable home for Mass offered in the Extraordinary Form. This is celebrated in Latin according to the Missal of 1962. People from many parts of the Diocese come to St. Joseph's for this Mass, which is at 12:30pm on Sundays.