by Susan Bentley
For 104 years the little
St. Luke’s Anglican Church was built in 1906 on land donated by William Bernard, a local farmer. The rapid development of the
The decision to build the church was taken a by a committee in February 1906, the Foundation Stone was laid on July 2 and the Church was dedicated at a service on All Saints Day (Nov 1) later that year. Financial contributions came from people of all denominations in the community.
Built of local yellow brick, the church was designed by John M. Moore in a style that shows some influence of the Gothic Revival. This style used the English mediaeval parish church as its model and it is appropriate, for this charming small church still has the feel of a village building.
The Gothic Revival features of St. Luke’s can be seen in the steep gable roof, pointed arch windows, pier buttressing accented by stone cappings, and the asymmetric front elevation. Lancet windows in the tower and the string course above are also indicative of this style. One of the curious and unique features of St. Luke’s is the half sized pointed arch windows which appear to float over the basement windows. The flood plain levels would have restricted the depth of the foundation, thus raising the basement and nave considerably above the ground.
Inside the church round wood arched beams supported by carved stone brackets define each interior bay of the nave, while the stained glass windows with their symbols celebrating Christ, the Four evangelists,(Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), as well as the Alpha and Omega, illuminate it with soft light.
St. Luke’s has benefited over the years from many gifts which enhance the interior of the building. The three large chandeliers in the nave once graced the Huron and
The east window which depicts the story of The Road to Emmaus, is dedicated to the Second Bishop of Huron, Isaac Hellmuth (founder of
The East Window
The West Window
The large west window is dedicated to Archdeacon Richardson, and its restoration in 1981 by the Sunrise Stained Glass Company, was sponsored by the Archdeacon’s grandchildren.
St. Luke’s was enlarged in 1954, and in a nice quirk of history this extension was designed by Roy Moore, the son of the original architect. To the east, the choir and chancel were extended, with ten new pews and three new choir stalls added. The beautiful and unique stencil work on the ceilings and walls were the work of Thomas Browne and Sons of Markham. These copyrighted stencils define the corners and edges of the windows and arches. The religious symbols on the wall of each bay of the nave were, however, freehanded in pastels of blue and gold.
At midnight on
In 2006 led by Archdeacon Jane Humphreys, the parish spent a happy year celebrating its centennial. From the banner decorating the front of the church which read “Celebrating 100 Years Thanks be to God” we went on to have a series of concerts, dinners, picnics and a we produced photographic exhibition of our history. On St. Luke’s Day in October the culmination of the year was a Thanksgiving Service presided over by Bishop of Huron the Right Reverend Bruce Howe, and attended by the Mayor, Anne Marie de Cicco-Best, and many dignitaries.
Having given a home to the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Parish for several years in Bill Craven’s day, we now share our space with the London Antioch Presbyterian Church, a primarily Korean congregation who use the worship space on Sundays and Wednesdays and also occasionally use the parish hall; we have given them space for an office as well.
Accessibility Issues at St. Luke’s
During the Rectorship of Canon Arthur Peach, in the days when the Federal Government was doling out matching grants for such things, (the1970’s) thought was given to making the Church and Parish Hall fully accessible. Sadly, the vote at Board of Management was defeated by a margin of one vote. (The late Mrs. Marian Peach, widow of Arthur Peach, told us several years ago that she had never seen Arthur as angry as he was that night when he returned home!). An Access Fund was established at that point and it gradually grew over the years to about $12,000 in 2005
This takes us to the Rectorship of Archdeacon Jane Humphreys, when the subject was raised once more. Under the Venerable Humphreys’ leadership an Access Committee was formed in 2006 and this group has done a huge amount of work studying, researching, meeting with the architect, grant writing, organizing a fundraising campaign and more.
With a new Rector, the Reverend Michael Atkins joining us in 2008, we continued to research and started to fundraise in a focused way with the ACCESS FOR ALL APPEAL being launched. After Vestry approved the project and having raised a significant amount of money (we do indeed have more than half the funds raised and pledged that we need) we now feel that the time has come to undertake the actual building.
Construction began on October 20, 2010. See the Access for All Build page for ongoing details about the new addition.