Parish History

The Parish of St. Luke came into existence just over 120 years ago.
In the early days this was an extremely poor district, and soup kitchens were provided to feed the hungry. However, society figures were attracted to the Church, such as Princess Frederica of Hanover, the Duchess of Teck, Lady Bowater, Lady Londesborough, Lady Freake and Mr & Mrs John Galsworthy, parents of the famous author. These were only a few of St. Luke's distinguished patrons in the early days.

The first Vicar, the Revd. George Swinnerton, was influenced by English Catholicism as a result of the Oxford Movement, which began in the 1830s, with great leaders such as John Keble, John Henry, later Cardinal, Newman, and Edward Pusey. They wanted to remind the Church of England that it was part of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, adhering to the threefold ministry of Bishops, Priests and Deacons, and having a full sacramental life. They needed services of beauty and colour to help people to understand their Catholic heritage.

The second Vicar, the Revd. E. Temple Candler, built up much of the liturgical superstructure that is still one of the glories of our worship. He introduced the use of incense and coloured vestments for the first time on 18 October 1910. All this magnificence enshrined a faith - the perception that the Church of England is part of the Catholic Church, and consequently St. Luke's has drawn a congregation from a very wide area as a centre of Catholic worship and belief within the Church of England.

Parish Today

St. Luke's is a parish of about 7,000 people. The priests and congregation maintain the insights and faith of our founders. We are a parish of the Church of England (also known as 'Anglican' or 'Episcopalian'). We believe that the Church of England is a valid and full part of the Catholic Church, though separated by the political divisions of the 16th century from full communion with other Catholics. We look to Rome as the source of authority for all Catholics, and we work and pray for the reunion of the Church of England with Catholics worldwide. The faith that we celebrate and proclaim at St. Luke's is, therefore, the faith handed down within the Church from the Apostles.

Accordingly, the parish has exercised its right to Extended Episcopal Care, which is exercised by the Bishop of Fulham. St. Luke's is a Forward in Faith parish.

The Canon Law of the Church of England makes it possible for us to welcome to Holy Communion here all those who are baptised Christians, and who are in good standing within their own Churches. We extend a very warm welcome to all visitors and newcomers. If you are visiting us for the first time, please introduce yourself to either Fr. Martin or Church members on duty, so that we can welcome you personally.

Children entertain at the Vicarage Garden Party