St Luke’s was built during a wave of growth in the mid-1850s. Services were held for a while in school premises on Bath Road but in response to the need a new church building was erected.
The building was consecrated on 7th November 1854. It was designed by F.W.Ordish and from the beginning followed the style which the Victorians called ‘Geometric Decorated Gothic.’ Today the tower is fairly substantial but the oddly shaped ‘broaches’ on its corners betray the original intention to build a tower some 40 feet higher still!
The local edition of The ‘Buildings of England’ noted the ‘ugly fat broaches’ but states that St Luke’s has many details that are ‘delightfully peculiar’ including the window traceries. Look out, too, for the painted carvings of angels and bishops in the corners of the church.
The church was built partly as a chapel for Cheltenham College. It was designed to seat 1100 people and, at various times, it has had 3 separate galleries in use.
If you would like to more ‘A History of St Luke’s Church, Cheltenham – 1854-2004’ by Alan Munden, published by the PCC and printed by AST Print Group is available to purchase for £5. You can request a copy using the ‘Contact’ page.
St Luke’s Church is much more that a Victorian building on a traffic island in St Luke’s Road. It is a family of people from all backgrounds and stages in life, following Jesus Christ, and finding everything they need in him. The building is merely a means to worship Jesus Christ and to make the good news about him known to others.
To really get to know St Luke’s come and join us one Sunday morning at 8am or 10am.