Here at St. Luke’s, we’ve been serving the local community for more than 100 years.
The original Methodist building erected on the current site in Market Street was first used in April 1898 and the present church building was officially opened on 14 June 1906, preceded by the laying of bricks by 34 local people who paid 1 guinea each to help fund the construction.
Minutes from the Building Committee show the closest attention to all matters connected with the structure. The original design for the pews was rejected as having ‘too straight a back’, while plans for the tower were altered and its height increased by six feet (at an additional cost of £33 10s 0d).
The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs J Arthur Shone with a gold key presented to her by the architects and the builder, Messrs R Allen of Birkenhead, whose successful tender price for the construction of the church was £3,906.
In February 1908, the organ was installed at a cost of £500, but within a little more than six years, members of the congregation would be fighting in the First World War. Sixteen men who worshipped at St. Luke’s lost their lives in the service of their country and their names are commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the church (see above).
The dark days of the ‘black out’ period of the Second World War have their place in our church’s history too, where the question of blacking out the church windows was considered immediately on the outbreak of war, although it was not carried out until November 1940.
In 1941, the schoolroom (now known as the Sports Hall) was opened as a canteen for members of the Armed Forces on Saturdays and Sundays, while the premises were used as a rest centre by the WVS for nine nights in March 1941, when Merseyside suffered its worst blitz. Sadly, three more members of the St. Luke’s congregation would lose their lives during World War Two.
With the war ended, calmer days followed and Hoylake became a thriving residential locality. In 1963, afternoon Sunday School came to an end, being replaced by morning Junior Church.
Lack of space was becoming increasingly apparent and in 1966, the Diamond Jubilee of the church saw the stonelaying of new rooms at the rear of the church, which were officially opened the following year. This saw the Small Hall and Crèche room added to facilitate development of the children’s and youth work.
In 2006, the existing church and the Sports Hall were bridged by the new Community Room, and the kitchen, toilets and vestry were relocated. The Community Room offers a modern and very welcoming environment and also provides easy access to the worship space, as well as other areas of the building. You can see more photos following construction work in the following gallery: St. Luke’s building projects.
More recently, our worship space has been totally carpeted and comfortable chairs have taken the place of wooden pews. We still enjoy the sound of our excellent organ as well as the services of a talented worship band and both enhance our worship experience.
We finish this look at the history of St. Luke’s with the closing paragraph of the church’s 80th Anniversary brochure, published in 1986:
Our prayer for the future is that God will take us and those who follow, into His care and keeping, fill us with His love and shower upon us the many gifts of the Spirit, so that St. Luke’s will be a blessing to Hoylake and an inspiration to those who seek a richer and more fulfilled life.