St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London.
Camera Nikon D700 with 28-300mm Nikon Lense.
f/8.0, ISO 200, 1/15th sec, at 28mm.
History of St Luke’s from Wikipedia.
St Luke’s is a Grade II listed building,1 which stands on a prominent triangular site at the south end of Norwood Road, where it forks to become Knights Hill and Norwood High Street.
It was designed by Francis Octavius Bedford in 1822, as a result of the Church Building Act of 1818, in response to the end of the Napoleonic wars and the growing urban population.2 It is known as a Commissioners’ church because it received a grant from the Church Building Commission towards the cost of its construction; the church cost £12,947 (£890,000 as of 2012)3 to build, and the grant was £6,447.4 The builder was Mrs Elizabeth Broomfield of Walworth and the foundation stone was laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 14 April 1823. It was constructed along with St. Matthew’s, Brixton, St. Mark’s, Kennington and St. John’s, Waterloo-road. These four Waterloo churches were dedicated to the authors of the four gospels of the New Testament, and were specified to have 1800-2000 sittings, vaults for burials, be constructed of brick with stone dressing and cost no more than £13,000 each.56 In 1825, The church was consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester on 25 July 1825.7
Not only is it similar to St John’s, Waterloo, but the exterior of the building also resembles two other churches that were designed by the same architect, namely St George, Wells Way, Camberwell, and Camberwell Holy Trinity, Southwark. The main front has a stone portico with six fluted Corinthian columns. using a rather simplified version of the order. A tower rises in three stages from the roof just behind the portico.7
The building was at first furnished with box pews, galleries and a triple-decker pulpit, with seating for a total congregation of about 1,800.. The original design of the church only provided one gallery, above the entrance, facing the altar. This made it possible to have one row of large windows on each of the long sides of the church rather than two smaller ones. However a last-minute decision was made to increase the church’s capacity by installing an extra gallery. To avoid blocking the windows, this was put at the end opposite the entrance, and the altar placed against one of the long walls, with the pulpit and reading desk against the other.7
Between 1870 and 1872 the premises were extensively altered by G E Street, who dramatically rearranged the interior. The galleries were removed, reducing the seating by more than half. Over the years, different stained glass windows have also been added.
In 1976 a floor was put into the chancel, making a small hall above. Both rooms are now used for Sunday school. Toilets and a kitchen were later added. The pews were replaced in 2005 by red chairs, which are arranged to face the front.