The Archbishop of Canterbury
Kingston Episcopal Area
Lambeth South Deanery
Details of the Church
St Luke’s Church in West Norwood is a Grade II* listed building. It stands on a prominent triangular site at the south end of Norwood Road, where the highway forks to become Knights Hill and Norwood High Street. The building was designed by Francis Octavius Bedford in 1822, as a result of the Church Building Act of 1818, which had been passed in response to the end of the Napoleonic wars and the growing urban population. It is known as a “Commissioners’ church” because it received a grant from the Church Building Commission towards the cost of its construction. It was constructed along with St Matthew’s Brixton, St Mark’s, Kennington and St John’s Waterloo. These four “Waterloo churches”, each dedicated to one of the four authors of gospels of the New Testament, 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. In 1872-3 St Luke’s was extensively altered by G E Street, who dramatically rearranged the interior, creating a conventional chancel at the end opposite the entrance, and dividing up the nave with Romanesque arcades supporting a plaster barrel vault.
Today, St Luke’s is an enthusiastic church and the 10.30am Sunday service has a contemporary feel, with modern music and open participation. Bible teaching is always a key ingredient of all church meetings and there are also children’s programmes in Sunday School.