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St Luke’s Church, Reading

Heritage Open Days 2022

Sat 10 Sep 10:00-16:00

Come and see how St Luke’s, a Victorian church in Reading, was founded, funded, and built, and see displays of its life in peace and war over 140 years. See its treasures of stained glass, reredos, embroideries, and its community garden.

Our displays will take you back 140 years to the ways in which our forebears catered for the spiritual needs of the growing population of the Redlands housing development in East Reading. Our church started life in 1878 as a corrugated iron building in Erleigh Road. It was soon realised that this was inadequate for the needs of this population and the present brick church nearby was planned. You will learn about the architect and builder, and the materials used to make this beautiful building. The cost of the building came to £7,577, and you will see entries from the original subscription list showing how the community, rich and poor, combined to raise the necessary money in record time for its consecration in 1883.

You can see, and read about, the glorious stained glass windows, most of them from the studio of the famous Victorian stained glass maker, C.E.Kempe. Amongst our memorials is to St Luke’s men who died in the First World War, and our leaflets and displays will show you the faces and histories behind some of the names of these East Reading men who made the ultimate sacrifice.

You will also see photographs of our Church Hall, which opened in 1910 and was used from 1914-1919 as a V.A.D. Hospital for servicemen injured in the War. You will see exhibits showing the life of the church during the twentieth century, and can visit our community garden, which opened in 2017, and grows fruit and vegetables with help from people in our neighbourhood.