St Luke’s Millwall opens its doors to the local community
St Luke’s Millwall, a new church for the Isle of Dogs, opened its doors to the local community at a Grand Opening last month. The Opening marked the resurrection of the Church of England parish, which was amalgamated into a neighbouring church after the original building was bombed in the Second World War.
The new building will serve the growing Christian community on the Isle of Dogs, which has been meeting at the nearby Alpha Grove centre in recent years. The church will also serve as a hub for the wider community, with a busy parenting group already established, and a night shelter for the homeless to open this winter. In its first week, St Luke’s welcomed over 450 people through its doors, in addition to the 250 that attended the Opening.
A new boxing club, echoing a boxing ring lost in the previous church building when it was demolished, will focus on outreach to at-risk youth. The population of the Isle of Dogs is set to rise quickly in the coming years, and St Luke’s has been built to anticipate the future needs of the parish, as well as the needs of today.
St Luke’s is the second purpose-built church to be opened in London in 40 years, opening a year after St Francis at the Engine Room, Tottenham Hale. The Diocese and Parochial Church Council of Christ Church Isle of Dogs combined their separate land interests into one holding. The majority of the funds used to develop the site came from the sale of 9 flats built as part of the church development, with some monies coming from the earlier sale of land that the original church and hall were built on. The Diocese acted as developer and, as well as cashflowing the development, invested monies into the building of the church and halls. Alongside this a number of generous donations have been received from individuals, charities and livery companies which included the Mercers.
The Rt Revd Adrian Newman dedicated the building in one of his final acts as Bishop of Stepney before retiring this autumn. John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, local leaders of other faiths and pupils of St Luke’s CofE Primary School were also in attendance.
The Rt Revd Adrian Newman, the Bishop of Stepney, said:
“With St Luke’s now open, the growing Christian community in the local area will have somewhere they can call home, and celebrate the love of Jesus Christ. The Isle of Dogs is an area undergoing immense change, so I’m glad that St Luke’s can now act as a beacon in the parish, welcoming young and old to its modern surroundings.”
To find out more about St Luke’s Millwall see its website.