ST LUKE'S CHURCH - LIVERPOOL
(The Bombed Out Church)
St Luke's Church was a spacious and well thought-out interior. Excellent seating for up to 300 people, a gallery and every space used within the church well. We now take a virtual tour of the building with contemporary photographs taken from the Centenary of the Church in 1931. They are from a private collection by Mrs. Jean Parry, daughter of Revd. Powell-Miller, Vicar of St. Luke's.
These pictures have never been published before and are therefore unique. My thanks go to Bryan McCahey for the supplying of these scanned images, and the family of Jean Parry for her contemporary photographs.
Without these pictures, which were procured after long research by Bryan, this site would have not been possible. The pictures remain copyright with Bryan McCahey.
".....A FINE PEAL OF BELLS....."
"St Luke's Church at Liverpool is capable of containing three hundred persons; the average number who attend is about two hundred.
Divine Worship is celebrated there twice on the Lord's day and on the usual Fasts and Festivals of the Church. It is a spacious church, with excellent seating and a gallery.
A fine peal of bells are heard over the town and are a joy to listen to. Their peal falls over the surrounding roads and are a fantastic sounding peal of 8 bells.
The stained glass windows ar beautiful and so colourful when the sunlight hits the Church at the correct angle."
We start at the base of the tower and see where the bells fell to the floor after the fire reached the upper stories of the tower.
We see the heavy iron door guarding the stone staircase which is still in excellent condition and then move up to the entrance of the ringing chamber. An excellent account of the tower has been provided by Thomas Banker's 'History of St Luke's Church (1900):
"Let us now quit the body of the Church and proceed to the tower, which is 133 feet in height, including the pinnacles, which measure 16 feet.
The entrance to the tower is through a door opening from the choir vestry, and a stone staircase of spiral form conducts by 48 steps to the bellringers' chamber. From this chamber we ascend by 43 steps to the clock room where the stone staircase terminates. The bells are reached by a wooden ladder, 21 feet 8 inches in length. The ascent though steep is not very trying to the nerves, the wall of the tower being close on one side. and a complicated arrangement of beams on the other. From the bells to the summit of the tower another ladder extends which is 43 feet in length.One side of it is protected by the wall of the tower, the other side is a yawning gulf so that a cool head and a steady hand are required of anyone to reach the top. The prospect from this elevation is very extensive. The flagpole, which rises from the summit of the tower, stands up 40ft high and the ensign which is occasionally hoisted upon it, and looks so small from below, is 15 feet in length."
To the left we see the Font as it looked in 1931. This is looking from the main body of the Church towards the base of the tower. Notice the wood panelling behind the font area and the wooden door. All the wood panelling was gutted by the fire on Tuesday 6th May 1941.
To the right, we see a view looking from the main body of the church towards the base of the tower. The wooden door is now an iron gate. As you can see, there is little left of the interior at this stage, practically everything that wasn't stone was destroyed.
To the left we see the main body of the Church when complete. One main aisle running down the centre of the church and two either side of the pews. The white pillars with their patterns, the ornate electric lights, the pulpit to the left and the lectern to the right. Ahead we see the Altar with its ornate and intricate roof. We see the Organ on the left and the choir stalls either side. The picture of the right tells another story. We see the main aisle, and one marble slab high up on the right hand side wall. We see little else. How spacious yet empty the church looks now, taking in the weather on a daily basis and missing its 200 people worshipping on a Sunday morning.
To the left we see the large and powerful Organ, built by Flight and Robson, of London, situated in the left-hand body of the Church, behind the choir stalls either side. Little is known about this organ apart from its builder. Note the carved woodwork around the organ casing.
To the right we see the same view. There isn't a trace of the organ, fixtures or fittings but one can understand that it would have been powerful to fill the entire church. We have not come across any recordings of the Organ or the bells even though 'their peals were heard by millions of BBC listeners' via the Liverpool BBC studio 6LV.
To the left we view the altar of the Church. A couple of steps are leading up from the main aisle. We see the ornate wooden panelling and the stained glass windows.
To the right, we see the same view - and a lack of stained glass.
To the left we see a close up of the altar for a better viewing.
To the right, we see a similar view of the alter, this time with a slightly better resolution and with different cloths.
To the left we see another view of the altar, again with the stained glass windows in view.
To the right, we see a view of the main altar window. If only we could see these windows in colour!
To the left we see the Pulpit in front of the Organ. The pulpit was situated in the best possible place, set back from the front pew on the left and one could view the Vicar from nearly every pew.
To the right we see where the pulpit would have been situated, just right of the doorway.
To the left we see the brass War Memorial from the Great War.
To the right hand side, we see the location of where it was placed - to the left of the archway.
To the left is the 'lost gallery' at the rear of the Church. This was completely destroyed in the fire. Also to note are the large wooden doors either side of the gallery.
To the right is all that's left of the interior now.
We see the Church decked out for Harvest Festival in an undated picture to the left.
If you look to the right of the picture, you will see the same marble plaque as you can see in the picture on the left.
The picture on the left dates again from 1931 and shows the pews and wooden boarding around the side of the Church.
The painting on the right shows the Church and stained glass in colour.