History

St. Luke's has a proud history of serving its community. It has known good times and bad through the years; Times of 'crucifixion' and 'resurrection'. St. Luke's is living proof that sometimes certain aspects of 'church' have to die in order for there to be new life given by the grace of God's Holy Spirit. The old church building having closed in 1997 is now use as a local community centre. The old building as pictured is a two-minute walk from our new building, which was opened in 2000 and was designed to be shared with the church school.

 

South Canning Town and Custom House developed on marshland from the mid 1800's onwards to provide housing for the workers within the rapidly growing Royal Docks. St. Luke's Church was consecrated on 20 April 1875. The church was built largely in response to an article in the influential weekly journal 'Household Words', edited by Charles Dickens. It appeared on 12 September 1857. This spoke powerfully of the intolerable conditions in Canning Town and the need for a response from both society and the church.

 

The community of South Canning Town partly consists of an inner-city council estate entirely rebuilt since 1945. We are just 3 miles from the centre of London. Many 1960's tower blocks and derelict industrial sites have been redeveloped for 'social' housing in the past ten years. At present some dwellings are still council owned with over half of the remainder being owned by housing associations and owner-occupiers. About one third of our Parish has been demolish and rebuilt over the past few years as part of a massive Regeneration Project.

 

Newham Council continues to further develop our community and build many more new homes  for sale as well as businesses such as shops, hotels and restaurants. Traditionally this area has been a white working class community. However, there is now a large population of people from countries around the world, particularly many parts of Africa and Eastern Europe, who contribute greatly towards and enrich our community. Transport links have traditionally been poor in Canning Town. However, the Docklands Light Railway and the Jubilee Line Extension have transformed transport links with Westminster now being only 12 minutes away by tube. Canning Town Station is just 5 minutes walk from our Church Centre. A new Cross Rail station at Custom House is planned for the parish, which will make travel even easier.

 

The O2 Dome stands on the other side of the Thames from our community and dominates our southern skyline. Just down the road from St. Luke's, on the northern edge of the Victoria Dock, is the Excel Exhibition Centre. To the west is the Canary Wharf development on the other side of the river Lea. To the North we are bounded by the large A13 trunk road. For a map, please click here.If you want to see our Parish on TV just watch the opening credits of Eastenders. If you look for the area to the north of the O2 Dome on the opposite bank of the River Thames, above the large rectangular Victoria Dock, that is our community.