St Luke’s Church Hall, Shipton Street, is a timber-framed building used intensively by both church and community for over half a century. It will be replaced soon following a generous legacy.
Planning permission has now been granted to replace the hall with a new, brick-built structure at an estimated cost of £500,000.
John Brown was a member of St Luke’s congregation who died in 2019 at the age of 61 and bequeathed the church approximately £400,000, leaving about £100,000 to be raised from other sources.
The existing hall (pictured above, newly-completed) was built following extensive local fundraising in 1967 but does not meet modern building standards; disabled access is poor, it lacks effective insulation and it shows a lot of wear and tear.
St Luke’s Church Hall currently hosts many church and community events, including the weekly Joyful Connections, which offers craft activities and refreshments alongside support from Citizens’ Advice and Talking Points.
The church’s Tuesday Club offers bingo, tea, chat and friendship, while a monthly Saturday morning Community Café is a friendly backdrop to local councillors’ surgeries.
Weekly church children’s groups meet in the hall and a parent and toddler group brings people together, while the hall is used as a polling station and a venue for community consultations by the local authority and other groups.
The new hall will occupy the existing footprint but will be 4.2 metres longer, with its main entrance by a new path from Burton Stone Lane along the end of the church.
The main entrance will link the church and church hall buildings allowing level access between the two. This will give greater flexibility in the use of our buildings with the spaces being fully integrated.
The plan will fit in with the new development at Duncombe Barracks where an area called Church Garden Square is planned near the west end of St Luke’s to provide an attractive public area to sit and relax. An opening will be created in the Barracks boundary wall by the developer which will bring the two spaces together.
David Titterington-Cook is a member of St Luke’s buildings group which is managing the project to replace the hall and also a church warden: “We will have new a new kitchen and toilets, including a wheelchair accessible toilet, better storage space and the hall will have a corridor link to the church with level wheelchair access to both buildings.
“The new hall will meet modern building regulations and be much more energy efficient and provide a Community Hub fit for the 21st century.
“This will be a great space offered by St Luke’s for the whole community.”
You can support the building and fitting out of the new St Luke’s Community Hub by making a donation – drop us a line or donate online here: