It’s hoped that St Luke’s Church Hall, Shipton Street, a timber-framed building used intensively by both church and community for over half a century, will be replaced soon following a generous legacy.
Planning permission has now been applied for 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.
It is hoped that this will fit in with the new development at Duncombe Barracks where an area called Church Square is planned near the west end of St Luke’s to provide an attractive public area to sit and relax.
David Smallwood is a member of St Luke’s building group which is managing the project to replace the hall: “We will have new a new kitchen and toilets, including a disabled toilet, better storage space and the hall will have a corridor link to the church with disabled 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: