St. Lukes - A Short History
|St Luke’s Church – Believed to have been completed in 1762 as no records of opening exist and closed in 2007. Over 245 years until closure St Luke’s had served the spiritual needs of Haslar both for patients and staff. During the 18th and 19th Century those attending church knew their places as Physicians and their patients sat to one side of the aisle, whilst surgeons and their patients sat on the other side. Labourers sat in the balcony and the washerwomen acted as the choir often not in tune. Nursing staff were expected to attend services as part of their employment.|
This fact is brought to life for us through Major General John B Richardson Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery. He described St Luke’s from his boyhood experience as he lived at Haslar with his famous father Sir John Richardson Polar Explorer, Naturalist and Surgeon from 1838 – 1855 and therefore was able to fully describe the hospital’s routine in its Victorian heyday.
Richardson re-visited Haslar in 1916 and wrote of his visit and in doing so he painted a picture of his time as a child, recalling his boyhood adventures in the grounds of the hospital and his family enduring the services at St Luke’s of which he recalls that the chaplain was old and infirm and the sermons of the day were sleep inducing and the choir was not in the best of tune at services hence his family often attended St Mary’s at Alverstoke.
St Luke’s underwent total refurbishment in 1964 under the supervision of Mr Ken Makins, the Diocesan Surveyor and the guidance of the ‘Georgian Society’ under the Chairmanship of John Betjeman famous poet and author.
The many memorials on the walls bear testimony to Great Britain’s global expansion during the 18th and 19th Centuries
Today St Mary’s Alverstoke through the Reverend Cannon Ted Goodyer has assumed clerical responsibility for St Luke’s thereby opening a another chapter in the history of both Haslar and St Luke’s.
St Luke’s taking its rightful place once more at the heart of Haslar and ready to serve.
Services take place every 4th Sunday in the month at 11:00, including Communion.
Eric C Birbeck MVO
Haslar Heritage Group March 2012.