Margaret Gilson writes:

St Luke's

The old St. Luke’s was built in 1867 at the instigation of Lady Blunt the wife of the Vicar of the time. It was a brick building with one side aisle. The chancel area could be separated from the body of the church by drawing a velvet curtain when the church was being used for social activities.

In the side aisle stood the big table which is now in the Parish Church vestry, and the village library was kept in two bookcases, and presided over by Mrs. Marston the Churchwarden’s wife and former Infant School headmistress.

When it became obvious that it would be better to build a new church rather than attempt to repair
the old one the churchwardens looked at possible buildings. The one chosen was similar to the small
church at Braywick, and was a prefabricated building. As it is wooden, planning law required a
space around it, so the kitchen and committee room were built in brick so that they could go closer
to the boundary.

Then came the choice of furnishings. By far the most illustrious item in St. Luke’s is not what you would guess – it is the carpet. In 1960, Westminster Abbey sold off all the carpet which had been in the Abbey for the Coronation, some gold and some blue. The PCC bought a piece of blue carpet and put it in the chancel of the old St. Luke’s. For the new building it was cut in half and relaid behind the altar – you can see the seam.

It was decided that the capacity of the building was 80, and there were 80 people there when it was dedicated. The next thing to move into St. Luke’s was the altar table. This had been in the Parish Church – inside the main door, used for hymn books, but it never fitted in well being light oak where all else was dark. It was a memorial to Mr. William Ellis the village schoolmaster – and also organist and choirmaster who died in 1961. His daughter Miss Ellis was happy to have it used as the altar in St. Luke’s.

The altar rails were given by Miss Reddick a long time resident of Old Windsor. She commissioned them and had them specially made in the Great Park workshops from oak from the Park, and they are a memorial to Rev. Harwood who was for many years the much loved vicar of the parish. The lectern was the gift of the Lacey family in memory of their parents, and the Credence table was the gift of the Mothers Union – at one time a flourishing group in the church.

There are 75 kneelers – or should they be called that? Mrs. Marston said to me severely, “They are not kneelers, kneelers are those who kneel – these are hassocks.” Whatever you call them, they were embroidered by many people and portray many of the organisations active in the village. Each contains a card recording details of the maker, with a short biography in some cases. This information is also recorded in a “Kneeler Book.”

St Luke's is fitted with a wide range of audio-visual facilities, and can be used in different layouts and for a wide variety of purposes. The kitchen was completely renovated in 2009.


History