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St Luke’s says a prayer for final time as last service is held in the church
Wednesday 19th October 2016 @ 16:04 by Tom Greggan
Dukinfield News

After almost 130 years of ministry in Dukinfield, St. Luke’s Church held its last service on Tuesday night.

The iconic building has stood on King Street since 1888 but a dwindling, ageing congregation as well as huge repair bills means the parish will now merge with St Mark’s Church, round the corner on Church Street.

The future of the building itself remains unclear but it is Grade II listed. It houses the largest barrel roll roof in the country and its focal point is a stained glass window, donated by Daniel Adamson’s wife Ann in 1893.

“It’s the nicest church in Dukinfield,” said church warden Jean Melling. “It’s the nicest church in Dukinfield. That aisle; when a bride gets married and she looks down that aisle, it’s absolutely fantastic.”

As for the Anglican worshippers at St Luke’s, Tuesday evening was a sad occasion. Before Tuesday’s service, Jean and her fellow warden Pamela Porter reflected on their history with the Church.

“I’ve been coming here since 1982,” Pamela said. “My husband was church warden from 1986-2001.My son and daughter were confirmed here, my daughter was married here and my grandson was baptised and confirmed here.”

Due to an ageing congregation and huge repair bills, the parish at St Luke's held their last service in the church last night.

Due to an ageing congregation and huge repair bills, the parish at St Luke’s held their last service in the church last night.

Jean added: “My daughters were married here and my granddaughter was married here. The children have all been christened here and my great-grandson was christened here.”

Those family connections and cherished memories are prevalent throughout the congregation, but Pamela said the closure of the church was, sadly, predictable.”

She said: “Our parish is next to nothing and there are an awful lot of repairs that need doing at this church because it has been neglected for a number of years. Once water gets in, it gets worse and worse and worse. With us being a small, elderly congregation, we can’t do the work ourselves and we can’t raise the money to get it done. It’s inevitable that it had to close.”

In a letter to the Tameside Reporter, which you can read on page 22, Dukinfield Cllr John Taylor recalls the history and legend surrounding the church.

Unfortunately, while the churches’ past will be kept alive, the same cannot be said for its name. “Most of the churches that have to close and merge with another parish combine the names,” Pamela said. “It keeps the name of that church going and there are quite a number of them like that.

“But St Luke’s is just going to go. We would have been really happy if it had been ‘St Mark’s with St Luke’s’ and it would keep the name going but unfortunately, it looks as though the name is going to disappear.”