On 22, February 2011 St Luke’s in the City lost its ‘home’ when the Christchurch earthquake struck.
St Luke’s people have embraced and adapted to the huge change as a community of faith. To quote a parishioner at an Open Forum on 28 July, 2013 “The loss and grief we suffer is not so much for our beloved old building in itself as the sacred place which it was – that is what we need to regain.”
As a pilgrim people we have been pitching and packing away our ‘tents’ week by week, day by day, and are looking forward to a new venue and a new ‘place’.
Our Vision is to build a Spirituality Centre which would include such elements as:
- Gathering space suitable for spirituality and the arts
- Hospitality features, including a cafe, toilets etc
- Seminars and meeting rooms
- Sacred space
- Bookshop or Library
- Labyrinth and meditation garden
We envisage making an important evangelical contribution to the healing and recovery of the city and the spiritual life of the diocese, with a particular emphasis on the recovering business and cultural communities in the central city.
Extending the existing ministry of the ‘Centre’, we envisage offering a wide range of practical opportunities for contemplative prayer and spiritual exploration within the Christian tradition.
Naturally, our vision for the future also includes our continuing existing outreach activities to retirement and rest homes in the parish, the work of the St Luke Community Trust, and our on-going relationship with local neighbourhood groups and the NZ Prostitutes’ Collective.
A Reflection from 2004
Why do I come to this cavern like structure
Where Wispy smoke drifts lazily toward the Gothic ceiling?
Is it the rhythmic chant of the priest?
A humble few gathered to worship a God of peace and love?
His light through window falls
His creation is all around me
In bird song, the warmth of people
Questions, questions and more questions
Connections to ancient times draw me here
The placing of thy faith in the here and now
Outside Street life is humming
Here I find quiet, solitude, meeting with God through the sacrament of Christ
Candle light warms me on my journey
What do I feel?
Dislocation from my surroundings
A deep sense of mystery
Privilege at being able to worship
A calling to be here, a need not a want
An intimate part of the week.
The mystery of God wrapped in the intimacy of his people
I am never disappointed
You are always here
Your light never fails to shine on me
I sit expectant
My Soul is wounded
Daily I hear of those outside this sanctuary
Caught in a trap
The press tells me this sanctuary is someone else's turf
Young people fight for the right to control this hallowed ground
Yet I sit enjoying my sanctuary
My humanity doesn't care
Yet my faith challenges me
I see them on the street
Their scars always visible to my Christ like eye
Others pass not noticing
Am I any better for having noticed yet done nothing
“Forgive me God for the good I have not done.”
Who is this physician?
Saint, believer, healer,
Confronted with visible wounds we can all apply a bandage
A soothing word.
The wounds outside this sanctuary are not so visible,
some cause generational pain
Christ calls me to respond
Torn between what is and what could be
I do nothing
How many more might die
Could I save them?
Ego says yes
Head says no
Heart says try
Despair wracks my soul
How will Christ heal my wound
Prayer alone is not enough
I must respond
I feel led in new directions
A call to action seers my soul
Not knowing where or how or when
I join the revolution
I commit my life to Christ.
presented by Dennis at the Winter Series 2004
Brief Historical Background
The parish of St Luke the Evangelist, Christchurch grew out of the parish of St Michael & All Angels, Christchurch.
A wooden church was opened in December 1859 and consecrated in June 1869.
A Halswell bluestone replacement building, designed by Cyril Mountfort, son of BW Mountfort, was opened on 13 October, 1909.
The church had a category 2 rating from the Historic Places Trust. It suffered massive damage from the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes and was subsequently de-consecrated on 10 April, 2011 and demolished in October 2011.
A wooden bell tower still remains on the site.