Welcome to St Luke’s
An Anglican community drawing on ancient tradition and living out our faith in our contemporary world.
Get to know St Luke’s Mt Albert
We’ve been a focus for ministry and worship in the Anglican tradition in the Mt Albert community for more than 145 years. Over the years, the Kingsland and Pt Chevalier communities have become included in our parish. The emphasis of our life together has been to welcome and value people of diverse ages, backgrounds and interests. We’ve also long been involved in supporting those on the margins of our society and our church, including ongoing advocacy for the full inclusion of sexual and gender minorities.
St Luke’s stands in the sacramental tradition of the Anglican church, with a broad and inclusive approach to Christian values and theology. We believe the Bible is inspired by God and that it reveals Christ to us, and also that we have a responsibility to read it thoughtfully, supported by the best critical scholarship. We trust that everyone’s relationship to God is evolving, and is to be respected and nurtured. We aspire to being a safe place where anyone can ask questions and be honest about what’s important to them.
Especial thanks to Paul Simei-Barton, Michael Singh, and Belinda Tankard who have taken fabulous photos of our community life for this website.
Photo credit: Mike Rooke for The Australian Women’s Weekly
Clare has served St Luke’s since December 2009.
My first degree was in Fine Arts at Elam, but my art making was always about the journey and mystery of faith. Ministry as a parish priest involves the same task: journeying with a community and helping people find meaning in their life experiences, through the lenses of faith and the traditions of the church. I’m married to Andrew and am mum to Elizabeth and Emma. I’m always up for a coffee so feel free to be in touch.
St Luke’s traces its history back to the early 1870s in Owairaka – Mt Albert.
Gathering the Church Community
When plans for an Anglican church for Mt Albert were first conceived in March 1872, the donor of the church land, Alan Kerr-Taylor (Alberton House), estimated there would be 25 families who would frequent it. The Rev’d B.T. Dudley, Vicar of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, off Symonds Street, whose parochial district included Mt Albert, offered to conduct an afternoon service every Sunday, if he was provided with a pony trap, for 8s.6d. A committee was formed, a bank account opened, a Deed for the Conveyance of Land to Trustees Appointed by the Auckland Diocesan Trusts Board signed, and the Church officially came into being.
A meeting on 10 July 1872 in the new building chose the name ‘Church of St Luke’. A parsonage was built in 1874, when the people could afford a minister’s stipend. Mt Albert became a Parish separate from Holy Sepulchre in 1881, when The Rev’d John Haselden was instituted as St Luke’s first Vicar. The second Vicar, The Rev’d John King Davis, was grandson of John and Hannah King, two of the first six CMS missionaries to New Zealand in 1815. Davis served from 1886 to 1889, by which time regular Sunday attendance was 69 in the morning and 63 in the evening.
In 1969, the church building of St George, Kingsland was demolished, and the Kingsland and St Luke’s congregations combined. In 2018, the Church of the Ascension building was closed, and the parish boundaries were redefined so that most of the Pt Chevalier area became incorporated in the St Luke’s parish.
The Church Building and Furniture
The church building dedicated to St Luke on 29 September 1872, has a Heritage New Zealand ‘Historic Place Category 2’ listing. It was built to the design of Pierre Finch Martineau Burrows, and like all Anglican churches built in New Zealand in this period, it is in the wooden Gothic revival style.
Growth in the congregation called for extensions to the building in 1883, during which the interior was refitted. Edward Bartley, Architect to the Anglican Diocese of Auckland, designed the additions, which more than doubled the capacity of the church from 60 to 150. The nave was extended, transepts added, and the chancel altered to the form of five sides with one centre window and two side windows. Provision was made for stained glass windows, which came later. A communion rail, of polished rimu on burnished brass standards, was designed to fit across the outside of the chancel. A main entrance porch was added to the west end of the north side of the nave and a smaller porch at the corner of the south transept and nave. The roof was topped with a belfry and small spire at the west end.The completed interior appears remarkably similar to the original Church of St Andrew Epsom building, which was designed by Revd Dr John Kinder in 1867 with architectural assistance from Reader Wood.
Bishop Cowie, the first successor to Bishop George Augustus Selwyn, consecrated the church and graveyard on 8 May 1883. He dedicated a new stone font on 14 September 1884.
The Church Graveyard
On the slopes and in the hollow behind the church is the graveyard, consecrated in 1883, now closed to burials, but still open for ashes interments. Here are buried past parishioners and clergy who served the parish over their lives. These include members of the Kerr-Taylor family, and St Luke’s first and second vicars, Haselden and Davis, and their wives, and also Davis’s mother and two infant children, who were laid to rest there during his time as Vicar.