St Luke’s turns 110

THE foundation stone for the original St Luke’s Anglican church was laid 110 years ago, and in the years since it’s changed a lot to meet the needs of a new demographic around Maylands.

In 1900 the suburb was staunchly working class, home to workers from the Maylands Brickworks, Aerodrome, Schulstad’s Engineering Works and Mills Pottery.

Despite the bustling population the faithful had to travel to Perth or Guildford for their Sunday worship, so there was great rejoicing on October 20, 1906 when Sir Edward Stone laid the foundation stone. The rectory was completed in 1911.

An expanding congregation meant a new church was needed, which was built in 1931, although the original still stands behind.

• Stephen Conway (pictured with parishioners Sarah Atkinson and Marj Hetherington taking a break from this week’s sunshine) is the latest priest in St Luke’s 110-year history. Photo by Steve Grant

• Stephen Conway (pictured with parishioners Sarah Atkinson and Marj Hetherington taking a break from this week’s sunshine) is the latest priest in St Luke’s 110-year history. Photo by Steve Grant

According to a parishioner’s history compiled from old church records and stories, the church was always progressive: In the 1920s it hosted activist Irene Greenwood, a prominent proponent of getting women involved in politics.

As the suburb went through tough times and the demographic became poorer, an op shop was opened. Fortnightly “rainbow lunches” to help people with mental health issues socialise were established, as was a program to deliver gifts to children of prisoners.

When refugees from the Middle East and Africa started moving into town the church welcomed them into the fold, incorporating traditional dances and singing from their homelands into weddings and baptism services. The Nyoongar traditional owners of the land were also acknowledged before every service.

The service to mark St Luke’s 110th year is tomorrow, Sunday October 16 at 9am.

by DAVID BELL

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