An early history of St Luke's from its first building to its consecration in 1852

In the early 18th Century Havre des Pas, Georgetown and Greve D’Azette were beginning to grow, as the population of St Helier was increasing following the influx of British service men and their families connected with the garrison established at Fort Regent. Because Havre de Pas was sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds a thriving ship building industry was started. Where there had once been sand dunes streets were springing up and fine houses were being built.

In the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign new parishes could not be created except by the passing a special Act of Parliament


1843: The Peel Act: this made it possible for new parishes to be formed.  Dean Hemery proposed a new parish church.  New Ecclesiastical District formed covering Havre des Pas, parts of St Helier, St Clement and St Saviour. St Luke’s was one of the first parishes established under this Act.

1846: St Luke Ecclesiastical District approved.

In April 1846, an application to the Privy Council procured an Order in Council creating the new Ecclesiastical District and promising an endowment from the Commissioners “to the Minister for the time being of the District so recommended to be constituted, when duly licensed according to the said Act, the sum of one hundred pounds; and upon any building within such District being duly licensed by the Bishop of the Diocese for the performance of Divine Service according to the same Act, there shall be paid by us in a like manner to such Minister the further sum of thirty pounds”

At the Court of Buckingham Palace  - the 6th day of April 1846

We, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England, in pursuance of an Act passed in the session of Parliament held in the sixth and seventh years of Your Majesty’s Reign, intituled “An Act to make better provision for the spiritual care of populous Parishes” have prepared, and now humbly lay before Your Majesty’s Council the following scheme for constituting a separate District for spiritual purposes out of the Parishes of St Helier, St Saviour and St Clement, all in the Island of Jersey, and in the Diocese of Winchester .

1848.  On the 9th May at 2.30pm, James Hemery Dean of Jerseycalled a meeting in the National School to put forward his proposal for the new church to be built in the newly created district.

At the meeting a buildings committee was appointed and £450 was subscribed in the room. An appeal was started for the public to subscribe to the new building.  25 Perches of land were given by Messers Le Gallais and Godfrey.  In June Dean Hemery secured a grant of £500 from the States of Jersey.


It was decided that the new church would be plain and simple in the “Early English Style of architecture”.


Mr John Hayward (1807-1891) was appointed as the architect. He was a Gothic revival architect based in Exeter, Devon, who gained the reputation a “the senior architect in the west of England”. Hayward was the official architect of The Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society. On Jersey he was also the architect for Victoria College (1850) and the National Westminster Bank building in Library Place formerly the Jersey Banking Company (1873)



Wednesday 18th October 1848 -  Foundation Stone laid


Report in the Jersey Times of Friday 20th October 1848:

Laying the Foundation-Stone of  St Luke’s Church, Jersey.

Wednesday last, the 18th inst, being St Luke’s Day was appointed for the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of St Luke’s Church, George Town, Jersey. The morning was uncommonly cold and stormy, with heavy hail showers; and many, who intended to be present, were much disappointed at being unable to attend.

At 11 o’clock, however a large congregation had assembled in the temporary building in use as the district place of worship; where divine service was performed by the Rev. Mr Filleul, the minister of St Saviour’s church who preached a truly excellent sermon from King’s, v17, on the building of Solomon’s Temple.

Shortly before 1 o’clock, numbers arrived on the ground where the stone was to be laid, and Mr Burke, the contractor, with Mr Gallichan the engineer adjusted the stone which was slung ready for lowering in to it’s place. It is of hard granite from the quarry at Mont Mado; it is 5 feet long, 4 in breath, and 3 in depth and weighs about 3 tons. At a few minutes before one, the Rev A Guille, the incumbent of St Luke’s, accompanied by the Rev Mr Filleul, Rector of St Saviour’s, the Rev Marrett, Rector of St Clement’s, the Rev Orange, Rector of St Lawrence, the Rev P Guille, Rector of St Mary’s, the Rev Crocker, curate of the Town Church and the Rev Ch Robinson, commenced the ceremony by reading a form of prayer prepared expressly for the occasion, at the conclusion of which the 117th psalm was sung. The stone was then lowered at a quarter past 1 o’clock precisely, General Touzel (in the unavoidable absence of His Excellency, Sir James Reynett) giving three knocks on it with the hammer; and at that conclusion of the ceremony the greater portion of the ladies and gentlemen assembled descended into the bed, and gave 3 knocks each on top of the stone. Among those present were, Major-General Kemm, Colonal Le Couteur, Colonel Mallet, John James Hammond, Esq of Samares, Clement Hemery, Esq, Henry C White, Esq, Major Brownlow, Captain Childers, James Hammond, Esq, David mallet, Esq, &c, &c. The proceedings throughout were most interesting, and were carried on with the greatest possible solemnity, the assembly remaining uncovered during the whole of the ceremony. 


1851: 1st November (All Saints' Day) - the first service held in the church.


The cost of building the church was £4,150. Monies came from a small grant from the States, and public subscription. The Dean, the Very Reverend Corbet Le Breton, father of Lillie Langtry, preached the sermon.


Announcement in The Jersey Times of Friday 24th October 1851:

St Luke’s Church

Notice is hereby given, that St Luke’s Church will be opened on Saturday morning, the 1stNovember. The sermon will be preached by the Very rev The Dean. Service to commence at 11 o’clock. After which there will be a collection in aid of the building fund. On the following day (Sunday) there will be two services in English; at 11 in the morning, and at 3 in the afternoon. Sittings may be applied for at the church during the week between the hours of 12 and 2.

Report in The Jersey Times of Tuesday 4th November 1851:

St Luke’s Church was opened for divine service on Saturday last. Seventeen of the clergy of the Island were present, and not withstanding the unfavourable state of the weather, a respectable congregation, numbering between five and six hundred. Prayers were read by the Rev. E. Guille, Minister of the church. The sermon was preached by the Very Rev, the Dean of Jersey, from Psalms 93,v5 “Holiness becometh thine House for ever” At the close of the service a collection was made, amounting to £25 exclusive of a donation of £5 from Dr Vincent.


1852.  Consecration of St Luke’s 28th April 1852  by Bishop Sumner, Bishop of Winchester.


Report in The Jersey Times of Friday 30th April 1852:

Consecration of the Church of St Luke.

The interesting ceremony of consecrating St Luke’s Church (which was opened in October last) took place on Wednesday morning.

At an early hour, the holders of admission tickets began to assemble at the south west porch; at 10 o’clock the door was opened and by ¼ before 11 the seats were all filled, those persons subsequently arriving being accommodated with seats in the side aisles, whilst many remained standing in the western aisles throughout the ceremony.

His Grace the Bishop arrived at a few minutes before 11 o’clock; and was soon surrounded by the Island clergy in the Chancel; where Mr James Hammond the acting churchwarden, read the petition from the congregation, requesting that the church might be consecrated. The Bishop then proceeded down the aisle round the Font and up the aisle, to the north side of the Chancel, followed by the Clergy, in the following order rehearsing verse by verse alternately, the 24th psalm.

The Bishop of Winchester, the Right Rev Dr Sumner, The Dean of Jersey, the Rev Corbet le Breton. Rector of St Saviour, the Revs Ph. Filleul, St Helier ; E. Falle MA. St Brelade; G. Balleine, St Martin; C. Marett, St Clement; Ph. Payn, St Ouen; W. Duheaume MA, Trinity; C. Le Hardy,

St Peter; T. Orange, St Lawrence; S. Wright, St John; Ab Le Sueur, Grouville, Ph. Guille, St Mary; being all parish rectors; then came the Minister of St Luke, the Rev Edw Guille; the Rev Edw Heale All Saints; the curates of the Town church, the Revs T.S. Pendleton, Elias Renouf, A Bibby and Whitehead; the assistant ministers of St Matthew's, the Rev G Poingdestre and P.A. Le Feuvre; the minister of St Aubin, the Rev J Hammond son of the Solicitor-General; and the Rev S.M Richards minister of St Paul.

The consecration service was then commenced by the Bishop; and, it being concluded, the Dean acting as Commissary, read the sentence of Consecration, which was signed by the Bishop; after which the Rev Edward Guille ascended the reading desk, and the whole of the usual Church service gone through. The Hallelujah anthem was sung by the Choir with great effect, as was the anthem from the 62nd ch of Isaiah – “Awake! Awake!” & c – Mr Johnson presiding at the organ. Parts of the service, with additional collects, were read by the Bishop; who at its conclusion, preached a most excellent sermon, from 2 Chronicles xxix, 3- He (Hezekiah) in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the House of the lord, and repaired them.

The collection made after the sermon, from seat to seat amounted to £45 sterling

Upwards of 1,000 persons were present at the ceremony.

After the Consecration of St Luke’s, the Bishop proceeded to St Brelade, where the new portion of the Churchyard of that parish was consecrated; His Grace not returning until 7 o’clock to Belle Vue, where another dinner party was assembled to receive him.

Yesterday morning His Grace was in town by 8 o’clock, proceeding to the Rectory; and from thence to St Luke’s Church and afterwards to St Mark’s school house, where he held a meeting of the clergy on the subject of the French Liturgy about to be published in the island. In the afternoon His Lordship transacted business with various persons at the Rectory, and also attended a Committee meeting of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In the evening His Grace returned to Belle Vue where a select dinner party (including, we believe, His Excellency Major General Love awaited his arrival.

His Grace was to leave Jersey, on his return to Farnham, by the Express mail steam-packet, this morning.

We have only to add, that the presence of His Lordship in the Island, at the present time, has been the cause of much satisfaction; as, by his influence, differences have been healed, erroneous opinions set right, and many grave subjects arranged for the good of the Church, and for the happiness and well being of this portion of His Grace’s diocese.