Thursday, December 28, 2017

The church moved to Wanstead to make room for St Pancras

A passing reference in a Londonist article on King's Cross and St Pancras sends you to the website of Wanstead United Reformed Church.

And there you read its remarkable history:
Our building has an almost unique history. Built in the parish of St Pancras and known as St Luke’s, it was consecrated in May 1861. Only two years later the old Midland Railway wanted to extend its line into London and needed the site of St Luke’s for a terminus station – it was the only site available. 
In Wanstead, a group of Congregationalists wanted to build a church for their worship and heard of this building in the Kings Cross area. They bought St Luke’s for £526, and a builder from Walthamstow demolished, transported and re-erected it on our current site. The foundation stone was laid on 7th August 1866 and the church opened for worship on 30th May, 1867. 
The site wasn’t quite the right size and shape to receive St Luke’s in its original form; the main body of the church is now shorter; the entrance and porch on the north side were not rebuilt. This is a photograph of the original plan for the building with a huge central spire. Our Cromwell Hall (on the Nightingale Lane side of the church) was also part of the original building.
The picture above, taken from Google Street View shows the church today.

A new St Luke's was built in Kentish Town to serve its parish at St Pancras. It was in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust for 20 years, but reopened as a living church in 2012.

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