Haslar Heritage Group

St. Lukes Church - Reopened for Services

Captain Helen Allkins QHN Director of Naval Nursing/Matron-in-Chief QARNNS and Cdr Kennedy QARNNS reviewing the ‘Altar Missal’ to be represented to St Luke’s. The Altar Missal was previously presented by the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service to St Luke’s at the re-dedication of St Luke’s following full refurbishment in October 1964. Surgeon Commodore Noel Bevan Director of RN Medical services being brought to date with plans regarding Royal Haslar and the work of the Haslar Heritage Group by Eric Birbeck MVO.
The reopening of St. Lukes

St Luke’s Church – Completed in 1756 and for 254 years until closure St Luke’s served the spiritual needs of Haslar both for patients and staff. During the 18th and 19th Century those attending church knew their places as Physicians and their patients sat to one side of the aisle, whilst surgeons and their patients sat on the other side. Labourers sat in the balcony and the washerwomen acted as the choir often not in tune.

This fact is brought to life for us through Major General John B Richardson Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery. He described St Luke’s from his boyhood experience as he lived at Haslar with his famous father Sir John Richardson Polar Explorer, Naturalist and Surgeon from 1838 – 1855 and therefore was able to fully describe the hospital’s routine in its Victorian heyday.

In talking about his time at Haslar and the services at St Luke’s he is describing St Luke’s during the mid 19th Century and it is possible that the doubtful embellishments of Victoriana may have intruded themselves.

Richardson re-visited Haslar in 1916 and wrote of his visit and in doing so he painted a picture of his time as a child, recalling his boyhood adventures in the grounds of the hospital and his family enduring the services at St Luke’s of which he recalls that the chaplain was old and infirm and the sermons of the day were sleep inducing and the choir was not in the best of tune at services hence his family often attended St Mary’s Alverstoke.

St Luke’s underwent total refurbishment in 1964 under the supervision of Mr Ken Makins, the Diocesan Surveyor and the guidance of the ‘Georgian Society’ under the Chairmanship of John Betjeman famous poet and author.

Today St Mary’s Alverstoke through the Reverend Cannon Ted Goodyer has assumed clerical responsibility for St Luke’s thereby opening a further chapter in the history of both Haslar and St Luke’s.
St Luke’s taking its rightful place once more at the heart of Haslar.

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