Wolverhampton’s St Luke’s Church on Top Ten Endangered Buildings list

The Society urges the Church to redouble its efforts to find someone willing to take on the building rather than closing it and leaving it empty indefinitely.

The Victorian Society today reveals that St Luke’s Church, Wolverhampton, is one of 2015’s Top Ten Most Endangered Victorian and Edwardian Buildings in England and Wales. The Society urges the Church to redouble its efforts to find someone willing to take on the building before formally closing it and leaving it empty indefinitely.

Inclusion in the Society’s Top Ten often leads to national exposure and new interest in the buildings selected which can help save them. Griff Rhys Jones, The Victorian Society Vice President, launching the Top Ten, said “These are buildings that need help, and we need your help.”

St Luke’s is a major local landmark with its extraordinarily detailed tower and polychromatic brickwork. This is matched by an exceptionally well preserved Victorian interior – becoming increasingly rare as churches try to attract new audiences by removing pews and other fittings to allow ‘flexible worship’. Sadly the church closed in 2013, largely as a result of enormous repair bills for dry rot and the poor condition of the brickwork. In 2012 English Heritage offered a £150,000 grant towards (66%) of the cost of the restoration work at that time. Inexplicably, the parochial church council (PCC) refused this offer. The PCC consists of clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with representatives of the laity. The Church’s future is now extremely uncertain as formal closure procedures are ongoing. Wolverhampton cannot afford to lose a building of this quality. A new community or commercial use must be found to give the building a sustainable future.

Director of the The Victorian Society, Christopher Costelloe, said: ‘We’re grateful to everyone who nominated St Luke’s. Like all the buildings included in this year’s Top Ten, St Luke’s is a listed building meaning that the Government has recognised its national importance. It deserves better than being closed and lying empty indefinitely. I urge the public to share the Top Ten list, and Griff’s message, to help raise awareness of these buildings and help them to find the investment they desperately need.’

Pictures of St Luke’s can be found here photos of ther interior can be found here.

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