St Luke’s and Christ Church, Chelsea
- About the place
- Visitors information
Our parish churches have been a sign of God’s presence in Chelsea for almost 200 years.
The Parish consists of two churches: St Luke’s and Christ Church. St Luke’s was consecrated in 1824 and built because the original parish church (now known as Chelsea Old Church) was regarded as too small for the increasing population. It seats 450 in the nave and 200 in each gallery.
Christ Church was consecrated in 1839 and was originally a ‘Chapel of Ease’ to St Luke’s. It became an independent parish in 1860. The church seats 300 in the nave and 100 in each gallery.
The musical tradition is of the highest standard in both churches. St Luke’s has the largest voluntary choir in London and Christ Church has mainly professional singers in its choir. There is also a joint parish junior choir. St Luke’s is a popular concert venue throughout the year and has a number of high profile charity carol services in December
St Luke’s was designed by James Savage, the church is built in Bath stone and resembles King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. It has a grand neo-gothic style’ it was restored in the 1980s.
Christ Church is a smaller and more intimate church, designed by Edward Blore.
A new Flentrop Organ has been installed in Christ Church and is proving invaluable to members of the Royal College of Music for their weekly rehearsals.
St Luke’s with its Gothic grandeur has been described as Chelsea’s Cathedral. Notable for its modern sculptures and for its associations with famous people: Charles Dickens was married in the church, as was Jerome K. Jerome, Charles Kingsley was a curate, Gerald Wellesley, brother of the Duke of Wellington, was a rector. Cafe Portico in the front of the church attracts many visitors from the nearby hospitals.
Charles Dickens and Catherine Hogarth were married in St Luke’s (then in the countryside!) on April 2nd, 1836. An informal exhibition from April will show photographs / articles with some details of their lives / social issues in England, Ireland / the wider world. A commemorative postcard showing a copy of the marriage certificate will be available. The church is open weekdays 09.30 – 16.30 pm. Info. 020 7351 7365 / www.chelseaparish.org.