The Church of St Luke in Stoke Hammond
Stoke Hammond Village
St Luke’s Church serves a village community (population c1100, 350 dwellings). A large proportion of these are commuters to the London area or work in Milton Keynes. Until recently when four housing estates were added, the population was very close-knit and vestiges of this remain today. It has a social mix of housing made up of Council housing, smaller houses, family homes and luxury properties (some weekenders). As well as St Luke’s there is a Methodist Church.
Over ten years ago the modern-day village school closed and children now travel by bus to adjoining towns and villages. Following extensive fund raising within the village and securing a number of grants the Stoke Hammond Community Association bought the school building as a Community Centre for the village and this is well used for a range of activities. Over the last eight years, the number of children in the village has risen considerably and this is reflected in increasing attendance at the Sunday School, Day Nursery, Playgroup, Mother and Toddler Group and Youth Organisations.
There is a village shop with Post Office, public house, car salesroom, sports and social club and residential home for the elderly.
The main Sunday service varies from week to week. The first Sunday of the month is a Family Service at 11.00am and this is held alternatively at the Methodist Church. The service on the second Sunday varies from month to month. The service on the third Sunday is a Holy Communion (Common Worship) service at at 9.00am. On the fourth Sunday there is normally a service of Morning Worship with local leadership. If there is a 5th Sunday in the month there is a joint United Benefice Service, held at one of the four praishes across the Benefice.
The average Sunday attendance is 19 including 14 communicants. The hymn book " Songs & Hymns of Fellowship" is normally used and music is provided by a double manual pipe organ.
Preparation for Baptism, Confirmation and Marriage is taken by the Rector.
A Prayer group is held on the second Wednesday of each month.
A copy of the latest accounts may be obtained from the Treasurer.
The Parish Share is met in full.
A proportion of the income each year is given to various charities at home and overseas. Additional money for charities is raised through the Sunday Coffee Club and the Afternoon Teas that are held once a month during the summer.
There are currently 28 members on the Electoral Roll, including 1 who lives outside the Parish. The P.C.C has 11 members and meets every two months. There are also a number of sub-committees with special responsibilities e.g. standing committee, restoration phases, fund-raising and a Making Ourselves Known group.
There is no longer a Church School in the village, but the Rector visits the day nursery, playgroup and local private home for the elderly.
The organ installed in the NW corner of the
church in October 2009 with the font to the left
As well as for the usual services, the Church is used for Flower Festivals, Concerts, Christingle services, Gift Days, Parish Remembrance services and special fund-raising activities.
The Church was originally erected in the 10th century and while it was rebuilt in the 17th century, some traces of the original building remain. It is one of only three cruciform churches in Buckinghamshire. There are three bells and a Sanctus bell. The Church has recently been re-roofed. Masonry is repaired as and when necessary, with work due to start shortly on the stonework outside. Electrical re-wiring has recently been carried out and new heating, an audio system and ramp have been installed. A new organ has been installed at the NW corner of the church and floor in the South Transept has been repaired and the work is now complete.
The Churchyard is still in use and is maintained by a private contractor paid for by the Parish Council.
The Wider Church
The Methodist Church (built in 1927) organises weekly coffee mornings on Wednesdays, which act as a Fellowship meeting for all denominations.
The Church has developed a good relationship with the Methodist Church and liaison meetings are held regularly. A number of joint services are held e.g. Women’s World Day of Prayer, Mothering Sunday, Remembrance Day and Christmas. We are registered as "Churches Together" and produce a leaflet detailing useful contacts for each church plus service details, and also leaflets for the whole village at Christmas, Easter and Harvest. We hold joint Bible Study, Lent and Prayer groups.
A "Review" is printed monthly and includes details of all services and short notes on past and future events.
Our Vision for the Future
That the Church be retained as a place of worship for the local community
That congregations continue to increase and new active members join the Church
That the laity becomes more involved
That Stewardship increases to ensure our continuing full payment of the Parish Share
That there is more outreach from the Church to the community
That sufficient money is available to continue restoring the Church for use by future generations
We have also produced a statement for evangelism