For this church:
St Luke’s is a daughter church of St Helen’s Stapleford, but was originally a Methodist chapel. It was part of the United Methodist Free Churches and known as Stanton Gate United Methodist Church.
The building and opening of the chapel was described in the Ilkeston Pioneer. The chapel was built to respond to a need for a place of worship in the area. In December 1899 The Pioneer reported that there were about 400 inhabitants in the area and plans for over 100 more cottages.
The land for the new chapel cost £75 and at first a small wooden structure was erected there as a place of worship. Then, helped by collections from weekly services and a loan, money was raised to build the present chapel. Its total cost was estimated as over £500. The newly built chapel was officially opened on Saturday, 9 December 1899.
According to the parish magazine the chapel was being used by Stapleford Parish Church as early as 1902. In January 1902 it was reported that a Captain Parker of the Church Army (part of the Church of England) was conducting services and had started a Band of Hope meeting at Stanton Gate Mission Room.
In 1908 the Stanton Gate Mission appears to have been struggling and asked Stapleford Church to help. That is the last date when it was definitely in use by the Methodists. By the time of Bishop Hoskyns’s visitation it was certainly in use by the Anglicans and the date was given as 1910. It was probably in use by the Anglicans in 1910 by licence.
In 1911 the building was conveyed by the Methodists to the Anglicans. The trustees for the Anglicans were the vicar and two local men, Edge and Crompton. These three transferred the land and building to the ‘Southwell Diocesan Finance Association’ in May 1923. The conveyance states that they were bound by a covenant entered into by an indenture dated 13 April 1911 signed by the above three and the Rev J Parkin and nine other people. Parkin and the other nine were probably the trustees of Stanton Gate Methodist Church. This was probably also the date of the conveyance.
As a place of worship within the Church of England it was called Moorbridge Lane Mission church. One service a month was held, led by Church Army circuit preachers. Stapleford parish magazines from the 1920s and 1930s also advertise regular Sunday schools and women’s meetings at the Church.
From the parish visitation records of 1911-1915, when Bishop Hoskyns toured the diocese, the church could accommodate 200 people and 110 children were on the Sunday school roll.
In c1940, during World War II, the Church became one of the many ‘British Restaurants’ that were run across the country. These were the result of a government initiative to provide hot meals for workers during the day and make it easier for women to work out of the home. The ‘British Restaurant’ at Moorbridge Lane catered for workers at Stanton Ironworks, Stanton Gate Station Staff, local families and children from the nearby Albany School. In 1945, with the end of the War, the Stapleford and Sandiacre News reported that a children’s street party was held outside Moorbridge Lane Mission Church.
In 1975, while the Rev Alfred Graham was vicar the congregation discussed the name of the church and chose to change it from Moorbridge Lane Mission to St Luke’s.
In 2005 festivities were held to celebrate the centenary of the church.