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Contractors have cross to bear on the Isle of Dogs raising St Luke’s church spire after Easter

PUBLISHED: 16:28 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:38 10 April 2018

Cross to bear... contractors ready to hoist the new spire at St Luke's, Isle of Dogs. Picture: Paul White

Cross to bear... contractors ready to hoist the new spire at St Luke's, Isle of Dogs. Picture: Paul White

www.paulwhite.co.uk 2018

A new church spire has appeared on east London’s skyline turning the clock back 50 years with the near-complete St Luke’s parish on the Isle of Dogs being born again.

The 60ft spire which has risen after Easter at St Luke's in Millwall. Picture: Paul WhiteThe 60ft spire which has risen after Easter at St Luke's in Millwall. Picture: Paul White

Construction crews hoisted the 60ft high spire into place, ready for Millwall’s new church opening in the summer to replace the old St Luke’s that closed down in 1965.

The “reborn” parish takes its name from the old St Luke’s which was swallowed up by the neighbouring Christchurch Cubitt Town parish five decades ago.

This was following irreparable damage to the original church in the Blitz that couldn’t be maintained and a post-war decline in population with the Millwall Docks closing.

But now the parish is rising again after Easter and is being re-inaugurated by the Diocese of London after 53 years, to cope with a population explosion and an emerging Christian community led by Anglican priest-missioner Ed Dix who currently runs temporary services at Millwall’s Alpha Grove centre.

“Our vision as a church is to be overflowing,” he said. “Installing the spire so soon after Easter is a sign to our neighbours that we are here—to be a blessing to all.”

The high-tech timber spire also functions as a street light, as “a beacon to the community”.

The Bishop of Stepney, The Rt Rev Adrian Newman, said: “The decision to rebuild the church is in response to the needs of the flourishing Christian community on the Isle of Dogs.”

The contractors had a cross the bear erecting the spire yesterday that needed road closures, but are hoping the neighbours get to like the new landmark.

The glass, aluminium and handcrafted brickwork of the new church are a blend of traditional and contemporary building styles.

It includes the original St Luke’s church bell—but in the 21st century can be rung by the vicar by remote control using his iPhone app!

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