Diocese of Rupert's Land • Anglican Church of Canada
and the community
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A Tour of Our Building
Click on each of the titles below to be shown some highlights of our building.
More photos and descriptions are to be added.
01 - View from Nassau St.
This is the way most people first see St. Luke’s Church. The intersection of Nassau St. North and Stradbrook Ave. is a fairly busy corner, and when drivers stop at the lights they will see the tower with the main entrance and the church’s signboard in the foreground.
If you are arriving for church by car, there is a circular driveway which leads right up to the main entry. Many people use it to drop passengers off before going to find a parking space.
A car park is located on the north side of the church with parking for eight vehicles and two spaces for persons with disabilities (blue permit required).
02 - North Car Park
If you come to church early enough, after dropping your passengers you might find space to park here on the north side of the church! However, there are only about eight usable spaces in all and two reserved for permitted persons with disabilities, so you must get here early!
Most people end up parking on Nassau St. or Stradbrook Ave. The truth is, parking is at a premium in this part of Winnipeg, so those who live close enough to walk to church are the lucky ones!
03 - Main (Tower) Entrance
We are about to enter the church. Be careful going up those stone stairs, because they are quite steep (if you are uncertain of your footing, it might be a good idea to come up the ramp, the top of which can be seen on the left).
This doorway, at the base of the large bell tower, is really very grand, and a popular backdrop for wedding photographs.
04 - Entering the Church
If it is a nice day, members of the clergy and our greeters are very likely to be in this doorway welcoming people to divine worship.
After exchanging greetings with them, we proceed into the narthex, which is a large room at the base of the bell tower.
05 - The Narthex - the Grenadiers' Memorial mural
Enter the narthex and look up - you will see a mural painted by Franz H. Johnston, a later member of the Group of Seven, depicting the risen Christ blessing two kneeling members of the Winnipeg Grenadiers regiment.
In the first World War, 281 men from St. Luke’s enlisted for active service, 43 of whom were killed in action. It is understandable, therefore, that there would be memorials to them in the church. In fact there are several, of which the Grenadiers’ mural is the most noticeable.
Later in this tour we will visit the “Soldiers’ Chapel,” which also commemorates losses sustained by members of St. Luke’s in World War I.
06 - The Nave
Having passed through the narthex we now enter the church itself, into the nave, the main worship area of St. Luke's.
With its seating for several hundred, abundant wood trim and ornamentation, and stained glass in all the windows, it is a space which honours and sustains beautiful, solemn, and traditional divine worship.
07 - Looking west - Antiphonal Organ and Baptistry
We have gone part way up the centre aisle or alley and turned around to face west.
The lit area under the arch is the baptistry. Doors from the narthex, through which we have entered the nave, led us past the baptismal font. Many is the child who has been taught, We enter the church through Baptism.
Overhead is the Antiphonal or “Echo” organ, an extension added to the main pipe organ in 1912.
08 - Baptistry - Jesus and the Children - wood carving by Leo Mol
On the wall of the baptistry, we see one of several wood carvings which have come into St. Luke’s over the years.
This work, depicting Jesus with children, is by the celebrated artist, Leo Mol.
It was made in 1961.
09 - Baptistry - Winged Ox - wood carving
In the Bible (Revelation 4.6-7) four living creatures with wings are described as being stationed in front of the throne of God. One of them is an ox. Tradition says those four creatures represent the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Perhaps because of this, St. Luke has long been symbolized by the figure of a winged ox.
This carving adorns the baptismal font’s wooden cover. It was done in 2004 by Jim Roberts, an award-winning woodcarver, who was a member of St. Luke's when he lived in Winnipeg.
10 - Proscenium stage at the front of the Nave
Moving up to the front of the nave, we see the proscenium stage, which was completed in December 2006 as part of St. Luke’s accessibility project.
This project incorporated a ramp to the left, beside and behind the pulpit, which allows persons with disabilities to move from the nave to the chancel unimpeded - to receive their communion or to continue into Church House, our parish hall.
Further back, you can see the chancel screen (or rood screen) installed in 1928, given by Lady Nanton in memory of her husband, Sir Augustus Nanton. Designed by C.W.U. Chivers, an architect and parishioner, it was carved by local craftsmen. Upon close inspection, one wonders at the marvellous detail and craftsmanship of the carving.
11 - Pulpit
As you can see, the pulpit is set in the midst of the proscenium and the accessibility ramp. As a result, the preacher is easy to see, and easy to hear.
May only the truth be spoken here; and may only the truth be heard here...
12 - Accessibility Ramp
As with many other hundred-year-old buildings, St. Luke’s has plenty of stairs, nooks, and crannies scattered on several levels. Until recently, a person with mobility issues could never meet the rector in the rector's study, or attend vestry, or go to coffee after divine worship, or even get to the rail at the high altar to receive Holy Communion! All this changed drastically in 2007.
The first phase of our accessibility project was the construction of this ramp, which permits full access from the floor of the nave to the chancel, the altar rail, and the rector’s study.
The second phase is a lift, completed in the fall of 2007.
The third phase is renovations enlarging and extending access to the Soldiers' Chapel to be completed in 2014.
13 - Lectern
In our tour of St. Luke’s we have reached the front of the nave. The pulpit is on our left, but now, if we turn to the right we find the brass lectern, cast in the shape of an eagle.
Because of its ability to soar to great heights the eagle is a traditional Christian symbol for the Resurrection. As well, the Gospel according to St. John attains such lofty, soaring theological heights that the eagle has been a symbol of it, and of the proclamation of scripture in general. As a result, in churches around the world, the lectern, from which scripture is proclaimed, is very often crafted in the shape of an eagle.
...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40.31)
14 - Oratory of St. Alban
In recognition of St. Alban’s Parish, once a “daughter” congregation of St. Luke’s but now closed, the side altar area has been made into a focal point for prayer. Parishioners light candles in the light screen you see on the right, and nearby is a small casket where written prayer requests may be placed - the requests are read out at the Thursday morning Eucharist. The banners which you can see behind the altar are from St. Alban’s.
The nave altar, pictured here, is transported to the center of the procenium to celebrate the eucharist versus populum (facing the people) on occasion, particularly in the summer months.
15 - Chancel
We now move through the ornate carved wooden chancel screen into the Chancel where the choir and clergy have their places.
On the left we see the Cantoris side of the Quire where half the choir sits. On the right is the Decani side of the Quire. You can see glimpses of the organ façade on the left and the organ console on the right.
Moving forward through the Chancel, we approach the rail which separates the Sanctuary and the High Altar from the Chancel. Of particular note is the intricate carving of the Raredos which is above and behind the altar.
A panoramic view of the Chancel taken from just inside the chancel screen. Clergy stalls are on the extreme left and right.
16 - Panoramic view of the Nave
The Parish Church of St. Luke
130 Nassau Street North
Canada R3L 2H1
E-Mail: [email protected]
© 2023 The Rector and Corporation
of The Parish Church of St. Luke