St Luke’s Church, Wellsway, is sited where it is today due to the foresight of a few people who in 1864 saw that the then southern outer reaches of Lyncombe Parish and its church dedicated to St Mark which was sited at its extreme northern end would need a new church to cater for the expanding housing on the south side of the city. Not everyone they contacted was in agreement that there was such a need and there ensued a long battle to get a church built in Wellsway on what was a Market Garden. To get a real understanding of the “politics” of the day the Parish has published the original notebook kept to record the huge effort put in to get the church built, and this, under the title “The Birth of a Church" can be purchased for a £1 from the church office.
Following the latest renovation to the church in 2009/10 to prepare it for the 21st century a completely new booklet has been published and it can be purchased for £2 from the church office. This booklet is based on research on the church magazines published over the years and it gives a real insight into the social history of the parish, the coming of trams, telephones, radio, and their effects on everyday life. The tragedy of the First World War, the losses of young men, the Belgian Refugees, the egg collections for the wounded troops, all of which paint a vivid picture of life in the parish from its earliest days, through two world wars and up to the present time.
The church as a building was enlarged in 1913 to cater for the expanding congregation, and this was almost entirely due to the efforts of the Rev. Charles Doudney, a very dynamic figure in the church’s history until he died of wounds in 1915 following a spell as Chaplain to the Forces in the First World War. To mark the Church Centenery in 1967 the late Reg Kedge profiled the Parish and its vicars up to that time and that has now been re-printed as it gives a real feel for the different personalities that made a mark on the church and its growing involvement with the Mission Church at Odd Down. This too can be purchased for £1 from the church office.