Who are we?
Whilst there has been a congregation meeting and worshipping in St Luke’s Reigate since 1871, the current congregation is an amalgamation of 3 churches: the resident St Luke’s congregation, the remnants from a church plant in 1990s from the larger St Mary’s Reigate, and some from St Peter’s, to which the church plant moved, and which joined St Luke’s in 2001. This is important, as the St Mary’s church plant met initially for 4 years in the Reigate Priory school gym, with a leadership team and honorary curate, and therefore engendered in St Peter’s and more recently St Luke’s a sense of all-member ministry, rather than being a spectator congregation. St Peter’s has since been “de-consecrated” and sold off. It is now a privately owned playgroup. The funds from the sale were used to build the new annex to St Luke’s.
Whilst the churchmanship at St Luke’s has varied over the decades, it is now firmly charismatic evangelical and informal.
St Luke’s parish is in the south of Reigate, south-east Surrey. Reigate is a historic town on the North Downs, with good road and rail links to London, Gatwick Airport and the nearby M25. The town centre has many good small shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and two supermarkets. In the centre of the town is a large park, Priory Park, consisting of grassland and woods, with a lake, imaginative playground, skate park, tennis courts, football pitches and a popular café.
The North Downs provide panoramic views as well as very good walking. There is plenty of sport locally with football, cricket, rugby, tennis, squash, golf, athletics and bowls clubs. There are nearby gyms and swimming pools, a cinema in Reigate, and theatre, cinema and larger shops in nearby Redhill.
The area has many good schools. St Bede’s, an ecumenical church secondary school in Redhill is rated outstanding, as is the local secondary Reigate School, and Reigate College, the Sixth Form college. There are also several excellent primary schools, including two within the parish, Sandcross and Doversgreen, and a selection of very good private schools. Within the parish there is also a special needs school and three nurseries.
The parish consists of about 3,000 households, is largely residential but opens into countryside to the west. It is divided into 3 areas, South Park, where the church is situated, Woodhatch, and Doversgreen (the site of St Peters). As well as the facilities of Reigate town centre, the parish has a parade of local shops. We work with 3 local Co-op stores by collecting unwanted food for those in need.
The parish borders both Priory Park and Earlswood Lakes, a popular local area for walks. In the centre of the parish is an open area with recently renovated BMX and skateboard park, and playground. The local YMCA runs a youth group, after school clubs and groups for children and youth with disabilities. We have links with Margaret Laurie House, a mental health rehabilitation home, situated a few doors away from the church.
Our Vision for the Future
In order to move forward as a church post-pandemic, we asked our church members prayerfully to give us their thoughts for the next phase of our church community. The key areas we identified which have fed into the review of our Mission Action Plan were:
Growing our relationship with God through worship, Bible study and prayer, seeking to be led and renewed by the Holy Spirit, and developing spiritual gifts to serve the church and the community.
Continuing to develop our lay ministry and to train, mentor and equip people for service and leadership. (There is currently a high level of involvement but we are aware that volunteering is at capacity so this will be a challenge).
Children’s and young people’s work is extremely important and an area we will be focusing on developing, as well as reaching out and supporting young families.
Continuing to be a welcoming church for newcomers where people are enabled to become part of the family and develop their gifts.
Reviewing and developing social activities and celebrations to encourage a sense of belonging and unity.
Reaching those who have not yet returned to church post lockdown.
Getting to know our community better so that we can build relationships, identify new areas of service and effectively target specific needs. We hope to develop the use of our church building as a resource for the whole community.
Recognising God as our Creator, we want to become intentional in looking after His world by working towards being more ECO-minded both at church and in our homes.
We believe in growing in discipleship though a range of regular and occasional events:
Preaching and teaching - in services, Life Groups, nurture groups, prayer meetings and other events, we encourage personal growth through reading the Bible, prayer, worship, regular quiet times with God, and living out our Christian faith in serving others within the church and community.
Life Groups - meet fortnightly online (zoom) and / or in person to study the Bible, pray and discuss, with themes ranging from individual books of the Bible to Live Justly, Parenting for Faith and Pete Greig’s Prayer course.
New Wine – the congregation is encouraged to attend New Wine each year (in person when possible), and it is a wonderful time of growth both as individuals and as a church family.
Dalesdown – the bi-annual church weekend away takes place near Horsham, with speaker-led sessions and breakout groups, as well as times of worship, prayer, fellowship and fun.
Global Leadership Summit - several members of the congregation regularly attend the GLS online or at a London church location. The talks provide immediate and ongoing discussion to develop strategies for personal growth and church mission.
Bible readings - in Advent, Lent, and Easter Week, we have evenings focussed on relevant Bible passages which we read and discuss.
Diocesan training days - we have hosted and attended a wide range of such and similar events.