Ash Wednesday 26 February 8am: Holy Communion at Chelsea Old Church

Ash Wednesday 26 February 8pm: Sung Eucharist at St Luke’s

Sunday 1 March: Parish Communion will start with Litany in place of the opening hymn

Wednesdays 4, 11, 18, 25 March: Lent talks at St Luke’s 7.30-9pm including dinner - see opposite column. Contact / 020 7351 7365. Further details in the porch

Friday 6 March 11am-12noon: World Day of Prayer at St. Mary the Boltons.

Praying with Zimbabwe, members of Chelsea Old Church and other churches in the borough present the service. Further details in the porch

Next Concert celebrating our (Chelsea Old Church) new pipe organ:

RECITAL by DAVID DAVIES - Wednesday 25 March 2020

In association with Devon Art Fund

6.30pm Recital: DAVID DAVIES (Buckfast Abbey)

Tickets £10 available on the door. Recital lasts approximately 75 minutes.

For details of other organ concerts in 2020, please see

Sunday 29 March 11am: Confirmation by the Lord Bishop of Kensington.
Monument of the Month  Thomas Hurd

William Drake Limited have completed installation of the new organ.


Recently donated to the Church, a book of 25 sermons, starting in 1954, preached in Chelsea Old Church in honour of Thomas More, on the anniversary of his birth. Preachers ranged from the Archbishop of Canterbury, through Professors of Theology and Ecclesiastical History to Bishops and Deans. 

Church Garden

The Church gardens and gardeners won these competitions in 2018
1st Chelsea Gardens Guild Churches Summer Competition
1st Kensington Gardeners Club Churches
1st Brighter Kensington and Chelsea Scheme
Bronze medal in class 10, the London Garden Society


Received recently from the Prior Studios photos of a couple of drawings by William Orpen, one of them below.

Major Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE, RA, RHA (27 November 1878 – 29 September 1931) was an Irish artist who worked mainly in London. Orpen was a fine draughtsman and a popular, commercially successful, painter of portraits for the well-to-do in Edwardian society.

During the First World War, he was the most prolific of the official artists sent by Britain to the Western Front.  (Source: Wikipedia)


Received an article dated 1922, shown below, when a medieval stained glass window was discovered when cement and building rubble was removed that covered a window between the Vestry and Lawrence Chapel. Francis Eeles, renowned stained glass expert, identified the window as made between 1320-1340, the oldest window in London apart from Westminster Abbey. The window was sent to the V&A Museum with a plan to eventually restore it to Chelsea Old Church.

If the window returned before WWII when the Church was bombed it may have been destroyed, however enquiries were made to V&A to see whether they have records of the window's fate, yes, they returned it in 1922.

So probably destroyed in 1941.

But research at British and Kensington Library and stained glass experts revealed that the Chelsea Society had paid for transferring the window to the crypt at St Lukes' in 1939 for safekeeping. An original search at Chelsea Old Church had not found the window but a more 'in depth' study had found the window sandwiched inside a broken 19th C window in the Tower clock room. The window was now in 4 main parts, pictured below, plus many smaller pieces of glass.

The top two were Maurice Drake restorations, the third the 1320 medieval window which is still curved having been folded within another longer window. The fourth the remains of the wording added in 1922.

The inscription at the bottom says:

To the glory of God and in memory of the unknown saints who for centuries have worshipped Him in this place. This window was uncovered on St Bartholomew day 1922 was recreated 1923.

The 14th century glass of this window was originally in the western light of the eastern most window in the north wall of the Lawrence Chapel opposite blocked by the Lawrence Chapel and Colvile monuments  After CCC years the glass was found behind layers of plaster in August 1922.

All of the window is now at Canterbury Cathedral stained glass studio for conservation advice and awaits the raising of funds to complete the project  by displaying it in it's original window in the Lawrence Chapel.

In the Churchyard - June



ST. LUKE'S LENT COURSE 2020: Living Faith


Our language for faith often unavoidably – and indeed beneficially – depends on metaphors or analogies drawn from our worldly lives. This year’s Lent reflections explore the resonances and tensions that arise when we pause to attend to the meaning of these metaphors. In our first session Emily Kempson considers the role of metaphor in religious language. In the following sessions three other congregation members reflect on how important aspects of their working lives might illuminate common metaphors we use to describe faith and God. What does it mean when Jesus says we must ‘become like children’? How might music be a foretaste of heavenly worship? What insights might we gain from secular justice into what it means to call God ‘judge’, or to speak of divine justice?


Each session takes place in the vestry at the east end of St Luke’s, Chelsea, beginning with a drink at 7:30pm. Dinner at 7:45pm is followed by a 30 minute reflection, then dessert and discussion, to finish at 9pm. All are welcome. For catering purposes, please contact the Parish Office ( if you are attending.


Wednesday 4th March: Emily S. Kempson: Metaphor and Religious Language

 Emily is Lecturer and Tutor in Theology at St Mellitus College. She holds degrees in Theology from the University of Virginia, Yale, and Oxford, and her PhD thesis on Truth was recently approved by the University of Cambridge.


Wednesday 11th March: Felicity Masters: Childlike faith.

 Felicity has attended Christ Church since the early 1990’s. During her time here she has led Sunday school and ran the Cafe Sunday youth group that used to meet. For the past 19 years she has worked at Chelsea Open Air Nursery School where she now coordinates and delivers the Forest School programme.

Wednesday 18th March: Rupert Jeffcoat: Beautiful Feet: Music as Travel Agent

Rupert is a Scot who has been involved with church music for nearly 45 years. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists whilst still a student and was, for 8 years, Music Director of Coventry Cathedral. The holder of a PhD in Composition, he has been supporting the music ministry at St Luke's since 2011.

Wednesday 25th March: Douglas Hall: Justice and faith.

After studying history at Christ Church Oxford and law at the University of Birmingham Douglas was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn. Most of his career has been spent drafting legislation for the UK government at the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, but he has also worked at the Law Commission (where he is based at the moment) and for the Australian Government in Canberra. He has drafted legislation on a wide range of topics, including criminal law, tax law and financial services. He is one of the longer serving members of St Luke's choir, and has helped to organise some of the choir's recent tours.


A New Church Organ at Chelsea Old Church

The organ plays a crucial part in the life of the church, used every Sunday and frequently during the week for funerals, memorials, baptisms and weddings. 

The organ removed in January 2019 was built in 1957, replaced the instrument lost when the church was bombed.  Like the church itself, the organs of Chelsea Old Church have a long and interesting history.  Most notable amongst these was an organ by the famous builder of the day, Renatus Harris, which is believed to have stood in the church from 1712-1723.  The early removal of this instrument (for unknown reasons) prevented its eventual destruction had it remained up until 1941, and parts of it are believed still to be in existence in a church in Devon.

Invitations to tender were sent to a shortlist of organ builders and the result was the Devon-based organ builders William Drake built the organ.

The new organ is a fine new instrument that will not only serve the needs of the parish, but also play a part in the wider musical life of Chelsea.


The Clock at Chelsea Old Church

The Edmund Howard clock, 1761, formerly at Chelsea Old Church, but where is it now? The present clock, made by Dents, who built Big Ben, was installed in 1950's.

It was assumed the 1761 clock was destroyed during the 1941 raid, but a horologist has found a film of the clock alive and well at Dent's workshops and can be seen from 1 minute 59 seconds to 2 minutes 10 seconds in the Pathe film here 

which was filmed at Dents in 1959.

So the search is on for the Howard clock.


Dacre Monument

Conservation and restoration work started on 28th January by conservators Granville and Burbidge and was completed 7th March 2014. The work was funded by the Dacre family in memory of the 27th Baroness Dacre.

Remains of Dacre Monument beside More Chapel after Blitz, 1941

Obelisk before during and after

mouldings before and after

Skull, wings and hourglass before and after 

The dog at the feet of Lady Dacre removed to measure up for a new right front leg and reattach the left leg.


Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, attended a friend's wedding at the weekend, having just returned home after their whirlwind stay in New York. The royal couple were guests at the ceremony, which took place at Chelsea Old Church near the River Thames.

The occasion may well have been a trip down memory lane for the Duchess, as the church is situated on the very same road as the Middleton's London home, where Kate shared a flat with Pippa in the years she lived in the capital after graduating from St Andrews.
Kate, who is currently five months pregnant with her and William's second child, looked elegant in a floor-length black lace gown with full-length lace sleeves, most likely the same one by designer Diane Von Furstenberg that she opted to wear  to the star-studded Royal Variety Performance last month.

For the wedding, the Duchess accessorised with a small sparkling black clutch and black heels, wrapping up against the chill with a red tartan scarf that was draped over her shoulders. She wore her brunette locks loose over her shoulders.
Courtesy Hello Magazine