The municipal historic resource designation recently granted by Red Deer city council to St. Luke’s Anglican Church gives its parishioners another reason to celebrate their house of worship.
The city’s oldest church opened its doors Nov. 4, 1900, though it wasn’t officially completed until 1906. This followed about a dozen years of services conducted in private homes and the fledgling town’s CPR station waiting room.
After years of travelling clergy, the parish got its own priest when Canon Joshua Hinchcliffe was appointed in 1899. The English-schooled rector was also an architect, master stonemason and carpenter and drew up plans for the church.
Work started late that year with Hinchcliffe supervising and doing much of the work himself. Local sandstone was cut and prepared by parishioners from a quarry located on what is now the Cronquist residential area.
In 1978, the province declared St. Luke’s a provincial historic site and helped fund a four-year refurbishment program that restored the weathered sandstone. New stone was obtained from the same Red Deer River location as the originals.
Rev. John McKay is the current rector of St. Luke’s.