St Luke's Parochial Trust is an amalgamation of smaller trusts, the earliest of which date back to the sixteenth century.

Many years ago, the area of St Luke's was densely populated with extremely high levels of disease and poverty. In those days people often left legacies in their wills to the poor of the parish. For example, gifts of money or property were bequeathed to provide income to give bread, clothing or coals to widows, school children and orphans, or operate almshouses.

Over the centuries, these gifts were accumulated into large parish (or parochial) trusts. Some of these ancient charities exist to this day, and St Luke's is one.
As an old parochial charity, St. Luke's may only spend its own money helping improve the conditions of life of those residents living in the area of benefit, which is the ancient parish of St Luke's, Old Street. In today's terms the area is mainly Bunhill Ward in south Islington and a parts of the City of London, Clerkenwell ward and Hackney. See our Area of Benefit.

A longer, yet still brief, history of St Luke's Charity, and its historic connections written by a former Clerk, David Green, can be downloaded here.

St Luke's Community Centre

For centuries, St Luke's main activity was paying pensions and grants to poor people. In March 1982 St Luke's opened its community centre for the benefit of its existing pensioners and other residents living in the area. The Community Centre was previously a London School Board primary school and then the Frank Barnes School for the Deaf. It was converted into a community centre principally for older people since at the time this age group were considered the most in need and were more populous at that time.

Church of St Luke's, Old Street

St Luke's Church on Old Street, from where the area’s name originates, is no longer consecrated and is now a performance space for the London Symphony Orchestra. No religious links remain between us and the building, although upon its deconsecration, the church parish was taken back into the parish of St Giles', Cripplegate, with whom we still maintain strong links.


A detailed but unpublished history of the church written by the last ever Rector Revd Edward Rogers can be downloaded here.

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