Friends of St. Luke’s first meeting: learn about the history of the church and future plans

Cherub above St. Luke's church door in Charlton
The cherub above the door of St. Luke’s church. Photo © Neil Clasper

A message from the Friends of St. Luke’s Church about an upcoming event and plans to restore the church door.

The first meeting of the Friends of St Luke’s will be held at St Luke’s on Wednesday 19th February, starting at 7.00pm ahead of a historical introduction to the building led by Joseph Spooner at 7.30pm. Joseph will be sharing his wealth of knowledge, as well as revealing some hitherto overlooked or under-documents aspects of the building and its history.

Refreshments include cheese and wine. Entry is free to those who have already signed up as Friends or who sign up as Friends on the night, otherwise entry is £10.00. The recently published and well-received Portrait of St Luke’s will be available for sale on the night for £5.00 rather than the usual £7.00.

Invite to Friends of St. Luke's event

Main door plans

As part of our contribution to the improvement of Charlton Village, the Friends of St Luke’s are looking to raise funds for the main door to be repaired and represented. Locals may recall that about thirty years ago it was painted blue but has long since faded and needs repair as well as repainting.

A detailed investigation was undertaken in 2018 and established that the door is oak and has been in place since the church was rebuilt in 1630. Furthermore, under the at least twenty layers of paint revealed by high magnification and ultraviolet examination, the door was originally painted ‘warm brown’, possibly with ‘brush-grained decoration intended to imitate hard wood such as walnut or oak’.

Presumably, in the days long before DIY products that do what they say on the tin, it would have been impractical to have left the original oak uncovered. In re-presenting the door we would also ensure the cherub above the door gets a fresh gilding, noting in passing that the cherub is also found on one of the mantlepieces in Charlton House.

Find out more about the Friends of St. Luke’s.


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Planning inspector throws out scheme to build house by White Swan beer garden

White Swan
Mendoza bought the freehold to the White Swan in March 2015

The firm which owns the freehold to the White Swan pub in Charlton Village, property developer Mendoza Ltd, is has lost its third attempt to build housing on land behind its beer garden.

The Isle of Man-based company, which makes its money from buying pubs and converting at least part of the land to residential use, has had two past applications rejected.

Now a planning inspector has upheld Greenwich Council officers’ decision to throw out the third application, to build one three-bedroom house on the currently-disused land which sits between the beer garden and the Torrance Close service road.

The house would have been partly built below ground level to reduce its impact on the surrounding conservation area, and would have no windows that could open onto the beer garden.

However, planning inspector Gary Deene rejected the scheme, saying “the proposed development would unacceptably harm the character and appearance of the local area”.

White Swan planning application
The rejected proposal was for one house, sunk partly below ground level

There is a glimmer of hope for the developer – the inspector did not wholly reject the idea of building on Torrance Close, saying: “The local area to which the site belongs [Torrance Close] has an air of neglect and to my mind is capable of successfully accommodating a bespoke form of new development.

“The conservation area itself has no single unifying architectural theme and there is no obvious reason why it could not in principle readily assimilate a variety of new dwellings in terms of size and style.”

The plans were first submitted to Greenwich Council in summer 2017. Mendoza bought the pub from previous owner Punch Taverns in March 2015, evicting the then-management three months later. However, it reopened in September 2015 under the management of Greenwich’s Pelton Arms boss Geoff Keen, who is trying to keep it as a viable, community-focused pub. A second bar and function room has now opened on the pub’s upper floor.


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Charlton Village Action Plan to launch with public meeting this Saturday

Charlton Village
The Charlton Society has a plan to rejuvenate Charlton Village

The Charlton Society has launched an 18-point action plan to turn around the fortunes of Charlton Village – and is holding a public meeting on Saturday to discuss its ideas.

The Charlton Village Action Plan sets out proposals for traffic, buildings and the street scene to make the area more attractive for businesses and residents.

Last year, the Charlton Village conservation area was branded “at risk” by Historic England, with the agency warning that its condition was “deteriorating”.

The meeting will be held at the Grand Salon in Charlton House at 2.30pm on Saturday 20 January.

Proposals include: introducing traffic calming measures and making The Village a 20mph zone (worth noting that 20mph is now a standard speed limit in other south London boroughs); improving the two service roads behind The Village together with car parking; providing “welcome” signage; surveying property ownership and empty homes above shops; creating a market space outside The Baguette and Village Green Grocers; and improving street furniture and pavements.

Take a look at the full action plan and feel free to leave your thoughts below.