Welcome to the Anglican Parish of St Thomas & St Luke
Dudley – The parish is in the Diocese of Worcester and covers much of the commercial centre of Dudley and the community to the west and south. The dedication of the church is to St Thomas the Apostle, the St Luke in the parish title refers to the fact that the parish of St Luke was re-absorbed by this parish in the 1970’s when the church of St Luke, carved out of the parish in 1876, was declared redundant.
The church is known locally as “Top Church” because it stands at the top of the High Street in Dudley, on the watershed between the Severn and Trent River systems. A church has stood on this site since at least 1182, when it was mentioned in a Papal Bull. The present building was consecrated in 1818.
It is visible for miles around. Next time you drive north up the M5 look to your left at about ten o’clock (northwest) as you approach Frankley service station. The prominent spire is Top Church.
The town of Dudley has a great many churches reflecting the very great population during the industrial revolution—six churches were built in Victorian times as the original two parishes became too big and a seventh was built in the 1960’s to serve the large new estate of Russell’s Hall that was built to accommodate people being rehoused after the great slum clearances of the Sixties. Seven of the eight that remain became the Central Dudley Group of churches in the 1980’s. St Andrew’s Netherton is now grouped with St John’s Dudley Wood and St Peter’s Darby End.
As with many town centre parishes the number of people living within the parish is relatively small. This brings many problems but the small congregation is loyal and dedicated to “Top Church” as it is known locally. As we enter the 21st century we of St Thomas and of the Group as a whole are striving to find the best way to serve our community.
The website now has useful content and will gradually reach completion over the coming weeks.