St Luke's

St Luke's

 

The church at Mow Cop, dedicated to St. Luke, was opened in 1875. St Luke is shown in the East Window.

According to historical records, St Luke was born in Antioch, Syria which, at that time was part of the Roman Empire. He died in Thebes, Greece in March 84 AD. His saint's day or feast is 18th October, and he is venerated in all Christian Churches as an Apostle and Evangelist. Luke was by profession a physician, becoming a disciple of the Apostle Paul. The earliest mention of him is in Paul's letter to Philemon, whilst in Collossians Chapter 4 verse 14 Paul refers to him as "The beloved physician.".  The New Testament also briefly mentions Luke by name a few times, and the early church believed that he wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, though not surprisingly the evidence is somewhat fragile. Luke continued as a follower of Paul until the latter's martyrdom. Luke himself is believed to have been martyred, one report saying that he was hanged from an olive tree. Since early years Christians have regared him as a saint and he is recognised as the patron saint of physicians, artists,bachelors,surgeons,students and butchers.

 

Zerubbabel

 

Another stained glass window at St. Luke's poses a question. It shows not a saint, but Zerubbabel who, according to the bible led the first group of Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity, somewhere between 538 and 520 B.C. King Darius of Persia appointed Zerubbabel Governor of the Province of Judah. Soon after, Zerubbabel began to rebuild the (second) Temple in Jerusalem, with the help od his friend, the High Priest Joshua who had returned to Jerusalem with him. Interestingly, in the New Testament there are two versions of the genealogy of Jesus and the name Zerubbabel occurs in both.

Obviously Zerubbabel was a significant, important person in both biblical and historical terms, but why was he singled out for a window at St. Luke's?