Around 1835 Richard Hippisley Tuckfield had resolved to build a chapel at Posbury. Church going was then a very much more common practise than it is today. In fact the governors of Crediton Church, concerned at the pressure on accommodation in the Parish Church had taken legal advice as to whether they were legally able to use their funds to build a second church. The Rev. Samuel Rowe, then incumbent, swore an affidavit that at each of the three services held each Sunday the congregation varied between seven and eight hundred "and mostly in the evening than in the afternoon". An Act of the reign of William IV to amend the law governing building of additional churches in populous parishes had certain requirements which were easily met by Mr Tuckfield's scheme. They were that the population of Crediton was then but a few short of six thousand; that the site of the new church should be at least two miles from the parish church, and that there were three hundred people resident within one mile of the new church. On the proposed site, formerly called Blackadown, otherwise Pethams Postbury, the chapel was built in 1836.
On completion, further to comply with legal requirements, Mr Tuckfield founded a maintenance fund of £1000 plus £5 for every £100 of the cost of the building, this fund, together with the chapel and the land surrounding was transferred into the trusteeship of Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart; Sir Humphrey Davie, Bart; James Buller Esq and John Sillifant Esq.
On 18th October 1836, Henry (Phillpotts) Bishop of Exeter signed the sentence of consecration which, curiously , divested and trusted of the chapel and site, vesting it in Richard Hippisley Tuckfield who became Patron and owner, leaving the four trustees in possession of the funds.
The church was dedicated to St Luke.
The Rev. Fitzherbert Marriott was appointed curate in charge with a stipend of £45 per annum.
The Tuckfields had 2 sons, both of whom died young. In 1845 Sir Frederick Shelly married Charlotte Martha Hippisley, a niece of Mrs Tuckfield and to whom the estate devolved and the owership and Patronage of the Chapel has remained with the Shelley family, the present Patron being Dr John Shelley.
Various ministers were appointed to the chapel, changing frequently. At the turn of the century the officiating minister was the Rev. Davie, in memory of whose wife and daughter the stained glass window in the east end was installed.
In recent years it has been usual for the vicar of Crediton to be appointed chaplain of St Luke's Posbury.
For more about the Tuckfield family click here.