History of St. Mark's
The original St Mark’s was a Victorian church which burnt down in 1966. The present contemporary building was designed by Humphrys & Hurst and constructed in 1968-9.
The plan is pentagonal, with a light, spacious and pleasing effect created by the tent-like, framed structure of the nave. Indirect day lighting is provided to the east wall behind the altar and to the centre of the nave via a roof top lantern.
A frieze of coloured glass windows runs along the upper part of the remaining four walls, creating a striking feature. Designed by Keith New, the bold, abstract design loosely represents ‘creation’ drawing on the first two chapters of Genesis.
Two banners which hang on the brick pillars behind the altar, and a lectern frontal, echo the design of two of the windows. These were designed by a member of the congregation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the new building. Inspired by sunlight streaming through the clerestory windows, she had in mind two themes, ‘communion’ and ‘witness,’ which she felt summarised the life of St Mark’s.
To one side of the main body of the church there is a simply furnished chapel which underwent refurbishment in 2009.
The narthex, or entrance hall, provides a welcoming sense of arrival at St Mark’s.
Externally, the aisles are flat roofed and finished with asphalt, while the nave is pitched and slated.
Flat roof extensions were added some ten years later, to the north-west and southwest elevations of the church. These provide useful additional spaces without detracting from the main architectural design.
The large cross on the roof of the nave was taken down in 1987 for safety reasons, but was re-installed in 2000. At night this is floodlit, providing a recognisable signpost for the church.
Behind the church there is an attractive large garden, mainly laid to lawn, which was the bequest of a Mr Haig Galustian in 1959 in memory of his mother. A separate church hall also opens onto the garden.