Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Ghosts of St Mark's past, present and future

St Mark's on Tollington Park is a Victorian dream of the middle ages. Here it is not long after it opened in 1854, bringing godliness to the edge of the city:

The Methodists opened a chapel on the Hornsey Road four years later. It looked like this: 

Methodists, 1858

Now it looks like this: 

Police station, 2011.
St Mark's, on the other hand, is thriving. There are two hundred adults and ninety children at the average Sunday service. 

In last March's advert for a new Priest in Charge the parish said:  'We have a long evangelical tradition, centred on faithful biblical teaching and preaching. This has matured in more recent decades to include a stronger commitment to being a charismatic church.' From the one service I went to this seems to mean being heavy on power point and low on graceful language. I don't approve, but I suppose churches have the right not to be an aesthetic theme park for non-believers. 

The advert doesn't say what the post pays, but it does say that Vicarage 'is a large, spacious, comfortable Victorian house and has been recently redecorated. It is fully centrally heated with four bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. The ground floor comprises a vicar’s study, sitting room, kitchen, dining room, pantry and utility room. It also has off-road gated parking for two cars with a large mature garden. The garden has been partitioned so that the vicarage has its own dedicated section with a separate small area for church use. A separate flat above the vicarage is lived in by the Worship Director and his wife.' God (appropriately) knows, he probably works hard enough for it. 

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