Tradition and Life

Tradition and Life

St. Mark’s is of a central Anglican tradition and uses a mixture of Common Worship and the Book of Common Prayer in its public worship. The present average weekly congregation numbers about 60 people who contribute to the church’s active life. A contemporary service is offered on both the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, the latter being an all-age, baptism service.

The parish usually offers on-going faith-development courses, confirmation classes, quiet days, retreats and pilgrimages. Discipleship is fostered through engagement with the Diocesan’s Community of St. Chad. Fellowship is promoted by a very full use of the church hall facilities for meals, fun & games, films etc.

The well-maintained church building (dating from 1915) is set in impressive formal and wildlife-friendly gardens which regularly win prizes in local and diocesan gardening competitions.

A full programme of fellowship activities adds to the life of St. Mark’s.  We maintain a long-standing tradition of crowning a Church Queen at each of our July Garden Parties. The Queen for 2018/2019 (pictured left) is Miss Grace Bayliss who was crowned by our Curate, the Revd Patrick Griffin. Our Church Queens, with the help of a  supportive team, plan fellowship activities and fund-raising events during their year-long reign.

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As stated above, the Christian discipline of pilgrimage is important to the life of St. Mark’s. The picture (left) shows a group of pilgrims on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) to which several pilgrimages have been made. Seasonal quiet days and short, themed retreats also feature in spiritual development of the congregation. In the spring of 2016, Iona was the destination for our pilgrimage and members of St. Mark’s were joined by those of other local churches.

In October 2018, a group of 22 pilgrims from St. Mark’s and St. Margaret’s enjoyed a week in and around Jerusalem. A highlight for everyone was to experience a service of Holy Communion on the Mount of Olives with a backdrop of Temple Mount in the west. The picture (right) shows some of the group close to the Tomb of Mary in Gethsemane.