A SHORT HISTORY
The Mission of St Mark
The Mission Church of St. Mark was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Islington on 20 October 1903. The mission church was attached to All Soul’s Church, Harlesden. The land had been owned by All Soul’s College Oxford but was given to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England in exchange for a piece of land near the railway.
The Parish of St Mark
With the development of Harlesden in the years that followed, the mission building became inadequate for increased population. In 1911, the Rev. W. P. Cromie, Vicar of Harlesden, gave his consent to the separation of St Mark and All Soul’s and the foundation of a new parish. Rev. E. R. Whalley was appointed Vicar Designate of the new parish.
In December 1911 a building fund started and Mr J S Alder was appointed architect. In July, 1913 plans were completed and a contract was made with Messrs’ Knight and Sons to complete the building works. A gift of £250 was received from the Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith. Grants were made from the Bishop of London’s Fund, The London Diocesan Church Building Fund and The Ecclesiastical Commissioners. An Order in Council, authorised the transfer of the endowment and effects of the benefice of St. Olave’s, Hanbury Street, Mile End to the benefice of St. Mark’s, Harlesden.
The Permanent Church
On 14 February 1914, Mrs. Cromie cut the first turf. On 25 April 1914, St Mark’s Day, Lady Hilda Moseley laid the foundation stone. In a cavity beneath the stone was placed a sealed jar containing: a copy of The Willesden Chronicle, a current edition of The Times, All Souls’ church magazine, a service sheet from the Foundation Laying ceremony, some coins and a document displaying the names of those chiefly responsible for the ceremony that day. On 12 December 1914, the completed building was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of London, Dr Winnington Ingram. Due to lack of funds, a permanent west wall and tower was not built. Corrugated iron was used as a frontage until 1968 when the brick wall was completed. St Mark’s was known affectionately as ‘The Tin Church’.
By order of His Majesty in Council, dated 3 February 1915, St Mark’s was legally constituted a separate parish. The institution of the first vicar, Rev. E. R. Walley, took place at St. Andrew, Undershaft on 26 March 1915.
Many gifts were given to the church including the organ in 1915, from St Mark’s, North Audley Street. This was originally built in 1840 by J. C. Bishop. Other donations were a Communion Table, frontals, a silver communion service, a lectern and a cross for the holy table.
In 1966 the Church Hall was built with proceeds of the sale of the Mission Church of St Peter, College Park that fell within parish of St Mark. A stained glass window from the mission church was also moved to St Mark’s and installed in the Upper Room.
Changes to the Parish Structure
On 7 March 1986 the parishes of St Mark Harlesden and St Martin Kensal Rise were joined together forming a Team Ministry. In June 2011 this combined parish was dissolved the two churches reverted to being two separate parishes.
1914-1940 Rev Earnest Whalley
1941-1967 Rev Harry Marshall
1967-1972 Rev Jeremy Harold
1972-1986 Rev Terry Nottage
1987-1996 Rev Neil Jackson
1997-2008 Rev Phil Stone
2010-2016 Rev Oliver Ryder
2016 Rev William Leaf