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Saint Marks Church Brickhill

Saint Mark's Church June 2017
Saint Mark's Church June 2017

Saint Mark’s Church is unique in Bedfordshire. It was planned from its inception as a joint concern with the Methodist church [P146/28/1]. The Methodists arrived in Putnoe in 1955 and their church is at Putnoe Heights. A 1983 leaflet publicising the partnership [P146/28/4] reads: “the whole of north Bedford has expanded and developed since the war. North Brickhill is one of the most recent areas of growth. Once part of the parishes of Goldington and Clapham, it became part of an area of ecumenical experiment in 1972. At the beginning of this year the parish of North Brickhill and Putnoe was formed, which has two church centres. Putnoe Heights Church serves the area east of Kimbolton Road and Saint Mark’s Church the area to the west”.

1983 view of the church buildings from above [P146/28/4]
1983 view of the church buildings from above [P146/28/4]

“Both churches are fully shared between the Methodist Church and the Church of England; each is the parish church and the Methodist Church for its area. Worship, work and finance are fully shared at both centres”.

“The present building was erected in 1977 as a dual purpose hall/church. Since that time it has been fully used in a variety of ways. The Playgroup and Open House (for Mums and Toddlers) have become well established, and a home has been provided for Guides and Brownies. The church membership has grown”.

“In 1981 the Saint Mark’s Church Council decided to go forward in faith to build a new church and provide a complex of Church, hall and smaller rooms that could meet the needs of generations to come. This small brochure is designed to explain what is being done”.

1983 plan of the church buildings [P146-28-4]
1983 plan of the church buildings [P146/28/4] - to see a larger version please click on the image

“The plan shows the new church which will seat about 250 - 300 people. The two rooms at the back can also be included as part of the church when more space is needed on special occasions. This building will be set apart as a place of worship and prayer, in which God will be glorified, Jesus proclaimed as Lord and life in the Holy Spirit encouraged. The architect, Mr David Sutcliffe RIBA, has designed the church to blend with the existing building. The Builders are V E Parrott (Oakley) Limited and the contract is due to be completed within 10 months (May/June 1984)”.

The first priest at Saint Mark’s was John Andrew Somerset Payne Cook in 1976 and in 1983 he became the first vicar with the creation of the parish. He was succeeded by David Dredge in 1986. The present [2017] incumbent is Liberal Democrat councillor Charles Royden who was instituted in 1991. The vicarage is directly behind the church.

The Ecumenical Partnership with Putnoe Heights Methodist Church came to an end in 2018.

Saint Marks Vicarage June 2017
Saint Mark's Vicarage June 2017