St Mark's Church, Worsley
|St Mark's Church|
St Mark's Church, Worsley
|Website||St Mark's Church|
|Consecrated||2 July 1846|
|Heritage designation||Grade I|
|Architect(s)||George Gilbert Scott|
|Rector||Revd. Geoffrey Turner|
St Mark’s Church is an active Anglican parish church in Worsley, Greater Manchester, England. It is part of a team ministry along with St Mary's in Ellenbrook and St Andrew in Boothstown. The church is in the Eccles deanery, the archdeaconry of Salford and the diocese of Manchester. The church was granted Grade I Listed status in 1966.
The church's history is bound up with the emergence of Worsley as a cradle of the Industrial Revolution, at the hands of the Egerton family. The Earl of Ellesmere, heir of the Duke of Bridgewater who built the Bridgewater Canal, commissioned George Gilbert Scott to design the church.
The church is built on a prominent 10-acre (4 ha) site formerly known as Cross Field on Worsley Brow. Now within a conservation area, its extensive churchyard is bounded by stone walls with lych gates on the west and south, the M60 motorway to the east, and woodland on the north. The church spire is a landmark for many drivers who pass it on the motorway which bisects the parish.
The church was built between 1844 and 1846, at a cost of £20,000 (£340,000 as of 2015).. It was one of the earliest of 470 churches designed by Scott who, according to his son, regarded it as one of his most successful and purest essays in the geometrical Decorated Gothic style of the late 13th and early 14th century, with careful attention to detail.
The church is constructed from hard snecked sandstone, with roofs in slate (from the Delabole quarries in Cornwall). Much of the hidden leadwork has been replaced with stainless steel. Its plan is of a nave of five bays a chancel, north and south aisles and a west tower. The base of the west tower and spire forms the west porch. The tower has richly carved corner pinnacles and flying buttresses and numerous carved gargoyles. The spire rises to 185 feet (56 m).
Inside, the nave has an oak hammer-beam roof and the chancel is flanked by the vestry and organ chamber on the north side and the Ellesmere Chapel on the south. The north aisle was added in 1852 and shortly after that the Ellesmere Chapel was altered by the addition of a family vault below and extended to the east. The chapel was re-ordered in the 1920s.
Fittings and furniture
The ring of bells was augmented to 10 in 1934. The church clock strikes thirteen at 1 o'clock by means of a device invented by the Duke of Bridgewater to prevent his workforce returning late from their lunch hour. The device was transferred from the estate yard to the church in 1946.
The fittings are of the highest quality, the original oak pews, a pulpit fashioned by Scott from carved panels acquired on his travels, a richly-decorated limestone font and the tomb of Francis Egerton and brasses and memorials to later members of the family in the Ellesmere Chapel. Additions were made in the 1880s including an ornate Italian marble and mosaic reredos, paving in the choir and sanctuary, carved choir stalls by R. Knill Freeman and a vestry when choral services were introduced. In 1894 a lectern designed by John Douglas was installed.
- Grade I listed churches in Greater Manchester
- List of church restorations, amendments and furniture by John Douglas
Media related to St Mark's church, Worsley at Wikimedia Commons
- Church list, anglican.org, retrieved 16 September 2013
- Historic England, "Church of St Mark (1227895)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 16 September 2013
- A History of St Mark, Worsley The Patron, St Mark Worsley, retrieved 16 September 2013
- A History of St Mark, Worsley The Architect, St Mark Worsley, retrieved 16 September 2013
- UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2014), "What Were the British Earnings and Prices Then? (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
- Lewis, Samuel (1848), "Worsley", From: 'Worplesdon - Wortwell', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) (British History Online): 687–692, retrieved 20 November 2013
- The Bells at St Mark's, St Mark Worsley, 2012, retrieved 12 August 2013
- ATour inside St Mark's Church, Worsley, St Mark Worsley, retrieved 16 September 2013
- Hubbard, Edward (1991). The Work of John Douglas. London: The Victorian Society. p. 264. ISBN 0-901657-16-6.
-  CWGC Cemetery Report. Breakdown obtained from casualty record.
- Hartwell, Clare; Hyde, Matthew (2004). The Buildings of England - Lancashire: Manchester & the South-East. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10583-4.
- Milliken, Harold Turner (1976). Changing Scene. Worsley: Worsley Parochial Church Council. ISBN 978-0-9505113-0-6.