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History of St Marks

There has been a St. Mark’s Church in Rosherville for nearly one hundred and fifty years. Over that period Rosherville has changed enormously. The original church was erected in 1853 for the inhabitants of the new housing estate in the eastern part of Northfleet. Its cost of 4,500 was provided by the Rosher family, whilst between 1853 and 1865, George Rosher gave further for investment, 8,000 for a stipend (wages) for the vicar and 300 for repairs.

 

The church was constructed of Kentish rag stone. When opened it consisted of a nave and two aisles, paved with tiles forming diamonds of black, red and white, a series of clustered columns carrying five pointed arches in each aisle supporting an open roof. The Chancel had much stone carving and a pointed arch. There was a pulpit and font of carved stone, and oak benches. The spire was a Thames landmark for many miles. Unfortunately the stone weathered very badly.

 

Extensive repairs were carried out to the St Marks Church in 1896 when four stone angels were removed from the spire. In 1953 another 2,000 was spent on urgent repairs and re-decorations for St Marks Church. The cost of further repairs to the structure made demolition a more suitable solution rather than constant renovation. The war memorial still standing outside the new church centre reminds us that the people of Rosherville did their duty in both World Wars.

 

As early as 1965 there were plans to re-build the church and this was eventually done in 1976. The foundation stone for the new church centre was laid on February 17th 1977. The new building was dedicated on December 8th of the same year as the centre of worship for the parish of Rosherville. Some stained glass windows from the old church are preserved and used for the sanctuary. The new church was built to be used both as a church as a community centre. It has a sanctuary that can be closed with a screen, which would make the rest of the building usable for non-religious purposes.

 

The Centre was extended in 1997 to include an additional Community Room. This was done with a lottery grant and the centre as you now see it was complete. This room is available for small group activities and meetings.

 

A small community of Christians worship at St. Mark’s on Sundays and festival occasions. The churchmanship of the congregation does not fit well with any clearly defined strands, but it combines the elements of catholic and other traditions of the Anglican Church. This church intends to be the centre of social life in Rosherville and offers its place for all genuine community initiatives.