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© Mrs Barbara A West LRPS

IoE Number: 456472
Location: ST MARKS CHURCH, ST MARKS CRESCENT
  SHEFFIELD, SHEFFIELD, SOUTH YORKSHIRE
Photographer: Mrs Barbara A West LRPS
Date Photographed: 02 February 2003
Date listed: 28 June 1973
Date of last amendment: 12 December 1995
Grade II

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SHEFFIELD SK 3386 NE ST MARK'S CRESCENT (North side), Broomhill 784-1/27/686 St Mark's Church 28/6/73 GV II Parish church. West tower and porch 1868-71 by W H Crossland. Rebuilt after war damage in 1961-3 to the designs of George G Pace, who restored the remains of the Victorian tower in 1955 and continued to add fittings to the interior until 1967. Reinforced concrete frame, with cavity walls externally of rubble stone and internally of plastered brick, with artificial stone lintels and transoms, and incorporating some old fabric to plinth level. Main space has Queen post truss roof covered in thick, rough, random slates and with two high triangular dormers; copper and asphalt to lower roofs. Irregular polygonal plan, likened by Pace to an extended hexagon. Main entrance at north-west corner on site of that of the original church, giving on to broad cross passage, from which a series of doors lead to cloakrooms, churchwardens' room and priest's vestry in ground stage of the tower and former south porch. To the east is a large common room with kitchen, choir vestry, and long narthex leading on to the main church, with south chapel on its right. The body of the church appears organic in shape, interrupted by two concrete trusses, and with angled north aisle giving the church its broad, asymmetrical feel and incorporating choir in front of organ and to side of sanctuary area. This projects into the single worship space and is set slightly asymmetrically, though with forward altar placed on line with central aisle. Long narrow pierced openings to windows, in Pace's characteristic style, a reworking of an Arts and Crafts idiom with references to Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp. Tower, two stages, has plinth, string courses, gabled angle buttress, corbel table, and traceried parapet with four octagonal pinnacles topped with spires. First stage has to west a three-light pointed arch window with hoodmould, and above it, three chamfered ftat-headed windows. South side has three similar windows. Second stage has on each side a pair of traceried two-light pointed arch bell openings with crocketed double gables. On three sides, under the bell openings, a clock. Set back octagonal spire has a single tier of gabled lucernes. Crockets removed 1955-6. Angle buttressed south porch has coped gable with cross, and moulded doorway with triple shafts. The door is blocked and has three small C20 windows. Double entrance doors on north side have small rectangular panels of glazing, with leaded lights to side, all under joggled segmental arched lintel. The interior of the church has a particularly fine and complete set of fittings by Pace. Organ, painted white, pews, lectern and fine choir stalls, all of timber, by Pace. They form a resonant, spiky group. Pulpit in Derbyshire fossil stone, metal altar rail with timber rail, single step to forward altar with tall candlesticks set either side. Font with elaborate corona hanging, cover and candlesticks. Hanging metal lights. East end has glass by Harry Stammers illustrating the Te Deum; west end abstract glass designed by John Piper and made by Patrick Reyntiens. Side chapel has some coloured glass in lead canes, ambry light, and altar rails by Pace. Hall and smaller rooms have good timber doors by Pace, with expressed peg patterns. The new church was consecrated in 1963. It is Pace's major church for the Diocese of Sheffield, to which he was appointed surveyor in 1949, and perhaps his most important town church. His third design for the church (the second, larger version was widely exhibited), it is one of his first advanced essays in Liturgical planning, in which stone and concrete are perfectly attuned to create a broad worship area that is among the first by him to take on an organic, asymmetrical form. St Mark's demonstrates the' interface between traditional English Pragmatism and the already established convention of modernism' (A Peter Fawcett, in Yorkshire Architect, 1985, quoted by Peter Pace). The quality of workmanship, both in the construction of the church and of its woodwork and glass, is exceptional for its date. As the Secretary of Sheffield Cathedral's Advisory Committee wrote in 1963, it is good to rejoice over the incidence of a deep pastoral concern and over the care and thought which have been put into the planning of this church where the quality of design and workmanship sing their own veritable Benedicite.' Sources: G G Pace, St Mark's Sheffield, 1963, guidebook: Peter G Pace, The Architecture of George Pace, 1915-75, London, Batsford, 1990, pp.181-87

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