History of St Mark's Church
The building now known as St Mark’s was built in 1849, at the instigation of the then Vicar of Woking (Rev Bowles) for use as a church school. The design consisted of two school rooms, to accommodate 100 boys and 100 girls, together with a residence for a teacher (now demolished). It was intended to provide permanent premises for a school, established in 1830, that had so far been held in rented accommodation.
It may be of interest to note that at that time the name Woking specifically referred to what is now known as Old Woking; the railway station on Woking Common was only some ten years old; there were as yet only two other buildings within a half mile radius of the station; general education provision was very rudimentary, and building the Westfield School predated that of the first church school in Woking village itself by some 10 years.
In 1874 control of the school was further transferred to the Woking School Board and, although further school premises were built in Westfield, 'St Mark’s' continued in use as a school, under lease to the Board, until 1924. The premises then became known as “The Mission”, until 1970, when they were renamed St Mark’s Church. In recent years considerable efforts have been made to establish the extent of, and to remedy the very considerable deterioration that had occurred in the fabric of the church.
In 1997 considerable refurbishment of the worship area took place with the installation of a new floor and a purpose-built crèche at the back. There are three well-equipped meeting/teaching rooms, a fitted kitchen designed with child-safety in mind, and new toilets, including disabled and baby-changing facilities. A Hearing Aid Loop has been fitted in the worship area and doorways altered to allow wheelchair access. There is a large car park to the rear and an attractive garden and grassed area.
Tracey Pusey, 08/10/2017