While the parish of St.Mark's has been a presence in Halifax since 1866, the present church building dates from 1921, the original structure being destroyed in the Halifax Explosion of 1917. With the new church in place, pew rentals were abolished. By 1942, the rector, Rev.W.W. Clarkson, set up a "Cent a Meal" program which saw the $12,000 mortgage paid off within 8 years, at which point the building could be consecrated which it was in 1950. Although it suffered major damage in the explosion of the Bedford Magazine in 1945, it was repaired within a year.
The church was the centre of life for its parishioners as can be seen by the organizations which were featured in the Consecration booklet put out for the 84th Anniversary. Early church activities included church parades by the military, accompanied by a goat, as well as garden parties, Sunday School picnics and "the most outstanding was the Tennis Club" which operated all year. In the early '50s, there were 19 groups active in St. Mark's, including two choirs, an adult Sunday School, a separate Bible Study group, a young people's association, many women’s organizations and various children's groups.
Several of these groups are still active (see "groups") and while numbers in the 21st-century are not as large as in the early days, the spirit which made St. Mark's a vital force then is still alive in the present congregation as can be seen by their involvement in the community.
For a more complete history of St. Mark's, visit us and see the memorials and literature available to the public during office hours or by appointment (902-454-0207).
The Rose Window
Round windows go back about 2000 years to the Roman oculus or "eye" placed in the wall of a building for admitting light and air. A Rose or wheel window is characterized by concrete tracery separating the panes of stained glass. Round Gothic windows are beautiful both inside, where we can wonder at the color and the biblical stories which they depict, and outside where the stone work resembles an open flower, especially a rose.
St. Mark's rose window above the east (main) door was installed in the church from a bequest in the will of George Gabriel in 1983. The window colours are vivid - yellow, blue, green, red and white. The predominant theme of the yellow sheaves of wheat and the white grapes remind us of the bread and the wine of the Holy Communion, physical reminders of the body and blood of Christ. Unlike the old Gothic windows, St. Mark's rose window does not have the exterior stone support bars or "tracery." Instead its support bars are of beautifully carved wood. On a sunny Sunday morning, the vibrant colours of our Rose Window echo those of nature.
The Rose Window