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History

Glodwick st Mark was created as an Ecclesiatical Parish in Lancashire. It was created adjacent to the parish of Glodwick, Lancashire Christ Church which had been formed as part of Oldham St Peter, Lancashire

St Mark's church was built in 1874-6 and designed by the local architect John Wild. The church is set in an elevated position at the top of a hill and assumes a proud role to the east of the surrounding town. The plan is traditional, with nave, side aisles and chancel. On the north side a small transept forms the organ chamber and vestry while, quite unusually, the tower and spire are located to the south of the chancel, thus maximising the impact of the spire on the streetscape.

Glodwick, St Mark Oldham.jpg

The architectural style is said to be late 13th century although the main features are decorated Gothic. There are unusual clock gablets to the base of the spire adjacent to the broaches that have the effect of lifting the clock faces by ten or more feet above their typical location on the tower.

The church is constructed of local sandstone, with patterned slate roofs and overhanging eaves. There is a series of valley gutters to the south side, to the base of the tower and between the gablets to the west. The spire rises to a height of 141ft and contains a clock and peal of eight bells.

At its time of erection, the cost was estimated to be about £10,000, defrayed solely by Col Thomas Evans Lees Esq, of Werneth Park. The former schools, which adjoin the church, are also of stone and were erected at a cost of £2,000: the gift of James Collinge Esq, of Greenhill. Both of these gentlemen had extensive cotton mills in the Glodwick neighbourhood.
Two foundation stones of the church were placed at the foot of the tower, one internally and the other externally, on Saturday afternoon of 25 April 1874 - St Mark's Day – by Mr Elliott Lees, son of the founder. The writing on the external stone is now not readable, but that on the internal stone reads: "This stone was laid by Elliott Lees, son of the founder, St Marks Day 1874."

At the same time Miss Annie Collinge, daughter of its benefactor, laid a foundation stone for the school building. The original plans were to build a vicarage alongside the church and school; that idea was eventually abandoned in favour of a site overlooking Alexandra Park, made possible by a gift of £1,000 from the founder’s sister and brother-in-law, Mr and Mrs Knowles. That vicarage served the needs of the parish for well over 100 years before it was replaced by the present building on Skipton Street.
Bishop Fraser of Manchester consecrated the church on 14 June 1876.

Colonel Lees, the founder of the Church, unfortunately died only three years after the consecration. His son Elliott placed a fine stained-glass window in the west gable wall to his father's memory.

It is interesting to note that Mr Elllott Lees represented Oldham in Parliament from 1886 to 1892 before moving on to Birkenhead and subsequently being made a Baronet in 1897, only a year before his own untimely death at the early age of 48 years.

In 1911, in memory and gratitude to the Lees family, it was decided to introduce the Lees Memorial Scheme which it was hoped would finance the building of a mission and institute. 

The former Glodwick Wesleyan School on the corner of Brompton Street was purchased by Mr Arthur Wrigley JP, a partner in the Lees and Wrigley cotton mill at Greenback, together with his two brothers, and presented to the church for use as an institute, having separate rooms for each organisation.

On 20 May 1962, following the closure of Christ Church in Hamilton Street, the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt. Rev. William Greer, led members of the church in procession to a point on Glodwick Road where the Parish boundaries met; whereupon they joined with a similar session from St. Mark's and went together to worship in the latter church. To commemorate the amalgamation of the two parishes, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady and Christ the King was formed in the south aisle at St Mark’s. The chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Manchester on 17 September 1967.

The parish of Glodwick St Mark's with Christ Church is part of the Oldham East Deanery Rochdale Archdeaconry in the Diocese of Manchester.

Resources

Civil registration

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

National index of Civil reigstration events post 1837 Free BMD

Church Records

Census

Poor Law Unions

Oldham Poor Law Union

Maps

England Jurisdictions 1851 see Glodwick Christ Church


Web Sites


 

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  • This page was last modified on 11 March 2015, at 19:48.
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