The St Mark’s Building
St Mark’s is constructed, as are many of Aberdeen’s fine buildings, of local granite. The front elevation is a close ashlar on a rock-faced base, with the remaining walls hammer dressed Kemnay granite. A classical design by A Marshall Mackenzie the building features a giant portico surmounted by a drum and high dome modelled on St Paul’s Cathedral. The church, along with its neighbours, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Central Library, “forms the most distinguished grouping of major buildings in Aberdeen” (Historic Buildings Council for Scotland, October 2000).
Not long after celebrating the centenary of the building in 1992 the congregation found to their dismay that 100 years of wind, rain and air-borne pollution had taken its toll on the lead-work of the roof and dome. After much prayer and careful consideration a massive fund raising effort was launched and a major refurbishment programme involving both external and internal work was undertaken.
The congregation is grateful to the various outside bodies such as, Grampian Enterprise, Historic Scotland, and the Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust who came to our aid and to the many individuals who supported the numerous activities held during the fund raising period.
Maintaining the building is however an ongoing ” project ” and we continue to work hard to keep the building alive for future generations. Internally the church offers a resplendent display of oak furnishing and carvings. These can be seen by clicking here in a photographic panorama and a photo-montage courtesy of “Phosynth”© by Microsoft©. The baptismal font is somewhat unique, being constructed in several sections, each a different granite. There are fourteenstained glass windows at ground and gallery levels, which have been donated by dedicated members of the united congregations over the years in memory of loved ones.
The Colours of the former 8th Company of the Aberdeen Battalion of the Boys’ Brigade are on display as are a number of banners made by the City Centre Churches Summer Clubs held in the halls during the 1990’s. The Millennium Banner was made by Lynn Low from an amalgam of designs submitted as a result of a competition which drew entries from throughout the congregation. There are also hangings gifted by our twinned congregation at Mpachika in Malawi .
The two-manual pipe organ is by Willis and Sons and was built in 1900. It was completely renovated in 1971 and underwent further overhaul in the late 1990’s.
St Mark’s is an expansive building on three levels. The sanctuary, at ground floor level, is six steps above Rosemount Viaduct and there is a large gallery at first floor level. The lower ground floor has level access from Skene Street and provides a substantial suite of halls, which, because of their central location are very well used, not only by our own organisations but by other churches, and many secular bodies.
A passenger lift, installed in 1999 gives access directly into the sanctuary from the hall level and is much appreciated by elderly and disabled members and visitors. The Sanctuary was re-decorated during 2004 with a service of re-dedication held on Sunday 19 September 2004. In 2007 one of the most used parts of the building, the kitchen, was refurbished to the latest in stainless steel surfaces and equipment. This includes a six ring gas cooker, combined convection oven and grill, constant flow hot water system and a high speed dishwasher. No more dishpan hands for the men of St Mark’s!!
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