After six years as the first Vicar of the new parish church of St. Luke , the Rev. John Bradford Whiting (picture to the left) had a vision that the area of Northwood in Ramsgate would one day become a small town. He thought there should be a church there ready and waiting for that day. However, St. Luke’s church itself wasn’t yet completed and it had relied largely on money from the Whiting family, so there wasn’t much in the way of funds for building another church at Northwood. A site was purchased for the new church in 1884, but because of lack of funds a corrugated iron hut (picture below right) was bought in Brighton and transported to the new church site by horse and cart. The Mission Church of St. Mark Northwood now became a reality.
The tin hut lasted for fifty-five years, but it had its attendant problems, such as the overwhelming sound of rain on the roof drowning out services. Also the congregation outgrew this small building. Under the guidance of the Vicar of St. Luke’s, Rev G H Williams, and the curate-in-charge of St. Mark’s; Rev. T.G. Jones, new plans were made to build a very large church on the site in Pysons Road in the place of the tin hut. The chancel and church hall were erected in 1939 to the designs of Thomas F. Ford and Partners. The original designs incorporated a large Nave with a tower, but due to War breaking out in September 1939, and restrictions on building work then, the Nave and tower were not built. Services continued at St. Mark’s throughout the War years, and St. Mark’s received some furnishings from St. Mary’s Church, Chapel Place, Ramsgate, when it was destroyed by a bomb. The new furnishings to St. Mark’s were dedicated by the Bishop of Dover in May 1943.
In 1956 the then new Vicar of St. Luke’s; the Rev. George Hall, decided to take a look at St. Mark’s Church for his first time. He cycled up the Margate Road and completely missed the church thinking that it was a factory, so he set about the task of making the church look more like a church. It wasn’t until 1967, though, that the money was found to finish the building off with a small Nave and semi-tower which housed the bell. This was a much scaled down building than that proposed in 1939. The new Nave and converted chancel were designed by the London architect Percy Flaxman, and was dedicated by Archbishop Michael Ramsey on 30th July 1967 .
St. Mark’s continued for another fifteen years as a daughter church of St. Luke ‘s, but in 1982 it became a parish church with a parish made up of parts from St. Luke’s parish, St. Laurence parish and St. Peter’s parish. The Parish was officially established on March 1st 1982 , and on Palm Sunday 4th April, the first Vicar the Rev. Michael Stear was instituted by the Archbishop Robert Runcie.
The church has continued to flourish in the intervening years and now there are plans for further developments to the buildings.
Vicars of St. Mark’s Church:
1982 – 1984 Rev. Michael Stear
1984 – 1989 Rev. David Willis
1990 – 1996 Rev. Ronald Baker
1996 – 2002 Rev. Harry Boreham
2003 – 2015 Rev. Christopher Skingley