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ST MARK'S IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
The winged lion is the emblem for St Mark and features in several places in our church building including stained glass. St Mark's gospel was thought to emphasise Jesus' kingship and so it was given the lion, the king of the beasts, as its symbol. We have taken this symbol as the logo for our church and this is why our children's corner is called the "Lion's Den".
During the interregnum which followed the retirement of The Revd Dennis Thomas, the Wardens of St Mark’s and St Luke’s were responsible for the running of the joint parishes. The churches were advised that it had been decided to appoint a Priest in Charge, initially for five years, and all applications for the vacancy would be directed to the Bishop of Chester. St Luke’s PCC had voted against having a woman priest. As a result, the Bishop suggested ending the joint benefice between St Mark’s and St Luke’s: this would require an Act of Parliament.
The wardens arranged for ministers and preachers to take services in both churches while there was no vicar.
The Right Revd Frank Sergeant is seen on the left taking a service at St Mark's.
As usual, there were many repairs to carry out to the church building such as replacing lead flashing on the roof, and dealing with damp caused by water seepages due to storm damage. This resulted in the need to remove plaster to determine the extent of the internal damage. The church tower was cleaned up by a pest control company and a loop system for the hard of hearing was installed in church. Maintenance of the church hall was also ongoing.
Our church rganisations continued to be active, such as the Communicant's Guild, the Mothers’ Union and St Mark’s and St Luke’s Young Performers. A joint summer fair was held at St Luke’s on 9 July 2005, and St Mark’s invited St Luke’s to join them at the Christmas Fair on 25 November, when there would be a leaflet displayed promoting “Fair Trade”. The Communicants Guild and Sunday School went on coach trips together each year. The Drama and Music group performed at a family service on 21 August and Ashton band performed a concert in the vicarage garden.
The Bishop of Chester proceeded with the split of the benefice of St Luke’s and St Mark’s and our church became the single benefice of the Parish of St Mark, Dukinfield, on 1 January 2007. The wardens provided a parish profile to be given to interested parties for the vacancy of Priest in Charge.
By the end of May 2007, the PCC were preparing for the licensing on 1 September of the new Priest in Charge, The Revd Alison Cox [M.Hort (RHS) B.Th] who comes from Twickenham, south west London. Alison originally trained in horticulture, then journalism, was ordained in Lincoln Cathedral in June 2003. Some 200 people attended the service, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Tameside, as well as between over 40 parishioners from Alison’s previous church in Spalding.
Photographs taken at the Installation service at St Mark's Church with Bishop Peter, Archdeacon Richard Gillings, churchwardens Sandra Austin and Alan Reiblein, and new Priest in Charge, Alison Cox, on Saturday, 1 September 2007. The Revd Cox is the first woman to preach and preside at St Mark’s.
Cake made by Barbara Smart - a replica of St Mark's Church