Parishioners and neighbours of St Mark’s Church receive regular emails from vicar Revd Canon William Gulliford. Today’s message was so inspiring and interesting that I felt compelled to share it with the readers of iLPH, with William’s permission. At a time when the future feels uncertain, learning from the past brings reassurance and guidance; as does faith. How must the people of Primrose Hill have felt on 21st and 26th September when St Mark’s was reduced to a shell by Luftwaffe bombs?
If you would like to receive William’s regular emails, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is what he writes today (and at the bottom you will find the most fascinating historic photos):
Dear Friends and Neighbours of St Mark’s,
Greetings at the start of this new term. I do hope you are keeping well and are managing in these strange times. I thought you might be interested to hear about an important anniversary for us at St Mark’s which coincides with national commemorations this week. Below please find details of the services this term as well. Some of our larger services are going to have to be ticketed and we are sorry about this. The tickets will of course be free. But thought we should let you know in advance that Christmas services will require tickets and more details will be on our website nearer the time.
Today is the day of National Commemoration of the Battle of Britain’s eightieth anniversary. This Sunday, 20 September, during the 10.30 am Eucharist, we shall be marking the anniversary in church, as it is also the Sunday nearest the bombing of the church on 21 and 26 September 1940 during the Blitz. If you would like to come, I would be grateful if you could let me know, as reluctantly, because of the restrictions on numbers, we have to limit attendance to facilitate social distancing.
Excerpts of Churchill’s famous speeches of the Summer of 1940 will be read, alongside articles in the parish magazine of St Mark’s. In October 1940, the Air Ministry would not permit mention of the bombing, and so the magazine was published without direct reference to what had happened. The November 1940 publication describes the effect of the two incendiaries on the building and parishioners. Alongside the bombing of the Euston mainline railway (the intended target) and Cecil Sharp House, the destruction of the church had a profound impact locally. It took until 1957 before the church was rebuilt, thanks to the patience and singlemindedness of my predecessor, the Revd Hugh Stuckey, and the generosity of so many locally, not to mention the creative ability of the architects Sir Ninian Comper and Arthur Knapp-Fisher.
A special mass setting has been written by our Director of Music, Michael Bowden, Missa illuminatio mea. The motet will be Sir Ralph Vaughan Williams’ O how amiable are thy dwellings. This anthem was published in 1940 and contains the lines from Isaac Watts’ hymn O God our help in ages past, and hope for years to come. The latter is the hymn most associated with Remembrance-tide. As you will know, the Vaughan Williams’s archive is largely preserved in Cecil Sharp House, our near neighbour, which was also struck exactly eighty years ago in the same bombing campaign. The Education Director of the Cecil Sharp House will be representing colleagues from the English Society of Folk Music and Dance. And actors Jason Morrell (the son of Joan Greenwood) and Hermione Gulliford (my sister) will give the historical readings.
The resilience and courage of our forebears in this parish then, gives grounds for hope now in these difficult days.
If you cannot join us, please think of us and come if you are able to one of our services this term.
TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER (VIA ZOOM)
Previously postponed in April
THE ANNUAL VESTRY MEETING
for the Election of Churchwardens
AND ANNUAL PAROCHIAL MEETING
with trimestrial election of members of the Deanery Synod
SUNDAY 1 NOVEMBER ALL SAINTS DAY
10.30 am Sung Eucharist
MONDAY 2 NOVEMBER – ALL SOULS’ DAY
6 pm Requiem Eucharist
SUNDAY 8 NOVEMBER – REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY
NB 10.55 am Act of Remembrance and Requiem Eucharist
for those who have died in war
The choir will sing the Fauré Requiem.
10.30 am Choral Litany & Sung Eucharist
4 pm The Advent Procession – a candlelit choral service for the start of Advent – by free ticket only through the website
TUESDAY 8 DECEMBER
7 pm Community Carols
SUNDAY 13 DECEMBER – ADVENT III
10.30 am Sung Eucharist and Nativity Play
4pm Organ Recital
SUNDAY 20 DECEMBER – ADVENT IV
3pm and 5pm Christmas Carol Service
by free ticket through the website
THURSDAY 24 DECEMBER – CHRISTMAS EVE
3 pm & 5 pm Children’s Crib Service
by free ticket through the website
11.30 pm Midnight Mass
FRIDAY 25 DECEMBER – CHRISTMAS DAY
10.30 am Sung Eucharist
Thank you to everyone for the most tremendous generosity during this difficult time.
People from the local community have been very generous indeed in one off donations.
We wonder if you might consider making a monthly standing order payment. You can arrange this through your own bank via online banking.
Please let us know if you do and please complete the enclosed GA form if you have not already.
Or we can ask your bank to arrange the standing order if you complete the SO form enclosed and return to us.
If you were able to give in this way, if you do not already, it would greatly help our finances, which are inevitably affected by the lack of a weekly plate collection.
You will receive an annual letter informing you of your donations if it is needed for your tax return.
Alternatively, if you felt able to make a one off donation, this can be done through BACS.
If you kindly do this, could you let me or the Treasurer know, so we can claim the Gift Aid on it.
Our Treasurer is Mr Colin Luke and he can be contacted on
For payments by BACs:
Account name: The PCC of St Mark’s Regent’s Park
Account number 21795627
Sort code: 40-02-03
Make all cheques payable to St Mark’s Regent’s Park
The Revd Canon William Gulliford
Vicar of St Mark’s Regent’s Park & Director of Ordinands for the Diocese in Europe
St Mark’s Vicarage
4, Regent’s Park Road
Study 00 44 (0) 207 485 6340
Mobile 00 44 (0) 7957 451419