St Mark’s Church in Swanswell will open up its doors to worshippers again next year - 45 years after it closed in 1972.
The Grade II listed Coventry church is set to become a City Centre Resource Church. Inspired by the church-planting experience of London Anglican church, Holy Trinity Brompton (who have successfully opened churches in cities across the UK including Brighton, Norwich and Birmingham), City Centre Resource Churches are part of the Church of England’s strategy to serve inner city communities and connect with young people living and working in cities.
A key focus of the Church of England in Coventry and Warwickshire is reaching the generation that is often missing from churches – those in their 20s and 30s. As a City Centre Resource church, St Mark’s will aim to reach young adults in Coventry and become a resource for the wider Church of England in the city and county.
The nearest Anglican City Centre Resource Church to Coventry is St Luke’s Gas Street in Birmingham. Led by former Holy Trinity Brompton worship leader, the Reverend Tim Hughes, Gas Street Church has seen hundreds of young people join the congregation since opening its doors in September 2015.
Built in the Gothic Revival Style in 1868, St Mark’s served as a church for over 100 years until it closed its doors to worshippers in 1972. Since 1972, St Mark’s has had many uses including the Outpatients Department of Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital, a doctor’s surgery and a charity warehouse.
The Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth said:
"The re-opening of St Mark’s Swanswell tells the story written into the life of the city of Coventry: from step back to step forward, from despair to hope, from death to life. That story is written large in the city’s Cathedral as the new rises out of the old. St Mark’s speaks this story in its distinctive way. Since its closure as a church in 1972, it’s been put to many good purposes but now it’s being restored to its original purpose – to be the worshipping centre of a new Christian community that seeks to live out Jesus’ ways of welcome, love and healing for all. I rejoice in the resurrection of St Mark’s."
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