St Mark’s Church was built in 1883 as a daughter church of St John’s. It was at a time when Hale was expanding massively due to the little hamlet of Aldershot next door becoming a Garrison town. The land was given by Bishop Sumner who was the Bishop of Winchester at the time. But the church itself was built by the community and for the community. Locals collected flints from the common to build the walls, rather surprisingly there are no foundations and the roof was placed on the walls without being fixed. (This has now been amended!) You can see a ‘Google Sphere’ of the church here.
There is a Tudor (or Jacobean) altar in the building (we don’t know where it comes from) and there is a beautiful pipe organ which was donated by Emily Mangles, a local at the time. In the chancel are wall paintings, painted by Kitty Milroy, another local, and local children acted as the models for the wall paintings in the chancel. You can see a ‘Google Sphere’ of the paintings here.
About twenty years ago, a community centre was added to provide meeting rooms, kitchen and toilet facilities. It took five years of very hard work by the congregation with help from the local community to raise the money. You can see a ‘Google Sphere’ of the community room here.
More recently, a community orchard and a wildflower garden have been added. The building is a bit tired now – but we have big plans to restore it and make it fit for another generation of worshipers. You can see a ‘Google Sphere’ of the grounds here and here.