17 Sep 2016

Heritage weekend


Last weekend was Heritage Weekend when it's possible to look around places and buildings that are not always open to the public.
In the last few years I've gone to Sheffield Anglican Cathedral on the Saturday of Heritage Weekend and have usually helped with the refreshments, but this year I didn't feel up to it and instead decided to visit St. Mark's Church in the city as part of my walk with my granddaughter. My husband took us to the Botanical Gardens and dropped us off and after our time in the gardens we walked to the church. By then the rain was getting heavy and we were glad to get there and go inside.

The church is an imposing-looking building located opposite the Hallamshire Hospital, surrounded by mature trees in leaf at this time of the year. I've been hoping to visit it and learn more about its history and see the stained glass windows from inside especially the one designed by John Piper and made by Patrick Reyntiens so the Open Day was a good opportunity  There's no indication of the beauty of the window at the East End by looking at it from outside in the church grounds. The John Piper window is placed above the entrance to the nave, which is accessed by a long vestibule We didn't walk around that side of the church because of the rain.


A corrugated iron church stood on the site in the 1850s then replaced by one of stone, Gothic in style, the architect being a pupil of Sir George Gilbert Scott and serving the people of this area of Sheffield, Broomhall.  Then in the late evening of 12th December 1940 and throughout the night the city was heavily bombed including St. Mark's Church. The inside was burnt out and also the roof. Only the tower and the walls remained. From then on services and church community life took place in the church hall and it was many years, in fact the 1960s, before the rebuilding began in a style very different from that of the Victorian one.


The East Window



The East Window designed by Henry Stammers the glass is set between the branches of a tree that shoot right and left from the trunk representing the Tree of Life. The central figure is Jesus Christ, King and Priest. The cross is made from girders, the kind that are manufactured in South Yorkshire. It's difficult to see all the detail as I took the photo whilst sitting in a pew and didn't feel I should get closer to the altar during our visit. A closer look at the detail of the stained glass would, no doubt, be interesting and inspiring.



the pulpit - the blocks of polished stone contain small fossils
mainly of vegetation


the font with its ironwork cover


The Side Chapel 
the windows were designed by Gillian Rees-Thomas
 the ladder-like design depicts 'paths to heaven' 



The West Window by John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens.
'The Holy Spirit Window'

I'm happy that our granddaughter came with me on the walk and visit to the church. She's good company and she has been pleased to come with me to the hospital on numerous occasions when she hasn't had college classes and is, therefore, a great support. Today is her birthday and later on Mr. P. and I are going to celebrate the occasion by having a meal together with two of her friends and her mother's best friend.
I hope you're also having a good day,
I'll speak to you soon.

32 comments:

  1. So modern and interesting. Beautiful photos!

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  2. Many happy returns to your Grandaughter, hope you have a wonderful meal and get together. Beautiful glass windows in such a modern looking building, it looks amazing.

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    1. Thank you on behalf of our granddaughter. Yes, the windows in the church are beautiful, the designs inspiring.

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  3. I am so happy you could visit this church with your granddaughter. The windows are just awesome. Just to sit there in a pew and enjoy the sights would be a true delight. How lovely for your granddaughter to be there for you also. Happy weekend, dear friend!

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  4. Amazing windows inside and out. Loved the cover over the font.
    Have a lovely weekend Linda :)

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  5. It's very modern so I'm glad to see that stained glass has been included in the design, so many newer churches seem not to go for stained glass but I love it. Happy birthday to your grandaughter, I hope you all have a lovely evening.

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  6. Wonderful, I love John Piper's work, but didn't know about this window, thank you.

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    1. Perhaps you'll get over to Sheffield and see the window as part of a visit to the city?

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  7. Love the juxtaposition of the old exterior and the modern interior. How wonderful to have that support of your granddaughter. Happy birthday to her!

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  8. It looks a very interesting church with so many unusual features. I like the windows and the pulpit full of fossils. I hope your granddaughter has a wonderful birthday and that you all have a lovely time:)

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    1. Thank you Rosie. We had a lovely evening together.

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  9. Beautiful place - the stained glass windows are amazing!

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    1. I find John Piper's modern stained glass designs beautiful so it was good to see this window in St. Mark's.

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  10. This is a very attractive church given that it was designed in the '60's. I find a lot of architecture from that period is very stark and unattractive (to me anyway). I love the windows, all very beautiful. How nice to have your grand daughter to walk with you, I hope you all enjoyed your celebratory meal.

    Diana

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    1. Everything seems in harmony including the designs of items in wood. It's good that the church was rebuilt. So many damaged buildings could not be saved.

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  11. Have a lovely time celebrating your Granddaughters birthday. She sounds a gem. I love these designs particularly the window with ladders. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. X

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    1. Thank you Jan. It was a lovely evening, which I hope to share briefly on another blog post. Yes, those windows with the ladders are beautiful. Understated in design, yet meaningful. The side chapel had a peaceful atmosphere. Hope you and family are well.

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  12. This truly is a beautiful church and it's a shame that the old one was bummed but this one is really pretty I like both the windows and I would not have noticed the tree if you had not mentioned it but after I read that I could tell that it's a tree. Great idea

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    1. There was a display of the history of the church showing old photos and other information. At least the church was eventually rebuilt after the devastating damage and the interior architecture reflects the time when it was done.

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  13. What a WONDERFUL modern-looking church. I absolutely adore it!!!

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    1. It's interesting that this church looks traditional from the outside and
      the inside is modern in design. I remember when our daughter lived as a tenant in a big old house opposite the church. It's a lovely, leafy area near the universities, hospital, parks and public gardens. I'm glad that I had the time and chance to go and see inside.

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  14. That's quite a modern church but nevertheless beautiful!

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    1. Old buildings are awesome, but I also like the simplicity of design you often find in modern spaces. The Anglican Cathedral's West End was also damaged in the bombing raid and had to be rebuilt in the late 1960s. Such churches are a mixture of the old and new.

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  15. What fabulous stain glass windows. I hope you had a lovely birthday meal with your granddaughter

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    1. Thank you for your visit, Gina. Thank you, we had a lovely evening celebrating our granddaughter's birthday together with her best friends. She made a delicious chocolate cake which I shall share on the blog soon.
      I hope you have a lovely week and some time to relax.

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  16. The church is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your visit ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Summer. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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