Origins & History

Go to: Earliest Days - 1970's - 1980's - Some dates for reference - Some Recent Chaplains

Download "A History Of St.Mark's" by Peter Milner here.

1814-1960's rue du Peintre Lebrun

St.Mark’s story stretches back at least to 1814, to a time just before the Battle of Waterloo. The first records available concern the funeral of a British soldier who died in hospital – and there is a note that “the above was taken prisoner”. These and several other records were (thanks to another soldier) snatched from a fire in 1911 that destroyed what appears to have been  the original St.Mark’s Church - an iron-structured building in rue du Peintre Lebrun.

The church of St.Mark’s was rebuilt in 1912 on the same site. The photos of that event can be seen in the downstairs lobby of the current church building: Rue du Peintre Lebrun is situated just to the north of the main entrance of the Chateau, and the tiny church is still there!

Two Views of 'Old St Mark's'

1970's - Need for More Space

From the time of chaplain G.B.Vivian Evans who rebuilt the church, St.Mark’s was served by a succession of chaplains and the congregation was established and gradually increased. By the 1970’s, the old St.Mark’s could no longer cope with the growing numbers and so by arrangement with the catholic Bishop of Versailles, St Marks was given the use of the large chapel at the Lyceé de Notre Dame de Grandchamp, Rue Royale in the charming Quartier St.Louis. The school chapel served our Church well from 1977 until 1993.

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1980's - Move to Pont Colbert

In 1985, under the chaplain Jonathan Wilmot, the large plot of land at 31 rue du Pont Colbert with its pre-1900’s house was finally purchased on the outskirts of Versailles. The old church was sold to the Nazarene Church, who are still its present occupiers in rue du Peintre Lebrun.

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Official Start on Building the Current (New) Building, 1992

A building plan in stages was set in motion as funds became available. The first stage was completed in 1993; this is the 150-seater worship area and the two Sunday school rooms which we are so familiar with.

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Outdoor Function at the Current (New) Building, 1993

The second stage was completed in 1998 when the foyer, sacristy, counselling room, kitchen & toilets were added, and the whole complex was linked to the office and the chapel (which had been installed from the first days of Church occupancy in a pre-existing stable).

The third stage of the project was completed in 2012. The vision was to add a large room for worship, effectively upstairs on the roof, and thereby releasing the previous worship area for more Sunday school classrooms.

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Some dates for reference

1710 Land thought to have been bought by the British Ambassador to the Court of Louis XIV from the Abbé Dubois (No documentary evidence)
1814 Oldest Register entry, in a register taken from “the old iron church”
1825-1859 Rented the Eglise Reformée in rue Hoche
1860 St.Mark’s opened a “wood and iron church” on Easter Day, situated on a road formerly known as rue des Bons Enfants, (now rue du Peintre Lebrun)
1911 Jan 29th – the Fire, which burnt the old iron church at rue du Peintre Lebrun to the ground. A soldier saved some charred and damaged registers from the ashes.  Rev.Vivian Evans, chaplain of Maisons-Lafitte was also appointed Chaplain of Versailles in August 1911
1912 On November 21st the new church building was opened; the date was Harvest Thanksgiving
1964 150 years were celebrated
1977 Congregational growth led to using the chapel of Lycée de Notre Dame de Grandchamp until mid 1980’s
1985 Purchase of the site at 31 rue du Pont Colbert, and the installation of a small chapel in the former stable
1990  Building Appeal Launched
1993 Completion of Phase 1 – the worship centre and Sunday School room, Church services moved from Grandchamps
1998 Completion of Phase 2 – foyer, kitchen, toilets etc.
2008 Beginning of Reach Project
2012 Completion of Phase 3 - New Worship Hall

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Some Recent Chaplains

1912-1924 G.B.VivianEvans
1968-1974 Philip Walton
1974-1977 Canon Alan Lindsay
1977-1982 David Vail
1982-1988 Jonathan Wilmot
1988-1992 Martin Oram
1992-2004 David & Angela Marshall
2005-2011 Paul Kenchington
2012- Chris Maclay

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Copyright 2007-2012 St Mark's Church, Versailles