The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, conducted his first consecration of a church in the diocese since becoming bishop. Church members of St Mark’s church , Holbrook and clergy from neighbouring parishes packed out the church to witness the ‘rare’ event in the life of the diocese. Consecration services of this type are exceptionally uncommon within the Church of England, and this was the first such service Bishop Martin has been privileged to conduct.
To mark the occasion the Archdeacon of Horsham The Ven Fiona Windsor, the Diocesan Registrar Mr Matthew Chinery, the Diocesan Secretary Gabrielle Higgins and Horsham Member of Parliament The Rt Hon. Jeremy Quin were in attendance.
St. Mark’s Church was built in 1990 to serve the new housing that was being built at that time in north Horsham, and it was dedicated as a daughter church to St. Mary’s, the parish church of Horsham. However, following the Crawley and Horsham Review, and the establishment of the new benefice and parish of Holbrook, St. Mark’s was consecrated to serve as the new parish church
In his homily at Hampton Court on Sunday Bishop Martin made reference to the significance and symbolism of the rituals of the consecration saying ‘In the process of consecrating the altar, we were defining what gives the church building meaning and purpose. The altar is to be the focus of prayer for the whole gathering of the Christian community in that building.’
The incumbent of Holbrook, the Revd Dr Richard Coldicott, said “It was a very special day in the life of the community of Holbrook parish as we celebrated the establishment of St. Mark’s as its parish church.”
Check out photos from the event here