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St Mark’s has been signed over to developer

by
19 August 2009

iStock

From the Archdeacon of Charing Cross

Sir, — Had your piece, “St Mark’s campaigners receive boost” (News, 14 August) been informed by those responsible for the church in question, a significantly more accurate piece would have ensued.

As the article fails to note, the Church Commissioners last month gave the go-ahead for St Mark’s, North Audley Street, to be leased to George Hammer, honouring a decision the Commissioners first made in 2006. While it is true that Holy Trinity, Brompton, made a subsequent bid, this came too late in the process, after a contract with Mr Hammer had already been signed.

The diocesan authorities carefully considered the situation earlier this year, and concluded that the diocese had no option but to fulfil the existing legal contract with Mr Hammer. The diocese is therefore currently working with HTB on other opportunities for church plants in London.

We fully recognise the importance of St Mark’s as a Grade I listed building, and have been working for many years to try to secure its future, at considerable cost. But the fact is, that the diocese has had no use for St Mark’s for the past 35 years, since it was last an active par­ish church. Mr Hammer’s proposals, on the other hand, would result in millions of pounds being spent on restoring the building, as well as generating vital funds for parishes in deprived areas of London.

WILLIAM JACOB
15a Gower Street
London WC1E 6HW

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