St Mark was founded as a chapel for Ampfield in the enormous parish of Hursley in 1838. John Keble was Vicar of Hursley at that time. This new church was a laboratory for Keble, and the Oxford Movement’s ideas about ritual and liturgy in worship and what sacred architecture should look like. The Friends of St Mark help keep this valuable historical building viable and thriving.
What makes St Mark Ampfield special?
For theological reasons Keble and his co-leaders of the Oxford Movement rebelled against their view of a Church of England afflicted by barren buildings and slackness of worship. St Mark and the other ‘new’ churches in Hursley Parish were to be workshops for this liturgical and architectural insurgency.
Every element of St Mark’s design: from the repeated groups of three steps – signifying the Trinity, to the conscious, if free copying, of medieval windows remains as a memorial to Keble’s intent. Equally internally the design was equipped for a rich and sacramental worship.
Open for visitors, for prayer, and as space to think
Today the church is open for pilgrims and visitors alike 10am – 4pm weekdays. If you are intending to travel a long distance we welcome advance contact from visitors.