Our chapel and its congregation
St Mark's Hospital was founded in 1220 to feed 100 poor people every day, and played an important role in the foundation of three schools which continue in the city to this day. Henry VIII dissolved the monastery of Gaunt's Hospital and all of its lands in the 16th century, but the City Fathers stepped in and purchased all of the Gaunt estate, making Bristol City the largest land-owning council in Britain. The chapel is the only building that still carries out its original purpose, but some of the land continues in the ownership of the city. The chapel welcomes upwards of 25,000 visitors per year. It is a lively building at the heart of of an active and well-ordered Church, pursuing an active ministry and mission within the city.
For more details about the chapel, see the St Marks Wikipedia page.
The congregation is listed at about 100, and attendance is between 30 and 40 every week. See Services and events for details about our services. The congregation and the Chapel Trust, with the support of the Guild of Guardians, were the driving force in the recent restoration of the organ at a cost of about £150,000. They have also improved the sanctuary lighting, replaced the reredos, and purchased robes for the choir, clergy, servers, and verger, and they continue to maintain the organ and the robes. All of these activities are at no cost to the City Council.
Music in the Chapel is under the direction of Dr John Marsh. There is an excellent choir of eight voices. With the eight deputies, they make up the sixteen voices of the Chapel Singers, who perform two or three concerts per year. Worship at the Chapel is according to the Prayer Book, and so a typical Matins will include an Introit, three hymns, Venite, psalm, Te Deum, Jubilate, anthem, preces & responses.