St Mark's Church | State Library of New South Wales

St Mark's Church

Church services at Darling Point were first held in a coach house in Mona Road known as the "Chapel of St Marks" within the grounds of Thomas Ware Smart's Mona property. The present St. Mark's church was built on land given by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort. The foundation stone was laid on 4 September 1848 by Bishop Broughton at a grand ceremony in Mort's garden, to which all parties were invited including workmen and families. "The design which has been planned by Mr [Edmund] Blacket is very neat and will have a pleasing effect from the surrounding country and harbour" reported the Sydney Morning Herald, 5 September 1848.

St. Mark's [Darling Point] Sydney

St. Mark's [Darling Point] Sydney, by unknown artist
pencil drawing. PXA 550/26

St Mark's Church, Darling Point

St Mark's Church, Darling Point, ca. 1900-1910, by Star Photo Co.
albumen photograph. PXE 711/249

After work was completed, St Mark's opened for divine service on 7 November 1852. It was a proud day for Mort and all those Darling Point families who had contributed to its completion. Thomas Mort, Thomas Ware Smart and Thomas Whistler Smith were the first church wardens (known as the "Three Toms"). St. Mark's became a focal point and meeting place for the whole community.

The Darling Point parishioners continued to tirelessly support the church. The bells, donated by Thomas Ware Smart in 1862, were first heard at the grand wedding of his step-daughter Mary Anne Lydia Oliver who, it was said, was attended by twenty bridesmaids. The tower and the steeple, completed in 1875, were a gift of William Bradley, whose Lindesay property was one of the earliest in Darling Point.

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St. Mark's has always been a popular and fashionable church for society weddings, for both Darling Point residents and Sydney's aspiring social set. Social photographer Sam Hood captured many socialite weddings during the 1930s. In more recent times, St Mark's has hosted such famous weddings as Elton John's first marriage and the fictional wedding in the film Muriel's Wedding.