Prior to the construction of a church, Anglicans held their meetings in school houses and in local homes. There was not a resident minister, so these early meeting would have to be served by a visiting one. The first Anglican church in the area was built in the New London Parish in 1827. Before this point in time, services were held in a small log-house school. Anglicans from Kensington were part of the New London parish, sharing their minister and in their religious celebrations. The first postmasters in Barrett's Cross, Mr. and Mrs. William Glover, hosted local prayers gathering in their home, but had to register the baptism of their children at the St. Eleanor's Parish Church.
By 1854, the Anglican community in Barrett's Cross had grown to the extent that it was deemed necessary to build their own church. The Diocesan Society's annual report reported that a resident of St. Eleanor's-- twenty kilometers to the west-- had traveled to Barrett's Cross to hold church services, and perceived an immediate need for a more suitable place of worship. Local landowner Thomas Sims was instrumental in the building of the church, donating the property for the new chapel. Consecrated and dedicated as St. Mark's in 1863, this church was a modest construction, with no spire or tower.
But with the arrival of the railway in the 1870s, Kensington experienced an influx of population and affluence, as merchants and tradesmen set up shop around the new station. Due to this sudden growth within the community, the 1863 church was no longer large enough to serve its spiritual needs. In 1881, a new St. Mark's church was constructed, and a new rectory was added in 1882.
This St. Mark's was a monument to the aspirations of the growing community, and it was one of the first churches to bear the unmistakable signature of William Critchlow Harris, who almost singlehandedly set the architectural tone for Island churches and public buildings in the 19th century. The church features a majestic three stage tower and shallow-arched windows and doorways. To offset the horizontal lines of the building, Harris adorned its exterior with judiciously placed vertical trim elements. This magnificent building, however, required a significant commitment from the parishioners. Its pricetag at the time ran to twenty-two hundred dollars, a cost which was shared among the churches in the New London parish. When the rector was appointed, part of his pay consisted of meat and farm products from the parish, including feed for his horses.
St. Mark's remains an active faith community in Kensington, and the church itself is one of the town's architectural jewels. The St. Mark's Hall, built in 1897, has been used since 1996 to host meetings of the Church of the Nazerene.