SALT LAKE CITY – When the House of Bishops gather June 27, 2015 to elect a new Presiding Bishop, they will gather at The Cathedral Church of St. Mark, a notable Richard Upjohn church consecrated May 14, 1874.
They will be driven at 11:15 a.m. from the new Salt Palace Convention Center, where General Convention 78 has been meeting, to the Cathedral, and will be sequestered there during the vote and while the actual ballots of the vote are sent to the House of Deputies, which will be in session during the vote. The bishops will not have smart phones during the vote.
St. Mark’s is a few blocks from the Salt Palace, and sits on a downtown block that also includes the offices of the Diocese of Utah and the Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, the 11th Bishop of Utah. It functions as a hub for not only Utah’s Episcopalians, but is often the site of worship broadcast across the west.
The building was the conceived by Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle, a New York native. The Episcopal Church came to Utah with the support of Episcopalians who in the late 19th century who were not only concerned with polygamy but also sought to evangelize the west. When Tuttle arrived, he sought a working relationship with the Mormon settlers, and sought out Brigham Young, who was one of the donors of the building.
The gothic building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is made of red sandstone and heavy timbers, in order to show permanence in what was transitory pioneer city. Seating about 500, the building includes stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Charles Connick.
The reredos, or carved structure behind the altar, include great Anglicans including St. Columba, St. Augustine (the Canterbury Augustine who converted King Ethelbert and established English Christianity) and St. Thomas a Becket. The pulpit is a gift of a Vermont parish; the eagle lectern is typical of one found in many Episcopal Churches as it symbolizes the Gospel of John. The organ has 2,250 pipes, built by Bigelow & Co. of Utah; the facade pipes are 83 percent tin with gilt mouths.
The Cathedral was not an effort for itself; it saw itself as the center of a great effort at evangelism, social gospel and respect for other religions.