Meet Brixton’s most successful publisher in his deconsecrated church

St Jude’s

Brixton lovers will soon have a chance to get to know better two of the less well-known features that go to make us unique.

If you have ever wondered why Brixton is the Church of England parish of St Matthew with St Jude, and where St Jude is, you can now pay the deconsecrated church a visit.

book cover

And if you knew already that it is set back from the street on Dulwich Road, across and just down from the Price Regent, you can discover what goes on inside it these days.

Mark Allen, who has run a thriving business for 35 years or more – from Brixton since 2003 – will be hosting the celebration for the launch of his first book – Life Term.

The book talk and reading event at St Jude’s is on Monday 20 September from 6 to 7.30pm.

Wine and canapés will be served. Entrance is £5 per person, which can be be deducted from your book purchase at the special offer rate for the occasion of £11.25.

A former journalist – and magazine editor of the year in 1983 – Mark Allen set up his own publishing company in 1985.

A clue to his success may be that last year he was getting up at 3am to write his novel so as not to interfere with the difficult task of steering a publishing group through a pandemic and lockdown.

man sitting on sofa
Mark Allen

Mark Allen, who is also a poet, says Life Term is “quite a moving and gripping story, which takes the reader up to date with lockdown”.

It has a topical and sensitive theme with a surprising twist at the end. You can read a synopsis and extract here.

Places for the celebration can be booked by phone on 0800 137 201 or online at