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to Good Shepherd
Church of St Peter, Bearsted
From 1970 the numbers of Catholics in the
Bearsted area were increasing, but parishioners had difficulty
travelling to Harrietsham or Maidstone for Mass. In January 1977, Mass
began to be said on Sunday morning at the Bearsted King George Memorial
Hall. Late in 1977, the Diocese concluded that the numbers attending
Mass at Bearsted and Harrietsham were sufficient to earn for us the
status of a Parish.
The need for a new church was obvious but only in 1983 did it become
possible to secure suitable land and planning permission for a church,
which was consecrated on 4 November 1984. For photos of the
building of St Peter's, click here.
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Church of the Good Shepherd, Harrietsham
What is now the Catholic Church of the Good
Shepherd, Harrietsham was originally built in 1881 as an Anglican
Mission Church for the workers employed on the construction of the
London to Dover Railway. After the railway was completed, the whole
building became a Mission Church in the 19th century meaning of the
term, that is, it tended to be used by the working people of the
village, whereas the "gentry" went to the much older Parish Church of
St John the Baptist.
After the Second World War, the Church of St John the Baptist was
repaired and less and less use was made of the Church of the Good
Shepherd. By the mid-1960s the sale of the church was being actively
considered. After lengthy negotiations, the sale was finally agreed and
the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd came in to use about the year
1970 as part of the Maidstone parish.
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