About the Parish

RC Parish of St Peter and The Good Shepherd

Bearsted and Harrietsham, Kent

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Church of St Peter, Bearsted

Inside St Peter's  David Combes

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

Good Shepherd Church  David Combes

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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