Church of the Good Shepherd, Par

Prior to 1896 Par Green looked considerably different from what it does today.  There were no houses beyond the western end of the church and there was no Gott Hall, just an empty space.

The Mission Church of the Good Shepherd was built in 1896 and the total cost of £850 met by Bishop John Gott, the third Bishop of Truro, “as a thank offering for a great mercy”.  Bishop Gott lived at Trenython which stands on the hill above Tywardreath.    The Church was designed by Edmund H Sedding, and built of granite with facings of Polyphant stone.  Edmund H Sedding was articled to his uncle, John Dando Sedding.  His father (also named Edmund Sedding) was a pupil of George Edmund Street.

The exterior of the Church is inconspicuous but the interior is astonishingly beautiful and dignified.  At first, the Church was a simple rectangular building with a roof supported by curved beams.  A small Altar stood at the east end beneath a plain five-lancet window.  Choir stalls stood on each side of the Chancel; an organ to the south of it and a small vestry to the north.

The original design was enriched by alterations to the east end, completed in 1954, carried out mainly by the church people theselves to the designs of Mr Stephen Dyke-Bower.  The coloured glass in the east window was installed at this time and depicted some of the history of the Church, the Parish of Par and the Diocese of Truro.  The general effect (quoting Murray Gowan) “is of a rich pattern in flowing colours each a small jewel and together forming the final beautiful picture”.  The vestries were moved to the Gott Hall during the alterations and in the late 1950’s the cloister was built incorporating the Lady Chapel.  In 1985 the west window was installed in memory of Harry Baker.

In 1951 a Calvary was erected outside the church on the north side facing the road.  The figure was carved in Oberammergau.  The cross still stands outside the Church but the crucifix (twice desecrated by vandals) now hangs, secure, on the wall inside the Gott Hall.

The Gott Hall

Soon after Bishop Gott'’s death in 1906 a Memorial Hall was built on the south side of the Church.  It was entirely paid for by subscriptions from the parishioners and from the proceeds of sales of work, etc.  The Hall is used for Parish functions and as the meeting-place for many groups and organisations throughout the village.

Photographs of the Interior of the Church of the Good Shepherd