The Church of the Good Shepherd,
Following a Beach Mission in 1912, it was decided to build a church in what was then commonly called "Bungalow
Almost side by side, in 1913 the Sunny South Film Company started making films on
Gerald Englebach, who was priest in charge for 1918 to 1927, supplemented his stipend as a film extra. His wife and children appeared as extras in the film “Little Dorrit” which was filmed in 1920, but they hated it and never wanted to appear again!
The film studio was destroyed by fire in 1922, but the Church survived – just. In 1940, whilst the majority of bungalows between Ferry Road and Widewater were blown up, the Church remained standing. The 1963 Golden Jubilee Brochure of the Church records the fact that a request was made to the War Office that the Church should be destroyed, but when two officers were sent to investigate the matter they found, on entering the Church, fourteen men of the Northamptonshire saying their prayers. The officers left and didn’t return.
The Church not only survived but grew – and continues so to do. The Church Hall was added in 1958. By the late 1960’s we had a problem – parishioners were getting fed up with standing outside in the rain because there was no room in the Church.
An extension was the only answer; so we now rejoice in a combination of Pebbledash 1913 Beach Gothic Revival Style and a 1970’s steel frame construction with brick infill. You could say it’s a strange combination but it works and it works well, providing a home designed to nourish a congregation who continue to reach out to the community they seek to serve.