A Short History of Good Shepherd Church, New Addington
In Addington itself, dating from about 1080, St Mary’s Church is the burial place of five Archbishops. The Addington Palace we know was built in the 1770s as Addington Place, replacing the earlier manor house of the same name, home of the Leigh family.
New Addington is south of Croydon and is a comparatively young area, dating back only to the 1930s. Before the estate was built the land on which it now stands was farmland belonging to Castle Hill, Addington Lodge and Fisher’s Farms, and the nearest village was Addington.
Fr Howley was the parish priest in Selsdon from 1945, and in March 1945 he started celebrating Mass at the back of the New Addington Community Centre. In 1950 he arranged for a Mission led by the Redemptorist Fr Eugene (see photo).
Fr Eugene, Redemptorist with Fr Howley
Parish life in New Addington had a firm base for the first time when on 6th September 1955 the school opened. Mass was said in the school hall, and the small room in the hall was used for confessions, baptisms and early Mass during Lent.
Fr John J Nevin arrived on 2nd May 1956, the first parish priest of New Addington since the Reformation. He and the parishioners helped to build the church, and the first Mass was on Christmas Day 1960. Bishop Cyril Cowdrey was the first Catholic Bishop in over 300 years to celebrate Pontifical High Mass in New Addington at the dedication of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Wednesday 21st March 1962.
In April 1968 Fr Michael Collins was appointed as parish priest and stayed so until 1982. It was in 1979 that Sr Mary Pauline, a sister of the Daughters of Mary & Joseph, took over the school.
In 1982 Fr John Naughton became parish priest for 3 years, and he was the first parish priest not to have a curate. He was replaced by Fr Patrick Cannon. It was during 1985 that the Daughters of Mary and Joseph established a community in the parish. Sr Mary Pauline, Sr Mary Andrew and Sr John O’Donaghue moved in in December 1985. On 20th June 1986 the consecration of the church took place. In 1986 FrCannon left the parish and was replaced by Fr Sean Hearty. Fr Sean was parish priest for seven years, and it was in his time that New Addington had the influx of immigrants and asylum seekers who were increasingly being moved onto the estates. In June 1991 Fr Michael Doyle, who grew up in the parish, was ordained to the priesthood.
In was around this time that Sr Joan pioneered the Good Shepherd Mission to the Homeless, a soup run to help the homeless in central London, run once a week. This still continues today.
Fr Anthony Charlton became parish priest in 1993. After 7 years of service, and after he had celebrated his 25th anniversary of ordination, he was moved on to Tolworth. It was in September 2000 that Fr Stephen Boyle took over as parish priest. Fr Stephen remained in post for 12 years and then moved in August 2012 to St Anselm’s, Dartford. He was replaced here by Fr Cornelius (Con) Boyle, no relation of his.