Good Shepherd Anglican Church is located located at Freeling Street, Tunapuna. It is one the oldest building in the town of Tunapuna, having being originally consecrated in November, 1886. For over 130 years, Good Shepherd Anglican Church has played a prominent role in the community of Tunapuna. Indeed, C.L.R James in his famous book on West Indian cricket, Beyond a Boundary credits the Good Shepherd Anglican Church as being fundamental in instilling and shaping the values. In his book he recalls that it was at the Church of the Good Shepherd:
...where I memorised the chapters and verses of the lessons so as to look the up in the Bible, where the last rites were said for my father. - C.L.R James Beyond a Boundary p 246
Other prominent members of the congregation at Good Shepherd have included:
- Winifred Atwell - pianist who sold over 20 million records.
- Lloyd Best - Prominent Caribbean Economist.
- Sir Courtenay Hannays (QC) - Distinguished Barrister
- Ann Wilhelmina Murray "Teacher Thynnie" - Author and Educator
- Knolly Clarke- Chairman of the Inter Religious Organisation, Former Dean, Trinity Cathedral Trinidad.
- Carlyle Henry - Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education of Trinidad and Tobago
- Reynold Cooper - Former Head of the Public Service
Architecturally, the outstanding feature of the Church is its towering steel belfry and bells which could be heard as far away as St Augustine. The Church building has been identified for inclusion on the list of national heritage sites by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago.
Origins of The Church
Prior to 1886, the only church that existed between St Joseph and Tacarigua was the St Mary’s Anglican Church. Rev. Alfred Ramsden was responsible for this vast area so meetings were held with influential Anglicans such as the Paseas of Pasea, the Greens, Mr Rose Augustine, Mr Cumberbatch, Mr Springer, Mr William Henry, Mr John Payne, Mr Mc Lean, Mr Joseph Warner and many others. Tunapuna was considered the ideal location for constructing a church building. The land was acquired from the government, plans were drawn up and both rich and poor contributed in their own way to the building of The Church. The initial building was made of timber and was in the shape of a cross consisting of a long central rectangular hall with no wings. Church was consecrated on St Andrew’s Day 30 November, 1886 by the Lord Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago, the Right Rev. Richard Rawle.
Over the years there have been a number of changes and improvements to the Church. The pipe organ, was installed in the 1890s and is still functional today. It was xtensively refurbished in 2012. Our famous belfry was actually a gift from Mr. John Payne in memory of his wife. It was originally wooden and was later replaced by a steel structure donated by the Orange Grove Sugar Estate. This structure, which towers over the surrounding buildings was restored in 2015. The southern wing of the church adjoining the organ chamber was added in early 1900s and the northern wing, west of the Lady Chapel was added some time later. Both these extensions were timber. The wooden building was replaced by masonry finished with lime mortar in the 1920s. The Lady Chapel was added in the 1930s, the current main altar was installed along with new stained glass windows. Unfortunately over the years these have been damaged to the extent that only the Good Shepherd stained glass panel remains.
Our Good Shepherd Anglican Church is over 130 years old. It has become necessary for us to undertake major restorative works if we are to preserve our church building now and for the future
Our restoration began in 2015 when we restored the bell tower which was deemed an unsafe structure. Today we have a new bell tower at a cost of $182,000.00 and once more Tunapunians can listen out and hear our bells on Sunday mornings. The second phase involved renewing our roof which after many years leaked profusely. This venture cost us$163,000.00 and was completed in 2017.
*Now we are on the third phase of our restoration; that of restoring our interior and exterior walls which are extensively damaged and the electrical system in our church. This phase has been assessed at a cost of $1,000,000.00 and started in late June 2018.
We are in dire need of funds if we are to complete this phase of our restoration. We have in our possession half of our required funds and we know that with God’s favor and your intervention our church will be restored.
We are therefore asking for your financial assistance or your donation of specific items e.g. light fixtures, fans, stained glass window panes, Etc.
Your contribution will be greatly appreciated and recorded in our files for future references. Also you will be allotted visible recognition if you so desire.
Check out our Donation page for more details on how you can contribute the Good Shepherd Church Renovation Project.