Farewell Letter

Dear Friend,

The Church of the Good Shepherd has existed in Fairhaven for 94 years. Every single person who has entered the building has helped make its long and successful history possible. We are beginning to realize that a church is much more than a building. Good Shepherd parishioners have always been deeply engaged with the surrounding community. The creation of the Shepherd's Pantry has given families hope and nourishment in their greatest times of need.

During the church's earliest years, entertaining public events were planned, such as suppers and dances. In the year of 1972, the building received a very special addition that would grab the attention of all who walked beneath it. Robert W. Bruce transformed our back wall into a magnificent fresco painting, portraying a gigantic shepherd guiding his sheep.

Our entire parish would like to thank everyone for their generosity, patience, and kindness. Former dedicated parishioner Gladys Howcroft understood the importance of the many congregations that worshiped where she did. She once wrote,

"our church is a living memorial to those who gave of themselves toward the growth and continuance of our church."

It's reasonable to assume that we all have formed strong relationships with one another. A church family is a great source of love and friendship. We have all expressed a desire to remain a family in the midst of whatever lies ahead.

Unfortunately, we have reached a critical time in the story of the church. The vestry members have now voted to close the church. This decision was necessary due to extreme financial constraints and low weekly attendance. The process of closing is complicated and formal. The vestry vote was only the first step. Our strong parishioners are working hard to ensure that our church will have a smooth and peaceful exit.

We wanted the people who have had strong connections to the church to be aware of our situation. This news may not be surprising. We have been struggling to remain open for several years. The love that we all have for our beautiful, tiny church is what helped us continue to fight the problems we faced. We accomplished amazing things and celebrated God together. It's time to say goodbye to one incredible journey, and begin a new one. Peace be with you!

Church of the Good Shepherd