Centenary service for Shepperdine's tin tabernacle

Gazette Series: Centenary service for Shepperdine's tin tabernacle Centenary service for Shepperdine's tin tabernacle

SHEPPERDINE'S tiny tin church will celebrate reaching a landmark anniversary when the Bishop of Gloucester holds a special service on Sunday.

St Mary's has a corrugated iron exterior and seats just 30 worshippers.

This year marks its centenary and the right Rev Michael Perham will be in the hamlet to conduct the service at 4.30pm.

However, as the church is so small, a marquee will also be erected to accommodate the overflow and house the tea making equipment.

The church has to be reached by walking through a field and crossing a stile.

Few such tin tabernacles still exist as they were early examples of prefabricated design, developed in the 19th century to serve fast growing urban areas and the upsurge in non-conformism, as well as to be used in the colonies.

They were designed to stand in temporarily before more permanent stone or brick structures could be built so were flimsy, making St Mary's continued existence so unusual.

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