Revd Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Team RectorThe invitation to our Team website is simple: Come On In…

Dorchester and the Winterbournes Team Ministry is your local Church of England uniting nine worshipping communities:

St Thomas a Beckett, Compton Valence;
St George, Dorchester;
St Mary the Virgin, Dorchester;
St Peter, Dorchester;
St Andrew, West Stafford;
SS Simon and Jude, Winterborne Herringston and Winterborne Monkton;
St Mary, Winterbourne Abbas;
St Martin, Martinstown;
and St Michael, Winterbourne Steepleton.

We are a community that attracts all kinds of people from across the town of Dorchester and six villages, Christians united by our common faith in Jesus Christ. We are a diverse and welcoming team of Christian communities, committed to prayer, service and growth.

This website will let you know about some of the things we do: some of them well established, some of them new ventures and all of them exciting and available for you to join.

Details about the individual churches are on this website and we welcome conversation. For now, thank you for visiting…

With best wishes

Revd Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Team Rector

Almighty God, the source of our joy, you gladden our hearts as we journey towards the heavenly city.
Deepen within us a desire for peace, that celebrating our differences and rejoicing in all we hold in common,
your people may prosper and come to praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


The Victorian Priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins begins his poem entitled ‘Spring’ with the words “Nothing is so beautiful as spring”. How true that is. Each one of the seasons has its own beauty of course but I believe that spring is special. One only has to look around at the spring flowers lighting up the still bare landscape with their golden hue to feel the heart soar and gain a sense of newness and hope.

As I write this we are one week away from the glorious celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Day. On Easter Sunday all our churches will be awakened from their Lenten solemnity and will be wonderfully embellished with the most beautiful floral displays (thanks to our talented teams of flower arrangers) in celebration of the Risen Lord. All around us we see signs of newness bursting into life.

I’m reminded of The Carpenters’ song, ‘We’ve only just begun’ which at this time of year offers a simple but wonderful synopsis of the message at the heart of the gospel. It goes on to say:

‘Before the risin' sun, we fly,
So many roads to choose
We'll start out walkin' and learn to run (And yes, we’ve just begun)’

Whoever we are, whatever we face, God holds out the prospect of a fresh start, of new horizons that beckon us onwards.

This glorious Eastertide, which, in the Church’s calendar goes on all through May until Pentecost on 9th June, continues the joy of Easter Day reminding us that each and every day is a new beginning. The witnesses to the first Easter slowly came to realise that, from an awful ending (the death of our Lord Jesus Christ), had come a new beginning, not just for Jesus but for everyone. Joy, hope, purpose and love, which had been buried with Jesus in the tomb, came leaping back to life; the future that a moment ago had seemed so empty was suddenly brimming over with promise.

Such is the hope of spring, offering signs of new life all around us, and in this wonder that is God’s creation we are invited to live each moment in the context of the God who makes all things new; the God who enables us confidently to declare: we’ve only just begun.

Yours in Christ
Jean Saddington, Team Vicar


Our message to you

You are welcome, whatever your beliefs, even if you find organised religion irrelevant.
You are welcome, whatever your lifestyle.
You are welcome, wherever you may be on your faith journey; believer or agnostic, conventional Christian, or questioning sceptic.
We look forward to receiving the ideas and experiences you can bring.
We welcome the infinite variety of human beings and hope that our shared witness to Christian faith will not leave anyone feeling unwanted or unloved.
We think that the way we treat each other is even more important than the dogmas we hold.
We think it is vital to take seriously the intellectual and emotional problems many people have with the Christian faith.
We think Christians must be concerned with global issues of injustice and suffering.
We recognise that our ignorance far outstrips our understanding and that there is great value just in asking questions as well as in finding answers.
We recognise that our faith involves discipleship and a consciousness of all that is bad and promotion of all that is good.
Our hope is that anybody visiting our churches will feel welcome.