On the 6 August we celebrate the Feast of Transfiguration. In the story Jesus takes three disciples and goes up the mountain to pray. Suddenly his face and clothing are transfigured – transformed – and are dazzling white. As Peter, one of the disciples, asks if they can build tents and stay, a cloud overshadows them and God’s voice is heard, saying that Jesus is God’s son. In the midst of the ordinary activity of a walk up a mountain, heaven is torn open and the presence of God is revealed. The ordinary becomes extraordinary and suddenly the hidden is revealed.

The story of the transfiguration offers to us a paradox. God’s presence in the created order often feels hidden, just as when the cloud overshadows the group at the transfiguration. This mirrors our own experience – where is God’s dazzling presence in the killing of families celebrating Bastille day in France last month? However there are also the many and varied ways in which we can experience the transfiguring presence of God in and through the created order.

Poets put this into words when others fail. This is from Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

“Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes.”

We will be best able to experience God’s presence in the everyday if we can nurture the gift of wonder in ourselves. If we forget what this is, spending time with young children reminds us that the smallest creature can be the cause of much delight, and bring us closer to our Creator. We can pray for the grace and gift of wonder for ourselves, so that in our ordinary lives we too can be touched by the presence of God. A former Dean of Westminster, Michael Mayne, expresses this beautifully:

‘...the whole world is sacramental, and the whole creation marked with the signature of its Creator, ... the only way to find the holy is in the ordinary; and the ordinary is far more extraordinary than we think.’ 

Rev Claire McCLelland


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

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.

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.
e 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.