Welcome

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.
Amen.

Barnabas

While there are no major festivals in the Church’s calendar in June, there are plenty of saint’s days to celebrate, from Justin Martyr on the 1st to those great pillars of the early church, St Peter and St Paul on the 29th June. Sometimes saints and the stories of their lives can seem outside our experience and even make us feel inadequate but I am sure this is not true for St Barnabas whose feast day is 11th June.
Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew named Joseph by his parents, but was given his new name, Barnabas, by the apostles when he sold a field and gave the entire proceeds of the sale to the church that was growing in Jerusalem. His generous action must have really encouraged this group of Jesus’ followers because Barnabas means son of encouragement. Barnabas went on to encourage others to grow in their faith in Jesus when he travelled beyond Jerusalem on missionary journeys often with St Paul.

Encouragement is something we all need, from when we are small children, throughout schooling and working years and on to the challenges of later life. This is especially true when life throws up disasters and difficulties in a world full of uncertainties when traditional values are challenged and everyday there is gloomy news. We could all do with a Barnabas in our lives to encourage us and he provides an example of wholehearted generosity and encouragement for us to follow.

Although it is clear we should comfort and encourage people when times are tough and when their faith is faltering we may also be called to be bold, to encourage others to take risks and step out in faith. The saints did not walk this earth six inches (15cm!) above everyone else but they did have a faith that enabled them to go forward even if the way ahead was uncertain and often dangerous. We should all encourage one another to live in this way of risky faith, putting our trust in God who always loves us and cares for us.

Revd Jane Culliford Vicar, St Andrew's Church

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.
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.