This month

Covid-19/Coronavirus Update - September 2020

Some of our churches are now open for worship and private prayer. Details are below.

St George

  • Shortened Communion service every Sunday at 10am, with distribution of bread only and no singing
  • No need to book - just turn up
  • Please wear a mask, apply hand sanitiser (provided) on entry and leave your name and phone number
  • Sit in the marked pews and follow the one-way system
  • No refreshments after the service - please move outside before talking to friends
  • Also open for private prayer Wed 1 - 4pm, Sun 8:30 - 11:30am

St Mary

  • Eucharist every Sunday at 8am and 9.45am. Please book EACH week with Trudy (trtabone@gmail.com) if you wish to attend either service.
  • Eucharist every Wednesday at 9.30am - no need to book
  • Contemplative Prayer Group meets every Wednesday at 5pm 
  • Church is locked outside service times

St Peter

  • Holy Communion (BCP) every Sunday at 9am
  • Holy Communion (Order 1) every Sunday at 10.30am
  • Both services are abbreviated and arranged in accordance with COVID-19 requirements
  • No need to book - just turn up
  • Benefice Prayer Group meets in the Hardye Chapel at St. Peter's Church every Friday at 10.30am for half an hour, with appropriate spacing and hand sanitising
  • Open for personal prayer 10am - 4pm every day

West Stafford

  • Service every Sunday at 11.15am

Winterborne Monkton

  • Holy Communion service on the first Sunday of the month at 11.15am

Compton Valence and Winterbornes St Martin, Abbas and Steepleton

The Rector's Induction

To watch the induction of the Revd Keith Magee as the Rector of Dorchester and the Winterbournes Team Ministry, click here:


The broadcast will start at 2:55pm on Sunday, 22nd November. It will also be available to watch afterward the service.


‘Time is like an ever rolling stream’

Yes, time is linear and therefore always on the move. November is a month of remembrances and for remembrance.

At the beginning of the month we remember All Souls tide, which calls to mind all the faithful departed. On the second Sunday of the month we keep Remembrance Sunday and recall the supreme sacrifice paid by the ‘Glorious Dead’ (as the Cenotaph in Whitehall, calls them).

I can remember the first weekend we had a television set in our home as a child. It was rented from a local company and had a large wooden cabinet and the relatively small screen was in black and white! It was November 1959 and was Remembrance Sunday weekend. My grandfather was staying with us and we watched the scenes of the British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall.

Grandad had been a a member of the Royal Flying Corps in the first World Ward and a founder member of the Royal Air Force on 1st April 1918. Grandad wept as he watched. Together we sat in silence observing both the TV and the tears streaming down his cheeks. Was he weeping for his former service colleagues who had been killed in action? Was he weeping for family and friends killed in the Second World War? Was he weeping for my Grandmother who had died three years earlier? I know not, but I do know that it was an accepted fact that he could weep, albeit in the privacy of our own front room.

We are in the business of being ‘memory makers’; that is our vocation, our experience, our training, our heritage and our gospel.

There will be countless other stories to tell of personal and public grief across the span of time. All those losses are both personal and significant. Once we have been bereaved we are always bereaved and time doesn’t heal because it does not possess that quality.

In Jesus, death has lost its sting; therefore we become people of hope. As we adjust and learn to live with loss, we come to realise there are many other people in our own community, our own nation and across the world who are similarly bereaved.

When I was Vicar of Lynton and Lynmouth in picturesque North Devon I had the privilege of helping that community ‘commemorate’ the 50th anniversary of the Lynmouth Flood of 15th August 1952. On that occasion we released 34 white doves (one representing each life lost), from the Rhenish Tower at Lynmouth Harbour. Untrained, the doves flew straight up the river. Doves, of course, were the creatures that told Noah the Flood was over.

I have discovered that with significant deaths the use of stones can be helpful. After our elder son died twenty years ago some friends took us to the beach at Seatown to throw stones from the beach. The throwing of those stones was extremely helpful. However, I kept a flat one that was suitable for ‘skimming’. I never did skim it, but it fell out of my coat pocket one day and part of it broke off leaving a very sharp edge. I replaced it in my pocket and found that, over the years, constant rubbing has worn off the sharpness and the stone is now much smoother. That stone is a rich metaphor for bereavement. It now has pride of place among many other ‘memory makers’ in my study.

‘Peace I give you, my peace I leave with you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’ (John 14:27)

Revd Philip Ringer

Chaplain at Bridport Community Hospital

About us

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. You are very welcome to join us in any of the things we do, and we welcome all enquiries.

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.

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.