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 Journey of Lent

Dear Friends,
Through the forty days of Lent we are lead into the desert of repentance, through a pilgrimage of prayer and discipline we grow in grace and learn to be God’s people once again. Through fasting, prayer and acts of service we are brought back to God’s generous heart. Through study of God’s holy word our eyes are opened to God’s presence in the world and our hands are set free to welcome others into the radiant splendour of God’s love. It is a journey back to God’s love, a journey back to holiness.

At the Last Supper Jesus talks about the transforming nature of holiness and then he invites his disciples to partake! Jesus journeys outside the city wall, he goes to the place where people suffer and are humiliated, to the place where people throw stuff out, including other people and shows that there is holiness too.

Rowan Williams says that holiness is about enlarging the world, it is about being involved with the world, that a holy person is somebody who is not afraid to be a human being, someone who, in the middle of all that, actually makes you see things and people afresh...that is the transforming thing, the acid test for identifying where holiness is.

He goes on, a truly holy Church is taken over by the excitement of the extraordinariness of

God; it wants to talk about the beauty and splendour of God, and to show the self-draining, self-forgetting love of God by being at the heart of humanity, by being where people are most human.

Many of us have heard about ‘thin places’, the phrase used to describe a physical place where the gap between heaven and earth is no more than a hair’s breadth. In a recent conversation at our Team Chapter, we acknowledged that there are ‘thin people’ too: holy people who are so human they fill us with joy, raise us up and make us feel good.

As we journey back to God’s love during this Season of Lent I hope you will find encouragement for your journey through the people you meet and the prayers you make.

As ever,
The Revd Canon Thomas M B Woodhouse
Team Rector of Dorchester and The Winterbournes


(The inspiration behind this offering at the start of Lent is Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury) and particularly Chapter Four, pages 46-56, in his book Being Disciples, Essentials for the Christian Life (ISBN 978-0-281-07662-8).) Thomas


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.