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.

Giving up chocolate

What does Lent mean to you? Giving up chocolate or alcohol
perhaps? Or is it taking up something – chartiable work, a Lent
course or spiritual reading? Personnally I aim to do a mixture of
those things, but whatever personal approach we take during Lent
it is at the very least a time for reflection.
The church views Lent as a penitential time, a time to
contemplate on our lives, our faith and the state of the world; but
it needn’t be all doom and gloom. There is at this time of year a
wonderful juxtaposition between the dark and cold and the
wonders that are all around us seen in new growth and new life.
So in the season of Lent it would seem a good time to ask
oursleves, “Do I look forward with hope or fear, with anticipation
or dread?”
Our faith constantly takes a battering as we experience great
personal sadnesses or we despair at what we see happening in the
world. We may feel a bit like the exiled people in the Old
Testament who were forced to leave their own land for another
strange land that they didn’t understand. One of the difficulties for
the exiled people was their inability to see outside of themselves, to
imagine what it might be like beyond this time of grieving to a
time of newness. They couldn’t worship God in a strange land, all
they could do was sit by the rivers of Babylon and weep.
There are times when we too can feel like an exiled people,
suffering a similar internalisation of despair, as we witness the
problems the world faces or experience difficulties in our own lives.
The church’s call and our personal call is to permit newness,
and it must start with us allowing ourselves, in humility before
God, to be renewed in the spirit so that we can offer our witness
to the world of hope and the promise of God’s kingdom. The
hope God gives us is a confidence in the future based upon our
present experience of his love. We do not know the precise details
of what that future holds, nor do we need to know, but we do
have the assurance that God is at work in our lives, and that one
day his purpose will be fulfilled.
We begin Lent with the wonderfully contemplative Ash
Wednesday services and over the following 6 weeks there are
various Lent events on offer to sustain us and help us grow
spiritually. So we should take time for reflection this Lent and
allow God to enter into our lives.
Giving up chocolate is good – offering up hope is life-sustaining.

Yours in Christ

Rev'd Jean Saddington,     Team Vicar, The Winterbornes and Compton Valence


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.