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.

Fighting Loneliness

The month of February is marked by Valentine’s Day when many people celebrate their love for each other.

However, for a growing number of people, of all ages, there is no-one to celebrate this love with, so for some this day can flair up the deep sense of loneliness that had only just quietened down after Christmas.

In January, MP’s from several parties launched the ‘Jo Cox commission on loneliness’ and will produce a manifesto of its findings at the end of this year.

Jo Cox, (an MP murdered in 2016) first noticed loneliness when she watched her grandfather stop and chat to people as he did his postman’s rounds. Jo realised that this was the only conversation many people had each day.

The commission will partner with 13 charities who work with a range of vulnerable people, ‘including desperately sad children; new mums grappling with a fresh identity; isolated disabled people; and men for whom statistics on suicide point to a silent epidemic.’

It is hoped that one of the things that will be highlighted is that loneliness ‘‘is a problem on every street, in every neighbourhood, in every family, and if we all took action we could do a lot to combat loneliness and social isolation”.

Jo’s work has echoes of Mother Teresa who decades earlier noted that “the greatest disease in the West today..... is being unwanted, unloved and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty – it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

So as we rightly celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, let’s also mark February as a month when we will also, start a conversation in the queue, ring someone, have a coffee, take time to walk slowly, put down the gadgets and the watch to pause and notice. Make eye contact, smile at the stranger, visit or phone a friend. Let’s make February a month where, however hectic our lives may be, we prioritise making time for the people in and around our lives in danger of suffering from this epidemic of loneliness and isolation. 

The Reverend Fiona Hall

Team Vicar St George'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.