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.

Revd Canon Thomas Woodhouse

Dear Friends,

Moments of peace and quiet reflection are not always easy to come by in December, but that should not prevent us seeking them out, or embracing them when they come as an unexpected gift! One such gift came my way when the Dorchester Choral Society performed Benjamin Britten’s cantata Saint Nicholas.

The legendary life of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, is revealed in Eric Crozier’s libretto and Britten’s music and paints a dramatically bold portrait of the saint's character, exaggerating the legends and glory that have accumulated over the centuries around Nicholas’s story.

The thing that impacted on me was the interplay between the generations involved on the night, with voices ranging from 14 years old upward. It was one reflection on the hope found at the heart of Christmas; it is not exclusively for one age or another but for all ages and for all times.

An Advent and Christmas gift being offered this year is a discussion on Remnants! David Bowen has taken up the challenge of putting together a short course looking at what Remnant meant in the Old Testament and means in the Church today! David is posing two questions: Does God work best with small numbers? What does he do with the left-overs?

Part of my preparation has been to read William Dalrymple’s book (published in 1997) From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium. In AD 587, two monks embarked on a journey across the Byzantine world, from the shores of the Bosphorus to the sand dunes of Egypt. Their aim was to collect the wisdom of the sages and mystics of the Byzantine East before their fragile world shattered.

Dalrymple observes that if the pattern of Christian suffering was more complex than I could possibly have guessed at the beginning of this journey, it was also more desperate. In Turkey and Palestine, the extinction of the descendant of John Moschos Byzantine Christians seemed imminent; at current emigration rates, it was unlikely that either community would still be in existence in twenty years.

Here is a second reflection on hope, twenty years on and Eastern Christianity retains a place in the lands that first heard the news that a Saviour had been born, there are still worshipping communities witnessing to the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the East.

Running throughout From the Holy Mountain is a rich blend of history and spirituality, adventure and politics. Similar themes accompany the faithful through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany: we have an opportunity to think again about the place God has in our lives. Moments of peace and quiet reflection are not easily found, but seek them out and in them think how you are going to translate the hope you have in the birth of Jesus into something new and lasting in 2018.

As ever,

Thomas M. B. Woodhouse
Team Rector of Dorchester and The Winterbournes

Remnants is on 14th December, 21st December and 11th January 7pm at the Rectory: book early to avoid disappointment!

Alpha Course at St George's

Everyone has questions

We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view.

 Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone's welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes—you name it. No two Alphas look the same, but generally they have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation.

In Dorchester we are running an Alpha course at St George's Church starting on the 17th January 2018 at 7.30pm, we will start each session with a pudding, then listening to a talk before getting into smaller groups where each person will have the chance to ask questions. You may be interested to view the Alpha website

If you are interested in exploring faith and would like to join us please phone the Parish office 01305 250719.

Dates are 17 January - 14 March. More details to follow - Watch this Space!

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.