Welcome

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.
Amen.

Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

World Animal Day (4th) and World Mental Health Day (10th) both fall in the month of October.
St George’s page has more about World Animal Day and St Francis, and includes the dates for our Pet Café and Pet Service.

However, Mental Health is something we all need to be constantly revisiting. Today, 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children have a mental health problem. This suggests that people we know are profoundly impacted by mental illness. They may find it hard to work, sustain relationships, or just get through the day. Alongside many of the sufferers will also be their family and friends who often feel helpless in the face of such illness.

Three years ago I was off work for months with depression and anxiety. Until then I thought I knew about mental health, however, like any illness, knowing about something, and living through it, are two very different things. It wasn’t just me, it was my family and friends too, as they rallied round and prayed and supported in amazing and, at times, very costly ways. Thankfully, with their help, a good GP surgery, medication and counselling I’m well and back at work. What also helped were people who generously spoke about their own battles with mental illness, which took away the shame and gave me glimmers of hope in some very dark days.

It is this shame, and the ignorance and fear that it often stems from that World Mental Health Day seeks to tackle. Unlike most illnesses, mental illness still has a stigma attached to it, often well after the person has recovered. Yet, like many physical diseases, mental health is curable, or manageable. Some people have a bout of mental illness, and recover to the point they don’t need further intervention. Others, just like people with diabetes, will need ongoing care for the rest of their lives, whilst other people may have relapses or longer periods of acute care.

Yet the shame generated by the ignorance or fear of others can make it difficult for people to seek help.

Only a quarter of people with a mental health problem receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority struggling alone. This is shocking; mental illness is an awful disease to suffer from, and

the thought of people struggling alone should horrify us all.

So please, on October 10th, and throughout the year, let’s talk about mental health, help break down the barriers, support those who are ill, and maybe think of some ways we could raise some much needed funds for research and resources. 

Revd 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.