This month

Living in Community

After the great celebration of Easter Day, the Church calendar carries on through the seven weeks of the Easter season to Pentecost, each Sunday gospel witnessing to the experience of the first disciples of the risen Lord, through the Ascension to St Luke’s story of the gift of the Spirit. Together, the disciples are gifted with the resurrection appearances, with his ascension into heaven, and with the Spirit.

The Church’s celebrations are celebrations in community, in congregations, in gatherings. This year, throughout the world, the cycle of the year and the continuity of traditional observance have been broken. The trauma we Christians are experiencing is echoed in their own traditions by Jews celebrating Passover and Muslims observing Ramadan – the gatherings that are a vital part of faith identity have been made impossible by the risks of passing on COVID-19.

It’s not surprising that we feel traumatised and confused – and that’s before we begin to address the great stresses to which the global economy and institutions such as the World Health Organisation are subjected, and the tragedies of countless individual lives. People talk about “getting back to normal” but, for a great proportion of the world’s population, there will never be a return to what was “normal” just a couple of months ago.

Yet while we are denied activity in community – worship, sport, weddings, funerals, and family gatherings, even “non-essential” work – in some ways we are more aware of community, of our interdependence (the Thursday night clap!), local, national, global, of the need to act together if the effects of the virus are to be minimised and eventual protection found. Is it too much to hope for, that COVID-19 will have brought us back to the message of Scripture, that our way of living must always take account of the needs of others and the well-being of the natural environment on which all life depends?

Revd Canon John Wood

Covid-19/Coronavirus Update - Churches Closed

Following the government's announcement last night, we regret to tell you that all church buildings are closed until further notice.

However, we can still keep in touch with one another on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We also now have a YouTube channel where we will post the occasional video.

You can also register an account with this website, which will allow you to log in and contribute to our Forum.

There are also resources online for those hoping to find a virtual service - see Church Online - Virtual Services While Regular Services Cancelled.

And because we all need to remember that the Church is the people, not the buildings, we've chosen to illustrate this article with this excellent cartoon by Dave Walker of CartoonChurch.com, which really says it all. (Click on the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)

About us

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. You are very welcome to join us in any of the things we do, and we welcome all enquiries.

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.

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.