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.

What is Love?

In the middle of February, in this the shortest month of the year, amid chilly and often wet days, is St Valentine’s day.
St Valentine lived near Rome in the 4th century at a time of persecution against Christians and was martyred for his faith yet his name has somehow become connected with romantic love. All the cards in the shops with their red and pink hearts and pairs of cooing doves suggest that this romantic love still has a place in a world that is often cynical and where broken relationships are all too common. While it is good to celebrate one’s love for a particular person with a Valentine’s card or special meal, this can be a hard day for those who have experienced broken relationships, those whose much- loved partner has died, along with those who have never known a lasting love, much to their regret.

Love is essential for human flourishing but there is more to love than the heady heights of romantic attachments. Each of us were made in love by God who loves us individually and shows his love for all of humankind in sending Jesus to live and die for us. This love is unconditional, even when we have got it all wrong, because there is no fear in love. As Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love for us. The response to being loved in this way should be shown in our love for one another. We are reminded that such love should be patient, kind and forgiving reaching out to include those who are not very lovely and those who feel unloved. Loving in this way is no easy option but is something that we as Christians can offer to a broken and divided world through God’s love abiding in us. Valentine’s flowers and cards fade but God’s love is eternal and we can always reflect this love to our world not only in February!

Rev Jane Culliford St Andrew's Church, West Stafford


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.