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.

The Cross of Christ

Dear Friends,

The cross of Christ is joyful, sorrowful and, at times, painful to bear! During Lent we place ourselves under the cross of Christ, we remember that we are signed and sealed by that precious sign. It is not a magic charm or a protecting force; it is the outward and visible sign that in all the changing scenes of life, the one who carried the cross to Calvary will for ever bear our burdens with us and for us.

The things that most inspire us are not the formal rules, regulations and codes that govern our religion. What motivates and inspires us is faith ‘en-fleshed’: a church so full of people that the memory of it lingers long in the memory. What is set out and lived in the life of the worshipping community is what can transform us and make us into better people. Such living is incarnational and it has the power the change lives. It is the link between our Christmas celebrations and our Easter celebrations: The Babe of Bethlehem who becomes the Man of Sorrows and finally the Resurrected Christ.

The Christian journey turns the world upside down, as Jesus transforms lives and raises people up. Not even by his resurrection can Jesus make all wrongs right! Instead Jesus saves us from ourselves, from the enemy within! The inner life and the secrets of the heart are what God dwells upon, God looks on the inside.

Jesus died between two thieves but only one laid open his soul and only one was transformed and received eternal life. They are such powerful words, uttered from the most powerless place possible:

“‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23.41-43).

In that moment an outcast became the person where God could dwell! Our Christian calling is to become God’s house; a person, a people where all creation meets with God and finds there hope and salvation.

As Passiontide becomes Easter may God be close to you! As ever,

Canon Thomas Woodhouse
Team Rector of Dorchester and The Winterbournes


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.