This month

Covid-19/Coronavirus Update - March 2021

Following the end of the third lockdown, some of our churches are now open for worship and private prayer. Details are below.

St George

  • Shortened Communion service every Sunday at 9:45am, with distribution of bread only and no singing
  • No need to book - just turn up
  • Please wear a mask, apply hand sanitiser (provided) on entry and leave your name and phone number
  • Sit in the marked pews and follow the one-way system
  • No refreshments after the service - please move outside before talking to friends
  • BCP service 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at 8am
  • Also open for private prayer Wednesday 8:30am - 4pm

St Mary

  • Holy Eucharist every Sunday at 9.45am. Please book your seat by contacting Trudy Tabone (click for contact details)

  • We hope to resume our Wednesday midweek Eucharist  and Contemplative prayer group after Easter. See Pews News for details.

St Peter

  • Holy Communion (BCP) every Sunday at 9am
  • Holy Communion (Order 1) every Sunday at 10.30am
  • Both services are abbreviated and arranged in accordance with COVID-19 requirements
  • No need to book - just turn up
  • Open for personal prayer 10am - 4pm every day
  • Benefice Prayer Group meets in the Hardye Chapel at St. Peter's Church every Friday at 10.30am for half an hour, with appropriate spacing and hand sanitising

West Stafford

  • Services resume on Palm Sunday 28th March with Matins at 11:15am
  • Church open on Wednesdays and Sundays 10am - 4pm

Winterborne Monkton

  • Holy Communion service on the 1st Sunday of the month at 11.15am
  • Church open for private prayer every Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm. 

Compton Valence and Winterbornes St Martin, Abbas and Steepleton

On such a lovely morning as this

Revd Keith Magee

In the sky
The song of the skylark
Greets the dawn.
In the fields wet with dew
The scent of the violets
Fills the air.

On such a lovely morning as this
Surely on such a lovely morning as this

Lord Jesus
Came forth
From the tomb.

I love the simplicity of this poem by the Japanese Christian poet, Genzo Mizuno. On such a lovely morning as this, Lord Jesus came forth from the tomb. On a spring Easter morning for us, it can be anything from brilliant sunshine to snow. For the women going to the tomb on that first Easter morning, I’m not sure what the weather was like, but it was a morning of tension, anticipation and surprise. What started as a journey to the tomb to anoint the body of a loved one who had tragically died turned into a moment of complete wonder and awe. The angel, the man dressed in white who was sitting in the open tomb, told them, “He is not here, he is risen”. He told the women to go and tell Peter and the other disciples. So off they fled, filled with a whole mixture of emotions and reactions, terror and amazement being among them.

As we hear the Easter story again this year, it can too easily sound as if it is just another Easter, and in that moment, lose sight of the wonder and joy of the resurrection. Jesus died on the cross and rose again for us. This is not just a once a year celebration. This is an everyday reality that gives us life and hope. We live in a relationship of love and joy with God because of what Jesus has done for us.

This is not just a cause for celebration on one day. It is something that fills our lives with wonder and thankfulness on everyday. It may be a day of brilliant sunshine, a day of dark clouds. It may even be a day when skylarks sing and violets burst forth in bloom. Each day we can celebrate that Jesus came forth from the tomb and our lives with God have changed immeasurably because of this. Let us give thanks to God for this wonderful gift of love and life.

Revd Keith Magee
Team Rector

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.