Archival material:


For those wanting a copy of the book written to accompany the 2016  Lent Course please see below. 

pdf Click here to download the LENT COURSE booklet: Sessions 1-5 and references  

pdf Click here to download the LENT COURSE booklet: Appendices and Bibliography


Pages showing events: Spring 2022

going back to Spring 2014




parachuting teddy

11 June – Chetnole St Peter's - teddy parachuting and cream tea


 0623 June Fete



Halo Trust Talk - May 2023 p1


Halo Trust Talk - May 2023 p2

SUNDAY 12th MARCH 2017 at 11am
The Reverend John Summers led the first All-Age service (the first of what we hope will be many!) . A very jolly time was had with adults (of all ages) and children; music (Val Rowsell and Amy Whittlesea); drawing (the children); singing (everyone) and John talking about Nicodemus' visit to Jesus and the theme of "Rebirth".  Children helped with ringing the Service bell and taking the collection.
Real coffee, tea, squash and delicious cake served in the church gave everyone an excuse to linger afterwards and talk. And the children took the opportinuity to run round and enjoy the space!
We look forward to the next one!
The Reverend John Summers leads the first "All-Age service. Children in the Chancel are drawing beautiful pictures of butterflies!



"Love and Fortune: A Noble Legacy"

Works by Rore, Wert, Dowland and Gibbons, among others.

Yetminster church was full on Saturday evening with many people from far and wide for a concert by a brilliant group of six young singers with a programme of Renaissance madrigals, mostly Italian but some English. A most attractive selection brought out the full emotional brilliance of the Italian writers including Monteverdi and Gabrieli and the fascinating effect that they had on the greatest English composers of the period.

The singing was of the highest standard and the young singers sang with such skill and commitment that they communicated their enthusiasm to the whole audience whose enjoyment was raised to further heights by a selection of Italian wines served by Palmers of Bridport in the interval. 


St Lawrence Church, Folke

Big Butty Breakfasts

During the winter Folke Church hold 3 Big Butty breakfast events.

These are community events rather than fund raisers. So far we have always covered our costs!

Families are very much welcomed and we offer a free children’s breakfast when an adult breakfast is purchased – some families are enjoying this offer and especially because there is a children’s table to keep the children occupied.

This winter we have cooked between 30 and 40 breakfasts each time.

We find people come and enjoy breakfast and a chat – some stay for the whole time and even help clear up at the end.

Why not join us sometime?

There is always a Food Bank collection – this can be money in a box or actual food items.

Friday 3rd March at 10.30pm
Val Rowsell writes:
Our Benefice service this year was held at the Church of St Mary the Virgin at  Glanvilles Wootton . 
The theme:  Am I Being Unfair to You? was  prepared by Christian woman of the Philippines'

The service led by Elizabeth Kirlew, assisted by her husband Richard, was very well attended by many members and friends of the Three Valleys congregations. All joined in with the beautiful hymns, songs, prayers and readings.
The morning service was followed by coffee/tea and yummy homemade cakes.

St Andrew’s Church, Leigh

Community Spirit Sunday 19th February 2017

Eddie Upton writes:

This exciting new initiative got off with a real bang on Sunday 19th February 2017!

Our Family Service, at 10.15 am, which included the Baptism of Hector and a welcome to the Leigh community of the recently-baptised Henry (whose grandparents live in Leigh), attracted 103 people, including a good number of children.

It was a holy commotion in every sense of the word, and a joyous, noisy and almost riotous start for our Community Spirit Sundays.

The service was followed by tea, coffee and a biscuit or cake and then about 20 children embroiled themselves in a variety of craft activities while some of our more mature citizens immersed themselves in a Knit and Natter in the chancel, while others stayed in the pews to read the day’s newspapers.

All changed at 1.00 pm when St Andrew’s Church was transformed into St Andrew’s Bistro, and 37 people of all ages were served a cooked 2-course lunch.

It was a real pleasure to see the church being used by such a wide cross-section of the community.

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People young and old enjoying food, reading and crafts and the newly launched


20th January 2017
On Friday 20th January the Churchwardens and PCC of St Andrew's church invited members on the electoral roll of the church and other friends to a party at the Jubilee Hall. Wine and delicious nibbles were provided and a display board showed future plans and proposed expenditure for our church. David Gould gave a brief explanation and asked for help in raising funds and the Reverend Tony Gilbert thanked all the various people who help in so many different ways to keep our church running and looking good. It was a very happy evening.
 Tony Gilbert and David Gould addressing church members during a very happy party!

Plough Sunday

Plough Sunday is a traditional English celebration of the beginning of the agricultural year that has seen some revival over recent years.  It has its roots in early Victorian church history. 

Plough Sunday celebrations usually involve bringing an old fashioned horse-drawn plough into a church with prayers for the blessing of the land.  Work in the fields did not begin until the day after Plough Sunday: Plough Monday.  Although the nature of farming has changed over the centuries, Plough Sunday is seen as a way of generally celebrating farming and the work of farmers.  As well as a plough, in rural areas, it is common for local farmers to attend the service with their tractors - both old and new.

So, Caundle Marsh Church was the venue for this years' Service.  With a small replica plough being made by Edward Cowan, which we brought into church and the real thing, namely a huge Valtra tractor and 5 furrow reversible plough being kindly supplied by James Hiscock, the Service began.  It was led by Revd's Richard Kirlew and John Summers.  41 people were in the congregation.  During the Service the ploughs were Blessed out in the churchyard.

Afterwards, with grateful thanks to the Cowan family, we all enjoyed refreshments in Glebe House.

Revd Richard Kirlew




The Reverend Richard Kirlew writes:

Bishops Caundle has a wonderful peal of five bells!  However, there is no-one to ring them.  Well, not until last Saturday (14th January).

David Marshall, who instructs in ringing had the idea of having bells rung for Services.  But with no ringers that was quite a challenge.  So he held an Open Morning at which refreshments were ably consumed and people were encouraged to "come and have a go".  He had arranged a team of five well known ringers and we all waited.  Eventually ten novices arrived and looked for training.

All had a wonderful morning, so very many thanks to David and all the team for making this possible.  Shortly now Bishops Caundle will have a team  of ringers!!

Bell Ringing at Caundle Marsh


Bradford Abbas Collection for Refugees.

Cath Adam and Anne Hurrell Write:

We are a group in Bradford Abbas who asked for donations of blankets, sleeping bags, warm men's, women's and children's clothes, food, toiletries and whole lot more during the first week in January. We had an amazing response and collected more than 200 black bin liners of donations. If we had left all the donations in St Mary's church the whole week there would have been no room on Sunday for anyone to sit in the pews!

Thank you so much to everyone for their wonderful generosity -here are a few photos of some of the piles!

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WEDNESDAY 4th January 2017



The Reverend John Summers led the final meeting of the group which has been considering how various poets have explored the themes of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Several people braved the cold and enjoyed Prosecco/Bucks Fizz/Orange in the candlelit Chancel of St Andrew's Church. We looked at some poems selected by the Rev. Dr. Malcolm Guite in his excellent book, "Waiting on the Word: A Poem a Day for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany" and spent time particularly looking at Guite's own sonnet: "Refugee" which had been set for Holy Innocents Day (28th December) and seemed very appropriate at this time. Grevel Lindop's "For Our Lady of Guadalupe" was challenging and we also looked at Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush" set for 31st December, Ruth Pitter's "The Bird in the Tree" and Hilaire Belloc's "Courtesy".

These three meetings considering poems for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany have been very much enjoyed. We thank John Summers for organising them and for providing refreshments.

Malcolm Guite will be visiting Yetminster on 11th July 2017. Details to come on the Future Events page of this website.

All over the Three Teams Benefice, people have been preparing and beautifying their churches for the great Feast Day. Yetminster was no exception and a team of flower arrangers (under the leadership of Penny Gould), cleaners and brass cleaners arrived in the church from 9am onwards to help with the preparation.
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 Penny with Sue and Sheila finishing the flowers in the  Sanctuary and Chancel
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The porch, before and after!
In the vestry the more mundane but necessary task of cleaning the brass
was shared by Valerie Rowsell and Patrick Moule
The  Community Carol Service on 20th December was held in the Yetminster Jubilee Hall. A traditiional service of lessons (beautifully read by Roger Excell, Jo Barlow-Poole, David Price, Daphne Barfoot and Angela Alston) and carols (sung be everyone and led by the St Andrew's Singers directed by Jane Robothan) was enjoyed by many people (the hall was packed with young and old - lots of children - standing room only)!
The Reverend Tony Gilbert led the service, assisted by the Reverend John Summers. The choir sang two items on their own - the first part of Vivaldi's "Gloria" and the Christmas song "Oh Holy Night" with the solo part sung by Esther Robatham with great competence and beauty. Valerie Rowsell and Simon Eadon accompanied.
After the service there was mulled wine and nibbles and during the party afterwards Jane Robotham and Simon Eadon played some Christmas duets and the choir sang various Christmas songs including "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas", "Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer" and, finally, "Jingle Bells".
A collection (£410) was taken for Medecins sans Frontieres towards their work in Syria. Many thanks to Jane Robothan for bringing her ideas to fruition to give everyone a very happy evening and the community a chance to sing their favourite carols.
STOP PRESS! A big thank you to Batcombe PCC for their kind donation of £100.00 to Helping Hands.  The money will be put towards training for our volunteers. 
The traditional carol service was led by the Reverend Tony Gilbert. The St Andrew's Singers, conducted by Jane Robotham, once again were there to lead the singing giving, as their solo item, a spirited rendering of the Bohemian Zither Carol. The readers included several children from Beer Hackett and the first verse of Once in Royal David's City was sung by a boy treble. Richard Mentern played the organ.
Afterward mulled wine, mulled cider, soft drinks and mince pies were enjoyed by a capacity congregation. 



On Sunday 11th December a group of children from the Wednesday Club (St Andrew's School) performed a Nativity Play in St Andrew's church Yetminster. This was part of a simple service and gave great pleasure to the congregation and the participants. The Reverend John Summers had organised the service with the help of Maggie Henry and others and afterwards people enjoyed good coffee and mince pies in the sunlit church. 


Two happy participants (sorry about the script paper) showing the baby and the 3 gifts from the Magi in the crib!


"Posh" coffee enjoyed afterwards in the brightly sunlit church



Saturday 3rd December until Tuesday 6th December

 Patrick Moule writes: 


The unexpected cancellation of a series of engagements in the far East led, equally unexpectedly, to a visit to the Benefice by the choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, of which our curate, John Summers, is an alumnus. This choir of 24 young people, half of them reading music at Cambridge and the rest subjects as diverse as History, English and Medicine, is expertly directed by the College Precentor, Dr Geoffrey Webber. The college, one of the oldest in Cambridge, has a fine tradition of music making, some of the 20th Century Professors of Music having been Fellows. Now it maintains a full chapel choir of undergraduate men and women.


Yetminster Jubilee Hall was full of students and hosts enjoying a delicious supper 

Various parishioners had the great pleasure of providing accommodation and taxi services for the choir, which arrived by train on Saturday evening 3rd December; after a preliminary practice in Yetminster church the whole party, with their hosts, sat down to a very convivial supper in the Jubilee Hall.


The Reverend Richard Kirlew and one of the singers enjoying the cheese course

On Sunday morning St Andrew’s, Yetminster was full for a beautifully sung Choral Eucharist, employing the music of Tallis and J G Walther (Luther’s main musical mentor). Tony Gilbert preached movingly and appropriately – few are brought to faith by argument, however cogent, while many find their way to it through the arts, especially music. The second Advent candle was lit by little Audrey Summers.

Evensong in St Andrew’s, Leigh, was sung, largely unaccompanied, including an exquisite setting of the canticles by the little known Ely Tudor composer John Amner, which for this reviewer was one of the highest points of the musical experience. Again the church was full and a cheerful glass of wine was kindly provided by the host parish.

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 At Leigh the choir sang from the Chancel. In the morning at Yetminster they sang from the back of the church under the organ loft

On Monday the choir enjoyed the delights of walking and pub-lunching in Cerne Abbas and in the evening they sang a full concert in a packed Bradford Abbas church. This was a most polished and enjoyable concert, with a couple of seasonal organ solos by the organ scholars. One doesn’t know quite what most of us made of the expertly sung but quite angular modern pieces; but most of the ground covered was either well-known or easily accessible and everyone was delighted by the skill and sheer enjoyment of the choir. To cap it all an unscheduled encore concluded the evening, a hilarious barbershop-type version of The Twelve Days of Christmas sung by the men with polish and delivery worthy of the Kings Singers in their heyday.


 Before the concert in Bradford Abbas - seats filling up fast!


The Reverend John Summers organising the refreshments!


A peep through from the South Aisle to some of the Caius men after they had sung their amazing version of the 12 Days of Christmas!

This was a wonderful couple of days when very many of us enjoyed the lovely music making and excellent company of a most talented group of youngsters.


Luke Fitzgerald (Junior Organ Scholar at Caius),  Humphrey Thompson (Baritone), Lucian Clinch (Baritone)  and Edan Umrigar (Tenor from St John's College) decided to eat the final picnic in the comfort of the dining room of their digs! 

The choir left for Upwey by train  on Tuesday morning, singing to their hosts on the platform at Yetminster,  and gave another wonderful concert that evening, this time at Bincombe,  to a packed church.




Thank you for arranging it, John Summers, and for all your hard work!





"Faith and the Arts: Caravaggio and religion - sacred in its profanity" 

The Reverend John Summers, aided by his wife Nicole, led a relaxed discussion on the religious works of the great painter, Caravaggio.

About 25 people enjoyed the paintings projected large onto the wall with wine, excellent food and some lively and interesting discussion on Caravaggio's chosen subjects and techniques.

We all learnt a lot and look forward to other subjects.




A jolly Harvest Festival took place at Yetminster St Andrew on Sunday 16th October.

The Venerable Paul Taylor led the service which was well attended. Before the service tribute was paid to the Reverend Prebendary John Parfitt and his wife Peggy who, after many years working for this church, are now retiring.

The church looked beautiful and the decorations were enlivened with individual loaves of bread made by the pupils of St Andrew's School who had their Harvest Festival in the church on Friday 14th. The designs of the loaves included a cross, a sleeping pussy-cat, a dog and other faces and animals.


Loaves and produce ready for Harvest Festival

The other highlight of the service was the rededication by Paul Taylor of the 1880 Hill organ in the West Gallery. This has recently been completely restored by Derry Thompson and Mike Walton. Simon Eadon played Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor before the service and Widor's Toccata in F as the outgoing voluntary.


Paul Taylor and Tony Gilbert enjoying a chat over the cheese!


After the Communion service, soup and ploughman's lunch was served in the Jubilee Hall, washed down with cider, beer and soft drinks and followed by delicious home-made Harvest puddings. The Reverend Tony Gilbert and the Reverend John Summers and his family joined us for lunch.

Many thanks to everyone who make the occasion so enjoyable.


Several days of fund raising have taken place at the beginning of this month in order to raise funds for this Benefice. Among other events reports have been received about the HYMN QUIZ and the CONCERT. There was also a BARN DANCE. 

In Yetminster on Wednesday 6th October 25 people attended a Hymn Quiz. This was won by a competitor from Sherborne with runners up (only 1 mark behind!) from Yetminster and Leigh, all of whom returned home with welcome boxes of Bendicks bittermints!

Valerie Rowsell played the last 2 lines of 12 hymns and competitors had to supply the words of the first two lines of each hymn - quite challenging!

The week finished with a GRAND CONCERT in Sherborne Abbey on Saturday 8th. The Abbey was full and the audience heard Handel's Zadok the Priest, Mozart's Requiem and many other pieces performed by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Locrian Singers under their conductor Anthony Inglis. This concert was promoted by the Reverend Michael Anderson and raised a handsome sum for Benefice funds.

Graham Plaice writes:

On Saturday 8th October, a capacity audience in Sherborne Abbey was treated to a feast of good music and wonderful musicianship in a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Locrian Singers.

This was the first time that the orchestra and choir had performed together in the West Country and the magnificent setting of the Abbey proved a fitting place for an outstanding musical partnership of choir and orchestra under the direction of Anthony Inglis.

There was an early and delightful surprise for concert goers who were treated to a bonus performance outside the Abbey by musicians from RNAS Yeovilton. The band played as people queued to take their places for the main concert.

The concert proper started with Handel’s stirring Zadok the Priest, a piece composed for the coronation of George II in 1727, and which has been played at every coronation since. The initial explosion of vibrant chords from orchestra and singers heralded a musical extravaganza for all present.

Founded in the 1940’s, the National Symphony Orchestra draws on professional musicians from across the British Isles. The orchestra has performed in all of this country’s principal venues – The Royal Festival Hall, London’s Barbican, the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. Anthony Inglis, their Principal Conductor, has conducted more times at the Royal Albert Hall than any other maestro. Now they can add Dorset’s Sherborne Abbey to their impressive musical CV.

The Locrian Singers, formed by Justin Thomas in 1992 and still led by him, is a group of highly talented young singers, each of them a soloist in their own right.

Mozart’s Requiem, the main item in the concert, showed off the musicality of orchestra and choir to brilliant and dazzling effect. The piece was composed by Mozart in 1791, but never finished by him. He is said to have written 8 bars of the Lacrimosa and then died. The work presents one of the most challenging and inspiring pieces in today’s concert repertoire, and the audience for this concert was suitably inspired by a thoroughly virtuoso candlelight performance.

The concert was organised for the benefit of the combined 17 churches of the Three Valleys Benefice and is expected raise in the region of £5,000. The organisers, led by Rev. Michael Anderson, are delighted with the result and by the way that audience, advertisers and sponsors supported the event. It is hoped that this will become an annual part of Sherborne’s cultural calendar.





Two performances were enjoyed by a wide range of people, at 3 pm and 7 pm.

Tea and cakes were on offer in the afternoon and drinks and nibbles in the evening. 

Wonderfully inventive, humorous and accomplished songs, sketches and comedy items were performed by large and small ensembles, soloists and istrumentalists. Members of St Andrew's Singers had been practising hard under the inspired leadership of their conductor, Mrs Jane Robotham. They were joined by friends and colleagues. The Reverend Tony Gilbert took part with an amusing sketch  "Career Prospects"; Simon Eadon played the portable organ with great panache and he and Jane gave the first performance of an arrangement they had made as a duet of the Dam Busters march. Esther and Esmee added youth and professionalism. 

There was much hilarity and happiness!




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On Wednesday 14th September 16 people, from both Ryme and Yetminster,  met in the Chancel of St Andrew's Church, Yetminster to discuss the poetry of R.S. Thomas and its relevance to prayer.

The Reverend John Summers not only led a lively (at times!) discussion but also provided delicious eats and drinks for us us. We hope that this will be the first of many such meetings. 



On Saturday 10th September the Annual Ride+Stride took place and was well supported throughout the Three Valleys. Over 30 people visited Yetminster St Andrew during the day which was stewarded throughout with refreshments offered.

This is an important event, especially for churches in Dorset who may wish to apply for grants from the Dorset Historic Churches Trust. Half the sponsorship money raised goes to the Trust and half to church nominated by the rider.

This event takes place throughout England and Wales, always on the 2nd Saturday in September. So do keep it free next year and help to raise money for your own church as well as the other wonderful churches in Dorset! You can ride, walk or sponsor and steward!


 Sue and Chris from Glanvilles Wootton enjoying a drink at Yetminster St Andrew with Patrick Moule "signing them in" in the background


On Saturday 3rd September Bradford Abbas Church was full for a fine performance of the Faure Requiem, sung by members of the Sherborne Chamber Choir, conducted by Stephen Bell and accompanied by David Bruce-Payne. Soloists were Amelia Monaghan and John Willetts.

This special evening was arranged in memory of Amelia Berkeley and was in aid of the Charity "Above and Beyond" which aims to improve the facilities for bereaved parents at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Afterwards everyone enjoyed a delicious High Tea in Bradford Abbas Hall and took part in the raffle. £1500 was raised towards the charity. 



Annual Wine & Cheese party at Beer Hackett, Friday 5th August

Thirty one friends and neighbours enjoyed a lovely sunny evening in the garden of Church Farm opposite St. Michael’s Church.  Sadly, the instigator of this annual event seventeen years ago, Mrs Pam Clothier, was unable to be with us due to ill health.

We all send or best wishes and hopes that her mobility will improve again.

The wine flowed, the delicious food – far more than simply wine & cheese, was appreciated

and a generously supported raffle helped the evening raise an unexpected profit of over £260 for church funds.

Thank you for everyone’s support.


Many thanks to all the churchwardens who helped Miles and Katy complete a wonderful fundraising event on Saturday 23rd July. Without their support the day would not have run as smoothly, and we are still receiving donations. Also many thanks to each member of the Team Clergy – Tony for his prayers, Colette’s enthusiasm and energy on the project, and Richard, John and Anne for accompanying us to each church.



Today several members of congregations throughout the Three Valleys Team attended the ordination of our new curate, the Reverend John Summers, in Salisbury Cathedral. The Reverend Tony Gilbert, our Team Rector, recovering from a heart attack, was able to attend. John and his wife Nicole and two young children will be making their home in Yetminster where we hope that they will be very happy.


The Reverend Tony Gilbert, Team Rector of the Three Valleys Team, with the Reverend John Summers,

newly ordained Deacon,and the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtham, Bishop of Salisbury in the background 




The annual Cream Tea held at Hilfield Friary was a great big delicious success and we all had a fun time. The drizzle did nothing to dampen the spirit of this well supported event and the goodness and peace of the Friary set in its beautiful valley and the goodwill of all our guests combined to make a very happy Birthday Batcombe Cream Tea. We were extremely honoured to have The Queen's representative, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Admiral Sir George Zambellas accompanied by Lady Zambellas, attend the Cream Tea and kindly judge the competitions. About £800 was raised.




The Queen’s Official 90th Birthday was celebrated in many of the churches in the Three Valleys Team Benefice.

Below are reports from Yetminster and Beer Hackett.



The celebrations began with a well planned service enjoyed by 100 or so people in our church, most beautifully decorated by Penny Gould and her team. The Reverend Prebendary John Parfitt led the service and many favourite hymns were sung with great enjoyment, excitingly accompanied by Simon Eadon (organ), Amy Whittlesea (recorder) and Alex Mitchell (Baritone Saxophone).

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Christina Walkley and Loveday Vickers read Psalm 100 and the Queen’s 21st birthday commitment speech respectively; Bill Duggan and Boney Pyke gave recollections of their service careers during her reign; the prayers were led by the Methodist minister, Tom Carmichael; members of the choir sang “God be in my head and in my understanding” by Walford-Davies and the service finished with the National Anthem, Happy Birthday and three cheers.

Afterwards we had a picnic, not in the churchyard as planned because of the unpredictable weather, but in the Jubilee Hall. Bubbly was produced; Alex and Amy played some music for us to enjoy and the hall was full of many happy people picnicking round the tables or sitting on the floor. The Apple Cake competition was judged by Geoff Goater and some children and was won by Claire MacLeod-Ash; there were other competitions too and after the picnic people braved the weather and went to the sports field for more fun and games.

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Geoff Goater who masterminded much of the day’s entertainment has produced a splendid time-line of the Queen’s reign which was very much enjoyed and it is hoped that copies of this may  be on sale for Yetminster Fair next month.


Thank you everyone for a very happy day!



Beer Hackett village Royal party




Happily the disappointment of last July, when the Village Fete had to be cancelled due to storms, was not repeated for  Beer Hackett’s Queen’s 90th Birthday Tea Party held in St Michael’s Church grounds on Sunday 12th June.

We were grateful for the support of Brotherwood Automobility in providing their large marquee and a gazebo.  The initial heavy shower soon gave way to sunshine and a warm afternoon.

A  great many villagers, friends, family and guests came along to have a good time, enjoy a feast from tables crowded with plates of savouries, cakes and desserts all given to share,  catch up on the news and enjoy a cup of tea or something stronger  whilst listening to ‘live’ music from our local and celebrated  Wriggle Valley Jazz Band. 

The event was free and open to everyone, nevertheless St. Michael’s church funds have benefitted from a raffle and generous donations. 

Beer Hackett being a very small hamlet (pop 84), we were delighted with the turn out.  The afternoon was a great success and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. There was a warm and friendly atmosphere and a feeling of community spirit in keeping with the occasion.


Gifle Valley group service at Beer Hackett

Following the cancellation of our second Sunday service in May, we were delighted to welcome twenty seven people to the Gifle Valley group service on 29th May.

The Common Worship service was taken by Revd. Robert Green from Sherborne, who preached on the thought provoking question: “What is the quality of our faith”. 

This was a lovely service shared and enjoyed with friends from neighbouring villages.



On Sunday June 5th at the Common Worship Holy Communion service in Yetminster, a commemoration took place for those who lost their lives in the Battle of Jutland, fought on May 31st/June 1st 1916. The service, taken by the Reverend Richard Kirlew, included the Naval hymn “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”. The Epistle was read by Linda Manaton, whose uncle fought at Jutland; David Gould, Nicola Gilbert and Frances Moule, all of whom had grandfathers who served at the time, gave reminiscences based on personal papers. They also read the prayers, including the Naval prayer and Sir Francis Drake’s prayer. A visitor, whose grandfather was killed at Jutland, joined us and was greatly moved by the service and by the welcome he received. 



On Friday 13th May the whole school (all 79 pupils) had fun enjoying “Messy Church”. Pentecost (Whitsun) was being celebrated and the children made hats looking like “Tongues of Fire” and some biscuits in the shape of a dove to represent the Holy Spirit. There was time to worship, led by Liz and Richard Kirlew and Keith Budgell. “Flame Prayers” were made for use in the worship; lots of other activities and a feast at the end!

Lots of mess, lot of fun and a quiet time for worship. EXCELLENT!

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Bradford Abbas Church had a brilliant week of events (1st - 8th May) raising money for a village defribrillator. Saturday afternoon/evening (7th) had a magic show, organ recital and rock concert all in church. Over 600 people attended and many had travelled over from beyond Yeovil.

Paramedics "The Defribrillators" played rock and roll numbers and people of all ages were tapping their toes in the pews or dancing in designated spaces. Couples who had been married in the church, who joined us, were delighted to celebrate their anniversary in this way.

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 And a very good time was had by all!



Councillor Margaret Lawrence, assisted by the Reverend Prebendary John Parfitt (standing in for the Reverend Tony Gilbert who is on sick leave) officially opened the new car park at the Yetminster Jubilee Hall. Glorious sunshine attracted about 25 people to witness the occasion and afterward to enjoy coffee and cakes at the monthly coffee morning in the hall. A free raffle was provided by Margaret of a nice looking bottle and some fresh farm eggs!


The opening of the new car park 


Sunday 17th April 2016 at 4pm.


On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon St Mary’s Church in Bradford Abbas was full for the licensing and installation of the Reverend Colette Annesley-Gamester as Team Vicar in the Three Valleys Benefice. The Reverend Tony Gilbert, Team Rector, welcomed the congregation. The Bishop of Sherborne, the Right Reverend Karen Gorman, introduced the service. She also gave an inspired sermon on the day's Gospel reading of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Lots of clergy, lay ministers and representatives from Colette’s previous parishes were present and during the service representatives of the church and community were introduced to her by the Rural Dean. During the distribution the choir (combined St Andrew’s Singers from the Wriggle Valley area of the Benefice and Thornford Choir) sang Elgar’s “Ave Verum”, Roberton’s “All in the April Evening” and Bruckner’s “Locus Iste” under the direction of the SAS’s choirmistress, Jane Robotham, accompanied by Simon Eadon. Huw Ridgway played the organ and accompanied the hymns with great skill and verve. After the excellent service the congregation were given a delicious tea and had the chance to meet their new team vicar and her husband, Jonathan Harding. 





On March 29th at 7 pm in St Andrew's Church, Yetminster,

the long-awaited concert by the Russian male-voice Hermitage Ensemble was enjoyed by over 100 people. The Ensemble (6 voices) treated us to a varied selection of sacred and secular works - Kievan chants, Greek, Serbian, and Georgian church music in the first half and a selection of Russian folk songs in the second half. The fine voices had a great range of expression and dynamics. Afterwards wine and delicious  small eats were offered to performers and audience alike in the Jubilee Hall. Proceeds are in aid of St Andrew's church (more than £700 was raised).


The conductor, also the second tenor, Skazhenik Dmitri - giving the note






On Maundy Thursday, 24th March 2016, about 40 people from across the Three Valleys Team benefice met in the Jubilee Hall, Yetminster to partake in a Seder Meal.


The Jews have re-enacted the historic moment when God brought them out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land by celebrating the Passover. In a like manner since the death of Jesus Christ, Christians have re-enacted the historic moment when God, through Christ, redeemed the world from the bondage of sin. This they do by celebrating the Eucharist.

The Passover and the Eucharist are linked together because the Lord’s farewell supper and the death of Christ happened at Passover time.

The meal is full of symbolism:


lamb, bitter herbs (in this case, horseradish sauce), hard-boiled eggs, fresh and dried fruits and nuts, salt water. Wine and unleavened bread are central as after being blessed they are used for the Eucharist. Following the service sheet we found out through the dialogue between a young person and the father and mother all about the symbolism.


The kitchen team preparing the lamb 


      Valerie, Brian and Audrey 


   Patrick and the Reverend Anne Budgell

 Sarah Hedin and her team produced a delicious meal and we thank them and we thank the clergy of the Three Valleys who organised such a special evening.


On Palm Sunday 20th March the special annual Palm Sunday service took place in St Mary's Church, Bradford Abbas.

The Reverend Michael Anderson started the tradition some years ago that this service would be planned and conducted by the children. The children were asked  to come to church dressed as Israelites. They led the whole service, read the lesson and one of them preached the sermon. After the Gospel lesson, in which Jesus asked his Disciples to go and find him a donkey, the disciples went out of the church and, low and behold, there was a donkey standing in the churchyard! Jesus mounted the donkey and having ridden into church, with the disciples waving palms and shouting Hosanna in front of the donkey, he parked the donkey by the pulpit and the climbed into it and delivered the sermon.


 The disciples with the donkey outside the church


A disciple brings the donkey to Jesus


The donkey, Jasmine, waits to take Jesus into Jerusalem

0316PS5           0316PS10

 Emily preaching the sermon and the donkey (and others) listening


The disciples return the donkey to the owner


On Saturday 19th March 10 parishioners of St Andrew's Yetminster met in the garden of The Rectory

to clear, cut back, rake, brush and generally tidy the place in preparation for the arrival of the Reverend Colette Annesley-Gamester and her husband Jonathan Harding later this month. An enormous bonfire, tended by Patrick Moule and Penny Gould, burned for some hours, and Penny also provided very welcome tea and coffee half-way through the morning. We hope that Colette and Jonathan will be very happy in the Rectory! 


Penny and the bonfire!


The Lent Lunch held at Leigh on 10th March raised about £150 for "Future Roots"

Delicious soups were enjoyed and bread and cheese. Brother Sam from Hilfield Friary  talked to us about the Countrymen's Club which has been run by Future Roots since 2011. The Club provides a range of activities, outside in the Dorset countryside. It's especially for men who want to remain active and involved in the things that they love, whatever challenges they might be facing as a result of ageing or poor health.

Over 50 men are being supported by experienced staff who provide services to adults and older people with mental or physical health issues. 


Women's World Day of Prayer 4th March 2016 2.30 pm at St Andrew's Church, Yetminster

This year the service was created by the Christian women of Cuba on the theme: "Receive Children, Receive Me."


The service booklet, as well as containing some excellent prayers, also gave us information about the island.

Liz Kirlew led the service and many women from the Wriggle Valley area of the Three Valleys Team took part. Some of the songs were unknown to us but a valiant effort was made to keep the music going and Valerie Rowsell played the clavinova and also operated the ghetto-blaster with great skill!


Liz Kirlew led the service. The Cuban flag is draped over the small altar on which people, representing the diverse people of Cuba, have placed a Bible, a bowl of provisions, a mobile phone, a candle, maracas and a bag of sugar.

The Reverend Richard Kirlew, using Powerpoint, guided us through meditation.

After the service tea and cake were served and there was time to chat. As people left, each took a symbolic paper  "butterfly jasmine flower", the national flower of Cuba, with the name of a member of this congregation written in it.

Each person was asked to pray for the person whose name they had picked for the following week.


For full article including pictures please click this link:


Carol Service at St. Michael’s, Beer Hackett, 17th December 2015

6:15 pm on a dark but clear evening after a welcome break from our seemingly endless rain saw our church beautifully decorated and in candlelight, welcoming residents and visitors to our annual carol service.

The Revd. Tony Gilbert took the service which was opened with the first verse of “Once in royal David’s City” sung as a solo by Hubert Johnsen.

Four of the six lessons this year were capably and charmingly read by young people aged from six to eleven years from our parish families – Newton, Yeatman and Johnsen.  Their reading warmed our hearts and was much appreciated.

The Wandering Winds “Christmas Quire” comprising six ladies and five gentlemen which had been assembled and directed by Katy and Miles had worked with Richard Mentern, our organist, to provide a full hearted and rich support to the hearty singing by the congregation which this year numbered fourteen children and seventy adults – a full church and a record for our carol service.

The Quire performed an anthem, “Gaudete!  Christus Natus Est” from the Piae Cantiones collection 1582.

Tony mentioned our crib which is unique. All the figures are hand knitted by three generous ladies from Thornford who gave the crib to our church in year 2000. It is installed on top of the font. (We would like to know more of the history behind this gift if anyone could tell us please).

This was a lovely service with a warm community atmosphere which provided a perfect setting for us to reset our priorities together onto the true meaning of Christmas.

We are very grateful for the work and time put in by many people, especially those who volunteered for the Quire, those who decorated the church so beautifully and for those who provided all the seasonal eats and drinks. Thank you to everyone.

Our Christmas Day family service with communion will be at 9:30 am, to which you will be very welcome. And on Sunday 27th December, one of the four benefice “said” (which means no hymns) communion services will be held in our church at 10:00 am.

We wish everyone in our villages and Three Valleys Benefice a happy Christmas.


The Tabletop Sale at Yetminster Jubilee Hall took place on December 5th. Two of the many stalls kindly donated their takings to St Andrew's Church and Graham Plaice ran a very successful tombola and raffle. Tea, Coffee, Mulled Wine and Mince Pies were enjoyed by the many visitors. More than £450 was made for St Andrew's Church, Yetminster. Many thanks to everyone for their hard work.


The Three Valleys Team Benefice Study Day took place on October 10th. Please click below to read the report. (Because of the size of the file it is divided into two parts).





OCTOBER 10th 7 pm


Yetminster church was nicely full for an excellent concert of songs with piano accompaniment, and solo organ playing. David Bednall was born in Yetminster and first started to play the organ using the excellent 1880 William Hill organ in the West Gallery in the church. He and his friends gave us a superb evening with a wide range of music -  from Purcell and Handel to Gershwin and Cole Porter. Light refreshments and drinks were enjoyed in the interval and after expenses about £460 was made for church funds.



October 10th 10 – 4 at Thornford new church/school hall

As Christians it is our duty to be missionary minded. Jesus’ command to his disciples was to go out into the world. That was never more important than today when the church is assailed on every side, but at the same time everywhere we look there is a need for the Christian message. So the purpose of the meeting is to respond to this command and plan where the benefice is going over the next five years.

As a benefice we should be looking at ways to grow and ways to spread the Gospel in this part of the world. To do that we need to look at ourselves; what we do and what we stand for.

The way we tackled the day was to ask some questions of ourselves and the questions we examined were:

What would we like our benefice to look like in 5 years’ time? This will be done by breaking the question down and asking:

  • What do we do now in our various churches?
  • Are there some things we do that we don’t need to?
  • Are there some things we don’t do that we should be doing?
  • Can we do things differently?
  • Do we use our people wisely?

How do we move forward? This will also be broken down:

  • What milestones will there be along the way?
  • How can we actively support each other?
  • How will we review what we are doing?
  • Can we put forward a paragraph describing our vision for the benefice?
  • Can we generate a mission statement?

Any changes should be driven from the ‘bottom up’ rather than imposed from the ‘top down’ so what the parishes say is important.


The Wandering Winds at St. Michael’s, Beer Hackett

13th September 2015



Our local musician Katy Ashman – flute and bassoon and musical partner Miles Nipper – bassoon and contrabassoon came with accompanist Dr. Richard Hall – piano on Sunday 13th September 2015 in the evening.

Having decorated our church with lovely flowers, they then treated an appreciative audience to an eclectic programme of music from Bach and Rossini  to Vaughan Williams with Italian composer Clementi in between.

(In 1766, Sir Peter Beckford (1740–1811), a wealthy Englishman visited Rome. He was impressed by the young Clementi's musical talent and negotiated with his father to take him to his estate, Steepleton Iwerne, north of Blandford Forum).

This and many other fascinating pieces of information relating to Dorset and St. Michael’s were delightfully interwoven with the music through readings, poems and a fair sprinkling of light heartedhumour.

Who can resist a smile when Miles goes so low on the contra bassoon!

Wine and nibbles were shared in the interval and a retiring collection raised a small profit in aid of our church funds.

Our Team Rector Revd. Tony Gilbert thanked the Wandering Winds for a delightful, memorable and enjoyable evening.  He also reminded us of the major event being planned for Saturday 23rd July next year when the Wandering winds will attempt 17 concerts, one in every church in our Three Valleys Benefice, all in one day. This will be a sponsored event in aid of our benefice and the Dorset Historic Churches Trust.




The Reverend Simon Brignall led the Family Service at Yetminster St Andrew on Sunday 6th September at 10.15am. This was his last service in the Three Valleys Team and the church was full with young and old. Simon and his wife Clare are going to Chile later this month. Rousing and favourite hymns were sung with great gusto. Simon Eadon played the organ, Alex Mitchell read the Gospel and Simon Jones led the prayers. After the service there was coffee in the Jubilee Hall.  The Reverend Tony Gilbert, Team Rector,  presented Simon and Clare with a cheque from people in the Three Valleys Team (and gave Clare a red rose!). Simon responded with a special blessing and then everyone tucked in to an excellent and  jolly "Bring and Share" lunch. We wish Simon and Clare very much happiness in their new life in South America.


Clare and Simon Brignall with Tony Gilbert presenting them with a cheque


Simon Brignall responds with a special blessing



On August 30th a cheerful meeting of the whole Three Valleys Team took place at Alweston Hall.

The damp weather dampened the hopes of those wanting to have fun playing rounders  and boules outside

but a short service and a picnic lunch were held inside and conversation, food and a fun quiz kept everyone busy.

The afternoon ended with delicious cream teas - thanks to Beer Hackett.

The collection was divided between Caundle Marsh and Ryme Intrinseca who missed having their 5th Sunday services because of this event!



11th August 2015

David Gould, Chairman of the Diamond Jubilee Committee writes:



"No doubt many of you will have seen the splendid clock on the Jubilee Hall which completes our Diamond Jubilee Memorial.  I believe it is be very worthy addition to the Village.
It is fitted with an auto restart unit which automatically stops and restarts the clock when the clocks go forward or back and if there is a power cut.  This means that you may see the clock stopped from time to time. 
If it stops for longer than 12 hours we call the experts."


The clockmaker outside the Jubilee Hall in Yetminster



The Famous BATCOMBE CREAM TEAS were held on 21st June at Hilfield Friary. The sun shone and lots of people enjoyed a delicious tea with scones, thick cream, jam and cakes. Excellent plants and cakes and other things were on sale as well as there being an attractive raffle.

We await a proper report but in the meantime it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!


On the same afternoon at the Sportsfield, Yetminster, a Father's Day service was held, led by the Reverend Simon Brignall. This was enjoyed by everyone inlcuding the tennis and croquet players and a fun time was had. Again, we await a proper report!



A special service was held to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. A poem by the Reverend Tony Durkin was read by Peter Dobb and the second reading from the Epistle of James was read by Christina Walkley. The interesting and uplifting service was devised by the Reverend Tony Gilbert, the Reverend Simon Brignall and the Reverend Prebendary John Parfitt and the Rt Reverend George Browning, formerly Bishop of Gouldburn and Canberra, preached.

An excellent exhibition of items concerned with the signing of Magna Carta is on display in the church (until the evening on June 21st), created and displayed by the Hundred of Yetminster History Society.


The front cover of the service sheet. full of interest,

which members of the congregation were invited to take home with them as a souvenir!


Peter Dobb reading the poem by the Reverend Tony Durkin, reproduced below with permission

In Praise of Runnymede

An England ruled by feudal bands

gave rise to John whose majesty

didst rile the barons and their clans

and risked their grudging fealty.

This vile and moody Regis beau

who reigned and taxed with fiendish glee

caused thirteen years of strife and woe.

Will no one our protector be?

The Lords and Knights who ruled the shires

to this vain king they made it clear,

“With laws and justice you must rule;

now set your seal right here!”

King John affixed his waxen print

to wise Langton’s Magna Carta;

a Latin text dense and distinct

which might save us from disaster.

It promised that the king would seek

Great Council’s just permission

before more warring havoc wreak

through bribes and annexation.

No scutage could the king retrieve

beyond what custom had decreed;

no merchant stock was his to reeve.

“Now to these terms, accede!”

And so with throne in jeopardy

on day fifteen of June that year,

King John didst thwart catastrophe;

to Runnymede did he repair.

By Thames-side reeds and meadows green

encamped pavillioned standards flew.

King, bishops, barons at the scene;

t’was Langton’s text came they to view.

With laws and liberties enshrined

on vellum scroll for all to see,

the king made terms, though disinclined,

his seal made freemen free.

So from that day in flaming June

no monarch reigns above the law.

Dance must they to said Charter’s tune;

no matter be they vexed and sore!

‘Tis true eight hundred years have passed,

yet still injustice stalks our halls

and despots rule with icy blast.

Yes! Magna Carta’s trumpet calls;

to meadows green in summer sun

must we take up the cause indeed

and finish what was ere begun

in faith at Runnymede.

Copyright Anthony Durkin 11.01.2015


Bishop George Browning, once more preaching in Yetminster Church!       



St. Michael’s Beer Hackett joined St. Mary Magdalene Thornford

for their annual village fete on Saturday 16th May.

On a perfect blue-skied (though breezy) afternoon, our picture shows Reverend Tony Gilbert

guessing the weight of Mrs. Pam Clothier’s fruit cake.

Thank you to everyone who made this such a well attended and enjoyable event.



It seems that the whole village turned out for the Fete, which was once again blessed with perfect weather.

Our philosophy is that it is not merely a fund-raiser for the church, but an important social event for Thornford and our friends near and far who come to join us.


Many thanks to Abbey Radio who came along to Thornford Parish Fete for the first time this year and provided the PA throughout the afternoon.

If you would like to know more about Abbey Radio contact them on      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The fun dog show was one of the highlights of this year's fete, and was enjoyed by children of all ages.


 But undoubtedly, the dogs enjoyed it most!





Yetminster Fun Run – 10th May 2015

 and raised £350.00 for St Andrew’s Church Yetminster

followed by attendance at a splendid Rogation Service held in Pandy and Anthony Brown’s Garden.

Thank you so much for your donations and the kind hospitality shown by Pandy and Anthony.



A Coffee Morning was held in St Michael's Church at Beer Hackett on Saturday 11th April. Lots of people came to support the hard-working team and we all enjoyed tea, coffee and delicious brownies and shortbread on arrival! The sum of £254 was raised, a great reward for all the hard work  by Cecilia Goodlad and Alice Johnsen who organised it.
Young and old enjoying the fun of the Coffee Morning!

In a beautifully decorated, full St Andrew's Church the Rector ceremonially lit the Paschal Candle and led an exhilarating and joyful Easter celebration with inspiring contributions from the choir and the organists  and a brief but telling sermon.

Pascal-Candle-15-sm          Paschal-candle-sm            Easter-flowers-sm

The new Paschal candle ready to be lit by the Reverend Tony Gilbert.        Easter flowers: (and there's a little nest with eggs!)


Good Friday – “Way of the Cross”



Outside Lower Farm in Beer Hackett was the first of four stations

where we gathered to think of the crucifixion of Jesus.

Revd. Tony Gilbert and Revd. Michael Anderson led our prayers, bible reading

and hymn here, in the churchyard, outside Higher Farm and finally ¾ mile later

above Manor Farm, Higher Knighton.

We then enjoyed plentiful tea and hot cross buns (with jam) kindly prepared

by the Johnsen family.

Although cloudy, the morning rain cleared and the sun shone briefly at the end.






Parnham Singers at Yetminster

A fundraising concert was hosted in St Andrews Church on Saturday 28th March 2015. The concert was called “Palestrina to Porter”, which was a musical journey of sacred and secular music under the direction of Nigel Edwards.

The evening was an unqualified success, helped by the ambience of such a beautiful church, the mood lighting and the performance of an outstanding choir. The evening included readings of poetry and prose by narrator James Wilson, a man with a voice to die for and worthy of coming to the concert on its own. It was particularly fitting that the choir dedicated the beautiful piece “The Hills” by John Ireland to the memory of Paul Miller, the late headmaster of St Andrew’s CE Primary School, Yetminster.

It was fantastic to see people attending our church for the concert from such a wide catchment area and I lost count of how many times the comment was made on how lucky we were to have such a beautiful church.

The choir did not charge for their performance and we raised 510.00 on the night, of which 50.00 will be donated to the Paul Miller Memorial Fund.

We look forward to hosting future concerts within the church and a link to our website is provided below:



Friday 6th March


About 35 people attended this service, created by the women of the Bahamas Islands. We were welcomed to the Methodist Church which was decorated with the colours of the Bahamas: pink, turquoise, green and yellow. Exotic fruits were on the altar and the singing was accompanied by Valerie Rowsell who also had organised the service with local readers.



Saturday 28th February 2015

A fundraising horse racing event was hosted in Yetminster Jubilee Hall St Andrews Church on Saturday 28th February 2015. The evening was a joint fund raising event for both St Andrew’s Church and St Andrew’s CE Primary School. It attempted to encourage people from the village and beyond to experience a fun evening.   The evening was an unqualified success due mainly to the hard work put in by Simon Jones and Alex Mitchell and raised £745 split between the church and the school PTFA.

It was wonderful to see tables of people including parents from the school, church congregation and others from within the village and further afield.

The Chippy Van provided the interval dinner, However, each table had also brought food – the envy of the evening was the school table – what a spread, although they let themselves down by one member falling asleep.

There were eight races with the crowd placing bets on their favourite horse in each race. The proceeds of the betting were split equally to the fund raising cause and prize money. Never have I cheered as much when winning 3.98.

I think the Plaice family and friends won the prize for the most boisterous table and they also won many raffle prizes.

It was a great atmosphere, with everybody having a great time and very encouraging to see people other than the congregation joining in.

If anybody knows the whereabouts of horse number 1 could they please inform Graham Plaice, he thinks it is still running? Once again a big thank you to Alex and Simon, they worked their socks off planning and executing the event, well done to both.

A memorial service will be planned later when donations in Paul Miller's memory have been received and the dedication of a memorial project or playground can be part of the service.- see letter below for details of the Memorial Fund.
Letter about the late Paul Miller and the memorial service for him:

Dear Parents, Carers and Community

I am pleased to inform you that a date has been arranged for a memorial service for our late headteacher, Paul Miller. The service will be held on Friday 6th February at The Dorford Centre in Dorchester DT1 1RR and will commence at 1.30 pm. Please note that school will be closed all day as a mark of respect.

The service, organised by Mr Miller’s family, will give us all an opportunity to celebrate the life of a wonderful man. Our Chair of Governors Paul Sparks will speak on behalf of the school. Following that fond memories will be shared with the congregation. This invitation is extended to everyone who had the pleasure to know Paul Miller, whether they be children, parents, colleagues, governors or friends.

We are aware, that many people may not be able to attend this memorial service. Rest assured that we, as a community will be organising a second memorial service to be held in Yetminster. We hope this will give everyone the chance to pay their respects and say farewell in a positive way.

In honour of our headteacher, we have set up the ‘Paul Miller Memorial Fund’. This was at the request of the family and also the community. If you would like to make a donation, please make cheques payable to:

St. Andrew’s Unofficial School Fund

Lloyds TSB

Account No. 0360624

Sort Code 30:99:98

The proceeds of this fund will go towards a school memorial for the children of St. Andrew’s CE Primary School.

Again I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for the kindness and contribution of this community. We are thankful not only for the wonderful families of St. Andrew’s, but for the outstanding staff who put our children first every day, no matter what.

Kindest Regards

Jane Prelogauskas

Acting Headteacher

On 21st January 2015 at 7.30pm at St Lawrence's Church, FOLKE
10 Lay Pastoral Assistants from the Sherborne Deanery were licensed by the Archdeacon at a special service. Report to follow.


On Thursday 8th January 2015 at Leigh Village Hall, the Bishop of Salisbury led a discussion on the theme "Renewing Hope". This was organised by Sherborne Deanery. More than 50 people attended.

The Bishop discussed how we could arrest the gentle decline in churchgoing and how the church could bring its message to a wider range of people.

Light refreshments were enjoyed.


Leigh Village Hall was full on the evening of Friday 19th December for a concert of “Christmas Delights” led by Eddie Upton, a Churchwarden of Leigh, and the Stanchester Quire.

The Reverend Tony Gilbert was the compere for the evening.

Eddie introduced old carols from the South West, giving us the history of the carol and we were intrigued to hear familiar words to unfamiliar tunes. The carols were interspersed with readings and, among others, the Reverend Tony Durkin delighted us with his reading of “Fiddling the Bull” by Thomas Hardy, almost rendered in dialect!

Philippa Toulson’s newly written song about the evacuation of Tyneham (co-incidentally on another 19th December), set to music of an old Dorset dance, was very moving.

Supper in the interval was delicious sausages and mash, followed by donated mince pies and coffee. Various people of different parishes in the Three Valleys Team helped in the kitchen under the leadership of Anne Reason, also a Churchwarden of Leigh.

It was an excellent evening and £1250 was raised in aid of funds for the Three Valleys Team.


A full hall for the excellent Christmas Concert on Friday 19th December in aid of funds for the Three Valleys Team


Carol service at St. Michael’s, Beer Hackett, Thursday 18th December 2014.

Candles lit the path into the church for our annual carol service at 6:30pm.

The church was decorated festively with a Christmas tree, flower decorations

and tea lights in all the windows. The east window over the altar was brightly

lit from outside by floodlight. The crib on the font had figures knitted and

given by three parishioners from Thornford many years ago.

The service opened in candlelight to Hubert Johnsen singing the first verse of

“Once in Royal David’s city”. Three of the six readings were given by young readers

Siegfried Johnsen, Alfie Newton and Angus Buckland.

On the occasion of the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1,

the preface in our service sheets encouraged us to “hold up a light to

something good”. During the carol “Silent Night”, we were encouraged

to reflect on the Christmas Day truce.

We were delighted to welcome the St.Andrews Singers from Yetminster again

this year who under the leadership of Mrs. Jane Robotham sang “This Christmas night”

by Malcolm Williamson.

Mr. Richard Mentern played the organ.

Revd. Tony Gilbert officiated and in his closing remarks, thanked the

parishioners for decorating the church so beautifully and especially thanked

our young people for their reading and singing.

Together with the St.Andrews singers there were 70 adults and 10 children which nearly

filled our church and created a lovely warm atmosphere. Mulled wine, mulled cider,

mince pies and stollen were enjoyed by everyone after the service.

John Bingham PCC Secretary


YETMINSTER St Andrew's Hall

On Tuesday 18th November Sue Footner, Churchwarden of Ryme Intrinseca gave an inspiring talk about the work of Mercy Ships.

Donations received so far total £280 but all donations from now until 31st December will be doubled by an anonymous donor. Sue hopes to repeat her talk in the New Year.

The Coffee Morning run by the Wriggle Valley Branch of the MU on Sunday 16th November raised £220.

Many thanks to all who came and thanks too to the Methodist Church for their venue, welcome and help.


On November 2nd, All Souls Day, a Service of Remembrance for the Recently Bereaved was held. Nearly 40 people who had passed away during the year were remembered by friends and family. There was an opportunity during the Holy Communion service to light a candle in memory of those who had died recently as well as remembering others who had died in previous years. The Reverend Prebendary John Parfitt led the service and Peggy Parfitt and Nicola Gilbert read the lessons. Simon Eadon accompanied the splendid hymns and afterwards refreshements were offered to the congregation in the Jubilee Hall. The service was beautifully prepared and presented and was a great comfort to many.


Ride & Stride, Saturday 13th September.

We welcomed our first keen rider, Peter Routledge at 9:45am before we had even opened the church!

Tony Gilbert arrived at 10:40.  We heard he managed to visit all the churches in the Three Valleys and still

walk for services on Sunday. Well done Tony!

Our  Johnsen family rode on twelve equine legs, accompanied by four canine and two human legs and still

managed to join in the church maintenance event (see later).

In all we welcomed 37 visitors including one rider from Niagara Lake , Ontario, Canada. Many were interested

to come inside and learn about the building and enjoyed seeing all the activity in progress.

Church maintenance day also Saturday 13th  September.

We had a good hearted and strong army of village helpers throughout the day to give a really deep clean and tidy up

to our church. Years of debris and various livestock were vacuumed, all the pews and woodwork were washed and either

polished or oiled. In fact some willing ladies had to return on the following Saturday to finish the pews, so stubborn

was the grime. Much work was done on the churchyard hedges, graves and grass and completion of work on hedges

is being planned for later in the year. Thank you to everyone who gave their time and worked so hard.

Harvest Celebration at Beer Hackett.

On Saturday 27th September we held our harvest thanksgiving. and patronal festival.

A family service in the church began the celebration at 5:00pm, led by Tony Gilbert and assisted by Michael Anderson The church had been beautifully decorated on a harvest theme by the dedicated flower arrangers in the parish.

Following the service a celebration supper was held in the Brotherwood Automobility Ltd. premises in Beer Hackett. Mr. Rodney Brotherwood, CEO and founder of this successful local business 29 years ago said “I am a country boy at heart” and has always been delighted to support local employment and village life in any way possible. Mr. John Daniel, MD and his staff pulled out all the stops in turning the factory showroom and one large workshop into a delightful and warm party atmosphere with lighting, straw bale seating and skittle alley for one of the evening competitions.

A delicious pork roast supper supplied by The Kings Arms in Thornford was enjoyed by over 130 people and with the vegetarian option and selection of salads provided by village members, approximately 150 adults and children from Beer Hackett and neighbouring villages enjoyed a hearty supper.

A wide range of light hearted background music was played by local musicians Katy Ashman and Miles Nipper of the ”Wandering Winds” who generously gave their time in support of the celebration.

The children enjoyed jewellery making, cake icing, skittles and joining in the family quiz and in helping the lucky winners choose a raffle prize.

Although final accounts are in progress, the event has clearly benefitted from the generosity of sponsors and villagers and a significant profit will contribute a welcome addition to the church maintenance and mission.

Tony Gilbert thanked Brotherwoods in particular for their generosity and everyone for their work in organising and giving their time and gifts to make this such an enjoyable event. He reflected on the example Jesus taught and practised, that the first priority of the church should be “outreach” and how this celebration and its preparation were evidence of this.



Liz Clothier opened her beautiful autumn garden on Saturday morning in aid of St Andrew's church. The weather was a bit grey but the garden was so colourful it didn't really matter! Lots of people visited and chatted, drinking tea or coffee and enjoying the delicious cakes which various member of the church had provided. It was a very happy occasion and a good "get-together" AND it raised more than £230 for our beautiful St Andrew's church.



A huge thank you too, to all those who came to our "60's Night" in August to raise money for our project, or who contributed in any way to helping raise the amazing total of £800.  We cannot thank Daryn Elford enough for coming and donating his time and skills to this evening and we think all those who came seem to have enjoyed themselves.  
Anne Reason and Eddie Upton



Mrs Pam Clothier ensured the weather remained fine in the 17th year of this popular event. 53 people came and a jolly time was had by all. We were delighted to have Mr. Don Mildenhall with us (long time resident of Beer Hackett and supporter of St, Michael’s) who came with his daughter Sarah. And it was good to see Revd. Michael Anderson again together with  Revd. Tony Gilbert and Nicola who were able to meet more Beer Hackett residents and friends. Col. Mark Chirnside worked hard running the raffle with many prizes which helped significantly to raise almost £400 for our church. Thank you Pam for kindly hosting this popular annual event once again.

[Ed: I hear that more than £400 was raised - many congratulations!]

Wine and Cheese at Higher Farm, Beer Hackett


WORLD WAR I COMMEMORATION Sunday 3rd August at 10.15.

A well thought-out and moving service took place to remember the start of World War I. Andrew Graham and Richard Charrington, both recently retired soldiers, led the service with readings and narrative including extracts from local sources and memoirs of their own relations.  David Gould read the Roll of Honour from Ryme Intrinseca and Yetminster and David Gough from Chetnole spoke movingly about a visit to his grandfather's grave. Many people brought interesting and poignant memorabilia consisting of portraits, photographs, medals, a model ship, and even a plan of the trenches. Much research had been made into the lives of those relations who had fought. It would have been nice if the items could have been on display for longer as they were so interesting! Simon Eadon played the organ.

The Military Cross and Citation of Maurice Aubone Pyke

A portrait of xxxx Gibbs

Papers about Boy Cornwell VC of HMS Chester and a watercolour painting of a WW1 Battlefield


Sunday 27th July at 6.30 p.m.

Summer sun and the glories of the garden were celebrated at our Hymns and Pimms service on July 27th. The White Hart pub in Yetminster opened their doors on a sunny evening to host a service of hymns and readings in praise of God’s creation.  A good crowd from the Melbury team and Beaminster fellowship joined us and Richard Ambrose from St. Paul’s in Sherborne  took up the theme in his talk on ‘Fruitfullness’.
St. Andrew’s singers were in wonderful voice  closing a happy time together with Howard Goodall’s beautiful Psalm 23.

Enjoying Hymns and Pimms at the White Hart, Yetminster

Sunday 27th July
St Nicholas Hilfield
Knockout croquet competition

Fortunately, for us, the blistering heat of July managed to relent a little for our "fun" event but the sun still shone on the Three Valley's Croquet Tournament day!

Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves from those who had never struck a ball to those "experienced" players who seemed happy to play the "fun version" of golf croquet.

Extraordinarily the final ended up being between Batcombe Team 1 and Batcombe Team 2 ensuring a win for Batcombe!  Well done to Johnny and Julie Gibbs for scooping the winning match against Suzie and Andrew Graham who put up a valiant battle.

Well done too, to Wendy Ellison and Paul Hallet, winners of the plate.

Many thanks to Fee Warr, Dee and sisters for their huge help with the cream teas and pimms.

Finally many many thankyous to all those who took part enabling us to raise over £850 for St Nicholas Church, Hilfield.

Sunday 20th July 7 p.m.

Music at St Michael’s Church, Beer Hackett

On Sunday 20th July at 7pm, the Wandering Winds Duo Knighton resident and musician Katy Ashman and local Bassoonist Miles Nipper, brought their "World Tour of Dorset" to our village. Together with Dr Richard Hall on piano, we enjoyed an informative, relaxed and entertaining evening of music for flute, bassoons, contrabassoon and piano. The programme ranged from Baroque to Contemporary, interspersed with information on the music from Katy, the instruments from Miles and some light hearted musical anecdotes from Richard.

On a warm summer evening our church was almost full. Our Team Rector Revd. Tony Gilbert thanked Katy, Miles and Richard for their generosity in creating this event as a goodwill gesture and he felt particularly pleased to find the church being used for such a truly community purpose.

 Our church funds benefitted from the warm appreciation of the audience who donated £400. Thank you to everyone.


St Andrew's Yetminster

A busy weekend!

The weekend of 28th and 29th June was exceptional busy. Not only was the postponed School Fair held, where both the MU and St Andrew's church had stalls but in the evening of Saturday 28th there was a Sports Quiz. The following day, after an 8.30 a.m. Holy Communion BCP for the non-sportsmen, a service was held at the sports field (with music provided by Tony Durkin, Amy Whittlesea and Alex Mitchell). Coffee was served after this and then various sports took place - tennis, croquet etc. A barbeque was held and a good time had by all!

Wiaitng for lunch during the Sports Day!

St Mary Magdalene, Batcombe

Many congratulations! More than £700 was raised at the excellent cream teas held at Hilfield Friary.

St Andrew's Yetminster

Visit of Holly and Oak classes from St Andrew's School Yetminster on 12th June 2014.

Holly and Oak classes from St Andrew's School, led by Charlotte Trew, came to enjoy St Andrew's Church on a lovely fine afternoon. Waiting for them was a team of church people organised by Frances Moule and including our new Team Rector Tony Gilbert and Team Vicar Simon Brignall.

The hassocks or kneelers in Yetminster church were made in 1980 - 1990 and have many interesting motifs.

Split up into small groups one class found out some of the interesting things in the churchyard and on the outside of the church, including the splendid hunky punks on the tower. The churchyard has lots of interesting trees including the Millennium Yew which was given in 2000 from a cutting of a tree already 2000 years old! The white bark of the Birch tree which was given to the village, also at the Millennium, was of special interest with children taking small pieces of the peeling bark to use for drawing and writing on later.

Outside, the Reverend Simon Brignall helps children discover interesting things in the churchyard.

Here they are finding beautiful white bark on a birch tree. Later the children will use the bark to write on.

Inside the church the younger ones looked at the pulpit (and lots of them climbed into it, sometimes two or even four at a time - we don't have that in services!) and the lectern which had a children’s Bible on it and they learned all about what happens at the font; and every one of them tolled the service bell and found out that it wasn't as easy as you might think.

Inside the church a group has fun climbing into the pulpit - wondering what to say loudly so that they can be heard!

There was the opportunity too to have a go tolling the service bell.

Then Tony Durkin told everyone what it is that the priest does at the altar and showed the children the special clothes he wears (different colours for different times of the Church's year) and the special things he uses, the silver communion cup and paten. He explained that in the old days there were rails in front of the altar to keep dogs away – now we don't get many dogs in church but the rails are useful for people to kneel at when they take part in the Holy Communion, the central act of any church.

The Reverend Tony Durkin explains what happens at the altar and helps a pupil to dress in priest's clothes!

There was a great deal of interest shown and the children certainly found out a lot about their beautiful and ancient parish church – and they had a lot of fun along the way!

Round the south side of the church children discover the sun or "mass" dials and beautiful leadwork.

Frances Moule would like to thank all the helpers and children from the school as well as Tony and Nicola Gilbert, Simon Brignall, Tony and Margaret Durkin, Jo Barlow-Poole and Patrick Moule.

St. Michael’s, Beer Hackett join in with St. Mary Magdalene, Thornford, for their Parish Fete.

John Bingham, PCC Secretary Beer Hackett writes:

"On Saturday 17th May we enjoyed a warm and sunny afternoon with many visitors to their well attended annual fete.

Our stall takings were modest but in an enjoyable friendly atmosphere we met many local friends and neighbours. In

particular, several customers from Yeovil said how much they enjoyed coming out to visit the village fetes in

our area and showed interest in events we have planned for later in the year. (See Future Events page for details)."

Thursday May 15th 2014

James Johnsen writes:

"Over 150 people turned up to the Digby Hall in Sherborne last Thursday (May 15th) to hear James Johnsen lecture on “Field Marshal Haig - Villain or Victor of the Great War?” in aid of St. Michael’s and the Household Cavalry Foundation. The event, which was preceded by drinks kindly supplied by Edward Pilkington of Corney & Barrow, wine merchants, and canapés beautifully presented by Victoria Holt of Dorset Fine Dining, was sponsored by Church House Investment Management.  We were thrilled by the support shown and the many generous extra donations made, which contributed to a gross total sum raised of £1900.”

On Sunday 11th May at 09:15  John Bingham, PCC secretary writes "Beer Hackett was delighted to welcome our new Team Rector, the Revd. Tony Gilbert who took his first service in the new Three Valleys Benefice here in St. Michael’s. Tony’s wife Nicola came with him. We hope they both enjoyed the service as much as us. Come back soon Tony – We need you to mark the homework you set!"

Thursday 8th May 2014


St Andrew's Church, Yetminster was filled almost to capacity on Thursday evening 8th May for the licensing of the Revd Tony Gilbert as Team Rector and his institution and induction, good legal terms, in that office. The Three Valleys Team, consisting of the three former Benefices of Gifle Valley, Wriggle Valley and Vale of the White Hart, consists of 16 rural parishes, of which Yetminster is the largest with about 1000, with a total population of about 6000 and covering an astonishing 60 square miles of some of the loveliest countryside in England. The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, in his first official visit to Yetminster (until a couple of years ago he was Vicar of St Martin in the Fields) performed the formal act of licensing and preached on the major step which was being taken by Tony Gilbert, his supporting clergy and all the people in these far flung parishes – a major and potentially inspiring step which could bring together in faith all their people. Tony was welcomed by representatives of the three former benefices, other churches and leaders of the community; and then the Archdeacon of Sherborne, the Venerable Paul Taylor, went through the traditional acts of induction assisted at each stage by representatives of the 16 parishes – the giving of the vessels for Holy Communion, the Bible for preaching the word, the filling of the font for baptism, the formal handing over of the church keys (all 16 of them!) and the tolling of the bell; and then installed him in his stall. A specially formed choir from all the parishes directed by Eddie Upton introduced the service with a rousing anthem of praise written by a local man in the 19th Century and we were rung into and out of the church on Yetminster's fine peal of six bells. The organ was played by Simon Eadon, who accompanied the lusty singing with great verve and inventiveness. The whole service was a great occasion though not so formal that laughter and enjoyment did not find their place.

After the service there was a very convivial party in St Andrew's Hall, with food and drink contributed and shared by all the parishes.

Tony Gilbert, who with his wife Nicola and their family is living at Thornford Rectory, will lead the ministry in the new team with the assistance of the Revd Simon Brignall as Team Vicar and a further Team Vicar yet to be appointed; and of the very hard working and gifted retired clergy and the ever helpful and inspiring Brothers of the Friary at Hilfield. Tony was a Chaplain in the RAF, retiring recently in the rank of Wing-Commander. He has considerable experience of working with and directing teams of clergy and we all greatly look forward to having the benefit of his leadership.

The church starts to fill up for the special service

After the service the clergy gather outside

The Reverend Tony Gilbert and the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury

John Bingham, PCC Secretary BEER HACKETT writes: "On Good Friday, 18th April we held our annual Walk of Witness from the centre of Beer Hackett, stopping at three stations along the way for a bible reading, prayer and hymn, ending at Manor Farm. This was led by Revd. Michael Anderson who this year, asked us to walk in silence and think deeply about Jesus walking to his crucifixion. The weather was sunny and warm and delicious tea and hot cross buns with jam were kindly provided by the Johnsen family at the end."

Thursday April 10th 2014

Many people gathered for a Lent Lunch in the Village Hall, Leigh to enjoy a variety of delicious home-made soups, cheese and rolls. Donations were in aid of the Somerset Levels Flood Appeal. It was nice to welcome visitors from other parishes in the new Three Valleys Team! The good sum of £205.50 was raised.

Lent lunch in Leigh Village Hall

April 4th 2014

St Andrew's Hall Yetminster was full for an excellent and amusing illustrated talk by Boney and Judy Pyke about their experiences living in Moscow during the Cold War. Boney told us about (some!) of his Naval intelligence work and Judy spoke of the practical difficulties of bringing up 3 small children in a small flat. A delicious supper of Stroganoff and rice followed by ice-cream was enjoyed in the interval and about £1300 was most enjoyably raised for St Andrew's church Yetminster.

Russian items

Tuesday April 1st

The Wriggle Valley branch of the Mothers' Union held a Lent lunch in St Andrew's Hall Yetminster. Nearly £150 was raised for family support via the MU.Thank you everyone for your help.

Congratulations to Graham Plaice of Yetminster who completed  the Yeovil Half Marathon on Sunday 30th March. The current sponsorship total with gift aid stands at £643.00 and still climbing - it should end up at about £750.00.  The sponsorship was in aid of the Three Valleys Team Fund.

March 7th 2014

Yetminster St Andrew:

About 30 people came to the service devised for the Women's Wordl Day of Prayer. This year the women of Egypt had compiled the service. The small altar was set up with cloths representing the desert and the river Nile and the importance of water was emphasized  in the service. The Reverend Prebendary John Parfitt led the service with Valerie Rowsell.

Preparation by people from Batcombe, Chetnole, Hermitage, Hilfield, Leigh,

Ryme Intrinseca and Yetminsterfor the Women's World day of Prayer.

The small altar is decorated with cloths representing the desert, the River Nile and fertile land on the banks of the Nile.