Recent Events

To add events to this page please email 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This page updated 13th December 2017 


Probably lots of other events have taken place but no reports have been received! 


SUNDAY 10th DECEMBER, the Second Sunday of Advent



The Sunday morning service was a Christingle Service, led by the Reverend John Summers. The church was nicely full with lots of families and some oldies too!



Lighting two candles on the Advent wreath for the second Sunday of Advent. The new stand was dedicated last Sunday.

Two members of the Holland family lit two candles of the Advent wreath at the beginning of the service.

John had planned the service very carefully arranging for children and parents to be able to make the Christingles in the Chancel. He explained the significance of the Christingle – the orange for the world, the red ribbon for the Sacrifice of Christ, the four cocktail sticks for the four seasons holding the fruits of the four seasons (sweets…) and the candle in the top for the light of Christ.


Showing the beautifully made Christingles!


The service had special Christingle songs with unfamiliar words sung to familiar tunes. Simon Eadon played the organ with great panache. A group of young recorder players also played some carols most beautifully.

Afterwards there were refreshments in the Jubilee Hall.




 The four musicians of Suono Dolce

In the afternoon, in spite of the dreadful weather, the church was again nicely full for an excellent concert by Suono Dolce. This is a group of four young musicians, recorder players, trained by Amy Whittlesea who lives in the village. All the youngsters have passed their Grade VIII recorder exams with Distinction and the audience was treated to a marvellous selection of ensemble, duo and solo work beautifully accompanied by Mrs Sydenham on a keyboard mostly in harpsichord mode. Felicity Lennard, Faelan Sydenham, Genevieve Baker and Bee Thomas all hope to enter the National Pro Corda Chamber Music Competition and part of the proceeds of the concert went towards this and the rest to St Andrew’s. The music ranged from Farnaby, Telemann and Bach to Gershwin and Gordon Jacob and was played on the whole range of recorders, from sopranino to bass. Afterwards there was a very good tea, with cakes made by the multi-talented musicians.



 Amy Whittlesea being thanked and presented with flowers at the end of the concert






A candlelit and beautifully decorated RymeChurch was filled to capacity on Sunday evening, 10th. December, to celebrate the birth of Christ with music and readings from the time of Thomas Hardy.

Hardy had a great love of Church music, liturgy and the King James Bible.  In the  time of writing most of his novels music accompaniment was played by a village band rather than an organ.  On Sunday that music was provided by Eddie Upton and the Leigh band comprising squeeze box, mouth organ, recorder and keyboard with a small choir drawn from the same village  Among the carols sung lustily by the congregation Eddie gave us a solo rendering of 'The Cherry Tree Carol'. a traditional folk song proffering imagery about the Virgin birth, and the choir sang the anthem 'Joy to the world' composed by Thomas Sheol, a farm labourer from Montecute, in 1839, the year before Hardy's birth.  We were introduced by Eddie  to a new tune, one of 500(!) we were told, composed  for 'While shepherds watched', and to the original tune for 'Little town of Bethlehem' published in 1833 by 'Sandys Christmas'.

All six lessons were read by residents of Ryme from the King James Bible.  In addition, T.S.Eliot's 'Journey of the Magi' was read to enhance the Biblical reading of the Wise Men.  The poem was written in 1927, the year before Hardy died, and was most likely shown to him as he and Eliot were near neighbours.

The Service, using BCP liturgy was led by John Strover who, in his address, recalled Hardy's meaningful poem 'The Oxen' which augmented the readings we had heard from Isaiah and St. John's Gospel that only through Jesus can we be led from darkness into the light.

Altogether it was a joyous occasion enjoyed all the more after the final 'Grace' by mulled wine and mince pies.







 Just received 22:15 10th November: Waiting for the concert to begin!


Yetminster St Andrew in a new light!

Celia Brayfield writes:

Guitarist Jo Burt rocked Yetminster at a sell-out concert on Friday November 10.  Accompanied by his wife Antonia and their friend Kathy Lynne Samuel, Jo gave a candlelit concert in St Andrew’s Church, helping to raise money for St Andrew’s Restoration.   He played songs from his own albums, many of which had a local inspiration, such as Ring the Changes, which he wrote after hearing the bells of Sherborne Abbey while walking one evening in the town’s riverside meadows.

 Jo and Antonia’s honeymoon, when the found themselves in a restaurant where every other diner was on a mobile phone, prompted a song called Under The Radar and the audience got the chance to sing the chorus in Clean And Dry, recalling an incident when he was pulled over by a traffic cop.   Some rock classics were in the programme too, from The Beatles’ Love Me Do to Freddy Mercury’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love.   And the evening ended in great rock’n’roll tradition with a rehearsed, but sincerely demanded, encore.

Jo, who lives in Sherborne, is a guitarist who has played with many of the most famous bands and artists of the 80s and 90s.  He started a band with Tom Robinson, toured with Black Sabbath and worked with Freddy Mercury, among many others, and between songs he told many stories of his eventful career.   He reminisced too about growing up in a home where his parents were both in showbusiness and Bruce Forsyth was among the many stars who dropped in for a chat.   We’re hoping to welcome Jo and Antonia back to Yetminster again next year.   

For those who missed th e concert, there are some pictures on St Andrew’s Restoration Facebook page, at

[Some are reproduced above].

From  Jo Burt: Thank you Yetminster for being such a wonderful audience on Friday evening for Jo Burt's Acoustic by Candlelight concert. We loved every minute and hope that we can come back again next year!
And you helped raise over £850 for the church restoration fund!  

Jo Burt performed an acoustic set by candlelight.







 Lanterns lighting the church path

More than 100 people came to celebrate the return of the church clock at the Wine & Chimes evening at St Andrew’s church in Yetminster on October 27.  To mark the occasion the ancient stone staircase in the turret was opened and people were able to climb up and see the clock in action.  The less adventurous enjoyed a glass of wine and admired the beautiful interior of the church with the benefit of the new lighting and heating which was installed this year.  Among the guests was Les Partridge, who has lived in Yetminster for 70 years and, before the clock was electrified in 1986, used to climb the turret to wind the mechanism.

The clock, which was made by Thomas Bartholomew of Sherborne and installed in 1682, had fallen silent in 2015 and restoration was a long and expensive process.   Michael Windridge, a prominent member of The Yetminster History Society for many years, explained that the clock was at the cutting edge of technology when it was made and is one of the very earliest pendulum clocks in England.   It has no face, as many of the people who originally relied on it were unable to tell the time.    Churchwarden David Gould announced that St Andrew’s will be raising money over the next two years to help further restore and improve the building, and then the Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert,  talked about the evolution in church use over the centuries before rededicating the clock.

As well as striking the hours, the clock plays the national anthem eight times a day.   The Victorian carillon, the generous gift of Mr and Mrs Arthur Williams, first played to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  At that time there were only five bells, (a sixth was added later) so it is a note short but nonetheless those who will be coming to the concert by guitarist Jo Burt on November 10 are promised the opportunity to sing along when it strikes. 



People queuing to go up the tower to see the clock mechanism


 Michael Windrige talking about the clock


 A good time was had by all!



The Season of Harvest Festivals!

YETMINSTER ST ANDREW celebrated with a Harvest Communion Service. It was "Choir Sunday" so the choir sang an anthem by Andrew Carter. Tony Gilbert officiated at the service and there was a jolly Harvest light lunch with excellent home-made soups, bread and delicious cheeses and a choice of Autumny puddings.

The church looked splendid.

Many thanks to all the organisers. 






On SATURDAY 14th OCTOBER, the Wriggle Valley Branch of the Mothers' Union held a coffee morning at THE METHODIST CHURCH in Yetminster in aid of MU charities, locally and abroad. Nearly £150 was raised.  A very pleasant morning was spent enjoying tea, coffee, biscuits and home-made brownies and lots of chat!  Thank you to all those people who came and supported us.

Also on Saturday  14th October morning, (it was a busy morning with people preparing for Harvest too!) representatives from parishes within the Benefice visited the Old Vicarage Leigh for coffee and cake and also to collect bags of bulbs which have been donated to each of the 17 churches. The Old Vicarage  raised £300 in the summer at a 1950's party and has bought spring flowering bulbs with the proceeds. This is a most generous gift which is much appreciated.



On SUNDAY 8th OCTOBER there was an excellent concert in  St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster 

"The Courtesan’s Gaze" which was a concert of music by Barbara Strozzi (1619 – 1677) and her circle.



 Barbara Strozzi

Barbara Strozzi (pictured) lived a life of high musical achievement and scandal in the Venice of the seventeenth century. A prolific and successful published composer in her own time, she was also said to have acted as courtesan at musical and intellectual meetings where “clothes were optional”. This concert of duets composed by Strozzi and her contemporaries, Monteverdi and Cavalli,explored her reception and whether the scandal surrounding her was justified.

Sung by sopranos Hannah Ely and Lucy Cox of the Fieri Consort with music on Baroque guitar and theorbo (Toby Carr) and harp (Aileen Henry) 



On Thursday 28th September Yetminster St Andrew was the venue for an excellent illustrated talk by Graham Welstead (formerly Director of Art at Bancroft's School, Essex).

Graham spoke about the beautiful and very important painting "St Francis" by Giovanni Bellini which is in the Frick Collection in New York.

About 50 people attended and enjoyed wine and nibbles. Graham gave us a good understanding of the picture, its design, the problems which it poses and his understanding of what Bellini wanted to achieve in this seminal work.

Once again we must thank the Reverend John Summers, Assistant Curate, for organising this delightful evening and making use of our church in this way.



The weekend of 16th and 17th August was a musical feast in the Benefice with concerts at Yetminster and Glanvilles Wootton.

Celia Brayfield has written about both concerts:

AUTUMN CONCERT IN YETMINSTER Saturday 16th September 2017

The internationally renowned organist and composer David Bednall, who was born in Yetminster, returned to the village on September 16th to give a concert in aid of the St Andrew’s Church Restoration Fund.  This was the third time  (in recent years) that David, with his friends Emily Huish and Tom Williams, have visited, performing a captivating programme that began in Venice with Vivaldi’s Gloria and ended on the streets of New York with a medley from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.  Three songs by Herbert Howells, Merry MargaretThe Goat Paths and Under the Greenwood Tree were a rare and charming treat, from an early song cycle composed between 1915 and 1928, setting a collection of poems on a pastoral theme for a “high voice.”

St Andrew’s organ was stretched to its full potential for a glorious performance of Bach’s G Minor Fugue, after which the programme ranged through deservedly well-loved melodies that displayed the wonderful range of the singers’ voices. Tom Williams gave a resonant rendering of the Welsh military anthem Men of Harlech, after which Emily took centre stage for two languorous arias from Bizet’s Carmen.   Next was Arthur Sullivan’s The Lost Chord; with its bouncy rhymes and gentle humour, it isnow considered a classic Victorian parlour song although it was originally written to amuse Sullivan’s brother in his last illness. Finally Emily brought out the suggestive fun in Cole Porter’s The Physician before the West Side Story medley concluded the programme.

Emily is getting ready to sing in La Traviata with Opera in a Box next year, while continuing her legal career.  Tom “retired” from his singing career to concentrate on choral conducting with his early music group, the Erebus Ensemble. He is also Assistant Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and the Director of the Clifton International Festival of Music in Bristol. David, apart from his distinguished composing career, is Teaching Fellow and Organist at the University of Bristol, Sub-Organist at Bristol Cathedral and conductor of the University Singers. Yetminster is deeply grateful that, despite being so much in demand, these superbly gifted musicians found the time to re-visit the village.

RARE GIFTS IN GLANVILLE WOOTTON Sunday 17th September 2017

The violins made by the Stradivarius family in Cremona in the seventeenth and eighteenth century produce such an exquisite sound that many of the 650 instruments still in existence are in the world’s most important museums and only one is currently played in Britain. That precious instrument visited the church of St Mary The Virgin in Glanvilles Wootton on September 17th and was, played in magnificent style by its owner, Andrew Bernardi.

Andrew warmed up with some movements from the Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin by J.S. Bach and then played the three lushly charming pieces by Sir Edward Elgar, Chanson du MatinChanson de Nuit and Salut d’Amore. Sharing the programme was Amelia Kelly-Slogrove, whose superb young voice was enchantingly matched with first by Vaughan Williams love song Silent Worship and then his Linden Lea.  Amelia, currently studying for her GCSEs at The Gryphon School in Sherborne, hopes to become a professional singer and the delighted audience were predicting a great future for her. Her mother, Amanda Slogrove, familiar to many from her performances in Sherborne, accompanied both soloists.

Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending has come in at No 1 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame eight times, yet Andrew played this notoriously demanding piece so sublimely that it was if it had never been heard before. Before the glorious melody soared to roof beams, he read the poem by George Meredith that had inspired it. Amelia returned, bravely tackling two musical classics, Over the Rainbow and Summertime and then Andrew concluded the programme with a tour de force, two electrifying virtuoso pieces by Fritz Kreisler. Whereupon the audience rose in a standing ovation. 


Saturday 9th September 2017

It was a day of HEAVY showers but this didn't deter the brave cyclists and walkers who visited many of Dorset's superb churches in order to raise money, through sponsorship, for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust. Half the money raised is returned to a  church nominated by the rider, so the more riders and the more sponsors, the better!
The Team Rector rode round many of his churches with James Johnson from Beer Hackett. They got soaked! Many churches were manned and it was interesting to meet lots of partakers: elderly, young families and whole groups out for the day.
Thank you to everyone who took part and supported in any way.
The Reverend Tony Gilbert (on the right)  and friends from local villages signing in at St Andrew's Yetminster
on their way to visit lots of other churches
Alex Mitchell, Parish Organiser for Yetminster writes:

Many thanks to everyone who has supported this year's Dorset Historic Churches Trust 'Ride and Stride'. This is an annual event which raises much needed funds for Dorset's beautiful old churches. The 2017  'Team Yetminster', saw Bill Duggan striding, the Greenwood family (on horse back?!) and Simon Eadon and Alex Mitchell cycling. 50% of all money raised by riders and striders, is returned to their nominated church. The rest is used by the DHCT to provide grants for the repair, modernisation and maintenance of Dorset's churches - so this is an excellent way to help your local church as well as churches Dorset wide.

Anyone still wishing to donate, or to hand in sponsorship money, should contact their local Parish Organiser by the end of September. The Parish Organiser for Yetminster is Alex Mitchell  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On Sunday September 3rd the Barn Choir came to St Peter's church, Chetnole to sing during the BCP Evensong. The church was nicely full and the singing was greatly appreciated:
Smith Responses, Canticles in a setting by John Blow, and an anthem by Munday. The Barn Choir was directed by Richard Hall who is the Director of the Dorset Rural Music School and the organ was played by David Bruce-Payne.
The Reverend John Summers led the service.
Afterwards the congregation and singers were treated to a glass of wine.
On Sunday August 27th (Bank Holiday Sunday - and a glorious hot, sunny day!)  about 40 people met  in Glanvilles Wootton Village Hall for a special service devised to thank everyone who helps in any way to keep the 17 churches in this Benefice open and welcoming.
The Reverend Anne Budgell is officially retiring as an assistant priest. She has looked after the White Hart Vale area of the Benefice which great support from her husband Keith. Luckily she will still be helping as a retired priest! It was a good opportunity to thank her and Keith for all their very hard work so a presentation of flowers, tokens and gifts were made during the service.
Afterwards some of the congregation drove to Middlemarsh where the Reverend Michael Anderson welcomed them to picnic in his beautiful garden.
John Bingham writes:

Beer Hackett held its annual Wine & Cheese Party on the evening of Friday 11th August.

The event was once again kindly hosted by Alastair and Cecilia Goodlad at Church Farm.

There was a very good attendance by residents, friends and visitors from neighbouring villages.

A great time was had by all and over £300 was raised to support

St Michael’s Church at Beer Hackett.

Thank you to all who attended or contributed.




The Mothers' Union members celebrated Mary Sumner Day on Wednesday 9th August by hosting a family fun morning at Leigh Church in conjunction with the Living Churchyard Project. The morning started with a lovely service which welcomed two new members to the Mothers' Union followed by activities led by the members and Philippa. We were not deterred by the weather, and everyone enjoyed collecting fir cones and sticks for the bugs to find happy homes in their new bug hotel and at the end of the nature trail sweet treats provided everyone with lots of energy to continue building the bug hotel or create some great pieces of artwork in the creative zone. The morning ended with an indoor picnic where everyone enjoyed a nice natter and catch-up with friends.

Thank you to all the members of the MU and Leigh Church who contributed their time and talents to the morning. 


 What an amazing week in the Three Valleys Team Benefice!
Not only did Bishops Caundle have their first Confirmation service for about 50 years but our curate, the Reverend John Summers, was ordained priest by the Bishop in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 1st July at a marvellous and uplifting service.
0717sals4                 0717sals3
A coach-load of friends from the Three Valleys Team Benefice were at the Cathedral to support John

And, on Sunday 2nd July, John celebrated the Holy Eucharist, for the first time, in Holwell church. It was a glorious day. The church looked wonderful (with beautiful flowers) and was very full. The St Andrew’s choir led the singing under the baton of David Price and Huw Ridgway from Bradford Abbas played the organ. Readings were given by the Team Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert, the Reverend Richard Kirlew and the Reverend Anne Budgell. Brother Sam SSF preached most inspiringly. During the communion the choir sang Pearsall’s “Ave Verum”  and Attwood’s  “Teach me O Lord”. Afterwards many members of the congregation went to the village hall at Bishops Caundle for a delicious Bring and Share lunch, organized by Liz Kirlew. John Summers wore one of his new chasubles. These have been provided by the Parish of Yetminster who have emptied the Ball Curate Fund which was specifically set-up in the 18th c to provide help for curates!


   0717JSHOLWELL4           0717JSHOLWELL3 


          0717jsholwell6                              0717jsholwell7         

     0717JSHolwell2          0717JSHOLWELL5    

 John's first Eucharist at  beautiful Holwell church

Also in the Benefice this weekend there was the Pulham Fete and the Open Weekend at Leigh. Anne Budgell has sent this about Pulham Fete and we hope to hear about Leigh's Open Weekend as well!


Anne Budgell writes:

Pulham Fete 1st July 2017

"Some of us went to the Cathedral on July 1st for John Summers’ priesting; and some of us went to Pulham Fete. I hope John had strawberries and cream. We did. And ice cream, hot dogs with onions, big burgers and Pimms. Cakes and cakes and cakes and…. the Raffle. There were plants galore; smart and beautiful dogs to show (not eat), rides on a pony, trips into the woods, a fairy in the grove and digging for dinosaurs. Then there was the Skittle Alley, Shying for Coconuts and Welly Throwing. Not many of us could turn water into wine, but Hoop-La was easier. There was live music all afternoon and an auction. More cake with cups of tea in the shade was busy with custom. All this was in the beautiful garden of Nick and Gilly Elliott at the Old Rectory. Thank you both for having us. Perhaps next year John can join us……………………" 




"Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young"   (Psalm 84 verse 3)

Jo Barlow-Poole writes:

We have always had swallows successfully nesting in our porch and we love to see them.  This year they came as usual, but on the very hot weekend in June two baby birds were found dead on the floor.  We presumed the mother had turned them out because of the heat.  A day later two more birds were found alive on the floor of the porch and were rescued.  Someone had left their very cosy jacket on a bench in the porch, so they were placed on this, and we waited to see what happened.  Amazingly the babies were fed by the parents and we noticed them getting bigger and stronger.  They were very vulnerable as they were only about 18 inches off the ground, but a notice was placed by them asking for them not to be disturbed, but we were worried about cats, dogs, foxes etc.  Today the 28th June one fledged early in the morning!  We were all so thankful and the other one (photo) decided to stay out of the rain, but has now flown!   We hope they return again next year and we don’t have a heat wave at that time!


 The fledgling swallow perched in Leigh St Andrew's porch!




The Wednesday Club Annual Open Afternoon and 30th Birthday party

On June 21st The Wednesday Club held its annual Open Afternoon but what was special this year was that we were celebrating its 30th Birthday. Honor Ward, Tessa Hill and several others came together in 1987 to form an interdenominational Bible Club for children. The Headmistress at the time said they could hold it in St Andrew's School and it has been meeting there ever since. Friends and families came to watch the children act out the story of "The Kind Stranger" (based on parable of the Good Samaritan) and the Reverend Nigel Thomas came and spoke to them afterwards about the parable and to hand out leaving presents to Emily Newton, Lille Potter and Valentine Zwiebel who were leaving the school and going on to The Gryphon School in Sherborne. There was a birthday cake made and everyone there sang Happy Birthday and the afternoon finished with songs and prayers. Thank you to all those who came that afternoon and also to all those who over the years have helped The Wednesday Club in so many ways.

Anne Reason

 0617Wclub1     0617Wclub2
The Reverends Nigel Thomas and  Tony Gilbert            Maggie Henry and other helpers and visitors 
0617Wclub3        0617WClub6    
 Singing and music                                               Anne Reason (who leads the Wednesday Club now) was
                                                                             presented with a beautiful plant
Monday 19th June:
After a really hot weekend, St Andrew's Singers (SAS - "who dares, sings" with singers from Ryme, Yetminster, Leigh and further afield) visited the Old Vicarage at Leigh in the morning and St Margaret's Hospice in the afternoon to sing some light (and some serious) summer music. The highlight was Esther Robotham singing the solo soprano in Mozart's Laudate Dominum with the choir and Simon Eadon (piano) accompanying. But the medley of songs from South Pacific and a piano duet from My Fair Lady  were very enjoyable as were the readings, poems and other songs. The choir ended with "We do like to be beside the seaside" which seems very appropriate in this weather!
0617SAS1        0617SAS2
David Price and Simon Eadon enjoying a joke  at the Old Vicarage Care Home before we went outside to practice in welcome shade
0617SAS3        0617SAS4
Esther Robotham, our superb solist, and other members of the choir. The last picture was taken at the local Hospice where we all melted! 
Saturday and Sunday 17th and 18th June

A busy weekend was had throughout the Benefice in sweltering heat!
On Saturday 17th June, the Old Vicarage at Leigh held a delightful Victorian Tea Party in the beautiful grounds. A magnificent tea was on offer and many interesting stalls were there to be explored. Ann Gould of Cerne Abbas showed her doll's houses and miniatures including tiny knitted garments; there was a collection of interesting memorabilia and  two excellent quizzes asking the use of various (some rather gruesome!) instruments of the farm and the kitchen. The quizzes were both won by residents of the Old Vicarage. A "Songs of Praise" was led by the Reverend John Summers with the Reverend Tony Durkin playing the keyboard. £300 was made to help churches throughout the Benefice.
The Old Vicarage, Leigh, Victorian Tea Party with Songs of Praise 
Buck and Dorothy Bailey awaiting tea, with Caroline Birdsell
On Sunday 18th June "Community Spirit" at St Andrew's, Leigh was attended by old and young and the theme was being part of the Body of Christ. There are lovely photos of children with a skeleton as well as older people sitting reading the newspaper after the service! Lot of fun, chat and a summer lunch!
The St Andrew's Singers sang at their regular service of Holy Communion in Ryme as Yetminster Church is still closed for maintenance. A nicely full church welcomed the Reverend Canon Charles Mitchell-Innes who took the service and preached. Wesley's "Lead me Lord" was sung as the anthem during the Communion.
In the afternoon many members of the Benefice visited the Friary at Hilfield where the legendary Cream Teas were of offer in aid of Batcombe Church. It was very hot but still, lots of people came and enjoyed the wonderful scones and cakes. Beautiful plants were on sale too. More than £800 was raised!
It was SO hot that everyone crowded into the shade!






Beer Hackett Village Tea Party, Sunday 11thJune


John BIngham writes:


After days of wet and windy weather, the sun finally came out.  Although the wind was still strong and gusty it was warm and didn’t spoil things.


The party held in the church grounds and church was well attended and enjoyed by everyone.


John Derrick’s Wriggle Valley Jazz Band provided a light hearted and jolly atmosphere.


Many people helped in different ways, the food given was delicious – thanks to all for a good community effort.


The 1903 OS maps of the area in the exhibition of local memorabilia were interesting but the millennium album photographs of residents in year 2000 were the star exhibit.


This album was created by the late Kelly Wingfield Digby and late Col. Mark Chirnside, both churchwardens here for many years.







We are very grateful for the support which Brotherwoods give to us each year by supplying and erecting the marquee, gazebo, chairs and tables.

3rd June 2017
The Reverend Tony Gilbert writes:

"Despite variable weather conditions Thornford held its annual village fete on 3rd June.  This was a little later in the year than normal but despite the change it was well supported and everyone who attended had a good afternoon out.  All in all the day was a successful one with many different stalls and stands to browse. 

I am pleased to say that I won a coconut with my first ball at the coconut shy. 

Our curate John Summers learned the full range of what it means to be a vicar by spending the afternoon enticing people to participate in the Whisky draw!  There were several food outlets varying from roast pork rolls, ice creams for the children to teas in the hall which were up to their usual very high standard with a plentiful supply of great cakes.

Two highlights for the day stick in my mind.  One was the majorettes from Castle Cary who performed well in rather blustery and showery conditions and the other was the dog show with its valiant attempts on the part of many of the dog owners to get their happy and care-free charges to do what the judges required of them.  The dogs always looked as if they were greatly enjoying themselves even if their owners did not always give that impression."


Rogation Sunday at Beer Hackett 21st May




John Bingham writes:


"On 21st May we celebrated Rogation Sunday with friends from Thornford and Bradford Abbas.


Revd. Tony Gilbert and Revd. John Summers led us in a special liturgy comprising a bible reading,

prayers and a hymn on different themes in different places.


Richard Mentern expertly led our singing and kept us in tune.


We began in church, celebrating the new day and our risen Lord.


Next we moved to the churchyard on the theme of the village, parish and its people.


Across the field and by the stream – the blessings of our fields, pastures and the beauty of creation.


Outside Higher Farm – all who work on land and sea and the harvests on which we depend.


In the middle of the wood – we thanked God for our life giving earth and the beauty of the natural world.


Back in the churchyard – we remembered all who have passed before and the gift of our church.


Approximately twenty people (and two dogs) shared a lovely walk in warm dry weather, followed by a tasty brunch in church.


We should thank especially for this, the loyal ladies who always generously work to make everyone so welcome."






Sunday 14th May
As St Andrew's Church Yetminster is closed for re-wiring, this service took place in the Trim Room, Yetminster Jubilee Hall.
Clare Lindsay writes:
"A happy and lively All Ages Service took place on Sunday 14th May, with 14 adults and 10 children attending.  The Reverend John Summers, Amy Mitchell and Gemma Perrin lead us in an enthusiastic celebration of Rogation, explaining to the children through tactile means.
Slabs and  pebbles represented the stony ground, and compost the fertile land, with courgette seeds to plant for everyone. 
We all enjoyed getting our hands dirty, and came home with a small pot to plant.  Amy and Gemma accompanied the singing with their beautiful flute and guitar, and afterwards we all enjoyed coffee and cake in the sunshine.  A happy time was had by all!"

Celebrations for Easter Day in the Three Valleys Team Benefice



Different churches celebrated the joy of Easter in different ways.

The Reverend John Summers led a Family Service in Ryme in the morning and one at Hilfield church in the afternoon. Valerie Rowsell, who attended both services as organist/keyboard player, writes: 

"Ryme - Beautifully decorated, 30 adults, 5 children. and 3 three day old fluffy chicks!
Easter cross decorated with flowers by the children during the lovely service, sermon based on the Gospel.
Easter egg hunt took place in a sunny churchyard after the service.

Hilfield - The little church looked very beautiful with flowers, small wooden crosses and many candles, also an Easter egg tree with a variety of eggs.  An Easter egg hunt took place in the churchyard after a lovely service.
32 adults and five children, great singing as always at Hilfield.  This was followed by refreshments in the church."

Family Communions were held in many other churches.

Leigh held their second Community Spirit Sunday starting with a Holy Communion service and continuing with crafts, chat and a delicious chicken casserole. Over 70 adults and children came with 40 staying for lunch.  The Easter crafts for the children included an Easter trail plus creating Easter Gardens.  A new Easter Banner created by Caroline Birdsell was blessed at the service.


A similar number attended Choral Holy Communion at Yetminster enjoying the beautiful flowers and music and an excellent sermon by our Team Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert. Lower Covey Toddlers’ Group had made an Easter Garden where the stone had been rolled away from the tomb to show the white linen left by the risen Christ.


 Lower Covey Toddlers' Easter Garden - the stone is rolled away showing the white linen neatly folded!

Simon Eadon played the refurbished organ, under polythene wraps in preparation for the great maintenance works about to start in the church. The choir started the service with Richard Sheppard’s “Sing Choirs”.  During the Communion Jane Robotham conducted her daughter, Esther, who sang the solo most beautifully in Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum”, accompanied by the St Andrew’s Singers and Simon Eadon on the organ. This was followed by Bruckner’s motet “Locus Iste”. The service finished, after rousing hymns and a voluntary played with great panache by Simon. This was a fitting, happy service in the beautiful church which is now to be closed for re-wiring

Holy Saturday

Churches throughout the Benefice decorated the churches ready for Easter.



Holnest church held a vigil on Saturday Evening.

Good Friday

Many different services of meditation and devotion were held throughout the Three Valleys Team.

Beer Hackett held its traditional Good Friday walk.

The Good Friday Way of the Cross Walk

James Johnsen writes:

"Twenty-five of us, aged from late eighties to just two years old, gathered in bright and brisk weather at Beer Hackett to ascend Knighton Hill and contemplate the various stations in Jesus's last journey, a traditional part of Holy Week. 

We were most fortunate to be led by John Summers who had prepared a beautifully conceived series of six 'stations' entitled" Betrayal, Judgement, Friendship, Suffering, Paradise and It is Finished, each one providing some interesting analysis or thought-provoking ideas drawn from incidents in the well-known story. 

As the clouds rolled in, our Cross was finally planted atop Knighton Hill from where contemplated our own Calgaries in a moment of peace as we drank in the breathtaking views across the beneficence before descending to the barn at Manor Farm where Alice Johnsen kindly provided tea and hot cross buns."



Yetminster and many other churches had  quiet, contemplative services considering the last words of Jesus on the Cross.


Maundy Thursday

Seder Meal

People from different parts of the Benefice met to share the Seder Meal in the Jubiliee Hall in Yetminster. This is a re-enactment of the Passover Meal, the last supper which Jesus Christ shared with his disciples and is followed by a simple Holy Communion service. Sarah Hedin arranged the catering. There were about 30 people and everyone said that, as well as superb food, the whole evening "flowed" and there was a marvellous atmosphere!


Palm Sunday 9th April


Yetminster has invested in some new palms!




SHARES (Sherborne Area Refugee Support)

arranged a collection of warm clothes and bedding for refugees.

During the week beginning 20th March,  St Andrew's church, Yetminster, was open from 9-6 to receive donations of warm clothes/food etc. The response was amazing: the church was full of bags and boxes:

lots of people helped to sort and we thank 

Katie Hawnt for her brilliant organsation!






Children and families are trying to survive in basic shelters in refugee camps.

Donations are being sent to refugees in Greece, Lebanon, Syria and other countries.

If you can offer more help or want to find out more about this great project please visit



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.

Leigh0217      Leigh0217a

 Leigh0217b     Leigh0217c

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!

            BA Colection2                                         BA Colection1 


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.
1216dec2       1216dec4
 Penny with Sue and Sheila finishing the flowers in the  Sanctuary and Chancel
1216dec1    1216dec3
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.

1216Caius at Leigh

 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!







      0916vs7        0916vs5 






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 



 For reports on events happening earlier, please look at the Archival Material page which goes back to 2014.