Recent Events



To add reports of events to this page please email 

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[We would love more reports from churches in the Benefice!]



This page updated  1st November 2023

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



Jenny Nelson our assistant Curate is raising funds for Dorset Historic Churches Trust through Ride and Stride 2023, cycling for the White Hart Vale churches in the Three Valleys Benefice. Ride + Stride is an annual event through which those in the many benefices and parishes across Dorset raise money for Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) and our own churches, by cycling, walking or riding between any number of our beautiful churches

DHCT uses half the money raised (a fantastic £87,000 was raised in 2022) to fund vital repairs to roofs and fabric, while the other half is returned to our participating churches to help with maintenance. DHCT also grant aid for the provision of facilities such as kitchenettes and lavatories in churches, so these churches can become more flexible for use throughout the week for community activities.

Please do support us by following the link to her just giving page.




Glanvilles Wootton

GW Popup Pub                               GW Harvest

 GW Trick or treat




Folke Pet



Yetminster Harvest

 Yetminster Harvest 23



Raising the Roof

















Our curate, the Reverend Jenny Nelson, led a group of musicians accompanying today's Jazz Eucharist. This jolly service was held in Thornford School Hall. The Reverend Tony Gilbert presided and preached on the importance of music in worship and the various occasions that music and musicians are mentioned in the Holy Bible. Kate Hawnt sang the Sanctus and also sang during the Communion.

The service was follwed by a bring and share lunch.





SUNDAY 19th JUNE 2022  11.30am




Memorial to the late Col. G. Mark Chirnside – churchwarden of St. Michael's Church, Beer Hackett 1984 - 2012


On Sunday 19th June the Reverend Tony Gilbert led a service of  Morning Prayer in St. Michael’s

which included a dedication of the plaque to commemorate Mark’s service as churchwarden.


Mark's widow, Gillian, chose some of their favourite hymns:

Praise my soul.., the King of Love..., Love Divine...and Thine be the Glory

to complement the BCP service which Mark was very fond of.


Kathy Smyth (soprano) sang Faure's "Pie Jesu" as the anthem

accompanied by the current churchwarden and organist, Richard Mentern.




Both Mark's nephews and their families had travelled to be in a congregation of 24.


In his sermon Tony Gilbert focussed on the centuries long line of service and dedication shown by people to the church.

He noted with appreciation Mark's place in this and his contribution to the church life of St Michael’s.









14 May Tidy Up


Tidy up 2022


Maintenance Day on Saturday 14 May 2022

A big thank you to all those who turned out, on Saturday 14 May, to help with the Maintenance Day at St. Michael's Church. The weather was lovely, enabling us to do much of the outside work as well as concentrating on the interior. The list of jobs seemed ambitious, but with the help of villagers old and new, a huge amount was achieved... graves were tidied, hedges trimmed, trees pruned, drainage improved, gates and hinges repainted, doors treated, rubbish removed, floors hoovered and woodwork and brass polished. A great team effort!






Village Jubilee Breakfast, 2 June 2022

Beer Hackett got the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend off to a great start on Thursday, 2 June by holding a Village Breakfast in the Church grounds. Bunting was flying everywhere and the sun shone out of a beautiful blue sky.  Neighbours joined together for bacon rolls, toast and marmalade, tea and coffee and a celebratory glass of Buck’s Fizz.  After an enjoyable couple of hours spent in the sunshine, chatting, laughing and catching up with one another, the morning concluded with a prize draw of Afternoon Tea and Prosecco hampers and Chocolates, won by Andrea Saxton, Susannah Keene and Sandra Hillier respectively.

Thanks go to Helen, John & Jean and Betty for kindly donating the prizes, to all those who helped setting up, cooking and serving breakfast, and to all the villagers for joining in!


Jubilee 1



Jubilee 2jpg




SUNDAY 6th March 2022




Our thanks go to Jenny Hunnisett and other volunteers for organising Tea & Cakes at Glanvilles Wootton Village Hall on Sunday 6th March where over £1,120.00 was raised in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. A tremendous response. The recipients will no doubt be most grateful and humbled by your kindness.

Thank you once again to all who were able to attend or help in any way.


Donations for Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.




World Day Of Prayer

Friday 4th March 2022


From LizKirlew:

The first Friday in March, this year falling on 4th, is always World Day of Prayer day.

This years service was compiled by women from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We met at St Andrews Yetminster and it felt good to be back ‘ live’ after having resorted to zoom last year.

We had a very good congregation including folks from Sherborne Abbey who were not able to hold their own service this year. The service this year was put together by women from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and entitled “ I know the plans I have for you”. It was based on a bible passage from Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 29. 1-14) This passage gives a message of hope for a people in exile, who would have thought that by the time the we came together, over a million Ukrainians would be leaving their country to go into exile in other parts of Europe. I think we all felt very engaged with the theme this year and it gave us the opportunity to pray for Ukraine and it’s people and those from other areas who have fled for reasons of conflict, poverty or any other difficulty and reflect on how we might help. Of course we must all continue to pray for these people and situations.

Although I always enjoy the World Day of Prayer Service it was tinged with a little sadness this time as it will be the last one I organise in the Benefice.

I am still looking for someone to hand the batten to, it’s not a particularly difficult job but very rewarding.

If anyone is interested in taking over please get in touch and we can have a chat about it, 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 01963 23570







Rectory Tea Room

From Liz Kirlew

Many thanks to everyone who come to the Rectory Tea Room on February 5th 2022.

We had a fairly quiet start but business picked up during the day and many good conversations with tea, coffee and cake were enjoyed by all.

Vicar Richard was able to explain a little about his Chaplaincy work and our son Edward raised the profile of Dorset Search and Rescue, of which he is an active member.

As a result of everyone’s generosity we raised over £430, so a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported this event which was split between the Benifice, Rural Chaplaincy and Dorset Search and Rescue.






There have been lots of events  - well attended Remembrance Services, Advent Windows, Reverse Advent Calendars, Carol Services and

preparing churches through the Benefice for Christmas. We needed reports and pictures! 




HARVEST FESTIVAL 17th October 2021


Like many churches in the Benefice we have enjoyed an excellent Harvest Festival. 




The church was nicely full with all ages and beautifully decorated!




The choir sang and we were also very lucky to have members from St Andrew's School who sang for us as well as leaving delightful models of fruit and veg on the altar!







The Reverend Tony Gilbert stood in at the last minute and took the Holy Communion service and gave a thought provoking and interesting sermon which we hope to upload later on the SERVICES page.

Simon Eadon played the organ and played us out the the theme tune from "The Archers". 



In the Jubilee Hall a team under the direction of Julia Nutt had prepared the hall, decorated the tables and organised a magnificent "Bring and Share" lunch with people bringing a shared first course and delicious Harvest Puddings being provided by the PCC members and friends. 

It was a very happy occasion in a beautiful church, beautifully decorated for the service and excellent lunch in the jolly hall on a perfect autumn day!

Thank you to everyone who contributed in any way.





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HARVEST FESTIVAL 10th October 2021




We held our Harvest Festival service at 3pm on Sunday 10th October in the current glorious autumn sunshine.

Our church was cleaned, polished and decorated beautifully by many volunteers including new neighbours who have kindly agreed to join the flower and cleaning rota.

We do appreciate their help and are glad to welcome them.

Despite several families suffering from illness,  a congregation of thirty four shared the service led by Revd. Tony Gilbert assisted by Brother Hugh from Hilfield Friary.

Brother Hugh gave a fascinating sermon by reference to the assurances of the prophet Joel and the teaching in Matthew’s gospel of how to approach and act on all our current environmental concerns.  He explained the reasoning and purpose of the international Eco Church initiative and encouraged our community to share and be involved here in Beer Hackett.

After the service we moved outside into the sunshine and shared delicious refreshments and the tasting and judging of our bread making competition.



Eight top class loaves were baked and given – each one a different style and several still wrapped to keep warm.

They were sliced, tasted and shared by everyone and later numbered and voted on by a show of hands.  They all deserved to win!



The winner was Mengxi Gibson with her white loaf containing garlic and olives – well done Mengxi and thank you for doing all the loaf slicing.

The service offering of £125 will be given to the Sherborne Food Bank and the food tins donated will be given to the Lord’s Larder in Yeovil via Thornford Church collection.

Thank you to everyone who helped and came to enjoy the festival.


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CHURCHYARD CLEAR UP - 9th October 2021


Churchyard Autumn clear up!

Huge thanks go to Team Churchyard, who made a truly magnificent morning's work, tidying, strimming, mowing, raking, and weeding. It was a great effort and hard work, so do come along and admire their handiwork! We are very lucky to have such lovely folk in the village who give their time so willingly.




Looking Back..... very grateful thanks go to our four intrepid riders and striders, Alex, Simon, George with Caleb, and Lucy, who at the time of writing have so far raised £1,051 for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust. Half of this will come back to St Andrews in due course, so if you haven't yet sponsored them, you can still do so on




John Bingham writes:


On Friday 6th August our neighbours Leigh and Simon Clothier hosted our long established Wine & Cheese party in their home at Higher Farm.

Together with some plated contributions they provided a magnificent spread.  Their daughter Lilly’s brownies deserved a special mention!



Kathy Smyth organised and provided a large surprise St. Michael’s cake (see picture) to celebrate the return of the event after Covid cancellation last year.



We were also pleased to share the party with several Friends of St. Michael’s.  The picture shows three Friends trustees and three PCC members with big smiles!



Despite more than twelve regular neighbours being unable to attend, many of them generously paid for tickets.  With an attendance of thirty four and the raffle organised by Olive Davison the whole evening raised a generous £311 for church funds.

Thank you to Leigh and Simon and to everyone for their support.


Now we can all look forward to the Friends ‘Village Get Together’ on Saturday 11th September.


At the date of writing (12th August) we have just learned the sad news of the death of Simon’s mother, Pam Clothier.

Pam originated the Wine & Cheese event over twenty years ago and at the party we heard that she had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia.

Pam meant much to our hamlet.  She knew everyone, was a friend and generous neighbour to many and a loyal and stalwart member of St. Michael’s.

Together with many whose lives she touched,  our PCC  send sincere and deepest sympathy to Simon, Leigh, Philippa, Lilly, Wendy and Nigel and their wider family.




Wildlife Events in Holnest Churchyard 3 July 2021

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Around 30 enthusiasts enjoyed two wildlife events held in Holnest Churchyard on Saturday July 3rd. Both were facilitated by Imogen Davenport of Dorset Wildlife Trust and John Stobart of Natural England. The day started by opening the moth trap set the evening before. We were pleasantly surprised by a good collection of large and colourful moths. We learnt about the characteristics of the moths and then they were released to return to their natural habitat.


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We spent our  second session identifying and surveying wildflowers and grasses.

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We then meandered through the ancient meadows in the churchyard surveying the wildflowers in bloom. We were thrilled to find 13 Dorset Notables amongst the swathes of wildflowers and grasses. Keen photographers were busy taking pictures of  the wildlife and we were joined by artists who were capturing the wildlife in art form. It was a great to experience and share the natural heritage of the ancient churchyard.

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Sunday June 27

Holnest Church

‘Thanksgiving Songs of Praise’

and celebration completion of restoration works and launch of Summer Programme of Events.


The Reverend George Moody led us through a service of joyful hymns of thanksgiving and amusing and poignant readings to fit the occasion.

Afterwards around 50 persons kept dry under the gazebo whilst enjoying Pimms and celebratory refreshments.

Holnest Church are eternally thankful for the enormous support they have received to enable the restoration works and in planning and delivering the programme of events.







Sunday 27th June 2021


Batcombe's legendary annual Cream Teas were served at Hilfield Friary from 3-5pm. The forecast had been bad but the weather stayed dry and lots of people happily visited the Friary and enjoyed sumptuous teas with beautiful scones and home-made cakes. Stalls included Tombola, Bric a Brac, Cakes, Raffle and excellent plants.  


 Lots of people enjoying Batcombe's famous cream teas!

 The event made just over £1,600 for the ‘Bolster the Beams’ appeal. 

[Batcombe church is having to have major work done on the roof timbers in the Church which have been badly damaged by death watch beetle].




Sunday 27th June 2021 11am Ordination of Deacons

Service from Salisbury Cathedral

Our new curate for the Three Valleys Team, Jenny Nelson, was made Deacon as well as Lindy Cameron for Hilfield, with 7 others, at this splendid service of Ordination and Eucharist, led by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Dr Nicholas Holtam.

The choir sang William Byrd's 4 part mass and also sang two hymns.

The Guardian of Hilfield Friary, Br. Clark Berge, SSF, gave the address.

The outgoing organ voluntary was Widor's Toccata in F from Symphony no 5.







On a glorious summer day, Yetminster Tower was open again with superb views from the top!


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 North                                                                    East

260621-Looking-SE-sm    260621-Looking-SW-sm 

 South East                                                         South West



 The recently regilded weathervane in all its glory!




Celia Brayfield writes:

The annual opening of the church tower at St Andrew's, Yetminster, was able to go ahead with careful planning for social distancing. 




Volunteers brought together by the churchwarden, Clare Lindsay, served tea, cake and, later, Pimm's to visitors while they enjoyed music from the Leweston Jazz Band and The Accidentals [our local close-harmony group!].



The Cake Stall 


 The Leweston Jazz Band

 260621-Accidentals sm

 The Accidentals - our own Close Harmony Group with Jane Robotham conducting!


The new churchyard map, created by Jane Robotham, was on display to help people look for their ancestors among the historic headstones. A treasure hunt and games were organised for children and cards based on the Millennium Hanging canvaswork panels were on sale.



 Jane Waight presiding over the table with beautiful cards made from the Millennium Hanging images


260621-Glorious-Pimms sm

The large glasses of Pimms were much enjoyed!

Over three hours over 100 visitors supported the event, including local MP Chris Loder, and donations to the Sherborne Food Bank totalled just over £700.




31st May 2021 

300521 View from open garden

 View from Manor Farm

James Johnsen writes:

"We were delighted to welcome well over 100 people here to Manor Farm (Knighton Hill) on a fine Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May. Having been coaxed out of a donation by Siegfred Johnsen on the gate and strictly parked in the top field by his younger brother, Henry, tours began from Knighton Hill with a gentle stroll through our organic wildflower meadows and down through an arboretum incorporating several different native species to the gardens.

Owing to that very cold spell earlier in the Spring, many of the plants that we hoped would be out weren’t yet ‘showing’ to their full potential but there was hopefully enough to interest the keen horticulturalist. Most seemed to be happy sipping their tea and munching Alice Johnsen’s cake and shortbread on the terrace while drinking in the views across the Wriggle Valley made glorious by the brilliantly bright and sunny weather. Belinda Wingfield Digby’s book stall and Blooming Hill Plants did some brisk trade while Hubert Johnsen managed to sell several old tools and other incunabula in the stable yard.

Thanks to all who came, helped and supported. We netted a little over £1,000 for St. Michael’s which will greatly help staunch the hole left in church income from the lack of services and other activities in Beer Hackett. With high hopes for a lifting of restrictions later this month, The Friends of St. Michael now have a full programme for the summer planned so watch out for further news!"


300521 View 2 from open garden


St. Michael’s PCC thank the Johnsen family for their initiative in hosting the open garden event.

They gave much pleasure and enjoyment to all those who came and also provided a magnificent boost to church funds.






We have our winners! Congratulations to the winners of our Easter Decoration competiton.

Adult winner is Julie Simpson for her spectacular Easter bonnet.

0421 Easter Competition adult winner        0421 Easter Competition adult winner 2

Children's winner is Maggie Doody, age 3, for her 'Easter basket filled with stuff' - judges were impressed by Maggie's original artwork in this.

0421 Easter Competition child winner

Highly commended are Julie Hunter-McIlveen for her beautiful family window

 0421 Easter Competition 1

and Easter Bonnets by Jessica Farrell and Issy Mills.

 0421 Easter Competition 2

Big thanks to judges Daphne Barfoot and George Moody, and well done everyone!

Friends of St Andrew's, Yetminster

Easter decoration competiton!

Get creative to celebrate spring!

What to do: decorate something - egg, bonnet, tree, front door, pet, yourself, wreath, table, car, anything - and send a photo to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by mid-day on Easter Sunday, April 4.

Prizes will be given for best adult and best child entry.

Judges are last year's winner, Daphne Barfoot and the Reverend George Moody, and winners will receive a £15 voucher.


EASTER DAY 4th April 2021


As well as a well attended service at Yetminster St Andrew on Easter Day with people filling the church (in a legal, social-distancing way!) as well as having to sit outside, we had the opportunity to admire the regilded weathercock, gilding done by Claire Thomson. It will soon go back on top of the tower. We have missed it!


The regilded weathercock - ready to go up on the tower again

The Reverend George Moody celebrated Holy Communion. A small choir, conducted by the organist, Simon Eadon, opened with "This Joyful Eastertide" as an introit and sang 3 unaccompanied hymns from a distance in the chancel. Julie Simpson and Graham Plaice read the lessons. Patrick and Frances Moule led the prayers. The great, happy surprise was the gathering outside the church at the end when Simon played "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" and everyone sang!


Singing outside! Yippee!

The church had been beautifully decorated and the children from St Andrew's School had made a most beautiful Easter Garden in the porch. (See below for photos).

And it was the most glorious day, if chilly! 




Throughout the Benefice people will be gathering on Holy Saturday to prepare their churches for the highlight of the Christian Year tomorrow! 

Thank you to Julie Simpson, Head of St Andrew's School, and her pupils for making such a beautiful Easter Garden to adorn the porch.The beautiful painted stones have been particularly admired!



This morning lots of people came to get the church ready for its first major service since Christmas. Because of the Covid restrictions careful seating arrangements have been made but even so, some people will have to be outside. The doors will have to be open too so please wrap up warmly. 


Flowers were being arranged, cleaning was underway and the organ being practised. Last night there was a choir practice too for the small choir who will be singing from the East end.





Saturday 21st March 2021


Even with all the Covid restrictions, the Spring tidy-up of the large churchyard can't be ignored! With careful social distancing, and, sadly, no coffee get-together, various individuals kindly tidied, swept, cut-back, pruned and generally made the very large churchyard look good again, ready for Easter!


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Sunday 14th March 2021


Two on-line services were held today to celebrate Mothering Sunday.

The Reverend Anne Budgell led a Eucharist which was recorded on the Three Valleys Facebook page and can be watched at any time and the Reverend George Moody and his team held informal "Second Sunday" worship via Zoom at 10am.


The Wriggle Valley Branch of the Mothers' Union organised the making of posies. These were left in the porch of St Andrew's Church, Yetminster for people to help themselves and they were invited to pick up and deliver posies to those on their own.


Other churches in the Benefice had similar schemes.



Posies made on Saturday ready to go to the church







Posies ready in the porch of St Andrew's, Yetminster

Copies of  a special Mothers' Union prayer for this special Sunday were also available for people to take 


0321 Mothering Sunday Prayer







On Friday 5th March at 10.30am a service for the 


“Build on a Strong Foundation”

was held via Zoom

Liz Kirlew organised the service with the help of her husband, the Reverend Richard Kirlew, and readers from all round the Benefice took part. 

The service was created by the women of Vanuatu. More can be found out about the World Day of Prayer and Vanuatu by going to the website ( where there is a video called "Introducing Vanuatu" which provides an in-depth introduction to the history, people and geography.

Please see below for ways of donating as, of course, the usual collection could not be taken.



From Liz Kirlew

"Who could have believed, when we held our World Day of Prayer Service last year that Covid-19 would have had such a profound effect on all our lives since then.  Hopefully, with the vaccine, lockdown and all of us remaining careful round our own behaviour we are able to see our way out of this situation.  As we join together and remember the year we have had, let us also think of the women of Vanuatu who wrote our service today who have had to cope not only with Covid-19, but also Cyclone Harold that wreaked havoc on the islands last April.  

World Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement who support many organisations around the world, most of them involved with the wellbeing of women and children.  This year will be particularly difficult because of cancelled services and the difficulties we have around gathering together.  Although we cannot take an offering in the usual way we can still contribute to this worthwhile movement.  Making your donation can be done in a number of ways, via the website , or direct to the office, World day of Prayer, Commercial Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. TN1 2RR.  Telephone 01892 541411, or by Text message to 70085 using the phrase 2021WDP and adding the amount you wish to donate i.e. 2021WDP 5. "








ON-LINE at  8.30am 

Dear Friends,

                    Not at Folke Golf Club, but online this Saturday morning. John Rennie, who now leads a Benefice in Hampshire, has invited us to join with their group on Saturday morning on Zoom. All the details are below, and he tells me that some ladies join them too. If you would like to join, either email John or his coordinator, or let me know and I will send your email details across. General Dannatt was Head of the Army until he retired.

It should be an interesting morning.

Trusting that you are keeping safe and well.

Best wishes,  Keith


Calling All Men !!

Men’s Breakfast is on Saturday 27th February at 8.30 am. 

You are warmly invited to join us with coffee and croissant in hand. 

The zoom link will be sent around on Friday 26th. 

If you would like to attend please  be in touch with Clare  ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )  or John  ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Those who have attended before will automatically be sent the link. 

Our speaker is General The Lord Dannatt. 

He will speak under the title “ Leadership in Turbulent Times.” 

I have known Richard for 50 years both as a friend and Christian colleague. 

He served for forty years in the Regular Army retiring in 2009 as the Chief of the General Staff.  

His service took him on operations and deployments to Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.  

At various times he served on the staff of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Army Staff College at Camberley and the Ministry of Defence in London.  

On retiring, he was appointed as the Constable of HM Tower of London and in 2011 entered the House of Lords as an independent Crossbench Peer.  

He is a frequent commentator on defence and security issues in the media and has written two books: “Leading from the Front”, an autobiography, and “Boots on the Ground – Britain and her Army since 1945”.  

He is involved in many charities and is a co-Founder of Help for Heroes.  He is currently Chairman of the National Emergencies Trust.






To read the final press release about the work on Holnest Church of the Assumption please follow the link below.



Holnest Church encased in Scaffolding


Holnest Church with managed churchyard for wildlife


Holnest Church is not the only church in the Benefice having restoration work at the moment.

Here is a photo of the Vestry at Yetminster St Andrew! There has been much needed work on the tower recently.


A stonemason's office and store and a carpenter's workshop!



On Wednesday 11th November 2020 a short open air Act of Remembrance was held outside Yetminster St Andrew, led by the Reverend George Moody. Commander David Gould  read the names of all those from the villages of Batcombe, Hilfield, Ryme Intrinseca and Yetminster who had died in both World Wars. A representative from the Scouts and also children from Lover Covey School laid wreaths.

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Pupils from Lower Covey laid a wreath



The National Anthem was sung.  Geoff Goater read Rupert Brooke's sonnet "If I should die, think only this of me...". 


If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
        Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
        In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.




On Sunday 8th November short open air services of wreath laying were held at Glanvilles Wootton, Thornford and Yetminster.

The Reverend Tony Gilbert also led an on-line Service of Remembrance.





In Yetminster churchyard people gathered, socially distancing, round the Garden of Remembrance while the Reverend George Moody led the service. Commander Graham Plaice read a lesson and Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Graham of Batcombe led the Act of Remembrance. In the course of the short but moving service General Graham read the names of all those from the villages of Batcombe, Hilfield, Ryme Intrinseca and Yetminster who had died in both World Wars. 

The service included a brief but pertinent sermon by George Moody and the congregation joined in acts of confession and dedication. At the end of the service everyone joined in singing the National Anthem.







In spite of Covid, lots of churches in the Benefice have managed to celebrate Harvest Festival, albeit using a different format. Photographs of some of the other Harvest Celebrations have been uploaded to the Three Valleys Facebook page.

On Sunday 18th October Yetminster St Andrew held their Harvest Festival. 



The church had been decorated beautifully the previous day by a team of 7 flower arrangers  - aided by the Reverend George Moody, our Team Rector!




For the first time the new wooden shelves, which hang below the Nave window, were used. These have been made as a lasting memorial to the late Joan Rusted, a faithful member of the congregation and keen flower arranger. 


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The Reverend Tony Gilbert celebrated a Harvest Communion. At the start of the service he carried a sheaf of corn round the church while the mini-choir sang the 18th c. anthem by Maurice Greene "Thou Visiteth the Earth".




Inside the church there was the opportunity to leave tins and dry goods to be given away to local food banks.

The two lessons were ready by David Gould and Celia Brayfield. Tony gave an excellent sermon, among other things exhorting us to stay close to nature in spite of technology.

The choir sang again after sharing the Peace: "We plough the fields and scatter..." and also during the Communion when they sang: "Just as I am...". At the end of the service the organist played the theme tune from "The Archers" and the congregation, still masked, left the church to find a large table groaning with cakes and biscuits! This was organised by the local branch of the Wriggle Valley Mothers' Union to raise much needed funds for their charities, both nearby and overseas. Everything was beautifully made, beautifully packaged and sold out, raising more the £100!

So it was a different kind of Harvest. We missed the opportunity to sit and eat together but the church was nicely full in a Covid way and we are all very grateful to the clergy, churchwarden and sidespeople, flower arrangers, musicians, MU organisers and cooks who made the celebration happen!





Monday 12th October 2020

At last, the canvaswork panels, belonging to Yetminster St Andrew, have been changed! A set of these superb panels, made for the Millennium, are meant to be on display in the church for only a year but because of Covid and the difficulties of getting a team together to change them, they have been in place for nearly 18 months. Enormous thanks are due to Geoff and Christine Goater, assisted by Toby and Christina Walkley with Clare Lindsay (Churchwarden) overseeing the whole exercise!



Geoff and Christine Goater  starting the changeover of the panels. Some have been removed, ready to hang in the church.


The hangings consist of 26 panels most of which are on permanent display in the Jubilee Hall, Yetminster, with the remainder in the church. The hangings cover various aspects of Yetminster life, past and present, and a booklet is available from the Three Valleys Benefice Office for £5. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like a copy.



The set of panels now safely hung in St Andrew's Church where they will remain for a year.

Exciting moves are afoot with the production of cards featuring images from the hangings. While the panels were being changed, Geoff and Christine Goater, Christina Walkley and Jane Waight worked with Barrie Allingham who photographed the panels today. For more information on the greeting cards (the first batch will featuring the houses of Yetminster and Christmas images and be on sale soon) please contact Jane Waight This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Photographer Barry Allingham taking pictures - cards are going to be made!







Monday 21st September 2020 6.30pm

0920 LPA Commissioning service

Two new Lay Pastoral Assistants were commissioned to the Three Valleys Benefice at  a service at St Andrew's Yetminster, led by the Bishop of Sherborne, the Right Reverend Karen Gorham.  A choir of 6 sang Ludwig van Beethoven's "Creation's Hymn" at the start of the service. After readings and an excellent sermon by the Bishop (click here for text), the new LPAs Celia Brayfield and Steve Mullins were presented to the Bishop by the Reverend George Moody, Team Vicar. Each was interviewed: Celia by Julia Simpson who is Head Teacher of St Andrew's School, Yetminster and Steve by the Reverend Richard Kirlew. Celia hopes to help with schoolchildren, particularly with the "Nature Space" which has been created at the school and Steve plans to help the Farming Community in these difficult times, particularly helping the lonely and bereaved. 

Simon Eadon played a Karg Elert Chorale Prelude at the end of the service.

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The Reverend George Moody writes:

"Yesterday evening in St Andrew's, Yetminster, Bishop Karen led an LPA Commissioning Service to welcome two new Lay Pastoral Assistants to their new roles in the Three Valleys Benefice in West Dorset. We heard from Bishop Karen on the importance of faith (spelt r.i.s.k.) in launching us into ministry, and how our new LPAs, Celia and Steve, are going to be developing their new calling. It was fascinating to hear the journeys that have led Celia to a role with the children in the local primary school and Steve to explore a ministry among the rural farming community. Thanks must go to all those who made it such a special evening, from the beautiful flowers to the clear readings, from the marvellous interviews to the lovely music, and to Bishop Karen for making time to be with us in this exciting next step for our team."

0920 LPA 2




Saturday 12th September 2020 10am-to 6 pm


Thank you to all who supported Ride+Stride in any way this year.


2020 RS logo 




Ride+Stride took place this year


Saturday 12th September 2020 10am-to 6 pm


Dorset Historic Churches Trust provides funds to help parishes keep their churches weatherproof, warm and available for worship and wider public use. In 2019 grants totalling £106,500 were awarded to 16 churches.

Most of the Trust's income comes from the annual sponsored Ride+Stride.


(Yetminster St Andrew received a generous grant from DHCT last year towards the costs of repairing the Tower,

now ongoing.)


In 2019 £84,623 was raised by participants of all ages and abilities. 50% of all money pledged was returned to the churches nominated by the riders or striders, so everyone benefited.


This year’s Ride+Stride will be a modified event to take account of Covid 19 restrictions. This means that churches may not be open, refreshments and WCs may not be available and participants may have to self-record their own efforts.


This is to minimise any risk of infection between people or contamination of churches.


However it will still be an opportunity for a great day out in Dorset, on bikes, horses or on foot to raise some much needed funds for your church and churches across the county.


If you are not able to take part you are still able support Ride+Stride by sponsoring one or more of the riders or striders.


Remember that half the sum pledged will be gratefully used by the Trust to sustain our wonderful churches and the other half will be given back to the parish that is nominated by the rider.


If you are interested in taking part or sponsoring a rider or strider, please get in touch with your Parish Organiser.


(In Yetminster this is: Alex Mitchell  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


A Just Giving page has been set up: )


Or go to 


Participants are recommended to set up a Just Giving page for friends to sponsor them – see





YETMINSTER ST ANDREW 10am 12th July 2020




It was a joy to return to church on a beautiful morning. Lots of changes - social distancing, no singing, hand sanitiser etc but the organ was playing and 40 people met in Yetminster St Andrew for a "Welcome back to Worship in the Church" service. The Reverend George Moody led the service. We said two hymns (perhaps we could sing outside, facing outwards before the start of a servuce and after the end?), and it was very uplifiting to be with people again in our beautiful church. We welcomed people from other parishes including Batcombe, Chetnole and Hermitage and enjoyed the prayers led by them. Afterwards clusters of people met in various gardens for coffee. 



 During lockdown, many churches in the Benefice, including Yetminster St Andrew's, have had welcoming flowers in the porch



Social distancing: the "overflow area" was needed in the Chancel 


 From the organ loft 





The St Andrews Church Easter Decoration  competition brought in many lovely entries, with animals, bunnies, eggs galore, ribbons, hats, cakes, and more. 

The Adult entry was won by Daphne Barfoot for her chandelier ring in her conservatory.

0420 Easter Competition 2 Barfoot

and the  Childrens' entry was won by Aurelia Foster aged 5  for her made from scratch carrot cake with lemons cream cheese topping!

0420 Easter Competition 1 Aurelia Forster 5 years 

It was so difficult to choose that the judges decided to have runners up in each catagory!  So congratulations go to the winners, and the runners up who are:  

Caroline Morton

0420 Easter Competition 5 Caroline Morton

and Jane Hartwell,

0420 Easter Competition 6 Hartwell RU

together with Scarlett Barnett

0420 Easter Competition 4 Scarlett Barnett

and Connie and Maggie Doody. 

0420 Easter Competition 3 Connie and Maggie Doody

The prize winners will be notified soon with details of their prizes.   Thanks to all who took part in the competition and hope you all enjoyed it!  Happy Easter!

NB There may be more photographs to add later. Watch this space!




Jo Barlow-Poole writes:
St Andrew's Church, Leigh, held a Lent Lunch on March 12th in the village hall.
Our numbers were down due to the present situation, but we served 30 people including the helpers and made £210:00 for the Rendezvous in Sherborne.  A very worthwhile charity.
Thanks to all who helped and to those who supported us.








In organising a "Thank You" event for St Andrew's Church in Yetminster, Churchwarden Clare Lindsay,  discovered that over 200 people in the neighbourhood helped to look after the church or supported it as members of the electoral roll, recipients of the weekly Round Robin newsletter  or guests at fundraising events for the Restoration Fund.  The list included the choir and musicians, the cleaners, nicknamed the Holy Scrubbers, the mowers who keep the churchyard trim, the bell-ringers, the clock maintenance team and many other volunteers from the community.

The Restoration Fund has raised enough to begin work on repairing the tower and at  least sixty supporters braved the aftermath of Storm Jorge to attend a party in the church on February 29 to be thanked in person, and to hear the Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert, talk about the history and care of the church.

A power cut at the end of his talk did not deter the next speaker, Jane Robotham, who described the Churchyard Project, in which she and her son Oliver have worked for five years to transfer and update the map of the churchyard. The project is nearing completion and will provide a searchable database, with photographs,  for people hoping to trace people who have been buried there. 

The final speaker was Celia Brayfield, the member of the Parochial Church Council who is the contact for the Living Churchyard scheme, which will enhance the area as a refuge for wildlife and an area of exceptional biodiversity. 

The presentations closed with an invitation to all to meet one of the Weymouth beach donkeys, who will visit the church on Palm Sunday, April 5, at 12noon for the traditional procession. 

0220Weymouth Donkeys


Power was restored in time for the Churchyard Project spreadsheet to be projected and forJane to demonstrate the various ways of

searching it. 




BENEFICE PARTY at The Jubilee Hall, Yetminster



The Reverends Tony Gilbert, George Moody and Richard Kirlew

In spite of a cold and rather dreary evening there was warmth and bonhomie at an excellent Pancake Party. Our clergy treated anyone who wanted to join them from the Benefice  to lots of delicious pancakes, cups of tea and coffee and much laughter as the pancakes were flipped successfully or not!


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Tony successfully tossing a pancake               You can't see Richard's pancake but it's safe in the pan and the Reverend Anne Budgell is  waiting to deliver a fresh one


At times there was a bit of a queue but Liz Kirlew worked incredibly hard to keep up with the demanding public


The holy chaps cooked and the holy ladies prepared batter, made tea and coffee and waitressed. All sorts of people washed up.


Thank you all!











St Andrew's Church, Yetminster


A lovely sunny day and a special Family Communion led by the Reverend Tony Gilbert. Not only was it a significant birthday for a significant member of the congregation but it was also a day when candles were blessed and the theme of light was high on the agenda! We started by singing "Happy Birthday". Tony preached on St Valentine and some of the traditions of the church and the children made beautiful Valentine cards. After the service people stayed and enjoyed a glass of sherry (or apple juice!). 



A very jolly and beautifully made Valentine's card! 







Richard and Liz Kirlew write:

"It might have been bright and sunny but it was chilly on Sunday when we opened the Rectory Tea Room at Holwell for the day. Some brave souls wore their summer dresses and sun hats to enjoy cream teas, cake and light lunches and lots and lots of tea and coffee.

Although, due to a number of factors (illness, holidays etc), our numbers were down compared with previous years we had very generous support both on the day and also donations from those who were unable to join us. The raffle was a great success thanks to the lovely prizes that were given.

It was a wonderful opportunity for people to come together from right across the Benefice, with folk staying on for another cup of tea as other friends arrived and old acquaintances were renewed. Overall a most enjoyable day and £366 was raised for Benefice funds. Many thanks to everyone who supported this event in any way, but especially to our family who helped to set up the tea room and our lovely grandchildren who are becoming more proficient as waiters and waitresses."




Christmas Carol Service at St. Michael’s, Beer Hackett.

 Wednesday 18th December 6.30 pm


The PCC Secretary, John Bingham, writes: 

"Wednesday 18th December turned out to be one of the wettest and windiest nights of our recent stormy weather, but despite the flooded roads the St Andrews Singers and other friends and neighbours swelled our numbers to fifty adults and ten children.

Siegfred Johnsen sang the solo first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ beautifully in a candlelit church.

Tony Gilbert officiated and the choir sang a Spanish carol with Kathy Smyth singing the solo part and the whole choir also sang ‘Jesus Christ the Apple Tree’.


As usual there were six bible lessons telling the Christmas story with three young readers, Chloe Bartlett,  Henry and Siegfred Johnsen. 


Our churchwarden Richard Mentern read the final lesson from John, chapter 1, verses 1 – 14. [Richard is also the organist and is seeing here playing the historic organ in the church].



After the service Simon Clothier, chairman of ‘The Friends of St. Michael’s’ gave a short summary of the progress of the Friends in their first year of operation.

Simon invited everyone to consider becoming a Friend to help in their mission of widening the use of the building by the community and in its maintenance and improvement.




The church was candle lit and welcoming and beautifully decorated including the hand knitted crib.

There was a warm, friendly atmosphere and everyone enjoyed conversation, mince pies and mulled wine and mulled cider afterwards.

We would like to thank the St Andrews Singers, Kathy Smyth, Siegfred Johnsen and all our readers and organist Richard Mentern for all their preparation and performance on the night.


Please may I share a reflection after the service:


How wonderful it would be if our community could share in such an enjoyable, moving and neighbourly gathering in church more often than just once a year at our carol service.

What must we do to encourage our neighbours and friends?  What format and type of event or service could encourage and attract?

Five new families (soon to be a sixth) have moved here in the last couple of years.  Our demographic has become substantially younger.  We have fourteen young children and seven teenagers.  Such an opportunity for community life in the new decade.  What should we be and give?"





Churches in our Benefice are starting to decorate for Christmas.

With the choir from St Andrew's School, Yetminster joining us tomorrow for the annual carol service, a team of people decorated the church this morning.














The Quarter - two trumpets, one tuba, one trombone 



Tim Mulkern playing the post horn


The final event of the Fund-Raising Campaign to repair and improve St Andrew's Church in Yetminster was a concert by the Royal Marine Association Brass Quartet. The two musicians who had retired from their famous band with two serving members, all immaculately attired, played a stimulating programme of great variety from music attributed to Henry VIII to West End theatre as well as very moving military music. To finish off, the Post Horn Gallop with a real post horn was played by Tim Mulkern with astonishing virtuosity. The whole programme was performed to the highest standard as one would expect from members of such a band. After the concert the Rector, Tony Gilbert, offered thanks and made a presentation to Churchwarden David Gould who had led the fund-raising campaign.



Churchwarden David Gould with his well-deserved thank-you present! 






WEDNESDAY  20th November 2019



The Reverend Richard Kirlew led a Celtic Communion and prayer  for members of the Wriggle Valley Branch of the Mothers' Union at Ryall's Ground in Yetminster, home of one of the members. After the service 12 people shared an excellent and varied supper provided by the members.


The Reverend Richard Kirlew saying grace before the bring and share supper

It was a happy evening and we thank Richard and Liz for coming to us on a November evening and leading us in worship.





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The Reverend Anne Budgell writes:

This was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Ruth Thompson as Caller and her band were so good.  Every dance was walked through first. Even the non-dancers joined in!

There were old dances, square dances, Strip the Willow and so much more. We laughed and danced and talked and ate an excellent Ploughman's supper, provided by Sarah from the Yetminster Cafe.

This is an event to repeat - but not in November with many other activities. Perhaps we can do another in spring or early summer. 





All Saints


Today in St Andrew's Yetminster the Family Service celebrated All Saints Day. The Reverend Tony Gilbert gave a sermon on "Light" and how light pervades the whole of of lives, physically and spiritually.


This idea was illustrated by the decorating of a jar to hold a light to remember loved ones.






In the afternoon a Benefice service was held  for

All Souls

A time of contemplation and worship

in memory of those who have died


St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster


And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes 

for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4



It's the season for Harvest and Harvest Festivals are taking place throughout the Benefice.

Here are some photos from a jolly Festival today at St Andrew's Yetminster. The church was crowded. There were lots of children from St Andrew's School singing, and lots of children making animals out of vegetables while the Reverend George Moody presided at a Family Holy Communion.

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 The decorations in the church and church porch


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 The preparation of the Hall                       The offerings by the children                  We needed an extra table!                      

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 An array of fantastic animals made from vegetables and cocktail sticks!

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      One of the children with her vegetable dog!

Afterwards many people went to the Jubilee Hall to enjoy a selection of delicious soups, cheese, bread and a superb array of puddings. 


Yummy puddings!

Thanks to all those who decorated the church so beautifully, made the soup and puddings, bought the bread, cheese and grapes, set up the Hall, helped the children in church to make the animals (special thanks to Amelia Bennett and her son, and Julia Simpson from St Andrew's School), organist Valerie Rowsell and of course, the Reverend George Moody who managed to lead the service with informal dignity!




September 8th 2019

Worship on Second Sunday started with a quiet Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion in St Andrew's Church.

After that there was a tasy breakfast at 9am prepared in the Jubilee Hall for people who have been to the 8am service as well as people coming to the Hall for "friends, words, food and song" at 9.30am.

About 30 people enjoyed sharing breakfast and singing and praying informally. Graham Simpson read from Philemon and the Reverend George Moody spoke on this lesson. Julie Simpson led the prayers. The music was masterminded by Jane Robotham and the breakfast organised by Julia Nutt and Celia Brayfield among others. Children were very welcome and there were activities for them.

The theme for the Second Sundays for the year is shown below.

(Note that on Remembrance Sunday and Easter the services will be in St Andrew's Church. All other Second Sundays will have a BCP Holy Communion in the church at 8am).






September 1st 2019

All Age Communion Service

This service, which has been led by the Reverend John Summers before he left for pastures new in Cambridge, is continuing as a service which will involve children. The Epistle and Sermon were about "Angels" so the children had fun concentrating on making and colouring/decorating angels. There weren't a lot of children but those who came had fun. Only one angel was left to make its home in the church as most of the children wanted to take them home. George (only 2) was quite happy to leave his! One of the angels was sent to the Summers family to congratulate them on the safe arrival of a baby boy!





2nd AUGUST 2019



John Bingham writes:

This year our annual cheese & wine party on 2nd August  was hosted by Alice & James Johnsen at Manor Farm, Higher Knighton. 

We were fortunate to have a lovely sunny evening to enjoy the splendid view from their garden looking south through the trees past Yetminster towards Batcombe Hill.

Forty two residents, neighbours and friends enjoyed a glass of wine (or maybe two...) and the tempting eats, as well as the opportunity to meet and share time together.

Jean Parker organised the very successful raffle with the winning numbers called out by the Revd. Tony Gilbert.

It was good to see the Revd. John Summers who managed to find time away from packing to join us and we all wished him well in his new post as chaplain at Trinity College, Cambridge.

The event has boosted our church finances by over £350, a great success on all fronts.

The initiative for this convivial  annual event came from Pam Clothier who hosted  it at her home at Higher Farm for twenty five years until 2014.


Pam was invited to the Buckingham Palace garden party fifteen years ago in recognition of her outstanding commitment and service to our village and church. 

Pam now lives in The Old Vicarage at  Leigh but keeps in touch.  She was disappointed to be unable to join us this year. 




SUNDAY 7th JULY 2019


bids farewell to the Reverend John Summers.


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In the Chancel the children are "rubbing" memorials. John preaching on the LARGE LETTERS. 


 The children holding up their rubbings

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 The magnificent card made by Adrian Whittlesea


 Two members of the congregation signing the card


The delicious cake as part of the pudding!


[Awaiting a proper report but in the meantime...] 

Thre Reverend John Summers presided at his penultimate Family Communion. The children were set the task of rubbing various memorials in the church to make LARGE LETTERS! He preached on this theme too. St Andrew's Singers sang him out with Stanford's Te Deum in B flat. Afterwards a splendid lunch had been organised in the Jubilee Hall. Adrian Whittlesea had made a superb card with enought space for lots of people to sign and leave messages for John. Celia Brayfield made a cake which was enjoyed with masses of strawberries and ice cream.  Amy Whittlesea organised lots of the children to make music, both in the church and at the lunch. We wish John and Nicole and all the family all happiness in their new life in Cambridge.






On Tuesday 2nd July the Reverend George Moody talked to 12 members of the Wriggle Valley Branch on the Mothers' Union  and others about his life and faith. He started his talk by sharing his background  with us and brought this terrifying Fijian club which had belonged to his grandfather. 


It was a relaxed and happy evening and we enjoyed hearing about George's life in teaching and how he met Alison. 

He was also very inspiring about how his faith had grown and shaped his life.



Yetminster’s Tower Tea Party took place on Saturday 29th June.


It was a jolly affair with a steady stream of visitors from 2-5pm. Outside the church Barfoots Bouncy Castle entertained the  younger ones and Sharon, of the Ancient Art of Falconry, showed off various birds of prey (no flying allowed because of the heat).

0619TowerTea7Little-Owl     0619TowerTea6Falconry    

Inside, the energetic and fit climbed up the Tower to gaze on the magnificent Dorset countryside. 


   0619TowerTea4          0619TowerTea3

An excellent tea was available with a stunning array of sandwiches and cakes including the special Syrian pastries. Lots of tea, squash and ice-cream kept everyone refreshed and more than £600 was raised for the Restoration Fund.


Ready to serve tea!



Toby Hartwell won the raffle – a beautiful clown puppet, hand-made by Beryl Lawrence.




Simon Eadon writes:

The first ‘Second Sunday’ act of worship could not have for off to a better start here in the Jubilee Hall.  Fifty attendees enjoyed hot coffee and warm croissants filled with ham and cheese before a lively George Moody guided us through songs, a traditional hymn, an interview with Julie Simpson (St Andrew’s School Head), a short homily and prayers.  It was lovely to see new and younger faces amongst the familiar ones.  Musical accompaniment was provided by Yetminster’s own Palm Court ensemble:  Jane Robotham (violin), Simon Eadon (piano) and Esther Robotham (bass guitar).  Ollie Robotham skilfully operated the overhead projector providing the lyrics.  Nick Macleod-Ash delivered his reading in a forthright and eloquent manner.  Thanks must go to those behind the scenes who helped make this event appear to take place so effortlessly e.g. Graham Plaice;  Celia Brayfield for the lovely flower arrangements on each table; Jane Waight and Julia Nutt for keeping the croissants coming; Graham Simpson for tackling the washing-up.

Feedback was positive throughout and we’re all looking forward to second Second Sunday next month . 







Friday 24th – Monday 27th MAY

This pioneering exploration of the countryside, villages and churches of Three Valleys Benefice on foot has finished. The weather has been good, a great blessing!


On Sunday 26th May 42 people (and some dogs) met at Folke church where the Reverend Tony Gilbert celebrated Holy Communion and Ian Ball led the service with Eddie Upton leading the singing. It was a very informal service and those of us unable to take part in the walk were quite envious as we waved the walkers off for the next part of the perambulation! The organisation has been huge and the provision of food, back-up transport and accommodation has been well thought-out.


A token has been left in each church: a delightful ceramic oak-leaf with the name of the church on it.



Eddie Upton, Churchwarden at Leigh sends the following Reflections:

0519perLeaving Bradford Abbas 3 

The group of people who assembled at Bradford Abbas Church on Friday 24th May to start the walk through the Three Valleys Benefice seemed an eloquent summary of the whole project. The youngest was 3 years old and the oldest over 80. It seemed to say that our underlying aim, to attract a cross section of the community, had been achieved from the word Go.

People had been invited to do as much or as little of the walk as they wished. The final total number of participants was 42 adults (including 4 priests and 1 friar), 4 children and 7 dogs. 12 of us did the whole thing. Most of us were local residents, but we had 2 visitors from Powys and another from Derbyshire.

0519Per1Breakfast at Beer Hackett

Breakfast at Beer Hackett

8 of us slept in venues en route – one night in a village school, one in a church and one in a village hall. We breakfasted in 3 churches - Beer Hackett, Leigh and Holnest; had lunch provided for us in Ryme Intrinseca, Bishops Caundle and Hilfield and evening meals in Thornford, Leigh and Glanvilles Wootton. In between we had very welcome tea breaks in Yetminster, Chetnole, Caundle Marsh, Holwell (a delicious afternoon tea in a lovely garden), Pulham, Hermitage and Batcombe.

0519per2Dogs at Holwell

Dogs at Holwell

0519per4Piping farewell to Batcombe

Piped from Batcombe

0519per5Arriving at Friary

Arriving at Hilfield Friary

We attended church services at Folke and our final destination, Hilfield Friary.

We walked on a mixture of footpaths and country roads for over 40 miles which, according to my very clever phone, amounted to over 90,000 steps.

We negotiated lots of gates and stiles, bridges, rivers, streams, and hills and passed a host of trees and beautiful wild flowers. We visited some of the loveliest churches in Dorset, if not the whole of England, and we did so by the loveliest and most unusual of routes.

We walkers were cossetted by our wonderful support team of Angela, Caroline and Philippa. They ferried our luggage, took us back to our cars each day and were always there when we arrived at a stopping point. They even provided our food when necessary. The only thing they were unable to do was the walk itself. They were absolute stars.

It was all a fantastic experience. People talked, laughed, drew pictures, wrote poems; sang songs and walked each other’s dogs. We had fun. It was so good that we think we might do something similar in a couple of years. And next year … well we have ideas! Watch this space."






A busy Sunday:

In the morning there was a car boot sale, organised by the Fundraising Committee for the church which took place the Yetminster Sports Field. The weather was gorgeous. Cars and vans showed off their wares and more than £550 was raised for the St Andrew’s Restoration Fund. There was enthusiasm and requests for it to be held again!

In the evening at 6pm a special service of Evensong was held, led by John Strover, to celebrate his ministry for 41 years as a Licensed Lay Minister. More than 50 people attended from across the Benefice and everyone enjoyed wine and light refreshments afterwards. To read John’s excellent sermon, please click here


0519 Strover1

Lots of people from across the Benefice came to thank John for his thoughtful and effective ministry




A meeting took place at 7.30, led by the Reverend George Moody. This was held to discuss the new "Second Sunday" service which will start in June. George spoke of his hopes and ideas for this new venture and other people then offered their ideas and help. It was a very positive meeting and included the practice of a couple of modern songs, one of which had words written by  George and music by Simon Eadon. There were lots of volunteers offering to help with food, music and prayer.

The Reverend George Moody writes:

"From 9th June, there's something different happening in the Jubilee Hall on the 9th of June. Called 'Second Sunday', people are invited to gather for breakfast at 9 and stay for worship from 9:30, with something for all. Informal, welcoming, friendly and relaxed, do come along and join in."





At St Peter’s Church, Chetnole, we held our first lay led village service at 11:00 on 7th April, supporting the charity Afghan Connection.  

Richard Charrington gave a very inspiring illustrated talk about his time serving in the army in Afghanistan and some of the very inspirational people he met there. He showed us pictures of the conditions where children are learning, even crouched under umbrellas as classrooms, and the great difference that Afghan Connection is making to the lives of young girls and boys.

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 0419 Afghan2

We heard about Rustaq, the most under-served district for education in Takhar Province, Afghanistan. It suffers from drought and poverty. Just 20% of the population has access to safe water. 50% of villages have no school and 50% of the schools have no building. Kiwan School for 500 girls is just one of the schools which desperately needs a building.

0419 Afghan3

In recent years, recognising the passion the Afghans have for the game, the charity also supports cricket at schools and were instrumental in getting the Afghan national team to the World Cup.  Richard told us about the last cricket match he played in – in Kabul in 2010 - and the next that he will play in - in Chetnole in 2019!

0419 Afghan4 

We are delighted that the Wriggle Valley Cricket Club is hosting a charity cricket match to raise money for Afghan Connection and will be playing a side largely made up of ex-servicemen - the Delhi Spearmen.  We all had a look at the signed cricket bat which will be raffled then in support of the charity. We hope you can come and support them on 23rd June at Chetnole Playing Field!




The defibrillator awareness and social evening in church on Wednesday 3rd Apil in Beer Hackett church was very successful.

The defibrillator installed in our church porch has been up and running since January.

The church was packed with 31 local residents and representatives from the farming community for a fascinating and very informative presentation by Community Heart Beat Trust volunteer trainer Dave Laut.
Dave’s daytime job is as Security Manager for Poole Harbour Commissioners and his vast experience in this role together with his many years service in the Armed Forces helped to colour the session and reinforce the value and importance of defibrillator awareness and a knowledge of general first aid.

The evening ended as a community gathering with a glass of wine plus refreshments provided by Parish Councillor Betty Lewis.







9th MARCH 2019



The Reverend George Moody writes:


An enthusiastic gang gathered to offer a different kind of worship at around 4 p.m. on Saturday 9th March in Bishops Caundle school. Welcome by Lou, we got on with preparing food, setting out tables and games and generally wondering if anyone would turn up at 5 p.m. (thus the name).




George Moody and Anne  Budgell before the "off"!


When we had gathered around 20 of us, we played games, chatted and ate together before moving into worship. This began with a song led by our very own music group and then morphed into what Richard generously called drama. George donned a dark coat and a creepy voice to play the Devil, while Richard was himself as Jesus. This led to a discussion of the text with many of the group joining in, before Keith led us in prayer and we sang ourselves out.


I don’t know about anyone else but I found it most refreshing to worship in a different way and I could see others enjoying it too. It’s not for everyone of course, but somehow lots of the barriers to worshipping Jesus and to sharing together were gone.


A great evening and to be repeated soon. Come along on the 13th April if you fancy trying something a little different.




A great evening and to be repeated soon. Come along on the 13th April if you fancy trying something a little different.



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On Friday evening 8th March we had a rare treat, a concert by these highly talented youngsters given in aid of the church restoration fund. The Madrigal Choir, 16 girls singing in harmony, gave us a range of vocal items ranging from Bach to the modern Hungarian composer Matyas Seiber. Their technical mastery was obvious but above all the sound was consistently beautiful, whether at almost a whisper or at a remarkable fortissimo; and the sheer commitment of the girls, following their expert direction by John Jenkins, was most apparent. Some of the work was accompanied by Simon Clarkson, a member of the music staff, most sympathetically on Yetminster’s beautiful little Hill organ. This committed expertise was mirrored by the most musical and expert playing of a string ensemble and by dazzling displays of virtuosity by two oboists, a flautist and a pianist – an arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakoff’s ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee was particularly memorable. The clear, warm acoustic of St Andrew’s Church made an ideal setting for a concert of this kind, which showed off the talents of the school’s music department so effectively.


Simon Eadon, choir master of St Andrew's Singers, thanks the staff and girls of Sherborne Girls

for their wonderful performance in aid of the Church Restoration Fund




Jubilee Hall, Yetminster

People from all over the Benefice were treated to delicious pancakes this evening created and tossed expertly by our clergy! The pancakes were so popular that more eggs had to be found. While queueing people had time to chat about all sorts of topics - including recordings of the Psalms in St John's College, Cambridge; the vagaries of spluttering church candles;  the choice of birthing pools; the meaning of Shrove Tuesday; and how Yorkshire pudding is intended as a filler!

The evening was very jolly and happy and much enjoyed by all!


Concentration in the kitchen with George Moody and Tony Gilbert at the cooker


Richard Kirlew about to deliver a beautiful pancake


Tony Gilbert expertly tossing a pancake!

Many thanks to all our clergy!



Sunday 3rd March

Our family service, led by the Reverend John Summers, took the form of a Common Worship Communion. The children made colourful chef's hats and at the end of the service there was a mock pancake race in anticipation of Shrove Tuesday! Real pancakes weren't used this time but similar mats were used to practice with and to toss!








Barbara Driver writes:

"The World Day of Prayer was held this year in St. Mary’s Church, Bradford Abbas.   It was attended by around 35 people and we went through the Service which had been prepared by the women of Slovenia.



A table was laid with bread in a basket, wine in a ceramic jug, water, salt and a basket containing red carnations (paper) at the start.   Greetings came from the women of Slovenia which is one of the smallest and youngest countries in Slovenia.   We listened to tales from various women in Slovenia – Marjeta who was born at the end of WW2 and grew up in a Marxist Republic;  Mojica who grew up after independence in 1991; Marija, a grandmother who lives with her son and is family;  Ema, a mother who grew up with an alcoholic father and whose husband has also turned to drink after being made redundant and Natasha  who belongs to the Roma community who now suffers from being rejected and ignored.

St. Luke’s telling of the parable in Chapter 16 of the man who invited all his friends to dinner but they all refused so he invited all the lame, blind, the poor and crippled instead.  Then we sang ‘Come along the feast is ready to a Slovenian folk tune.

We then looked at Reska Arnus’ painting on the front of our books and what the different symbols meant.   The table is for a celebration, the people at the top are the best people, while the people at the bottom are the outcasts.

We then prayed and sang while the women of Slovenia spoke again.   Ema, sharing, social security, healthcare;  Mojca, education for children;  Marija, looking after the older generation, Natasha, minority communities, the poor, refugees;  Marjeta, respect our differences.

We ended with "The Day Thou Gavest."

Coffee or tea and biscuits were then available.   Caroline had made some Slovenian biscuits which were absolutely delicious. Caroline also accompanied some of the songs on her accordion, very expertly!


Slides were shown of Slovenia meanwhile for anyone interested."






On Sunday 17th February many people enjoyed a sung BCP Evensong led by the Reverend John Summers and sung by the Barn Choir under the direction of Richard Hall. David Bruce-Payne played the organ and the choir started the service with  "O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit"  by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 23 November 1585). The setting was by Edmund Hooper (c. 1553 – 1621) and the Anthem  "Be unto me O Lord" by William Byrd (c.1539/40 or 1543 – 4 July 1623). The reponses were by Smith.



A report on Jonathan Aitken's visit to Yetminster:

On Monday 11th February Jonathan Aitken gave a moving and brilliant talk in St Andrew’s Church, to which the event had been moved from the Jubilee Hall to take account of the greater capacity, which was needed in full – the church was packed to the doors as he told us of his great fall from senior politician to prisoner and then his path to redemption. At the height of his previous success, through shallow pride, he had launched a libel action and thought he could get away with an untruth. Found out, he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in Belmarsh, a maximum security prison where his fellows were guilty of all the most serious crimes in the book. He described graphically the appalling feeling of abasement as he went through the reception process and what he felt was the scorn of the other prisoners. At once he tried to turn to prayer and found that he was ill-equipped for it, only drawing comfort from Psalm 130, de profundis, ‘Out of the deep have I called unto Thee, O God’. Gradually he discovered that his fellow prisoners were human beings like himself, though the majority were illiterate and he found himself conducting correspondence for them, and as he climbed out of the depths and they began to know him and his struggle he found that there were others who had need of prayer and mutual support and joined him as they too prayed. Very movingly Jonathan told of his journey to a true path to God and of his fellows who joined him on it, one hardened convict even asking for his baby daughter to be Christened in the prison chapel where he stood Godfather to her and is still, 20 years on, very much in touch with her. Jonathan learned to cast himself unconditionally on God’s mercy, turning his back on his former shallow self; and last year he was ordained in St Paul’s Cathedral, now serving as a prison chaplain and seeking to share his experiences with society’s outcasts.

From this immensely touching account he moved to the broader picture of the inescapable statistics – seven prisoners out of ten re-offend, education is almost non-existent and rehabilitation hardly exists. The cost in human as well as financial terms is immense and unacceptable; but there are no votes in prisons and there is little political will to tackle the problems. In a lively discussion Jonathan dealt openly and honestly with many questions and left us all with very much food for thought and gratitude for the journey he had taken and his ability to communicate it to others.



Beating the Winter Blues!



 The Reverend Richard Kirlew writes:

Rectory Tea Rooms proves a hit!

For the second year running the Revd Richard Kirlew and his wife Liz have thrown their Rectory open to the Benefice and beyond as a Tea Room for the day.

Coffee, tea, sausage rolls, sandwiches, cakes and cream teas were the order of the day at the Rectory, Holwell last Sunday.  The ‘tea rooms’ were open between 10.30am and 5.00pm and attracted around 70‘covers’ or customers.  Richard, who is a Team Vicar in the Three Valleys Benefice said, “We decided to do this as January can be such a gloomy month.  We thought that it might be nice to think of summer again.  People were invited to wear summer clothes and be in holiday mode”.  Richard, who is also the Rural Officer for Dorset added, “This is an excellent way of bringing people together.  A number of those who visited us today were from several parishes and had not met each other before.  A good way to combat rural isolation and make friends!”.

Richard and Liz raised around £475 for their Benefice funds.


[PS from one of the customers:

The Reverend Richard Kirlew and Liz Kirlew worked tirelessly with their team of helpers and everyone was particularly impressed with the excellent (and young) waiters and waitresses! There was a fine raffle too.]



The excellent and attentive waiters and waitresses!


 Hard work in the kitchen!

0119RectoryTeas5 Tony and Nicola B

Our Team Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert, dressed for summer, and Nicola Gilbert


The Reverend George Moody, Team Vicar, with Penny and David Gould and Caleb and Alison Moody 








The Feast of the Epiphany was celebrated yesterday in many churches. In Yetminster during a family Holy Communion service, led by the Reverend John Summers, children paraded round the church as the Three Kings and made beautiful "stained glass" depictions of the Magi.



In the afternoon a choir of about 30 singers from across the Benefice, under the direction of Simon Eadon, sang choral evensong in the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Bradford Abbas. The Reverend John Summers led the service and preached. The setting of the canticles was by C.V. Stanford (in B flat); the reponses by Smith; final responses by Naylor and the Anthem was Mendelssohn's setting of "Wie Schoen leuchtet..." from his unfinished oratorio "Christus" with members of the choir singing the duets and trios. Huw Ridgeway accompanied the choir and started and ended the service with Bach and Buxtehude respectively. Afterwards John Summers treated us to tea and coffee and delicious home-made flapjacks!




St Mary's church, Bradford Abbas

Gary Siggins writes:

"St Mary's Church, Bradford Abbas has put on its festive bling for Christmas. We had a nearly full house for our Carol Service on the 3rd Sunday in Advent and are expecting to be packed out for our Christmas Eve Nativity (starting at 4:30)."










John Bingham writes:

A large congregation of fifty locals and visitors filled our church which had been beautifully decorated with flowers and greenery and lit with many tea lights and candles all around the window ledges.



In candlelight, our evening was begun by Kathy Smyth who accompanied by Richard Mentern our organist, sang ‘O Holy night’. The Reverend  Tony Gilbert welcomed and led us in prayer, before Siegfred Johnsen opened our service unaccompanied by singing beautifully the first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s city’.  The lights then came on and the congregation joined in.


We were very pleased and grateful to have Eddie Upton and Folk South West with us for a second year. They sang a traditional Cornish carol as the first anthem. Richard Mentern had composed new music for ‘While shepherd’s watched...’. Called ‘Beer Haggered’ and arranged by the Reverend Tony Durkin, it was performed and sung publicly for the first time by Folk South West as the second anthem.


Following the service of six lessons and carols, everyone enjoyed mulled wine or mulled cider and mince pies together, rounding off a warm and friendly gathering to welcome Christmas.






St Andrew's church, Yetminster


Patrick Moule writes:

"The Carol Service at St Andrew’s, Yetminster on Sunday 16th December, was billed as a Community Carol Service and this it truly was. Led by Team Vicar the Revd George Moody in a packed church the service was notable for the full participation of everyone present and for the quality of the musical content.

St Andrew’s Singers, under the direction of Simon Eadon, who also played the organ, led the very hearty congregational singing and contributed exciting descants in several of the hymns.

At the beginning after the sound of gunfire dying away, the first verse of “Silent Night” was started off by a single tenor voice singing ‘Stille Nacht’, a most moving reference to Christmas 1914, when soldiers from the opposing armies joined in that beautiful carol.

The choir rendered with great skill several solo items – “The Holly and the Ivy” by June Nixon and “Up Good Christen Folk and Listen” and “The Infant King”. Singers from St Andrew’s School, led by their Head Teacher, Julia Simpson. sang a Candle Song and a Star Song to great effect. And the lessons were well read by people truly representative of the village and its school.


How lucky we are to have enjoyed such an uplifting act of worship and indeed to have such skills available to lead it, especially those of Simon Eadon, who so brilliantly played our lovely organ, directed the choir (with the help of our erstwhile choir mistress, Jane Robotham when he was playing the organ!) and coordinated the whole service."

Afterwards the congregation including newcomers to the village were treated to an excellent tea in the Jubilee Hall.






From Bach to Bing!

St Andrew's church, Yetminster

Celia Brayfield writes:

It Was Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas


Four of Dorset’s most beautiful voices were heard in St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster on Saturday, December 15 when soprano Susannah Groome, mezzo-soprano Sarah Pring, tenor Jon Valender and baritone Adrian Clarke came together for a unique seasonal concert of classical and twentieth-century singing.





The programme began with some extracts from Handel’s Messiah, then continued with exquisite lieder by Schumann, Mozart and Schubert. Then the quartet moved on to a lovely selection of grand opera favourites, including the wistful Soave Sia il Vento from Cosi Fan Tutte, the fiendishly complex rhythms of Rimsky Korsakov’s Koliadka from Christmas Eve and finally the majestic Va Pensiero from Verdi’s Nabucco.





Chloe Brayfield, Justine Algar and Clare Lindsay relaxing during the interval




Kelly Martin and Sarah Hedin of the Old School Gallery




Tenor Jon Vallender with his mother and niece and nephew


After a sociable and relaxed interval, when the singers mingled with the audience, they returned to sing a selection of beautiful modern carols, including Warlock’s Bethlehem Down. Then came show tunes and traditional carols, with a hilarious comic turn by Adrian in The Carol Singers, and finally ended when the singers led the audience in Irving Berlin’s I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.


The singers were superbly accompanied by Elizabeth Marcus, Professor of Harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. While they are more accustomed to appearing at Glyndebourne or with the English National Opera, Sarah and Adrian have a home in Yetminster but all the performers have strong local connections. Inspired by Pandy Brown, they were happy to help raise funds for the restoration of the Church. Our new [team] vicar, George Moody, spoke for all when he thanked them for a magical evening.


 The four singers 

Susannah Groome, Sarah Pring, Jon Valendar and Adrian Clarke


The interval melee! 





The Reverend John Summers led a Christingle service which was attended by lots of children and adults. The Chancel was cleared and tables were set up with the "ingredients" for children to make Christingles with adult help! John explained in his sermon about the origin and meaning of the Christingles: a Bishop in Moravia wanted to make something tangible for children to help them understand God's bounty and love for the world.

The orange represents the world; the four sticks are the four seasons, the "fruits" (or sweets - in this case dolly mixtures!) are showing God's bounty; the red central ribbon is representing the blood of Jesus who died for us; the candle put into the top of the orange shows Christ as the Light of the World.

The candles were lit and John bravely led the children in a procession round the church. Afterwards we enjoyed mince pies and tea and coffee in the Jubilee Hall. 







Saturday 1st December

The Reverend John Summers writes:

'On Saturday 1 December the Reverend Dr Malcolm Guite returned to the Benefice from Girton College, Cambridge, for an evening of song and sonnets. A large crowd of over 80 souls gathered in the Methodist Chapel in Yetminster to hear Malcolm reflect on and demonstrate the way in which poetry blows away the mundane in our worldly lives and opens up the mysteries of what lies beyond. In particular, Malcolm read from his sequence of poems on the ancient Advent O Antiphons, paired with beautiful singing by local mezzo soprano, Katherine Hawnt. The evening was suffused with Malcolm’s warmth and good cheer and the jolly atmosphere was aided by fine wine generously donated by Gerald Clarkson of Ryme Intrinseca, to whom we are very grateful. We also offer our thanks to the Methodists for kindly hosting the event in their chapel. You can read Malcolm’s poetry and much more on his website: '



 Sunday 2nd December ADVENT SUNDAY
Yetminster St Andrew

Clare Lindsay writes:

Advent Family Holy Communion Service 2 December

John Summers and the Rev Dr Malcolm Guite  took a remarkable Advent Sunday service, with 47 adults and 10 children present.  Malcolm Guite  giving a wonderful sermon, ended up on the floor in the chancel playing his guitar to the assembled children after the service!  Sherry and soft drinks were then served together with Syrian cakes brought by Shihab and his family.  A very happy atmosphere in church and a memorable Sunday!

Amy Mitchell played the Claviola for the service, and Katherine Hawnt sang very beautifully up in the organ loft from the 'O Antiphons.' 

Thanks to Amelia Bennett for the photos!







Remembrance Day and

the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the First World War

These were commemmorated throughout the Benefice with many moving ceremonies.

Here are some reports:

The Reverend Richard Kirlew writes:

Remembrance at Bishops Caundle

'The Remembrance Service held at Bishops Caundle Parish Church was a very moving one and attended by 97 people, several of whom took part.

The Service was led by Revd Richard Kirlew. It was decided that with it being a very special year, the Service would be somewhat different. In the church, there is a plaque commemorating the four men who lost their lives in the Great War with links to Bishops Caundle. One of them was Headmaster at the school, All Saints Church of England School. This alone, spurred the school to make a contribution. So, after the bugler had sounded the Last Post and Reveille, four girls from the school read out a very short history of each of the men. At the end of each one, the tenor bell, which was half-muffled, was rung for ten strokes. This, with everyone standing in silence, was very moving and brought home to many the occasion of the day.

Richard, in his address, made mention of the horrors of the Great War and also the extreme importance of ‘remembering’. He thanked the many young people present for being there to remember and to carry on into the next century this important time of year. It was only with their help that ‘Remembrance’ would continue.

A poem, ‘Lest we forget’, was written and read by Mr John Bowles of Leweston. He has had poems published in a Book of Dorset Poems, which is a collection of poetry by members of the New Hardy Players.

After the Service, refreshments were served, which allowed people to share stories and thoughts of their relatives lost in battle.'

One of the perspex 'Tommies' earlier in the week
in St Andrew's Yetminster
On Remembrance Day these were moved to the Chancel

Patrick Moule writes:

'The Remembrance Day service in St Andrew’s, Yetminster was very moving and well attended, with standing room only. The church was beautifully prepared with poppy decorations and, alone in the chancel, four chairs with perspex outlines of ‘Tommies’, each adorned with a poppy. The Scouts were there in force and laid their standards on the altar at the start of the service, which opened with a lovely rendering by St Andrew’s Singers of ‘They shall grow not old’ by Douglas Guest. Before the Silence the names of fallen service men from the four parishes formally represented, Batcombe, Hilfield , Ryme Intrinseca and Yetminster, were read by Churchwarden David Gould.

Scattered throughout the benches were blocks bearing those names and as each name was read the person standing by his block quietly sat down, a most expressive and moving effect.


David Gould read the remembrance sentence and charge: and lessons were read by other retired naval officers, Michael Windridge and Graham Plaice. Special prayers were led by the Revd Keith Coates, a Methodist Minister, and the Revd Tony Gilbert, Team Rector, preached on the origins, design and meaning of the Cenotaph, ending with Siegfried Sassoon’s bitter poem which has the devil laughing at the prospect of wars yet to come. The enthusiastic hymn singing was led by St Andrew’s Singers, directed by Simon Eadon, who also played the organ, with music by Walton before the service and ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ at the end.'



The Reverend George Moody writes:

'Ryme Intrinseca Remembrance was notable for hosting the relatives of William George Meteyard who came to honour their ancestor's sacrifice in the Great War. In a moving tribute a letter was read out sent from one grieving Ryme mother to another, epitomizing the supportive spirit found in Dorset rural village life then and now. 

In Beer Hackett the names of all those from the area who had gone away to the war were read out. While this was due to a misunderstanding it seemed strangely appropriate in the light of our modern understanding of how war affects those who survive conflict.
At Bradford Abbas the involvement of the uniformed groups gave it a youthful element allowing us to emphasize the need for remembrance to be much more than remembering. We pondered how true remembrance involves our lives today being formed out of the sacrifice of others, and how Christ's ultimate sacrifice can form lives full of peace and hope.'
The Reverend John Summers writes:
“Over 130 people of all ages gathered at St Mary’s Church in Thornford for a service to mark the Centenary of the Armistice and Remembrance Sunday more generally. The local Brownies and Rainbows presented colours at the beginning of the service. The sermon considered an article written in 1915 by Vernon Lee, in which she recalled listening to Bach’s Christmas music at the Temple Church, London on 24 December 1914, and being struck by how the same German music was being listened to all across Germany at the same time, by congregations of sorrowful, anxious and hopeful people. In this way she found great unity between peoples supposedly divided by the hateful ocean of war.” 
To read the article by Vernon Lee, please click here.


No report received yet but the concert made over £500.

Anthea Burt sent these photographs., one of which has been taken by Len Copland.








Lots of churches are celebrating their Harvest Festivals. Perhaps others will send photographs and text as Beer Hackett already has!


 In Yetminster, Lower Covey Montessori school and St Andrew’s School arrived earlier in the week and had their own Harvest Festivals, generously donating lots of useful food which will be given to the Lord’s Larder in Yeovil.



School Harvest

The church was, as always, most beautifully decorated.



...even the 15th c Piscina



A fine Harvest loaf had been baked and this was used at the beginning of the Reverend Tony Gilbert’s sermon preached at the Sunday Harvest Festival where he told us, among other things, about the difference between Sacrifice and Offering. This Harvest Festival was the first service at which our new Team Vicar, the Reverend George Moody, presided. It was happy, relaxed and had people aged more than 90 years down to 8 months! The church was almost full; there were lots of children; lots of fun; a rendering of a Harvest Festival Samba, sung by schoolchildren really well, led by their new head teacher; readings given by Nicola Gilbert, Peter Dobb and Christina Walkley as well as Tony’s interesting sermon. Harvest hymns were accompanied by Simon Eadon who played us out on the organ with the theme from the Archers!

Afterwards many people walked to the Jubilee Hall where we enjoyed a delicious lunch of home-made soups, cheeses and amazing (and calorie-laden) harvest puddings, washed down with beer and cider (and soft drinks of course!).



One of the two long tables filled with people enjoying an excellent lunch

With thanks to everyone who made the Festival so happy and such a success!






The Reverend John Summers writes: 

"On Friday 28 September a hearty audience of about 80 gathered at St Peter’s Church, Chetnole, for an evening of music, word and refreshment.

The singing was top notch: folk, soul and choral and more, and the spoken word performers took us aboard ship, into the contemplative mind, around the local landscape and to the local second hand bookshop.

Delicious sandwiches were made by local volunteers, and we are grateful to the Wriggle Valley Brewery for providing heavily subsidised beer, and the Chetnole Inn, among others, for donating generous raffle prizes.

Many thanks to all involved and to all who came."





On Saturday 8th September, Dorset Historic Churches Trust “Ride & Stride” day, we greeted 28 energetic riders from a wide circle of Dorset villages and Sherborne.

Well done to Dennis from Leigh, our first ever rider on a mobility scooter!




Throughout the day a very hard working group of parishioners gave the church and churchyard a major clean and tidy before decorating it beautifully inside with flowers and produce for our harvest festival service the following day. Veronica Crane kindly donated a magnificent harvest loaf (complete with harvest mouse!) which had been baked by Oxford’s.




Our harvest festival service was led by Revd. John Summers on Sunday evening. We welcomed visitors from other local villages including two lady riders who having visited the previous day and been attracted by the lovely decorations, decided to join us. 

The new harvest liturgy and hymns provided by the Revd. Richard Kirlew were appealing, inspiring and enjoyed by everyone. 

Seasonal refreshments and fellowship followed the service.





More photos and text to come!



Refreshments and Ruby awaiting the riders! 


The first few signatures - by 4pm two full sheets had been signed!

All round the county cyclists could be seen riding their bikes, horses or walking to raise money for their local churches. Indeed, this is a nationwide event with each County Trust relying on energetic riders and not so energetic sponsors to help to keep the nation's wonderful churches in good order!

In Yetminster there were several riders and the church was manned throughout the day with refreshments on offer.



Intrepid riders: Simon Eadon, The Reverend George Moody and David 

Simon Eadon, one of our cyclists, writes: 

"We visited a lot of churches on our thirty-six mile ride. The homemade biscuits on offer at Folke were simply superb - making Fortnum’s look a bit shabby.  Folke wins the prize for best refreshment.  George (Moody) went on to Holnest and Leigh but I baled our at the A352!"



On Wednesday 5th September

the Wriggle Valley Branch of the Mothers' Union held a fund-raising afternoon tea party at Ryall's Ground, Queen Street, Yetminster.

A hard-working team of MU members produced a delicious tea of sandwiches, savoury loaves and cakes, washed down with various teas and coffee. A bring-and-buy stall and excellent raffle helped to make just over £200  for local MU charities.


The weather was fine and about 40 people, including the helpers, enjoyed being outside in the garden. It was an enjoyable and, as one visitor said, a very friendly occasion!



Very many thanks to all those who came to support us and those who produced food, raffle prizes and things for the stall.



The licensing and installation of the Reverend George Moody

as Team Vicar in the Tree Valleys Benefice

took place on 3rd September in

St Mary's Church, Bradford Abbas.

The Bishop of Sherborne led the service and  clergy and various members of the 17 different churches took part in welcoming George and his family.


The organ was played by Huw Ridgeway and Richard Mentern. Patrick Moule conducted an extended benefice choir who led the hymns, chosen by George, and sang the anthem "Ave Verum" by Elgar. Bishop Karen preached.


After the service refreshments were served in Bradford Abbas Hall.






Friday 3rd August

 Wine  Cheese Party -2 pg 1


This very popular social event was once again kindly hosted by Alastair & Cecilia Goodlad in their lovely gardens at Church Farm, Beer Hackett.

Always an opportunity for villagers and friends to mingle and catch-up – the warm summer evening set the tone for a convivial get together – great company, a glass of wine or two plus scrumptious finger food. A well-supported raffle raised £117.00 for St. Michael’s Church funds and everyone seemed to win a prize!







7th and 8th July

Beer Hackett Celebration Weekend, 7-8th July

Sunday’s Village Party- Guess the answer:

Is Tony.... a. Announcing the raffle with Jean, b. Saluting the Union Flag or c.Invoking a higher authority?


Answer ... judging by the success of our annual party they were all true!

We hope that everyone who came, including visitors from Yetminster, Thornford and Chetnole, enjoyed the delicious food, relaxed company, children’s games and good time music from John Derrick and his Wriggle Valley Jazz Band,

all under a sunshine blue sky with some shady clouds to keep us cool.

Sunday morning festal communion service...

We were joined by the choir from St. Andrew’s, Yetminster and Kathy Smyth from the Trinity Entertainers who together with our organist, Richard Mentern, helped fill our church .......and the environs with the doors wide open, with wonderful singing and music.


Members of  St Andrew's Singers practising for the Communion service under the baton of Patrick Moule. Richard Mentern, organist, is singing with us 

The Reverend Tony Gilbert celebrated Common Worship Holy Communion where we sang Richard Sheppard’s “Addington Service”. During the Communion the choir sang John Stainer’s “God so loved the World”.

The Trinity Entertainers treated us to a varied, light hearted and delightful concert on Saturday evening.


The Trinity Entertainers

With an eclectic variety of songs by Vaughan Williams, Cole Porter, Offenbach, Carly Simon, John Rutter Lennon & McCartney, Abba, Emerson and many more and several delightful, humorous and skilful solo items.

We would have welcomed a much larger audience, but those who came were appreciative and enthusiastic.

To everyone who played a part in organising, working for and supporting our special weekend,

St. Michael’s and Beer Hackett say a HUGE THANK YOU.





Saturday 7th July 2018

Pandy Brown writes:

We were told to expect the unexpected and we were still surprised! The Gerry Colvin Band came to perform in our Church on Saturday 7th July to support our fundraising efforts for the Church. Normally he performs to crowds of thousands. I think we were slightly less on Saturday.

Gerry is a most unconventional and unique performer. His style is jokey and self-effacing and he writes and composes all his songs. His backing group played guitars, double bass and an accordion.

Publicised as a folk band, their music is really something extra. The words to the songs were poignant and personal but very clever. Gerry has a rich, strong voice and his backing group are each very talented musicians. The end result: they were superb.

He had us all clapping and laughing the aisles. A 2 yr old member of the audience danced the entire way through the concert and a passer-by on her pony came into the Church with her pony to join in the fun. It was a most extraordinary evening.


 The pony came too!







The Reverend John Summers  presided at the Holy Communion service. Many children were present and John preached on the topic of "co-operation". The children worked together to produce this magnificent paper chain which stretched from the West end to the East end! After the service people stayed to chat and to have a glass of sherry or something soft!



The magnificent paper-chain!


Benefice Outing to Wells 28 June 2018

On one of the hottest days of June a group of 30 people from across the Benefice enjoyed a full day coach trip to Wells.

On arrival we were given a guided tour of the Cathedral. There has been a church in Wells since     8th century although the present structure is largely 13th century. The West Front (1230) has the most amazing collection of medieval sculptures. Inside, the cathedral is a light airy building with spectacular scissor arches, lovely stained glass and an octagonal Chapter House. Our knowledgeable guides managed to bring us to the medieval clock to see it strike 12 noon when jousting knights compete in an endless tournament.



After lunch and free time when many of us explored the delights of the High Street and Vicars’ Close we had the option of a guided tour of the Bishop’s Palace and Garden. In the tranquil garden we saw the many springs which give Wells its name, and with so much water, the garden is green, lush and welcomingly cool on a hot day. The Bishop’s Palace has a long gallery with portraits of all the previous bishops, some kind but some looking very humourless.





Thanks to Sheila North and Jane Akers for arranging such a successful Benefice trip – wonder whether they will arrange another for 2019?



24th JUNE 2018


Report to follow.


The Reverends

Ned Kelly, Richard Kirlew and Tony Gilbert before the service


The Reverend Anne Budgell signing the card for Tony


Before the service - a very full church and Simon Eadon at the organ above. 


The bunting was up and the hall decorated with flowers and greenery.


People enjoyed lunch in the Jubilee Hall. 


Afterwards Tony thanked everyone for their support and for coming today




SATURDAY 16th June 2018



Full report to come. Here are some photos to go on with!


St Andrew's church flying St Andrew's flag and the bunting is out. Chairs and tables outside the church.


Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor and nature 

The new fund-raising thermometer is in place! 


Queuing for the excellent tea enhanced with delicious Syrian pastries!







There was a children's treasure hunt with prizes for everyone. 



Lots of fit, brave people queued to climb to the top of the tower. 


Binny Bennett, 37 years old, took 38 seconds to climb up and down the tower! A real winner!


And his son won the fastest time  for children for climbing up and down the tower 

 A good time was had by all.

Many thanks to all the organisers for their hard work.




Sunday 3rd June 2018

A busy Sunday - Parish Eucharist with a baptism, a farewell to a stalwart member of our congregation and then a concert!

Celia Brayfield writes:

Farewell to Bill Duggan


It is not often than a man stands up at the end of a service in church and says, "Come to the pub, the drinks are on me," but that was how Bill Duggan invited the congregation to join his leaving party at the White Hart pub in Yetminster on Sunday June 3. Over 70 pople joined him to wish him well in his move north to be closer to his family. The village will miss his good fellowship, sense of humour and unfailing kindness to all.  Earlier there had been a special farewell from St Andrew's Church community at which he was presented with an album of photographs taken over the 23 years in which we were blessed to be his neighbours. Graham Plaice presented him with an engraved silver tankard, which he put to good use immediately.  The many guests came from every age group and all the many village organisations which Bill has helped over the years. Celebrations began at noon and continued into the evening.
 Concert by the Ferial singers
A concert by the Ferial singers on Sunday June 3 in the afternoon celebrated the church's year in song.  John Mathew, who directed and devised the concert, explained that the choir's name expresses the everyday - rather than festival day - focus of their programming.  Val Bovell, Fi Donaldson, Mary Egerton-Smith, Rita Green, Judith Griffiths, Liz Holbrook and Kate Wolfe, accompanied with panache by Ken Sherring on the organ, sang works by composers including Bach, Purcell and John Rutter in the welcome cool of the church interior on a blazingly hot day.


SUNDAY 6th MAY 2018

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The Family Eucharist at St Andrew's Yetminster, led by the Reverend John Summers, celebrated Rogation and included a "beating of the bounds" round the churchyard.

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There were lots of children and a good congregation, the children using sticks to whack and the congregation shouting "Whackit" in encourement as they processed on a perfect May morning! Amy Whittlesea and a pupil played us back into the church with a Delibes duet, played on two treble recorders.

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As always on the first Sunday the service was followed by sherry and fruit juice and, as a special treat, a plate of delicious middle-Eastern pastries much enjoyed by all as the social side of the service went on for some time!


FRIDAY 4th MAY 2018


In aid of St Andrew's Yetminster, Restoration Fund.

A joyful concert was held in St Andrew's Church, Yetminster as the second of this year's fund-raising events for the Restoration of the Church. 

Leweston School seniors treated us to a feast of varied musical delights ranging from Baroque Music to Jazz. The musicians were under the direction of Rachel Milestone (Director of Music) ably accompanied by Anthea Ma. The Jazz Band ws directed by Milly Riquelme-Toomey.

The Schola Cantorum, the Leweston Sixth-Form Choir and the Jazz Band gave efferevescent performances of music  by Quartel, Lowry, and Newman. The well-drilled choir thoroughly enjoyed their light-hearted contributions and the instrumental items were outstanding, particularly that of the flautist Freya Jaques. Alice Broadbent sang "O Mio Babbino Caro" by Puccini with confidence and sweetness and the Recorder Players (under their Director Amy Whittlesea) treated us to music by Boismortier. Naima Humpage gave an excellent performance on the treble recorder of the 1st movement of a Sonatina by York Bowen.

There was a good audience who thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening which resulted in the splendid sum of £800 being added to the Appeal Fund.

How lucky we are to have such talent on the doorstep!

Photos to come



Thank you party for Jane Robotham


Jane Robotham standing in the centre of the St Andrew's Singers, with her pink hydrangea in front!

On Monday 16th about 50 people, members of the choir, extended choir and clergy, joined the Robotham family to thank Jane for her 10 years looking after the St Andrew's Singers. Sarah Hedin provided a delicious meal; the Reverend Tony Gilbert gave thanks on behalf of the clergy and said a (funny!) grace and everyone sat down for a jolly evening of food and wine. New words for a "Cantique de Jane Robotham" were written and sung by the choir before she was presented with a token and a beautiful hyndrangea.

The St Andrew's Singers (SAS - Who dares, sings) was founded about 25 years ago specifically to lead the singing of hymns. The choir gradually expanded its repertoire to include anthems. It took part for many years in the Diocesan Choirs Festival which meant that there was a solid variety of well-known items which it could tackle. Since Jane took over, the choir has extended into secular work and there have been two excellent and very amusing Variety Shows masterminded by her. She has led the choir with  humour and professionalism and made choir practices great fun! We shall miss her a lot.




SATURDAY April 7th  2018, Jubilee Hall, Yetminster

In aid of St Andrew's Yetminster, Restoration Fund.

The first of this year's major events. 



Celia Brayfield writes: 

"They worked so hard! Superb performance by Lee Young, John Holmes, Deborah Doyle and Marc Allum from Duke's Auctions at our Antiques Valuation Day. I asked them pick their faves and the answers: Marc - Georgian dominoes; John - "flirty" letters from the future George V; Lee - tiny eighteenth-century pictures of Hong Kong harbour and Deborah - well, I think she likes diamonds. 
Huge thanks to the Dukes team and to everyone who brought in their beautiful, strange and fascinating things."

The day was a great success, raising over £800 towards the fund. Good food was offered throughout the day with delicious soups, cheese, cakes etc. 

Huge thanks to everyone who worked so hard for this event.






Liz Kirlew writes:

All God’s Creation is Very Good.

Women’s World Day of Prayer has for many years been special to me. Having several friends and relations living overseas it always excited me to think that on the first Friday in March, all over the world we were joining together to worship, to sing the same hymns, pray the same prayers.

The Service for this year had been put together by the women of Suriname in the north east of South America, we had held a planning meeting, allocated parts for the Service and practiced the hymns. Everyone was looking forward to coming together on Friday 2nd March.

As the snow fell thick and fast on the afternoon of the 1st March, I realised we would not be able to meet the next morning and the service had to be cancelled It would have been too easy to call it off altogether but we would have lost a valuable act of worship that had been thoughtfully and passionately been conceived by the women in Suriname.

Thankfully most of the team were able to come together on Friday 23rd March in St Andrew’s Church Leigh, with not quite as many congregation as we had hoped but we enjoyed an informative and uplifting service followed by coffee and lots of lovely cake. The collection amounted to £87 which will be distributed by Women’s World Day of Prayer to projects worldwide.

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. This statement is one of the five marks of mission of the Anglian Community and something which the women of Suriname were very mindful of when the wrote this year’s Service.

Suriname is a beautiful country with high biodiversity. Much of it is covered by pristine rainforest which act as lungs for the world. Many species of orchid grow wild and it is home to the blue frog and the giant sea turtle. Fifteen percent of the country is coastal and less than two meters above sea level. It’s at risk because of climate change and rising sea levels. Its forests are being eroded by bauxite mining and high levels of pollution by mercury used in the gold mining process give cause for concern.

The women of Suriname believe that the Christian faith community can make a great contribution to the preservation of a living, healthy and safe environment. The future of the earth for the next generation matters to them and they see it as one of the key elements of the Christian faith. It reminds us of the relationship between God and creation and God and humanity. Suriname, like many countries feels the effect of world-wide climate change and industrial pollution. We are reminded that Christians need to balance God’s creation with man’s creations.

During the service we were introduced to seven women from Suriname, all of different ethnic backgrounds and they gave us an insight to their way of life and environment we were all urged to think of and write down a commitment, one practical thing that WE could do to care for and preserve Gods wonderful creation.

WE all need to remember that All God’s Creation is Very Good.


Liz Kirlew in St Andrew's Church, Leigh, with the flag for Suriname and other attributes of the country. 




Concert in St Michael’s Church, Beer Hackett, 24th February

A Celebration of the Guitar 

 John Bingham writes:

"An audience of 40 visitors and villagers came to hear local musicians Samantha Muir and Lara Taylor.

We were all delighted, impressed and moved by their playing.

Samantha included fascinating background information and two poems on the instruments and music (some self composed) performed on classical guitar, classical ukulele and new to most of us, the machete de braga which pre-dates the ukulele.

Samantha played a brand new machete built especially for her in the traditional design using original methods.


The photograph shows her holding up an egg and smiling! 

You will have to go and listen to her to hear why she made us all smile!

This 2 minute sample will whet your appetite!

In the audience were some of Samantha’s guitar and ukulele students and happily, a Beer Hackett resident, John Trench, also learning classical guitar, won the raffle first prize – a CD of Brazilian classical guitar music played and donated by Samantha.

The concert has also put us back in touch with Kathy Smyth who apparently grew up in the 50’s in Beer Hackett and told us of services and Sunday School every Sunday in St. Michael’s and we even had  our own choir!  Kathy is a member of a local choir and they have offered to come and sing for us on Saturday 7th July this year.

Our annual village party will be next day on Sunday 8th afternoon.  Put the weekend in your diaries!


The Reverend  Ann Budgell thanked Samantha and Lara on behalf of the Three Valleys Benefice, noting our discovery that St. Michael’s has perfect musical acoustics.  Samantha and Lara we would be delighted to see you again in the future.  Thank you both.

Samantha and Lara generously performed for a nominal fee.  A glass of wine before and more wine and tasty refreshments as we socialised afterwards were included, still enabling us to raise £235 for church funds".


Samantha Muir holding her  5 string tenor ukelele after the concert

Samantha Muir was a Senior Exhibitionist at the Royal College of Music and on graduating was awarded the Madeline Walton Guitar Prize. An accomplished performer, arranger and teacher Samantha has appeared at festivals and summer schools in the UK and Australia. She has lectured at the International Guitar Research Centre at the University of Surrey (where she is currently doing a PhD) and is a member of the Cohort for Guitar Research, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Lara Taylor has a Performance Diploma from Trinity College and was a Music Scholar at Bruton School for Girls. Lara has performed with the National Youth Guitar Ensemble and was a featured young artist at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival in 2017. Lara currently has a scholarship at New College of the Humanities in London where she is doing a Bachelor of Arts.





To get away from "the after Christmas blues", the Reverend Richard Kirlew and his wife Liz, opened their Rectory at Holwell for

a Summer Cream Tea party!

This event was held in aid of Benefice Funds.


Rectory Tea Rooms

 The Reverend Richard Kirlew writes:

What happens when you can’t organise an afternoon of cream teas in the summer because you run out of time?  Well, you organise it in winter and make it an antidote for the winter blues!

That is exactly what happened at Holwell Rectory on Sunday 21st January; we turned the Rectory into a Tea Room and had light lunches, cream teas, ice cream cones, with bunting and all!  The “staff” were staggered and the waiter and waitresses, courtesy of the Team Vicar’s family and friends, served 57 covers during the day and managed to raise just over £400 for Benefice funds as well.  Thanks to Liz who masterminded it all and to folk who donated cakes and raffle prizes.

Many people thought it was a superb afternoon and plans are being made for next year….!!







Plough Sunday – 14th January 2018 at Caundle Marsh Church

Almost 50 people gathered in tiny Caundle Marsh Church to celebrate Plough Sunday.

Not only did we come together to give thanks for the farming community and the crops that they will grow, but also to remember what a plough does.  Ploughs of course, do two major things:  to aerate the soil by lifting up the paddled and dead land, and also to bury the rubbish left from a previous harvest.


The Revd Richard Kirlew, Team Vicar responsible for rural and farming matters, led the Service.  In his talk he highlighted the two tasks of the plough and likened it to what God does in our daily lives if we let him.  God will always freshen up our lives by aerating our hearts to let air get to new growth that will occur.  Also, God buries the rubbish that we carry in our lives.  This, of course, is not wasted, as it turned into fertiliser to make the new growth happen!

The Service was fortunate to have not one, but two ploughs!  The first belonged to James Hiscock of West Hayes Farm in Caundle Marsh.  The second plough, a beautiful model of a horse-drawn plough made by General Edward Cowan was placed on the much larger one and both were Blessed!  Afterwards, everybody went back to Edward and Janet Cowan’s house for a wonderful lunch.

A good time was had by all!





The Barn Choir, under the direction of Richard Hall, came to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany with readings and music at Bradford Abbas. A varied programme with music ranging from 16th - 20th c was sung with excellent diction and interspersed with well read extracts of prose and poetry. David Bruce-Payne played the organ. Particularly enjoyable were 3 old carols, one using a well known tune from Bizet's "L'Arlesienne" and also an excellent piece "Entry of the Three Kings" by John Gardner with oboe obligato.






Lots of people were treated to a first-class concert tonight in St Andrew's Church at Yetminster. The Fieri Consort, who have given two concerts already in the church this year, returned to perform music in praise of Mary - folksong to 20th c.

A fuller report will follow but this was a wonderful way to start the Christmas weekend and we are very grateful to our Assistant Curate, the Reverend John Summers, for arranging it.

The interval was enhanced with a wine-tasting from Palmers of Dorchester and a small but interesting exhibition of beautiful pictures (paintings and embroidery) from local artist, Suzy Wright.




Carol service at St. Michael’s Church, Beer Hackett,

Thursday 21st December.


A dry and mild December evening welcomed visitors up the candle lit path into our warmed

and beautifully decorated church. Many candles in all the windows and the Advent ring candles

helped create a warm feeling of anticipation for a congregation (70+) which almost filled the church.


Revd. Tony Gilbert conducted the service and our organist Richard Mentern led us expertly as usual in our singing of eight carols.


Eddie Upton and eight singers from Folk South West sang “Hark what Music”, a 19th century Cornish carol and “Joy to the World”, an uplifting song of praise written by an uneducated but gifted agricultural worker from Martock in the 19th century.  


There were six bible readings of the unfolding Christmas story with five young readers:  

Arthur Newton, Lily and Daniel Yeatman and Sharon and Charlotte Bartlett who all read beautifully.


After Tony Gilbert had concluded the service, Eddie and his singers taught us a traditional

tune for “God Rest ye Merry Gentleman”, which we sang unaccompanied as mulled wine, mulled cider and mince pies were served.

This was another impromptu touch which Eddie brought and which everyone appreciated.


It was a joy to have the church nearly full and with such hearty singing – fit to raise the roof!


Our special thanks go to Eddie and Folk South West, Richard, our young and adult readers, our clergy and all the ladies who decorated the church so beautifully and to everyone who gave mince pies and refreshments.


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.
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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!


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 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

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The Reverends Nigel Thomas and  Tony Gilbert            Maggie Henry and other helpers and visitors 
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 Singing and music                                               Anne Reason (who leads the Wednesday Club now) was
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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!
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David Price and Simon Eadon enjoying a joke  at the Old Vicarage Care Home before we went outside to practice in welcome shade
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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



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


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




7th and 8th July

Beer Hackett Celebration Weekend, 7-8th July


Sunday’s Village Party- Guess the answer:

Is Tony.... a. Announcing the raffle with Jean, b. Saluting the Union Flag or c.Invoking a higher authority?


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Answer ... judging by the success of our annual party they were all true!

We hope that everyone who came, including visitors from Yetminster, Thornford and Chetnole, enjoyed the delicious food, relaxed company, children’s games and good time music from John Derrick and his Wriggle Valley Jazz Band, all under a sunshine blue sky with some shady clouds to keep us cool.


Sunday morning festal communion service...

We were joined by the choir from St. Andrew’s, Yetminster (St Andrew's Singers - SAS - Who dares, sings!) and Kathy Smyth from the Trinity Entertainers who together with our organist, Richard Mentern, helped fill our church .......(and the environs with the doors wide open!) with wonderful singing and music.

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The Reverend Tony Gilbert celebrated Common Worship Holy Communion where we sang Richard Sheppard’s “Addington Service”. During the Communion the choir sang John Stainer’s “God so loved the World”.

The Trinity Entertainers treated us to a varied, light hearted and delightful concert on Saturday evening.

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With an eclectic variety of songs by Vaughan Williams, Cole Porter, Offenbach, Carly Simon, John Rutter Lennon & McCartney, Abba, Emerson and many more and several delightful, humorous and skilful solo items.

We would have welcomed a much larger audience, but those who came were appreciative and enthusiastic.

To everyone who played a part in organising, working for and supporting our special weekend,

St. Michael’s and Beer Hackett say a HUGE THANK YOU.