The United Church Dorchester

United in faith, united in action

Our History



350 years ago, in 1662, a separate Congregational Church was first formed in Dorchester. The event is commemorated in the stained glass window in our church in memory of the Rev. William Benn, the first minister and one who was the principal reason the Church came into being.

It was not something that he wanted to do. He was content with his position as rector of All Saints' Church in High East Street, and he would have continued there but for the passing by Parliament of the Act of Uniformity, 1662. William Benn failed to comply with the obligation to indicate his agreement to the requirements of the Act by St Barnabas' Day (24 August), and for this he was ejected from his living. He continued to preach, sometimes legally, sometimes illegally, and gathered around him a congregation of people who supported his stance and endorsed his beliefs.

The seventeenth century was a turbulent time and William Benn more about our 350 Anniversary.



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