The United Church Dorchester

United in faith, united in action

News and reports

Read below about some of the most important issues and developments within the United Church and beyond.



Christian Unity Service

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Service for the Dorchester Area will take place on Sunday 20 January at 4.30pm
The service will be held at St Mary's Charminster, and will be followed by refreshments.
All are welcome.


Parliamentary petition: removing VAT from church building works

An online parliamentary petition has been set up to request that the government consider removing VAT for works on existing church buildings - currently only listed buildings can apply for an exemption.

You may be aware that if 100,000 signatures are logged for any petition then the government has to consider the issue and make a decision. The Wessex Synod Office of the United Reformed Church has asked for the petition to be promoted as widely as possible, so that anyone who wishes to add their name to it can do so.  The deadline for adding signatures is Friday 25 January 2019.


Winter Fuel Allowance donations

Dorchester Poverty Action (DPA) is asking if people who are financially secure might donate their Winter Fuel Allowance to those who are struggling with money issues. If you don’t really need your allowance – do please consider donating it so that DPA can respond to requests from social workers, health workers or family members to help people who are in a financial crisis.

To donate, go to the DPA website. As well as information about how to contact DPA for payment information, there is a Gift Aid form available so that any donation can be increased by 25%.




Poundbury Quiet Days

The dates for the Poundbury Quiet Days have been fixed for the coming year:

February 23rd; April 6th; June 22nd; July 13th (at Puddletown); September 21st; November 30th.

These are all Saturdays, and usually take place at The Quiet Space, Woodlands Crescent DT1 3RQ (just behind Poundbury Garden Centre). To book a place, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Carol Singing in aid of Action for Children

Many thanks to all the players, singers and collectors who spent the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings before Christmas supporting Action for Children by carol singing around Dorchester. As a consequence of their collective efforts, £400 has been raised.

Thanks also go to all the people who knitted angels (see the picture of examples on the left): well over 200 were given away to children (and adults!) who answered their door, and all were delighted with their gifts.



 Journey to the Stable


Feed me, Change me, Love me


Thanks to all the stewards involved with both ‘Journey to the Stable’ and ‘Feed me, change me, love me’: with your help, over 200 members of the public and more than 150 school children visited the stable and / or took some time out from the busy Christmas rush to look after young babies.

We have had lots of people saying how much they valued the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of Christmas, and to find a space where mothers could be helped in caring for their babies.

A very happy Christmas and New Year to everyone who visited!




Winter Forest Praise

Lots of children, parents and carers came and enjoyed the Winter Forest Praise event on Thursday 3rd January, at the Surestart Children’s Centre, Middlefarm Way, Poundbury (next to Sunnydays).

As well as the usual outdoor play experiences and relaxed play & praise, there was great excitement when a camel appeared to celebrate this special time of year!

 Next Forest Praise is on Thursday, 21st February, at 10.30



Traidcraft News

Since the announcement in September that Traidcraft plc was in consultation to cease trading at the end of December, an overwhelming amount of encouragement from their supporters persuaded them to seek other solutions.
The result is that the retail business will continue to trade but in a slimmed-down form. You can read more about the new business plans from the Traidcraft on-line shop.
While it is great news that Traidcraft will still be trading into its 40th year, the negative impact on its producers worldwide will be severe when the company is downsized. Further details are expected in the new year. 


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