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.





Holiday Food Club

Can you help the Holiday Food Club, which offers food parcels to families who struggle during the long summer holiday to feed their children? This is a local Dorchester programme, supported and run by several local organisations. Last year over 80 local families applied for help and over 100 families have registered this year.

There are two ways you help:

1. The target of £8,000 needs to be raised - local charities, churches and individuals have already been very generous, but more funds are needed. If you want to send a cheque, please make it payable to Dorchester Food Bank, and send it to:

Dorchester Holiday Food Club, c/o Dorchester Food Bank, The Dorford Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester DT1 1RR

2. Food donations and wider support - the Food Club will be open on the following Thursdays in August: 1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd, with two sessions per day. Families are chatted to over refreshments, so cakes and biscuits are also needed at the beginning of each of those weeks. If you want to find out more about how you can donate food or help out more generally, please contact the organisers through their This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Tolpuddle Festival

The Dorset South and West Circuit will again this year have a presence at Tolpuddle over the weekend of the annual Festival (July 20/21). Could you help?

  1. staffing the stall in the marquee and engaging in conversation with Festival-goers (rota throughout Saturday and Sunday morning)
  2. staffing the Methodist Chapel and greeting the many visitors who come to learn more about the Martyrs and their Methodist roots (rota throughout Saturday and Sunday)
  3. sharing in the procession with our ‘God is our Guide’ banner (Sunday at about 2pm)

Contact Revd John Walker or Alison Cocks to find out more.

Don’t forget, too the Tolpuddle Festival Service on 21 July, at 5pm in the Methodist Chapel at Tolpuddle.




Summer Holidays: Forest Praise

Children, parents and carers are all welcome at the next two Forest Praise events: come along for family-friendly fun, relaxed play and praise.

Both will take place during the summer holidays: the first will be on Thursday 25th July, and the second will be on Thursday 22 August. They will both run from 10.30 - 11.45am, and will take place as usual at the Surestart Children's Centre (next to Sunnydays Nursery in Poundbury).

Let's hope the weather is as good as last time - as you can from the photo below, we had lovely sunshine then:



Christian Aid Week 2019

A huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way with Christian Aid Week - whether by collecting money, running stalls and organising lunches, or just by going along to one of the many events and offering your own contributions.

We already know that the Christian Aid Market and lunches raised over £1400, and the collection in Dorchester Town centre raised over £350. In addition the Walk to the River Jordan raised over £300 - you can see the intrepid walkers below:


We also now have the figure raised through door-to-door collecting by the United Church membership - a fantastic sum of just over £2000.

In addition to these listed items, we now know that the full range of activities (including door-to-door-collecting across the whole local area, and events such as the Big Brekkies, the Ecumenical Service, Dewlish Coffee Morning, inter-church quiz, etc) contributed a huge sum of money to this very worthwhile cause.

So THANK YOU again to all involved: a grand total of nearly £14,000 has been raised through the full range of activities across Dorchester and District this year. Brilliant - and as Christian Aid says, this could provide huge quantities of materials for new health centre roofs, and hundreds of community health worker kits, including bicycles and torches.



Action for Children: Garden Party

To celebrate 150 years of the charity’s work, and to raise much-needed funds, a Garden Party in aid of Action for Children was held on Saturday 22 June, from 2 – 4 pm at 51 Coburg Road, Dorchester.

There were delicious cream teas and cakes, a bring and buy, and a plant sale - and wonderful weather to enjoy the lovely garden:


Thank you to everyone who came along, and to all those involved in hosting and organising the event - a splendid figure of £360 was raised on behalf of Action for Children. You can read about future events which will be taking place locally to mark the 150th year for this important charity: do please get involved if you can! 


Lübbecke visit: September 2019

A group from United Church Dorchester will be visiting Lübbecke in northern Germany from 26 – 30 September as part of our twinning with the Lutheran Church of St Andreas.  We will stay with families from the Church and have a planned programme that includes a focus on provision for refugees, some sightseeing of course and, importantly, the opportunity to worship together.

We shall be travelling by coach, leaving on Thursday 26th September and returning on Monday 30th September. We will welcome any friends from across the Circuit who would like to join us: please contact Rev Brenda Stephenson or Alison Cocks for further information, as soon as possible, or see the information sheet



Methodists for World Mission SW Conference

Taking place at the Brunel Manor, Torquay, between October 4 – 6 this year, the theme of the conference will be ‘Movement: the work of the World Church with people on the move'. It will be led by Dr Andrew Dye, former Mission partner in Grenada and now Team Leader in Global Relationships in the Methodist Church.

Full board from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch costs £145, and shared travel arrangements can be made. Further details and booking forms are available from local rep David Reep.



Chinese adventure

A member of the United Church, Mike Jacobsen (seen below on the day of his departure), is spending a year teaching in China. He is now working at a school in Jiangkou, Guizhou Province. If you would like to follow his progress, you can read all about it via his blog.




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..


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