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.




United Church Dorchester: Coronavirus and the latest lockdown

In the light of the latest national lockdown from Tuesday 5th January, the church and its buildings are now closed again, other than for limited, permitted activities (i.e. Blood Donors, AA).

The most recent updates, taking account of the new lockdown restrictions, include:

Church services: updated 5 January

Reflecting the seriousness of the general health situation that has led to the new lockdown, live services in church are not currently taking place. 

Details of on-line alternatives (including written services, YouTube and Zoom services, and national TV and radio broadcasts) can be found on the Services page.

Please contact Wendy Hilton if you cannot access the printed service and would like a paper version delivered.

Private Prayer: updated 5 January

In view of the current very high Covid case rates, the decision has been taken not to offer 'private prayer' sessions in the church. Please contact either of the Ministers or Wendy Hilton if you need support for any pastoral issues.

Church shop remains closed: updated 5 January

For further information, please see the Church Shop page.

Badminton clubs stop: updated 5 January

Neither of the Badminton clubs are currently meeting: please see the Badminton pages for further information.

Circuit Craft group: updated 5 January

Although the UCD group is not currently meeting because of Coronavirus restrictions, a Circuit Craft group continues to meet via Zoom: please see the Patchwork and Craft page for more details.

Circuit Lent course: updated 12 February

The Dorset South and West Circuit will be offering the opportunity to gather, on Zoom, for Lent reflections each week. Rev John Yarrien and Rev Peter Clark will be leading separate weekly sessions on Monday mornings and Tuesday afternoons throughout Lent, exploring the ‘Holy Habits: Following Jesus’ course. Full details, including how to ask for the Zoom codes, are available from the 'Lent conversation' poster.


Please assume that unless otherwise listed here, no other events, activities or meetings are taking place.




Give thanks for your Covid vaccination

Have you or your loved ones had your vaccine? To show your appreciation would you like to help families who have lost everything as they face the threat of this deadly virus?

Christian Aid is asking for support in its work with refugees and families who have fled violence and hunger in countries suffering conflict. Many live in crowded refugee and displacement camps with little access to medical care, clean water or enough food, making them extremely vulnerable to COVID.

Please read more about this, and find a prayer for these time, by looking at the ‘Give thanks for your vaccine’ poster, or go to the Christian Aid web site which includes information on how to donate.



Covid vaccination fraud

The safeguarding office of the Southampton Methodist District has alerted us to a widespread scam currently doing the rounds – please see the details in the District's information sheet.

Please note especially that 'The NHS will never ask you for banking details, passwords, or Pin numbers’. If you have any suspicions at all, do not proceed, but instead contact Action Fraud so that the right authorities can investigate.



General support for church members

Are you worried about going out, now? Finding it hard to cope with queuing? Family too far away to help? Needing to self-isolate?

Please don’t struggle on alone and put yourself at risk.  Don’t forget there is a cheerful and willing band of younger folk from church who are very happy to help out.  We are happy to continue shopping, collecting prescriptions or other tasks as long as needed so if you, or folk you know, need support then please don’t hesitate to make contact. 

Support is being coordinated by Gill and Peter Robinson.



Keeping church members in touch with each other

We have been holding a virtual or online ‘coffee and chat’ session since the start of the pandemic, meeting three times a week, at 11.00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For a little more information, including details of how we can support you through the logistics, please see the Coffee and Chat information sheet.

If you think you might be interested in joining this group (on any of the days), please just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Christian Aid Recipe Book

Like so many charities, Christian Aid is struggling to generate normal levels of donations during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The local branch of Christian Aid is therefore looking to create a Dorchester and District Christian Aid Recipe Book. It will contain recipes from local church members, and will be sold to create much-needed income for Christian Aid. For more information on the project – and on how you can contribute your own recipes to the publication – please see the Christian Aid Recipe Book information sheet, and send in your recipes by the end of February

Many thanks to those who have already contributed recipes so far - but please will you also ask friends, relatives etc. if they will provide a favourite recipe? The recipe should include a brief introduction saying why the sender has chosen it - perhaps it is a favourite with friends or family? If they can provide a photo that would be great too but not essential.



Dorchester Poverty Action

Are you one of the financially lucky ones during the coronavirus epidemic that has actually more money in your bank account than normal?  In DT1 and DT2 many people are not so fortunate for a variety of different reasons, some work-related, others due to difficult family situations.

Dorset Poverty Action has been there all through coronavirus supporting local people in DT1 and DT2, making grants of up to £200 to local people who have hit a financial crisis, at the request of a professional worker or agency who knows their circumstances.

With no fund-raising events, Dorchester Poverty Action is depending on the generosity of local people who perhaps realise that they have not spent as much this year as they usually do.  Please consider if you are one of these good people and make a donation by visiting the Dorchester Poverty Action website.




News from Traidcraft

Traidcraft continue to trade in their new, slimmed down company. The Spring catalogue is now out, containing a complete range of Fairtrade foods, gifts and clothing.

Sadly, the church shop is currently closed during the 2021 lockdown.