United Church Dorchester

About Us: Organisation and Policies

United Church Dorchester was formed in 1978 by the coming together of Methodist and United Reformed churches in the town as a formal Local Ecumenical Partnership under the sponsorship of the Churches Together in Dorset. 

Through its founding churches, however, it has a much longer history of Christian worship, witness and work, starting with the creation in 1662 of Dorchester's first Congregational Church. The Brief History leaflet provides more details on our development since then.

Rev John Yarrien Methodist Minister

Brian Savage 
Senior Steward

Mary Martin

Colin Gannaway 

Leadership and Management
Our church is led by a team of four key people: Minister, Senior Steward, Church Secretary and Treasurer.

These are supported by the Council of Stewards and a series of committees, who manage the development and day-to-day running of the church.

We also have a Church Administrator, who works on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. You can contact the Church Office on (01305)  457477 or via email.

Please note that following the retirement of Rev Peter Clark, our sole serving Minister is Rev John Yarrien. For details of URC churches in the area, please contact the Wessex Synod of the United Reformed C​hurch.

Churches Together
United Church Dorchester is a committed member of Churches Together, an ecumenical organisation which brings together churches across the town.

It is the local group for Churches Together in England (CTE). CTE's vision is to create the space in which fruitful collaboration and mutual understanding can grow, so that churches can work more closely together in sharing God’s mission and making the gospel of Christ known across the nation.

The steering group in Dorchester meets regularly to plan events, services and support for all churches in Dorchester.

Safeguarding policies and guidance
Safeguarding is about creating safe spaces for everyone.  We are committed to ensuring that all children, young people and adults who may be at risk of abuse, feel safe and cared for whilst they are involved in our Church activities.  It is our aim that all those working with children, young people and adults who may be at risk of abuse will be confident in recognising situations of abuse and respond appropriately to situations of concern.  

Various local and national policies inform our safeguarding work, as well as relevant guidance materials. The most significant are:

Safeguarding reporting and agreements
If you see something that makes you uncomfortable or a disclosure is made to you please feel free to use the Church Report Form, to record what you see or is disclosed to you. When you have completed it please sign and date it and talk to our Safeguarding Coordinator Janice Young: you can contact her on 07789 763844 or via email.

Church Councils are required to ensure that those who use their premises under licence or who hire the premises for regular or occasional use are given a copy of the local church safeguarding policy and declare their willingness to comply with the safeguarding policy of the Methodist Church or have comparable equivalent guidelines and procedures.  The Lettings Agreement form confirms these requirements.

If an organisation requires a key to be issued allowing them access to the property when it would normally be locked a nominated representative from the organisation will be required to sign a Keyholder declaration form.

The UCD Privacy Notice explains how the United Church Dorchester deals with personal data.

Jobs and Opp​ortuniti​​es
As jobs (paid or voluntary) and other opportunities arise they will be posted here.