About Us: Organisation and Policies
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
Michael Humphrey Senior Steward
Colin Gannaway Treasurer
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: the office is open on Mondays and Wednesdays (15.00 - 17.00) and Saturdays (08.00 - 10.00). At other times, messages may be left, and will be checked daily. 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 Church.
Annual Reports and Accounts The most recent Annual Reports for the Church are publicly available
to view on the ‘Notices, News sheets and Annual Reports’ page. Summaries of the
church Accounts are also included at the end of these Reports.
Anyone wishing to see the full sets of the UCD financial
accounts can do so by visiting the Charities Commission web site: the full, formal accounts are
shown there (along with the Annual Reports) after they have been approved at
UCD members can also use the Members' Resources area to read drafts of the Annual Report in preparation
for the AGM, and the full presentations of Accounts used at the AGM by the
Treasurer. Please note that Members need to log in to be able to see these
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.
The United Church has a long-standing commitment to Fair Trade. In 2004 a group
successfully put together a bid for Dorchester to become Dorset’s first Fair
. We continue to raise awareness of the importance of
Fair Trade through sales in our Church Shop
by maintaining a presence at other events in the town.
As a Fair Trade Church, we have always aimed to use Fair Trade products at all
our church meetings and social events. We were pleased to be re-awarded
our Fair Trade Church status in 2022 by the Fair Trade Foundation
We source our Fair Trade stock from various suppliers, but our biggest partner
was always Traidcraft, based in the North East. We are now exploring other Fair
Trade suppliers, given the news that Traidcraft has closed.
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 DSW Circuit's Report Form, to record what you see or is disclosed to you. When you have completed it please sign and date it and contact the Methodist Circuit
Safeguarding Lead Janice Young: you can contact her via email. Alternatively, you may wish to want contact the Safeguarding Lead at UCD: Linda Scott.
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 Opportunities
As jobs (paid or voluntary) and other opportunities arise they will be posted here.
Urgently Required: Secretary for Churches Together in Dorchester
The Enabling Committee meets about six times a year including the Annual General Meeting. The main duties involve drawing up the agenda for meetings in liaison with the Chair; taking the minutes and distributing them, looking after the email account and communicating with the Enabling Committee.There is remuneration of £25 per month.If you are interested please contact Tony Boyden.