We welcome information from churches in the surrounding areas for our Churches Together page.  Email:

The Vale Pantry, Sturminster Newton, has asked us to join them in a ‘Reverse Advent Calender’, to raise food for Christmas for local people in poverty. We’re asked to pop an item of suitable food into a box at home, each day of November, (or as many days as we can), then drop the box into the Pantry or the Medical Centre in Stur, at the beginning of December, bringing a ray of sunshine to those less well off than us! If you can’t get the box to them, Tony Moore will collect it from you and deliver it. 01963 365848

Let's do what we can to help the refugees who have fled to our shores.

Care For Calais are collecting clothes which can be dropped off at various places around the country.  Click on:  to see the nearest place for you.  Currently there are places in Wincanton and Blandford.


If anyone knows of any other collection points or organisations, please let us know as we would be happy to put details on here.

The Catholics of Marnhull and Gillingham Parish were sorry to say goodbye to Fr Martin Budge on August 30th.  He has gone to Plymouth Cathedral after nearly 20 years in Marnhull.  He has written a letter to everybody and would like to include all the churches:   

Dear parishioners of St Gregory's and the Methodist community, and the people of the village who sent me cards and greetings on the occasion of my leaving Our Lady's parish for life at the Cathedral House in Plymouth. I was very touched to receive these kind wishes and will remember you all with affection in my prayers. It was good to see some of you at the farewell party and presentation too. Very often people have asked me, "where do you come from?" and for many years now have replied that I have lived very much longer in Marnhull than anywhere else in my life and so think of myself as being from there. I thank all of you for making these years the happiest of my life (so far) as well.

With every blessing, Fr Martin Budge.

Churches Together in Marnhull ‘Friday Prayers’ restart on Friday 12 Feb via Zoom. St Gregory’s will lead on this occasion and details are as follows:  Rev Gaenor Hockey is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Friday Village Prayer.  Time: Feb 12, 2021 11:30 AM 

 Join Zoom Meeting:

Churches Together in Gillingham will host “Lockdown in Lent” on Zoom for the Sundays of Lent, at 7pm each Sunday, beginning 21st February. The deadline for signing up is 19th February. Please see the attached information sheet for more details.

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ADVENT  2019


Advent is a special time for us to reflect on our need for God to come to save us from the power of sin. This holy season brings with it the special graces for us to enter into the wonder of Christmas -the wonder of the Son of God becoming a human baby, while remaining truly God. At that moment the Son of God became forever a member of the human race, forever committed to us. Nothing can destroy God’s love for us.

Especially during Advent we should long for God to tear open the heavens and come down -to save us, personally -to remove the veil of sin, preventing us from approaching God. Now, more than ever, we should want God to come alive in each of us and transform us, so that we can embrace the salvation Jesus has already won for us.

Jesus has promised to return in glory at the end of time. That should fill us with hope of eternal happiness with Him, rather than fill us with fear. During Advent we will sing, “Oh, come, oh come, Emmanuel.” That expresses our need for Jesus, our longings for Him to enter ever more deeply into our lives, and we into His.

Isidore Clarke OP


Julia's House invites everyone to St James' Church in Shaftesbury on Wednesday 11th December for a magical candlelit evening featuring all your festive favourites.  Click to see their page here.

Following the success of inaugral carols in Shaftesbury last year, Julia's House are delighted to be returning to this beautiful town. Carols by Candlelight is already a firm favourite in the Julia's House events calendar in other areas, well known for a lively mix of celebrity and family readers, music and traditional carols. This year's special guest reader is well-known author John le Carre.

You will be treated to some fabulous performances by local school and adult choirs, and there will of course be the opportunity for you to join in. Following the candlelit concert guests will be invited to stay on and enjoy mulled wine and mince pies. 


Living in a beautiful, country area, we are much more aware of the cycle of the seasons and the ongoing importance of farming to the well-being of our society than many people living in more built up areas. This means that the tradition of celebrating the end of harvest is still very popular.

Once again, we invite everyone to join the Village Annual Harvest Celebration in the village hall on Wednesday 25th September from six pm.

Drinks (cider or apple juice) will be provided (one free!) while this year we ask everyone to bring a small plate of food to share with others. This can be anything you fancy – the more variety of food the merrier. If you prefer to drink something other than traditional cider or apple juice, feel free to bring that as well.


By popular demand, we also again invite you to bring a copy of your favourite poem. A selection of these will be drawn at random and read out during the evening, If you don’t want to read aloud yourself, someone else will read the poem for you.


We look forward to seeing as many of you as the hall can fit in at this celebration.

JULY - DECEMBER 2019, 12 noon


Sept    C of England   (Prayers: Fri. 13th Sept  -  St Greg’s)

Oct      R. Catholics   (Prayers: Fri. 11th Oct  -  Our Lady’s)

Nov     Methodists       (Prayers: Fri. 8th Nov  -  Meth. Ch.)

Dec    C of England     (Prayers: Fri. 13th Dec  -  St Greg’s)



Come along to celebrate this significant anniversary with the Methodists.

Did someone mention cake?.......


The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord. 


Collecting food for the Food Bank

Harvest Celebration- 30th September: church service at 11.00 am in the Methodist Church, led by Paul Arnold followed by lunch!!


The lunch will be in the Methodist Church hall beginning at 12:30. Everyone is heartily welcome to attend either and both of these celebrations – 

At this time of celebration and thanks for a plentiful supply of food, we know that many of us are all too aware that, even in our wealthy country, significant numbers of people struggle to afford adequate food for their family. The Gillingham Food Bank is one of many around the country that helps to meet this need and we encourage all who attend either of our celebrations to bring a donation of non-perishable food for this food bank.

There is no charge for attending the service or the lunch but any cash donations which are received will be passed to a local charity.

Although there is no charge for the lunch, to help with planning we need to know how many people plan to attend. So we ask you to pick up a free ticket from any of the churches or from Robin Hill Stores or the SPA shop by the previous Sunday, 23rd September.


Churches Together in Gillingham.  A contribution from Gillingham Baptist Church to the events of Holy Week.  

Ian Cooper has been the Pastor at Tollgate for over 22 years, having previously served as a Police officer in the Wiltshire Constabulary. He is married to Jacky and they have two married daughters, Sarah and Hannah. Ian is on the Council of Day One Christian Ministries and is a tour guide to the Biblical artefacts in the British Museum and Israel and author of ‘Travel with the Pilgrim fathers’.

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Contact the rector, Tony Wilds 01258 268971 for details

This Lent resource from the author of 'The Naturalist and the Christ' explores Christian understandings of salvation in a five-part study course based on the film The Way. Starring Martin Sheen as a bereaved father, this soulful and uplifting film observes a group of pilgrims walking the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela. As it follows their journey of inner transformation, the course examines biblical accounts and images of salvation - past, present and future - and addresses the questions: What are we saved from? What are we saved for? Who can be saved? What do we have to do to be saved? How are we saved?


  • "A powerful exposition of the Christian salvation story... The book is as effective a treatment of its great themes as I have read." - Church Times

  • "Brilliantly set up and appropriate for Lent... A very welcome addition to the Lent courses out there." - The Good Book Stall

  • "A powerful combination of Bible insights rooted in an extraordinary movie... Taking part in a Lent course like this can easily become a life-changing experience." - The Tablet


An intriquing Churches Together Lenten Course in Gillingham!    Click the poster and view details of the events taking place.

This year Churches Together in Gillingham is running the Lent course ‘Finding a Voice’ written by Hilary Brand. The course is based around the acclaimed 2010 British historical drama – The King’s Speech, which starred Colin Firth, Geoffery Rush and Helena Bonham Carter and tells the story of George VI struggle to overcome a crippling stammer.


The course runs over 5 weeks with each weekly session lasting approximately 90 minutes.  They will begin the week commencing 19th February and there are 5 groups running at different times and different locations:

Based on the Oscar winning film The Kings Speech, this is the Lent course to help you find your authentic identity and voice in Christ. 'Finding A Voice brings together words from the Bible, the story and characters from the movie and the fears that can drive us to withdraw from everyday life.

If you would like to watch the whole film before the course begins, there will be a screening at Gillingham Methodist Church Hall (Community Cinema) on Friday 16th February at 7pm. Please bring your own drinks and popcorn!

Marnhull Advent Service and Unveiling of the Weathervane.

The Churches Together Advent Service was held at St Gregory’s Church on Sunday 27 November.  The new weathervane was dedicated,  and unveiled  by the Lord Lieutenant's deputy Mrs Antonio Bueno, with a count down from the congregation and balloons released from the top of the tower.  This was followed by a beautiful and friendly service led by the three priests of the village, Canon Tony Wilds, Rev Paul Arnold and Fr Martin Budge entitled 'Looking for the light'. There was music from the choirs of St Gregory's and Our Lady's and readings by Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists.

The weathervane is in the form of gilded cockerel, traditional amongst many churches.  Canon Tony Wilds told us that a cockerel is the symbol of St Peter and it was significant that it was Pope St Gregory who is the patron saint of the church. This particular weather vane (originating in 1745) has belonged to St Gregory's for some time but laid unused and rusting in a corner until recently rediscovered and re-gilded in honour of our queen's jubilee.  

Marnhull Village Harvest Supper 

An evening of 'Pie, Peas and Poems’  - with cider and soft drinks - in the Village Hall on Thursday 29 September.  The idea was to select a favourite poem before leaving home and drop it in the box on arrival.  Various poems were then read out when they were drawn out of the box.

HARVEST SUPPER:  Everyone had a wonderful time at the Harvest supper, the food was delicious (thanks Adrian), and ably and beautifully presented. The poems were both amusing and poignant and the cider flowed generously.  A good evening attended by all the churches.  Here are some photos (apologies for the quality).....

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Harvest 7
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