Please pray for those who are ill: Ellen Paris, Monica Goode, Brendan Colohan, Jennie Spetch, Coral & Johnny Harrow, Betty Walford, Fr Keith Collins, Joyce West, Sarah Mackay, Mary Extance, Barbara Frost, Tony Timoney-White, Mary Bradbury, Joe Briffa, Judith Davidson, Mary Hawtree, Bob Horton, Robert Carson, and Joan Duggan.  

First Friday, 2nd October. Devotions and Holy Mass at St Benedict’s, Gillingham, Confessions from

St Mary's School Marnhull. I was very sad when Mrs Targett the Head of the school told me that she would be leaving at the end of this half term. She has developed St Mary's in a really inspirational way since she has been with us, which is probably why the Plymouth diocesan Schools Trust CAST has given her a full-time job working for them.

Please have a look at the Charities and Groups page to see how we can help Steve compile a list of Charities that can function in our parish and locally..    

Second Collections. The Bishop's Conference of England and Wales have given a whole lot of dates for second collections which were missed during the "lockdown". I am concerned that it may be burdensome to be asking for extra money every other week especially when you all have been so generous in ensuring that the parish is kept going. I propose to send to the various charities etc a contribution based on last year's collections - EXCEPT for the CAFOD Family Fast Day collection which will be taken on Sunday 11th October. 

Covid Restrictions. At the time of writing, the new laws on numbers at social gatherings do not affect our opportunities to attend church; this is possible because of the robust procedures we have in place. Thanks to those who keep these things in place and to you for your patience and understanding.

Track and Trace forms: With colder weather approaching we want to avoid queues to go into Mass yet we must provide track and trace details on each visit. We have produced a smaller form (12 to a page). Please would you collect a sheet of forms from the back of church and complete a form prior to coming to church, where possible. This will allow for less form filling at church and an easier flow into church. The form is also attached HERE for those who would like to print the form at home

Private prayer sessions.  To reduce the burden of the hard-working stewards and cleaners essential at each session, there will be no further facility for private prayer at Our Lady’s during the current restrictions, now that Mass is celebrated at each church on a weekday. However, the session on Fridays at St. Benedict’s from to will continue for the time being. A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to those volunteers undertaking this service to us all.

Holy Mass online: A reminder that Mass can be ‘streamed’ online from churches all over the world. To find a mass streamed from a church in England, Ireland, N. Ireland or Scotland to suit your schedule, go to . This is in addition to our cathedral at

Click here to see what to do in order to join Mass during the Covid epidemic

and click here to print out your Track and Trace forms.

Don't forget to look at the Commentaries Page if you are seeking a homily!

Ride and Stride:  for Historic Churches Trust took place last Saturday. Two of our erstwhile parishioners took part: David Minto, who managed to pedal to a total of 15 North Dorset churches, all but one of which were closed;  and Maggie Foster, who has provided refreshments on our behalf, for several years, for visiting riders to Our Lady’s. Maggie also made a cake to feed the dozen or so people who found our lovely church. Now there’s an inducement for next year!  Well done and thanks to both of you.  Please find David and throw sponsorship money at him (no coins!).     Click the pictures to open them up.



The "Let it be done unto me" course, on Zoom, will begin Thursday 1st October, 7.30 pm, for 5 weeks. The chapters are entitled “Chosen by God”; “The First Disciple”; Mother of All”; “Queen of Heaven”; and “Help of Christians”. For more information contact Deacon Michael on 07504821558 or by email:

There will be Holy Rosary at on Friday on Zoom., organised by Deacon Michael, and coffee morning at 12.15pm this Sunday.  If you’d like to join in either, please contact Deacon Michael or Tony Moore for the usual meeting I.D. and password. Any problems, contact Deacon Michael on 07504821558 .

Youth Events in the Diocese:

September 26th There will be workshops for young people to discuss the future of our planet and ways we can teach others to look after it. Workshops will be offered through ZOOM. We plan to share a prayer service at St Peters, Crownhill later that day. Bookings will be taken in September.

In October there will be a series of 5 sessions, exploring Faith, Music and Creativity. One Hope Project will lead 3 of the discussions. These are aimed at young people aged 13-21.

Lastly, I am looking for young people across the diocese to help put together a short film of prayer and reflection. We are looking for people to sing as well as those that will share thoughts, reflections and read prayers. The theme will be; My spiritual journey, living through COVID 19.

If you are interested in either of these events or any future events, please email:



CHARITIES - please see the Charities and Groups page

ONLINE SURVEY:   Dear friends, The National Office for Vocation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales works with various Catholic organisations to develop support networks and resources to promote vocation at all stages of life. Vocation is about responding to God’s dream for us at whatever stage of life we are in, and with the encouragement of Pope Francis, we are eager to help older people understand better their vocation as older persons. The Bishops Conference of England & Wales hopes to work towards a pastoral environment which better cares for and encourages older persons in their Christian journey, so for this reason we would like to ask you to complete an online survey which will be the starting point of our investigation on how we can better serve older persons.

We would be very grateful if you can help us by encouraging as many people as possible to respond to the related survey:  The Gift of Many Years: Catholics over 60 years of age years of age

Parish collections

Parish Standing Order Form:  For parishioners wishing to contribute to church finances whilst access to our churches is limited a Parish Standing Order form is available upon request from the treasurer, Pamela Snell: 01258 821463.  Address:  Grafthayes, Nash Lane, Marnhull, Dorset  DT10 1JZ

Gift Aid contributors who usually use numbered envelopes can switch to this method for the foreseeable future if desired.


If you wish to send a cheque instead please make it payable to  Marnhull R.C.Parish and send to : The Parish Priest, The Presbytery, Old Mill Lane, MARNHULL, DT10 1JX


Online banking payments is another alternative but the REFERENCE FIELD  i.e. your surname and gift aid envelope number, must be completed so that we can identify donors. This is particularly important if you are a taxpayer allowing Gift Aid reimbursements, although non-tax payers can use this method also.  For forms and further information please phone Pamela Snell [ Parish Treasurer] on:  01258 821463  or email:

Brian adds: “With the present inability to distribute and use the new year Gift Aid numbered envelopes– please use the above proposals if you can. Hopefully this years boxes will be distributed as soon as restrictions allow." Brian White – Gift Aid Organiser.


Our churches are open for Holy Mass.

What can we expect when coming to mass at Marnhull and Gillingham? Mass will be a different experience, but much has been put in place to make our churches a safe and welcoming place to worship. Below is a guide to what to expect and procedures that will be in place:

  • When coming to church household groups will be expected to maintain a safe distance (preferably 2 metres) and wear a face covering.

  • There will be no holy water.

  • There is a sanitising gel dispenser in the porch which must be used before entering church.

  • Stewards will be on duty and seat each household group starting at the front and only one household group per pew. Please seat away from the aisle           

  • Track and Trace: Each household group will be asked to complete a contact form listing all household group members attending mass with contact details. (Forms will be kept for 21 days then destroyed)     PRINT THESE IN ADVANCE HERE

  • There will be no mass books or hymn books.

  • The Sign of Peace is not exchanged

  • No hymns and no moving from the pews during mass                                                              

  • Toilets will not be available neither will refreshments after mass.

  • The Eucharist will be distributed at the end of mass as you leave church.

  • Father will be at the back of the church and maintaining a safe distance with outstretched arms to receive communion.

  • Communion will be given as you leave mass starting with the back rows.

  • We are asked to maintain a safe distance at all times and depart immediately without congregating outside the church.

  • Some pews in the church are blocked off to maintain social distancing.

  •  Anyone with a mobility problem moving around the church, wishing to attend Mass at Our Lady’s, should phone Steve Carrivick, on 07887 988123 to help him prepare a place for you.

Please advise a steward if you would like to be added to the newsletter email distribution list.            

The church will be cleaned after each mass with sanitising cleanser.

Get an advance copy of the newsletter with more parish information by signing up to the parish email group with Tony Moore: 

The parish of Our Lady's Marnhull (Dorset) covers the towns and villages of: Bourton, Buckhorn Weston, Child Okeford, East Orchard and West Orchard, East Stour and West Stour, Stour Provost, Stour Row, Fifehead Magdalen, Fifehead Neville & Fifehead St Quentin, Gillingham, Hammoon, Hazelbury Bryan, Henstridge, Hinton St Mary, Kington Magna, Lydlinch, Manston, Margaret Marsh, Marnhull, Milton on Stour, Okeford Fitzpaine, Silton, Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton, Todber & Kings Stag.

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