Father Martin's Message here

Letter from the Bishop here

A CAUTIOUS RE-INTRODUCTION OF PUBLIC MASS is to begin this Sunday July 5th.  See Father's update below. 

Please Pray for those who are ill:

Ellen Paris, Monica Goode, Brendan Colohan, Terry Hayward, 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, Irena Magill, Mary Hawtree, Sally Hoy, Bob Horton and Robert Carson.

R.I.P. Valerie Evill passed away last Monday. Her funeral will be at Gillingham cemetery on Friday 10th July at Please pray for the repose of her soul and for her son, Rupert, in his loss.

Robert Carson has returned from hospital to his family. Please continue to remember him particularly in your prayers.


A letter from Father Martin.


Dear parishioners,

As notified last week, our churches resume Mass this Sunday, at Our Lady's 9.30am and St Benedict's 11am and on Wednesday at St Benedict's 10am and on Thursday at Our Lady's 9.30am. These times will also be in place next Sunday, 12th July and the following Wednesday and Thursday.

The Sunday obligation remains suspended and those who are in "high risk categories" should consider carefully whether they are going to come to Mass and on which days. Social distancing measures will be in place which will mean that Mass is conducted in some unfamiliar ways. Please bring a face mask with you in case these are needed. There will also be made a record of those attending which will be retained for three weeks; this is part of the "track and trace" programme required by the Government.

Some people have keys to the church, which in normal times enables them to carry out various tasks, but if you enter the church at any time a record of that must be completed and left in a prominent place and all hygiene measures implemented.

All these things may seem onerous but we must be careful to ensure the safety of all our people as we enter this new phase. (There will be further explanations of these matters from  those who have undertaken the task of stewarding when our churches are open. Thank you to all who are helping in any way).

There is included this week a letter from our Bishop in which he gives his reflections for this time. The Bishop always signs off his letters with the phrase, "Yours devotedly" which, if he hadn't got there first, I might myself have thought was a good way to end my letters to you. I am sure you know that that is how I feel. But I must content myself with saying,

Every blessing.


Fr Martin Budge.

Letter from the Bishop here

“My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot, at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.” 


Our churches are opening 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. (These forms will be kept for 21 days then destroyed)

  • 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.

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.

Diocesan Summer Camp!  You can still join your friends ONLINE!  Naturally, there are NO COSTS this year and friends, children and grandchildren from all over the world are welcome to join in!  The Camp Committee  is looking at the Summer Camps with new eyes, looking to see which aspects of the Camps can be shared with the young people online.  There are teams of helpers in place whom we are sure will be able to produce a vibrant and spiritual Camp experience.  Read the details here. 

Click Poster image to enlarge it.

ZOOM MEETINGS;  There will be Holy Rosary at this Friday (July 10th) on Zoom., organised by Deacon Michael, and coffee morning at noon on Sunday. (July 5th:  at the slightly later time of  If you’d like to join in, please contact Deacon Michael or Tony Moore for the usual meeting I.D. and password.

If you have Zoom Meeting Client on your computer, tablet, ipad or smartphone, you are ready to go. 

IF NOT, go to:

In the top black bar of the screen you will find "RESOURCES" and then go to "Download Zoom Client" and install this.

This will put an icon on your desktop.- like a blue videocamera.

To join the meeting, click the icon and when the screen opens, go to "Join a meeting".
Join Zoom Meeting Just click on this link:    Any problems, contact Deacon Michael on 07504821558

If you’d like to join us for Holy Rosary, just find your rosary and click on the same link above, on Friday evenings. If you’d like to join the group on Sundays, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, find yourself a biscuit (or 2) and join us by the same route!


Protecting the unborn:   Please see the attached petition.   In the absence of Fr John Rice's Rosary at the Gates,  it's the least we can do.

Please remember the Street Children of Colombia who we support in the parish.  Attached are the gift aid certificates, just in case you'd like to donate by post. 

Mary’s Meals charity video. Here is the address for Mary’s Meals new video about the work of this excellent charity, which our school supports as one of its charities.  The film pointer is on their home page.

CARITAS PLYMOUTH:  annual review is now on the Diocesan website. We would welcome feedback from parishes on our plans for the coming year. We have also produced a news update to share some of the positive work happening in our parishes during Covid-19 crisis.

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.  

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 payable to  Marnhull R.C.Parish 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.

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.

Site Map

Archive Newsletters


Web Contact    (for contacting web admin.       For the priest or deacons - see Contact's page)

© 2016 Marnhull & Gillingham RC Parish