To know God and to make Him known in wonder, love and praise.

A warm welcome to the Abbey’s website. I hope you will find here the information you are seeking. There are also a number of important links to other sites which will tell you more.

Founded by St. Aldhelm in AD 705, the Abbey has developed from Saxon cathedral to the worshipping heart of a monastic community, and finally, to one of the most beautiful of England’s parish churches. For many it is still the ‘cathedral of Dorset’, and our Benedictine heritage lives on in the daily offering of prayer and praise.

If you have never visited the Abbey, I hope you can do so soon. Marvelling at this glorious building, may you also catch a glimpse of the Glory of God – so that, having arrived as our welcome guest, you will leave renewed, as a pilgrim.

Canon Eric Woods, Team Rector
The Rector Writes…

The announcement of the retirement of Canon Eric Woods as Rector of the Sherborne Team Ministry.

The following announcement was made by, or on behalf of, Canon Eric Woods on Sunday 26 January 2020 at all services in the Sherborne Team Ministry: 


Dear Friends

It is with very mixed emotions that I am announcing today, at every service across the Benefice, my retirement as the Rector of the Sherborne Team Ministry.

Two weeks ago I turned 69, and the official retirement age for stipendiary clergy is 70. Ten days ago Sandra and I completed on the purchase of a very pleasant house in Sturminster Newton, just 12 miles away.

Knowing that these landmark events were shortly to happen, I was in conversation before Christmas with the Bishop of Salisbury. He and I agreed that the ideal day for my last Sunday with you, and the termination of my official duties, would be Easter Day, Sunday 12 April. On what better day could a priest hope to retire than the most important day in the Christian calendar, the Day of Resurrection?

Bishop Nicholas has generously agreed that Sandra and I might remain at the Vicarage until we have completed the second of the parish pilgrimages to Oberammergau and the Passion Play, from which our group will return on 8 July. However, in practice we hope to have moved from the Vicarage by the end of May.

This means that I will have been your Incumbent for some 27 years (though at Longburton officially only since 2006). The Benefice – and especially, of course, the Abbey – has therefore been my life for over a quarter of a century. I regard myself as hugely privileged to have ministered here for so long. Equally, I am very conscious of the debt I owe to my colleagues, ordained and lay, down the years. But the time for expressions of gratitude is not yet. Suffice it to say that leaving Sherborne will be a huge wrench for both of us. Sandra and I hope you will pray for us over the coming weeks, just as we will be praying for you all.

Regular Services

Morning Prayer is said in the Lady Chapel at 8.30 am every weekday

Holy Communion is celebrated
Monday at 9.00 am, Tuesday at 12 noon
Wednesday at 10.30 am, Thursday at 12 noon
Friday and Saturday at 9.00 am

Sunday Services

8.00 am Holy Communion
9.30 am Parish Eucharist
6.30 pm Sung Evensong (5.00 pm in the winter)


Opening Hours

The Abbey is open every day from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm (4.00 pm in the winter)

There is no admission charge – donations are welcome

There is a free guided tour during the summer season each Tuesday at 10.30 am
and each Friday at 2.30 pm (services permitting)

Visit the Abbey Shop In The Close for a full range of gifts and souvenirs,
plus books, CDs, cards, etc

For further information, contact The Parish Office
on 01935 812452 (office hours only)


This Benefice takes very seriously its responsibilities surrounding the safeguarding of children, young people, and adults who may be at risk, and works in partnership with the Diocese of Salisbury to ensure that we operate in accordance with best practice at all times. We have adopted the House of Bishops’ “Promoting a Safer Church; Safeguarding Policy Statement”.

If you have any Safeguarding questions or concerns you can contact our Parish Safeguarding Officers, Mr David and Mrs Lyn Rayner, by clicking on the link safeguarding@sherborne abbey.com

Alternatively you can contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, on  07500 664800 or email heather.bland@salisbury.anglican.org

Full details of our Safeguarding Policy and Guidelines can be found onour Safeguarding page.

The new Abbey Icon

The Wren and the Resurrection

Egg tempera, gold and silver leaf on gesso panel 2019. Painted by Rev. Regan O’Callaghan.

Commissioned for Sherborne Abbey the icon represents the miracle of the Resurrection.  On Easter day Christ rises triumphant from the tomb on a fiery cloud of energy and new life, his right hand raised in blessing. A tiny wren representing the dawn chorus and the song of all creation sings a song of praise while golden angel wings reveals the presence of the heavenly realm. Tall mountains either side of the tomb symbolise the universal church east and west and the golden wreath of flowers which circle Christ, the beauty of God’s creation and all that binds together in love, peace and hope.  

“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”  Isaiah 55:12

Mounted Giclee print signed by the artist are available from the following link: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/706473431/sacred-art-print-the-wren-and-the?ref=shop_home_active_26