Friends of Sherborne Abbey

The Friends of Sherborne Abbey can claim to be one of the oldest such organisations in the country, having been founded as long ago as 1930 ‘to bind together all those who love Sherborne Abbey in their desire to take part in preserving it for posterity’. Members can be found all over the country, drawn to join by their love of this loveliest of buildings.

Sherborne Abbey wood carving
Sherborne Abbey Ceiling
Sherborne Abbey Organ

For over 75 years, therefore, the Friends have been staunch supporters of every major project for the repair and restoration of the Abbey fabric. In this century alone, they have made a major contribution to the appeal to repair and strengthen the tower vault, and restore the Quire. They have paid for roof safety equipment, a fire detection system and the ramping of the main porch for disabled access. They were the principal benefactors of the rebuilding of the main organ and gave the new John Hayward window in the south aisle to commemorate the visit of HM The Queen and HRH The Prince Philip in 1998.

In short, they are vital to the present and the future of this great House of God, by their subscriptions, donations and bequests. I would warmly invite you to become a Friend of Sherborne Abbey, to help take our work and ministry into the fourteenth century of our life as the Mother Church of West Wessex.

Become a Friend of Sherborne Abbey

For further, please information contact the Membership Secretary using the link below:

Faith in Action Committee FIAC

The parish gives away ten percent of its giving and investment income to good causes. These include local organisations or individuals, and Christian organisations working at national or international level. We also respond to specific appeals. Our aim is to work in partnership with organisations both at home and overseas and establish personal links where possible.


  • makes and monitors donations on behalf of the parish to organisations and individuals;
  • furthers our Christian mission by regularly communicating with our partners, understanding,  promoting and supporting their work;
  • encourages regular prayer for those we support;
  • annual Lent Project (see below or click here).

FIAC members come from all our churches and have a range of backgrounds and experience. We each take responsibility for links with one of our major partners. We are always looking for new members. For further details or enquiries about donations please contact the Parish Office: 01935 713777 or email

Our Partners include:

  • The Bible Society;
  • The Church Mission Society, especially our African mission partner, Sam Malish, working in the Bidibidi2 refugee camp in Uganda;
  • Christian organisations in South Sudan, including Bishop Allison Theological College, Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School, and the EZO deanery;
  • St Saviour’s Church, Anglikanu Baznicas Riga, Latvia.

Local charities including the Green Shed, Rendezvous and Future Roots.

Sudan Update – 1 Year On

April 2024

On 15 April 2023 fighting broke out between the Rapid Support Forces militia (RSF) and the Sudan Government Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). They had previously been working together but then disagreed over how quickly the military should hand over to a civilian government. The violence has been most intense in the capital, Khartoum and in Darfur in the west of the country but has reached everywhere except some parts of the north and east, including Port Sudan, where the government is now based. Nearly 15,000 people are known to have been killed.

For the first four days of the violence Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo, his Cathedral and Provincial Office staff and his family were trapped in the All Saints Cathedral compound in Khartoum. The RSF then broke in and looted the offices, the Archbishop’s house, vehicles and ECS records and took over the Cathedral to accommodate its fighters. Forty-three people escaped from the compound and the Archbishop hid in a house in Khartoum with fifteen other people and very little food or water for six weeks before he managed to get to Port Sudan. There he was welcomed by the Bishop of Port Sudan and offered space to set up his Provincial Office. The Sherborne Parish Faith in Action Committee approved a grant of £5,000 for the office equipment and furniture and a contribution to the cost of a replacement vehicle. “We thank God for our friends and partners for providing funds necessary to set up this office in terms of furniture, equipment and stationeries in addition to accommodation.”

From Port Sudan the Provincial Staff have been distributing to diocesan clergy and staff  donations received into the ECS Provincial Emergency Fund from ECS supporters including Salisbury Diocese. ECS clergy have been killed and churches, colleges and offices destroyed and looted but the Archbishop has made long pastoral visits to near the fighting  in the north and east of the country, holding services with congregations displaced by the violence.

Of a population of 51 million over 8 million people have been displaced within Sudan or to other countries (500,000 in South Sudan), nearly 25 million need humanitarian aid and, although some aid has reached 2.3 million people since January, one in three is acutely short of food with 230,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers likely to die of hunger. 70%-80% of health facilities are not functioning and 19 million children are out of school. (UN, April 2024)

We also make special collections:

  • At Harvest, for the Salisbury Diocese Medical Link in Sudan and South Sudan, providing medical supplies, training and equipping new clinics.
  • At Advent, including the Christingle Service and Advent boxes, for the Children’s Society.
  • During Lent, in the run-up to Easter, we choose two projects, one local and one international for extra giving.

Projects, partners and donations

In 2023 we raised an amazing £5,700.00 for ‘Chernobyl Children’s Life Line (CCLL)’ (supplying much needed support for families and children in war-torn Ukraine and for Ukraine refugees in Poland) and ‘The Footprints Project’ (a Dorset charity bringing a sense of community, hope and increased self-worth to socially excluded people, reducing reoffending and building stronger communities by assisting ex-offenders both before and after release). Our charities were delighted with our prayer support, our interest and of course our generosity.

This year (2024) through our prayers, interest and gifts, we are supporting the work of our Church Mission Society’s Mission Partner, Sam Malish (Sam works in a refugee camp bringing Christ’s peace to traumatised refugees displaced from South Sudan) and Sherborne Food Bank (our local food bank, entirely volunteer-run, supporting those in deep poverty who cannot meet all their needs; providing free emergency food deliveries and working with others to ensure nobody in our community needs to go hungry). 

The FIAC has chosen these causes carefully.  In each case, we are reaching some of the most needy people in their communities. We choose small charities with whom we have links and for whom our funding can make a real difference.

I hope very much we can match this again this year. The whole charity sector is greatly stretched by a combination of rising costs AND increased demand for their services.

For further details and our video visit

(John Crossman, Chair, Faith in Action Committee)

Lent Project Leaflet

Church Mission Society

“Peace is at the heart of God…. And I believe that the peace Jesus gives is the true peace.”

So says Sam, our new mission partner. He works for CMS Africa, whose International Director Canon   Moses Bushendich, visited Sherborne last July. He is based in the Bidibidi2 refugee camp in North Uganda which is home to over 200,00 refugees who have fled the civil war in South Sudan. We want to give him extra support this first year of our partnership and support the work he is doing to bring Christ’s peace to traumatised refugees.

His work involves working with men and women in the refugee camp to enable them to deal with the pain and trauma of fleeing their homes and seeing their relatives killed or captured. He aims to bring the peace of Christ to them through healing sessions for which he trains new church workers, provides digital players so families can listen and work together, and broadcasts via local radio networks. Many people are helped and brought to faith. Our extra support will enable Sam to expand his work in the refugee camps and provide more trained volunteers and equipment to run much needed trauma training groups.

Sam uses bible stories as central to the healing process; in the Bible Joseph was also betrayed by his brothers into slavery; Jesus himself suffered injustice, torture, pain, and death. These stories can be the focus for the work of the Holy Spirit in reaching out through Sam and his team to heal and restore people. Sam also works with many other agencies to maximise their impact. He needs our support and our prayers, bringing Jesus’ love and healing to those in greatest need.

We are successfully building the body of Christ in Africa and beyond” says Sam.

We can be a part of that work by supporting him through CMS Africa.

You can find more information and videos featuring Sam at

Sherborne Food Bank

Sherborne Food Bank was set up to collect and distribute donated food to people in need of short-term support. Over the 12 years since we started, we have seen a huge increase in local poverty with many now unable to provide fully for themselves and their families. Dorset Council figures show over 40% of households in Sherborne are low-income and struggling to meet their needs.

Working out of our Sherborne depot, our teams of volunteers, over 70 of us at the last count, collect, sort, stack and then pack food parcels designed to last four to five days. Up to seven teams of drivers then deliver to homes in Sherborne and the surrounding villages. Your donations will immediately go towards our deliveries of bread, fruit, vegetables and milk, along with other food like pasta and tinned food – for a family that’s worth at least £65. We include toiletries and baby products where we can.

We delivered to 242 families last December, shopping to supplement donations. In 2023 we delivered 2288 parcels, that’s more than 59,000 items, to a weekly average of 44 addresses – helping over 100 adults and children every week.

We also reach out in other ways, including paying for 20 school meals every day for families who are just above the free school meal threshold, paying for 10 free hot meals a week delivered by the Sherborne Lunch Club, subsidising the Vale Pantry so the people from our postcodes with transport can do a ‘social supermarket’ shop for just £7, and several other schemes helping young people who cannot afford snacks and milk at youth centres, schools and more.

How we can help


Please pray for our two organisations:

For CMS Africa and Sam Malish:

  • for Sam and his team, may they be kept safe and be guided to provide the best help for all in the refugee camps;
  • for all those suffering the pain and trauma of civil war and experiencing persecution;
  • for the work of CMS across the world.

For Sherborne Food Bank:

  • for sufficient food and donations to meet our community’s rising need;
  • for all those who need support, that help may reach them and that they may be assisted to find ways out of poverty;
  • for all volunteers and trustees.

And for all charities:

  • That in these tough times they get the resources they need, for good leadership, and care and concern for all those they help.

Make a Donation

You can give in THREE different ways. Please make sure you give your name if you are registered with us for Gift Aid. (To register use the form on the Abbey website or from the Parish Office).

By cash or cheque (made payable to Sherborne Abbey PCC) in an envelope clearly marked “Lent Project”, and post to the Parish Office, Abbey Close, Sherborne, DT9 3LQ. Please include your name ON the envelope if you wish us to claim Gift Aid – we can only do that if we hold your enduring Gift Aid Declaration.

Donation by BACS: Please use the account details below:

Account Name:   Sherborne PCC

Sort Code:   40-52-40

Account Number:   00008483

Please use the reference:  your surname followed by LP, e.g. SmithLP

Donate directly by debit or credit card on the Abbey website: https://www.shcom/donations/

Click on the brown donate box, top right on this website, then the red card and on the next screen, the red “GIVE” button. Either sign in or give as a guest. Enter the amount and in the message box type LENT2024.  You can make your donation anonymously by ticking the bottom box. The following screens process your method of payment and give an option for us to claim the 25% gift aid if you agree.

Sherborne Mothers’ Union Branch

Sherborne is one of the most beautiful towns in England. With its abundance of mediaeval buildings, superb Abbey, famous schools – both private and state, picturesque Almshouse, two castles, independent shops, supermarkets, antique dealers and small hospital with a minor injuries department, it has much to offer both visitors and residents.

Mothers Union
Sherborne Abbey Ceiling

The Sherborne Branch of Mothers’ Union is in the Diocese of Salisbury and is part of the worldwide organization of which there are over four million members. Mothers’ Union was founded in 1876 and exists to share Christ’s love for the world by encouraging, strengthening and supporting marriage & family life. Our particular overseas link is with the MU in Ezo, South Sudan. If you are new to the Sherborne area or have not heard about the work of MU, please come and see what we are about!

Membership is open to all men and women who have been baptised in the name of the Trinity and who support Mothers’ Union aims and objectives.

For more information contact our secretary, Jo Higgs by emailing

Meeting Times

4th Friday in the month
Griffiths Room, Digby Memorial Church Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne DT9 3NL
10am for 10.30am (ends 11.45am)

For more details about individual meetings, please see our weekly Pewsheet or monthly Bulletin (which can be found under the Services & Events tab, then click on Pewsheets, on this website).

Thank you for visiting us!

We help in the community:

  • provide caravan holidays at Rockley Park, Poole and an annual supported summer holiday for families in need at the Sidholme Hotel, Sidmouth;
  • support families affected by domestic violence living in local safe housing;
  • support families of prisoners including children’s gifts at Christmas;
  • Facilitate toddler and parenting groups by assisting weekly at St Paul’s Church’s Tums,Tots,Toddlers;
  • Support the Virtual Baby Project;
  • Donate to MU overseas and emergency relief funds.

We help in The Abbey by:

  • making the Mothering Sunday posies;
  • making the Christingles at Christmas.

Our fund raising is by subscriptions, donations and special events.

Mothers union_party
  • by belonging to a group in your community;
  • by becoming a Diocesan Member receiving regular information and choosing your own level of involvement;
  • by joining the Indoor Members Scheme especially intended for those who can give time for prayer support;
  • by supporting Diocesan Projects as a Friend of Mothers’ Union.

Why not join MU as it offers you a chance to:

  • Meet, work and share with others
  • Demonstrate your commitment to family life
  • Become involved with projects and run schemes in your community
  • Explore and develop your own spirituality
  • Be a part of a global fellowship of members linked around the world