We are a lively and growing Evangelical Anglican Church of all ages in Sherborne, Dorset. Since 2006 our main Sunday service has been held at The Gryphon School but we also run a wide range of activities for young and old during the week, many at our church building in St Paul’s Close.

We believe that faith isn’t just for Sundays and that God is interested in, and wants to be involved in, the whole of our lives.

St Paul’s at Gryphon is committed to becoming increasingly God honouring, Christ centred and Spirit led in every aspect of our discipleship.

We believe this is possible through:

  • Studying God’s Word
  • Intimate Worship
  • Growing Disciples
  • Engaging in Mission

to see our community locally & globally transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As we continue to discover what it means to be a follower of Jesus today, we invite you to join us on our journey.

St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Close, Sherborne, DT9 4DU
01935 816444

The Reverend Jim Edie

Team Vicar with responsibility for St Paul’s Church
  • Sundays 10.30 am at the Gryphon Conference Centre

St Paul’s at Gryphon meets to worship every Sunday @ 10.30 am including a full Children’s & Young People’s programme.

St Paul’s Church Office  (01935 816444) Opening Hours are:

Monday (9.30 am – 12.30 pm)

Tuesday (10.00 am – 12.00 pm)

Thursday (9.30 am – 12.30 pm)

St Paul's at Gryphon, Conference Centre, Gryphon School, Bristol Road, Sherborne, DT9 4EQ
01935 816444

A warm welcome awaits you at this friendly, family orientated, inclusive  church.  We are  situated in the village of  Longburton, just 3 miles from       Sherborne on the A352 Dorchester road.   Our mission is to share the gospel with others in a more relaxed atmosphere, within the liturgy of the Church of England.

The Tower is the oldest part of the building, mid 13th century, with typical Early English Lancet windows. It was heightened in the 15th century with embattled parapet and gargoyles. The bell-chamber was added in the 16th or 17th century with two square-headed lights in each wall. There are six bells. The Treble by John Taylor of Loughborough in 1992 bearing the inscription ‘In memory of Rosamond Herbert-Smith 1900 – 1988’. The 2nd by John Taylor of Loughborough in 1992 bearing the inscription ‘Given by the People of Longburton’. The 3rd by Thomas Knight of Glosworth in 1701 with ‘Sir George Stroad Anno Domini 1907 T.K.’ inscribed. The 4th by Thomas Bilbie of Chewstoke in 1764 with the inscription ‘Rev. Mr William Sharpe, Mr Thomas Collins and Mr William Swetman, Church Wardens’. The 5th by Thomas Bilbie of Chewstoke in 1764 and the Tenor by the Salisbury Foundry in the early 16th century bearing the inscription ‘Sit Nomen Domine Benedictum’.

The West Door is partly restored late 14th century, but is seldom used. The Tower Arch is two centred, early English, and has re-set under it one pair of 17th century screens which originally stood in the North Chapel to protect the monuments. It has a radiating gadroon ornament and a metal spiked top. The second screen forms part of the vestry in the North Aisle. Near the Tower Arch is a 17th century wooden chest with panelled front and ends. It has three locks.

The Nave has a modern North Arcade and two 15th century windows in the South Wall. The one nearest the pulpit has stained glass and depicts the Nunc Dimittis, the Visit to the Temple and the Baptism by St. John. The Font is 15th century and is made of local Ham Hill stone. It is an octagonal bowl with flowers in quatrefoil panels. It has a moulded underside plain stem and moulded base which were kindly donated by the late Colonel and Mrs Ireland- Smith. Some of the original lead moulding is in a frame on the North Wall.

The Squint is modern and was built into the wall of the North Chapel when the church was restored in 1873 and the North Aisle added. Above it there is a small section of 12th century chevron stonework. The South Porch is of the 15th century and has a moulded and two centred outer archway. In the West Wall is a window of one square headed light.

An interesting feature is the sundial on the S.E. buttress of the Nave, where there is a stone cut with a scratch dial and two crosses. Stuart Arms over the South doorway are painted on a wooden panel. Set up soon after the restoration of Charles II, initialled and dated C.R. 1662. It is inscribed with the ominous words from Ecclesiastes – ‘Curse not the King, noe, not in thy thought’.

The Chancel Arch is 15th century, moulded and two centred. Attached shafts have moulded capitals and there is a row of trefoil-headed panels between the two mouldings. The Chancel is particularly interesting for its 15th century windows. The stained glass is, of course, modern. It depicts, over the altar, The Nativity, The Crucifixion and The Ascension of our Lord. The three windows in the South Wall shows St. Edward Rex and St. Helena; and St. Aldhelm, the patron saint of Sherborne. On the floor of the Chancel is a magnificent tablet to the memory of Sir John Fitzjames of Leweston 1670, and his wife Margaret (Stephens) 1685. It has an achievement and shield of arms. The Communion Table is early 17th century, with turned legs and enriched top rails and stretchers. Plate includes a cup of 1616 with a band of engraved ornament round the bowl (this is now on display in the Chapter House at Salisbury).

The North Chapel was built in the early 17th century and contains two impressive canopied monuments. The first is to Sir John Fitzjames 1625 and his wife Joan (Trenchard) 1612, and was erected by their son Leweston Fitzjames. It consists of a painted stone monument with recumbent figures of a man in armour, head on book; his wife in ruff, gown and cloak. Below the slab are stone bones, spade and pickaxe. The second monument is very similar to the first. It is to Thomas Winston, his son Sir Henry Winston and his wife Dioness (Bond) 1609 – 1610. This was erected by their daughter Eleanor Fitzjames. Above both tombs are cartouches and shields of arms. Incidentally, another daughter, Sarah, married John Churchill from the parish of Glanvilles Wootton. This couple were the grandparents of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough, a direct ancestor of the late Sir Winston Churchill.

In a corner of the Vestry, in the North Aisle, is the working mechanism of a wrought iron, late 17th century, Turret- clock. It was fully repaired and restored in 1972 by Andrew L. James, then a scholar at Sherborne School. The Stained Glass in the window of the North Aisle is medieval in origin.

A352, Longburton, Sherborne DT9 5PD
01935 713777

Lesley McCreadie

  • 1st Sunday 10.00 am Village Communion (Common Worship)
  • 2nd Sunday 10.00 am Family Communion (informal communion)
  • 3rd Sunday 10.00 am Family Communion
  • 4th Sunday 10.00 am Said Holy Communion
  • 5th Sunday 6.00 pm Songs of Praise

Fortnightly—Village Café,  in the Village Hall 10.30 am –12.00 pm.

Weekly Study group.

Termly activity mornings for primary aged children.

For Funerals, Weddings or Baptisms, please contact the Parish Office (9.00 am – 3.00 pm weekdays) on  01935 713777 or email the Parish Office.

St Martin of Tours Lillington

St Martin of Tours, Lillington is a beautiful country Church, set on the north-west edge of the renowned Blackmore Vale in Dorset. It is within four miles of Sherborne, with which it has been linked since the Doomsday Book (1086 AD).

It is the home of a warm and welcoming congregation who love to worship in the informal atmosphere of contemporary family services, and who also enjoy the stillness and beauty of traditional worship offered in the Book of Common Prayer.

Special services in the Church’s Seasons are also occasions which are enjoyed by many people – villagers and visitors alike. Easter, Harvest and Christmas are highlights in the Lillington community and beyond.

Please do join us in one of our services! We would love to welcome you.

Lillington throughout the past two centuries has not had a population exceeding two hundred. It stands surveying the pleasant lands which lie between Batcombe and Yetminster, the most western part of the Blackmore Vale. A geological fault gives rise to the stream which runs through the valley, which is of the Blue Clay so suitable for dairy farming. In a thousand years of history, after deforestation at the time of William the Conqueror, these pastures have been farmed by a community with much the same livelihood then as now.

The name Lillington is said to have been derived from the Scandinavian ‘Lilla’s tun’, and one can imagine Leof of Leof’s tun (Leweston) walking down the hill to talk to Lilla. It is of interest that the ridge between Leweston and Lillington is a watershed, rain falling on Leweston going into the English Channel at Christchurch, and rainfall on Lillington going into the Bristol Channel at Burnham.

Anciently it was subject to the Bishop of Sarum, under the King in Chief. Early in the 13th century William de Lillington gave a moiety of the manor (in the words of the Charter “for his soul and for the soul of Sir Godfrey de Saint Martin, his Lord”) to the Augustinian Priory of Bradenstock in Wiltshire. A witness to this Charter was John, King of England. The grant of land, a third of his property, some 57 acres, was leased back almost at once to William de Lillington’s descendants at a rent of £20 a year, for the consideration of one sparrow-hawk. The same rent was still being paid three hundred years later, at the time of the Reformation.

The hundred of Sherborne included the Manor of Lillington, and when Queen Elizabeth gave to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1591 the lease of Sherborne Manor and Castle which the Bishop of Salisbury had, albeit reluctantly, demised to her for 99 years, Sir Walter thereby held the Manor of Lillington until his lands were forfeited to the Crown in 1603.

Reverend Hugh Bonsey

The Reverend Hugh Bonsey

Associate Priest and Chaplain to St Martin of Tours, Lillington

Lillington, Sherborne DT9 6QX
01935 713777
    • 1st Sunday 9.30 am Village Service
    • 2nd Sunday 9.30am Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
    • 3rd Sunday 9.30am Morning Service
    • 4th Sunday 9.30am Morning Service
    • 5th Sunday 9.30am Morning Service

For Funerals, Weddings or Baptisms, please contact the Parish Office (9.00 am – 3.00 pm weekdays) on  01935 713777 or email the Parish Office.

Extract from a book written by G. H. D. Pitman (First Published 1970, Revised editions 1975 & 1996).

Castleton and Newland, now integral parts of Sherborne, were once separate Boroughs, each with its own court and its peculiar rights and liberties. Newland Borough was created in 1227-8 by Richard le Poore, Bishop of Salisbury, as was Castleton slightly later. Castleton, from its founding in Norman times and for several centuries thereafter, lay apart from Sherborne and, as its name implies, was an isolated adjunct to the great 12th century castle built by Bishop Roger of Salisbury. Outside the curtain wall of his castle, Roger built a Norman church, dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, “visible on the isle where the castle stands”. This building – Castleton’s earliest parish church – the bishop intended, no doubt, for the use of his tenants and retainers who, drawn into a close colony outside the Castle walls, formed what was to become some hundred years later the Borough of Castleton. This church stood overlooking “Maudlin Close”.

The little Norman building was still standing in its tiny churchyard of one-third of an acre when Sir Walter Raleigh first came to Sherborne in 1592. Raleigh got permission to demolish the old church; this done, he built a new one where the present church of Castleton now stands. The new building, finished in 1601, appears to have been structurally a very poor substitute for the 450-year-old church he destroyed, since it was described as “very ruinous” a mere hundred years later. It is possible, however, that the new church may have suffered damage in the two sieges of Sherborne Castle during the Civil War. Anyway, in 1714, the 5th Lord Digby built the present church, partly at his own charge and partly by subscription. It was dedicated as before to Saint Mary Magdalene and consecrated on 7th September, 1715.

The lay-out of the new church showed a break with earlier tradition. Now the object was to emphasise the importance of Bible reading and preaching. Chancels at this period disappeared or became, as at Castleton, mere recesses. To begin with the new church had an east window, but soon after this was blocked; its outline is still visible on the outside. The Church is remarkable in that, while it was planned as a “preaching” church, it continued the Gothic tradition in its arcades and window arrangement; it must have been one of the last. More than a hundred years was to elapse before Gothic was revived as a church style in this part of the country.

The Church was full of character – and was justly admired by Alexander Pope who wrote:

“The next pretty thing that catched my eye was a neat chapel for the use of the town’s people (who are too numerous for the cathedral). My Lord modestly told me he was glad I liked it, because it was of his own architecture.”

Castleton church, fronted by the pleasant 17th and 18th century buildings opposite, is now a quiet bye-water of Sherborne. It is good to think that the solitary bell of St Mary Magdalene, as it calls worshippers to church, continues a tradition that has lasted more than 800 years.

Castleton, Sherborne DT9 3SA
Tel: 01935 713777
      • 1st Sunday 11.15 am Mattins
      • 2nd Sunday 11.15 am Holy Communion Book of Common Prayer
      • 3rd Sunday 11.15 am Mattins
      • 4th Sunday 11.15 am Mattins
      • 5th Sunday 11.15 am Holy Communion Book of Common Prayer

For Funerals, Weddings or Baptisms, please contact the Parish Office (9.00 am – 3.00 pm weekdays and until 1pm on Thursday) on 01935 713777 or email the Parish Office.

Sherborne Abbey has been a site of Christian worship since 705AD.  Information about services and activities can be found through this website.

Digby Hall is available for hire and is ideal for markets, fairs, fitness classes, lectures, parties, music, and exhibitions.