St Andrew's Church, Donhead St Andrew

donheadstandrewDonhead St Andrew is a parish of steep hills, streams, woodland, pasture and high chalk downs with sudden wonderful views. There is no real village centre so the foci for the community are the church and the pub. The houses and farms are scattered along the winding lanes with cottages, some enlarged and modernised, and residences dating from the middle ages to the present.

The Parish Church, dedicated to St Andrew, is situated in the valley beside the river Nadder. There has been a church on this site serving as a centre for Christian worship for at least a thousand years. It is believed that the first church may have been built soon after the founding of Shaftesbury Abbey in about 875. The tall narrow arch leading from the chancel to the vestry is Saxon work from about the 9th or 10th century. The present church is 13th century though much altered in the 19th century and is built of the local green sandstone. Read more about the history of the church here.

Sunday Services

The normal monthly pattern of Sunday services in the Church is as follows:

  • First Sunday of the month: BCP Communion at 8.30 am
  • Second Sunday of the month: Sung Eucharist at 9.30 am
  • Third Sunday of the month: BCP Matins at 11.00 am
  • Fourth Sunday of the month: Family Service at 9.30 am

The dates and times of forthcoming services in the Church can be found in the right-hand margin of this page, and on the Calendar page of this web site.

How to Find the Church

For information on how the find the Church, click here.

Instant Sunshine, Donhead St Andrew Church - 29th February 2020

instant sunshine

A light-hearted and amusing cabaret evening of music, songs and words for all ages

Saturday 29th February 2020


6.30 pm


Donhead St Andrew Church, SP7 9EB

Tickets from Jane, tel: 01747 828279, or at the door
£8.00 and £4.00 for those in full-time education
Bar and fine wine raffle

In aid of the church’s new south aisle roof

St. Andrew's Church News - December 2019

Development Project and Appeal

The building work was completed by the end of the first week of October 2019. During the month of August, September and early October, other suppliers and craftspeople brought in the new fittings, furniture, restored organ and other equipment. On two occasions, large groups of villagers cleaned the church, polished the brass and waxed the furniture.

Inevitably, there is a list of snagging to be addressed. The Development Committee expects that these will be dealt with before Christmas.

The Development Appeal is now closed as the Development Project has been fully funded. A full report on the Project and the Appeal will be made at the AGM of the Friends in March 2020 and at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in April 2020.

The PCC would like to thank everyone for their contributions in so many ways to the Project and the Appeal. It has been an amazing team effort over the last eight years involving so many members of our community.

We should also add that the Bishop of Salisbury and the Lord Lieutenant have been enthusiastic Patrons of our Development Appeal. They have taken great interest in our progress over the last eight years, however slow it has seemed at times. They have helped with suggestions as to where to look for funding. The Parochial Church Council offered them both our thanks.

The Theft Of The Lead From The South Aisle Roof

This happened in early September 2019. We quickly received permission from the Diocese to replace the lead with zinc, which thieves do not want. Quotations for the work were sought and one accepted. The insurance company has made its payment. A generous villager has also contributed. It now remains to raise the outstanding sum of £3,250. The income from forthcoming Friends’ events will help. Other contributions would be most welcome; please contact the PCC Hon Treasurer, Alistair Stoker FCA on 828789 if you -*nuld like to help.

It is a relief, given the large number of thefts of lead from church roofs across the County and country, that there is no longer any lead on the roofs of St Andrew’s Church.

Celebrations For The Re-Opening Of St Andrew’s Church

On Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th October 2019, St Andrew’s Church re-opened after nearly two years of building work and after nearly eight years since the PCC, Friends Committee and Development Committee embarked on the Development Project and Development Appeal. On Saturday 12th October 2019, a Sung Eucharist was celebrated by the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Lord Bishop of Salisbury in the presence of her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah RoseTroughton. For the service, the Bishop wore one of the new sets of vestments, funded from Appeal income.

We also welcomed representatives of the twenty-six national and county Trusts and Foundations that have generously supported the Appeal; some of them two or three times. The service was also attended by the Chancellor of the Diocese and the Archdeacon of Sarum. Many villagers, past and present attended, including the Jeffery family whose connection with the church and the village goes back to the early nineteenth century.

The Lord Lieutenant read the Old Testament lesson and the Chancellor read the Epistle. Zillah Gillespie and Frances Smart took up the Offertory of wafers and wine to the altar.

It was good to welcome to the service many of the craftsmen and craftswomen who had worked on the church: Richard Shean of Shean & Hare the main contractors; Brian Watts of PWCR our architect; Stephen Cooke organ builder who renovated the organ: Claire Anderson who regilded the organ pipes; Phil Critchlow who repainted the organ case; Harry Jonas stonemason and letter carver who created the plaque on the east wall.

The beautifully-restored organ sounded amazing in the new and much-improved acoustic in the church. There were a few ‘teething’ problems during the service, but fortunately the organ builder was on hand and was able to pop into the back of the organ during the service and make small adjustments when the odd squeak or nimble occurred.

The Choir of twenty excelled themselves, singing Stanford’s setting of Psalm 150, the Mass of St Thomas by David Thorne, a rarely-sung setting of the Jubilate by Albert, Prince Consort and Stainer’s hauntingly-beautiful Sevenfold Amen.

After the service, everyone enjoyed a delicious tea, served from the new kitchen with great ease. Many of those present remarked on how warm the church was, thanks to the new underfloor heating and on the appearance and comfort of the new oak chairs.

On Sunday 13th October, the village community filled the church for a Family Service. Almost every chair was in use. The service was led by the Rector and the Assistant Curate, who moved around the church during the service, reminding everyone of the significance of the Font (now moved back to its original and liturgically-correct position), the Lectern and the Altar. The theme focussed on the role of St Andrew’s Church in the village, building and supporting the community. Members of the community read the Lessons and said Prayers. Some of the children of the village took up the Offertory.

The Choir again sang very well, including a setting of Psalm 23 and John Rutter’s ’The Lord Bless You and Keep You’. The organ behaved impeccably. Nearly 80 villagers then returned an hour later to find the church laid out with long tables for a sit-down lunch, prepared by Marcus Deyes; Marcus has a catering company and lives in the village. Everyone sat at the new folding tables and used the new crockery, cutlery and glasses for the first time.

It was marvellous to welcome back to St Andrews’s, Lady (Mary) Holmes and her daughter. They had flown in specially from America for the services and to see and hear the newly-restored organ, funded by Lady Holmes in memory of her late Step-Father, who was an eminent organist and Bach scholar in America.

Remembrance Sunday

The Service of Remembrance took place on Sunday 10th November 2019 starting at the graveyard in Lower Street and then continuing in church. Older villagers have said that they cannot recall seeing such a large turnout at the Service. The large congregation included young people.

The Choir sang Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum’ and Sydney Nicholson’s ‘Bow Down Thy Ear’. The National Anthem was preceded by Gordon Jacob’s stirring Fanfare and the Service concluded with the playing on the organ of ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar’s ‘Enigma Variations’.

After the Service, sherry and savoury biscuits were enjoyed by the congregation.

The new purple altar frontal was used for the first time.

The Chair Appeal

There are now 51 chairs in St Andrew’s Church which have been donated by present and former members of the village community. Each has a plaque on it. They reveal a wide range of reasons for the gift: births, christenings, weddings, anniversaries, In Memoriam and just to mark an individual or family living here in Donhead St Andrew.

Nineteen chairs remain to be funded. If you are interested in funding one of these, please get in touch with the Hon.Treasurer of the Friends on 01747 28106 for further details.

Friends Annual General Meeting

The Friends AGM, to report on the 2019 year, will take place on Saturday 14th March 2020 at 9.45 am in St Andrew’s Church.

At this meeting a full report will be given on the Appeal finances and on the Development Project. On this occasion, the meeting will be open to all villagers at the conclusion of the Appeal.

The Carol Service

The traditional Festival of Nine Lessons with Carols will take place in St Andrew’s Church on Sunday 22nd December 2019 at 4.30 pm, followed by refreshments in church.

Everyone will enjoy singing the popular congregational carols; young people are especially welcome. Villagers will read the Lessons, lead the Prayers and take the Collection. This year we will be supporting Julia’s House Children’s Hospice. More details can be found by clicking here.

St Andrew's Church Development Appeal

The Parochial Church Council, after consultations with the congregation, those on the Electoral Roll and the members of the Friends of St Andrew's Church, are proposing to make St Andrew's Church a major centre of village life for all villagers, as a place of worship and the place where the community can gather for a wide variety of village activities in a building which is inspiring, welcoming, accessible and well-resourced.

To achieve this, the following improvements to the church are planned:

  • Facilities – extending the current vestry building in stone to provide a disabled WC, a kitchen with appropriate facilities for holding functions in church, storage cupboards, a new Parish room large enough to be used for children's activities during services, at other times for small meetings and removing the existing unsightly boiler house.
  • Flooring – getting rid of the various floor levels in the main body of the church and having one level floor throughout.
  • Heating – installing a new heating system throughout the building which combines efficiency, flexibility, unobtrusiveness and economy.
  • Lighting – installing a new lighting system which is flexible, adjustable and unobtrusive and highlights the architectural features of the building.
  • Sound System – providing an effective system for those with hearing difficulties.
  • Seating – the replacement of the pews with fine quality oak chairs which interlock and have space for kneelers and books. The chairs have been designed for comfort, appearance and flexibility. The normal layout day by day will be five rows of chairs on either side of the central aisle, with two rows of chairs for the Choir along the west wall to the north of the tower. The rest of the chairs, which are stackable, will be stored in the base of the tower behind the oak screen which will be located at the west end of the Nave at the entrance to the tower.
  • Internal Decoration – addressing any issues involving damp and redecorating the walls in a warmer hue.

In order to provide the finances for this project, the St Andrew's Church Development Appeal (SACDA) has been launched. For full details of the Appeal, visit the SACDA web site at this link:


Donhead St Andrew PCC - Registered Charity

With effect from February 2013, Donhead St Andrew PCC is a registered charity. The registered charity number is 1150714, and the full title of the charity is The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Donhead St Andrew.