Church of St John the Baptist, Charlton

charlton sFrom the outside, St John the Baptist Church, Charlton, is the least attractive church in the Benefice. However, inside it is light and airy. The Church was built in about 1839 in a 12th century style to replace a smaller church dating from the 14th century located in the centre of the village of Charlton. The position of the new Church - at the crossroads of the current A30 - was chosen to make the Church more accessible to worshippers in Ludwell and the Coombes, whilst continuing to be close enough for those in Charlton.

Read more about the history of the church here.

Sunday Services

Two services are normally held in the Church each month:

  • A Family Service on the first Sunday of each month beginning at 10.00 am. Many of us stay after the service for a chat over filter coffee, tea, juice and biscuits.
  • A Family Communion on the third Sunday of each month beginning at 11.00 am. Coffee, tea, juice and biscuits are served from 10.30 am onwards for those who wish to socialise before the service.

Additionally, on the fifth Sunday of the month (when it occurs), a Benefice Family Service is held at 11.00 am. Coffee, tea, nice and biscuits are served from 10.30 am before the service.

All services are usually of about 45 minutes duration, and are very informal and family-friendly, with the emphasis on including young people and encouraging them to participate in the readings and talks. You can be sure of a friendly welcome.

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.


Donhead St Mary, Charlton, Ludwell and the Coombes Harvest Festival - 2nd/3rd October 2021

Harvestharvest s

Donhead St Mary, Charlton, Ludwell & the Combes

Harvest Festival

A celebration for the whole community at St John's Church, Charlton

Preparations and Contributions

Saturday 2nd October 2021 from 10.00 am to 12 noon at St John's Church

Please bring fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers to decorate the church, and tinned and dry goods for the food bank.

(Harvest gifts can also be brought to the service on Sunday.)

The kettle will be on; why not stay for a coffee.

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Join us for the

Harvest Festival Service

Sunday 3rd October 2021 at 10.00 am at St John's Church

• A child friendly service for the whole community
• Collection for the work of Christian Aid in Malawi.
• Coffee and cake after the service
• Guest speaker: Stuart Asbury
• Sale of produce in aid of charity (please bring your own bag).
Everything left will be taken to the Gillingham Food Bank and to the Open Fridge in Shaftesbury.

New Venture – Pop Up Café in Charlton Church

cup of tea scoffeeMany of us over the past 18 months have lived fairly socially isolated lives, so, in order to ease ourselves back in to society, we are planning to hold a Pop Up Café on the second Wednesday of the month from 10.30am to 12.00 in St John’s Church, Charlton SP7 9LZ, just off the A30 in Coronation Close.

Coffee, tea, biscuits and cakes will be available at no charge, although we would appreciate a small donation towards the cost of heating if you feel able.

Why not forget the chores that morning and join us on:

  • Wednesday 8th September
  • Wednesday 13 October
  • Wednesday 10th November

We look forward to seeing you there. Contact Theresa on 01747 829188 for more details.


St. John’s Church, Charlton - St John’s Patronal Family Communion - Bishop Nicholas’ Visit - 20th June 2021

(written on Sunday 20th June 2021)

bishop sal visit 1 sbishop sal visit 2 sTomorrow is mid-summer day, the Summer Solstice, but today was wet, cold and windy!  Despite the weather nothing could dampen our spirits at St. John's Church, Charlton, where the atmosphere was one of joy and positivity as Bishop Nicholas (the Bishop of Salisbury) joined us to lead our worship.

As everyone arrived we were greeted with the offer of refreshments, served at the Church door and consumed outside; the children especially loved the chocolate bars and fruit juice! People, all suitably masked, chatted freely, many thrilled to be in church for the first time in months, whilst online we were joined by those who still needed to Zoom in to be part of our worship.

The Bishop’s theme reminded us of the message of St John the Baptist, “Repent!” He reminded us that John’s message was not always comfortable, not always welcome, but always the right message, the reminder that we all need to turn and see God, to turn and follow His Ways. Bishop Nicholas pointed out how much both the Church and the world had had to adapt over the past eighteen months, and emphasised that many of these changes would be with us, probably for ever. We have all learnt a great deal in this time, and we need to make sure that good lessons are retained.

bishop sal visit 3 sHe assured us that he could feel the determination to make things work at St John’s and praised the efforts of the wardens and worship leaders over this time.

bishop sal visit 4 sOur worship was enlivened by a superb choice of hymns, safely delivered online of course, from a variety of sources, and, in his final farewell, he thanked us that in our choice of the last hymn, 'Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding', he had been taken back to the very beginning of his ministry, such a wonderful way to travel full circle and end a joyful, albeit sad, occasion.

June Lane

Editor’s note: larger versions of the photographs in this article can be found on the Benefice Facebook page here.


St. Mary’s and St. John’s Churches Appeal

St Mary's ChurchSt John's Church

In April 2012 we launched an appeal to meet the cost of major repair works to the two churches in the Parish - St Mary's in Donhead St Mary and St John's Charlton - and to provide additional and much needed regular income. The diocesan architect's five-yearly survey identified repairs costing in the region of £75,000, equivalent to £15,000 over each of the next five years. Our existing sources of revenue such as collections, the parish fête and other fund raising events are insufficient to cover this. Indeed they are taken up entirely by other outgoings such as heating, lighting, insurance, routine maintenance and our contribution to the rector's stipend and Benefice running costs. Additional funds are required specifically for maintaining the fabric of St. John's and St. Mary's. For full details of this appeal, please click on this link.