Christmas Eve 2020 Crib Service - St John's Church, Charlton

NativityThe Christmas Eve Crib Service, starting at 3.00 pm, is going to have to be very different this year. We can't have the wonderful chaos of small children wandering all over the church and it is going to be more difficult to organise costumes and props. We just have to adapt to changed circumstances. I expect much of the action to be brought into church with Zoom so that for the most part the congregation will watch on the screen what others see on line.

I have compiled a simple script which splits the story up into several scenes. My hope is that our main families with children will each take care of one scene from the story. You could pre-record your contribution on a phone and send it to me to screen in the service, You could broadcast live on Zoom from home on Christmas Eve.

Your scene could be acted in makeshift costume, done with simple stick puppets or with figures from a crib set, or could simply be a family story time with all of you sitting on the sofa and reading.

All the details and any technical support can be ironed out in the next week or so, but I just need to know if you will be willing and able to take part. With the pre-record option you don't even have to be free on Christmas Eve!

There will also be simple roles for a couple of families in the church if you don't fancy taking on part of the story.

Please, please let me know asap if you are up for this. I can then finalise the script depending on the forces I have available. To send me an email, click here and when the new page opens, click on the ‘Contact Form’ tab to send me your message.

Finally, the number of seats available for those attending the service will be limited in order to maintain social distancing. If you plan to come to the service, please contact the Churchwarden, Tony Gowers, to book your places. To send Tony an email, click here and when the new page opens, click on the ‘Contact Form’ tab to send him your message. Seats will be allocated on first-come first-served basis.


The Zoom details for this service are as follows: Meeting ID: 287 295 5220   Passcode: 175430

The service sheet for the service can be downloaded and/or printed by clicking here.

Bob Thackray

St John’s Church, Charlton - Faculty Petition - Repairs To Brick Burial Chamber

The roof of a burial chamber in the south part of churchyard at St John’s Church, Charlton has partially collapsed. The Donhead St Mary with Charlton Parochial Church Council (PCC) is applying to the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Salisbury for permission to carry out the following works relating to this damage:

To attend to the partially collapsed brick burial chamber to make safe, protect the burials, infill with hardcore and make good in accordance with the RLM Architects Specification.

The papers associated with the application are as follows; click on the title of each document to view it.

If you wish to object to any of the works or proposals, you should send a letter or an email stating the grounds of your objection to:

The Diocesan Registrar at 42/44 Castle Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 3TX
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

so that your letter/email reaches the registrar not later than 20th July 2021.

You may not object anonymously.

Family Eucharist Service Streamed Over the Internet - Easter Sunday 12th April 2020

empty tombI do hope that you will be able to join us for our Easter Family Service on Zoom. You can join live at 10.00 am, or the service will be available via the Benefice Facebook page (the link to the Facebook page is in the left hand margin of this website). We are only allowed 100 participants at the live service which we may exceed in which case you might not get admitted. Facebook later in the day will then be your only option.

This service will be a little bit different because it will be a Family Eucharist Service with Richard celebrating. Click here to download and/or print a copy of the service sheet. Alternatively, words of hymns and communal prayers will appear on screen during the service.

We start the service with a visit to the tomb, and we declare three times that ‘Christ is risen indeed’. It is the tradition in some churches, after the third repetition, to make a great deal of noise. I thought that it might bring us all together if everyone could have a noise maker for that moment – bells, whistles, football rattles, saucepan and wooden spoons, all will do very well. If all else fails then you could always clap.

Details for Zoom:

Topic: Easter Sunday Service
Time: Apr 12, 2020 10:00 AM

Join Zoom Meeting by pasting this link in your browser:

or log into Zoom and use this ID, in which case you will also be asked for the password:

Meeting ID: 287 295 5220
Password: 175430

You will then be placed in a ‘waiting room’ and will be let in at about 9.55 am.

Please pass these details on to others who may be interested.

Click here for guidance on how to join a Zoom meeting. If you need more assistance, please email Bob before Easter Sunday and he will help. To email Bob, click here and when the new window opens, select the 'Contact Form' tab to send Bob your message.

Bob Thackray

tea@thechurch, Charlton - Most Mondays

cup of teaslice of cake

tea@thechurch Is cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak

By the time you read this, the new season of tea@thechurch will be in full swing and hopefully many of those who come will have enjoyed a pleasant day out at Swanage in September.

If you are new to the area or just not sure what tea@thechurch is all about, let me assure you that, although the word ‘church’ appears in its title, the event has nothing to do with church and does not require you to be a member of any particular church or even to have any sort of faith. We just use the church building as a suitable venue for an opportunity to meet new people, chat and socialise over a sandwich, piece of cake and cup of tea, although coffee is also on offer if requested. So, with the evenings drawing in and the weather less good for just sitting outside, why not come along and ‘give it a go’!

We always meet in St John’s Church, Charlton just off the A30 between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm on a Monday. If you do not know where the church is, click here to see a map showing its location.

The afternoons are entirely free of charge but if you feel like making a small donation to cover heating costs, then it is always much appreciated but certainly not compulsory. Hope to see you there! If you would like more details or would like someone to accompany you, please call Theresa on 01747 829188.

Our forthcoming dates are as follows (all Mondays):

January 2020: 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th
February 2020: 3rd, 10th and 24th
March 2020: 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th

KidzClub@St.John’s - Charlton


This event Is cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak

 KidzClub Logo

An exciting new venture meeting on
the third Tuesday of the month from 3.15pm to 4.30pm in St John's Church, Charlton.
All children up to and including the age of 10 are welcome as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
Come for fun, craft, a drink and a snack.
Dates are:
19th November 2019
17th December 2019
21st January 2020
18th February 2020
17th March 2020

 For more details, please speak to Jocelyn at the Ludwell School gate.

Click here for a map showing the location of St John’s Church.


tea@thechurch, Charlton - Most Mondays

cup of teacake

If you haven’t been to tea@thechurch before, why not give it a go. A warm welcome awaits you along with tea or coffee and a selection of delicious cakes

Come and make new friends and enjoy the opportunity to sit and chat. It might be that you like company but prefer to be busy. In that case, had you thought of volunteering to help set up and serve the tea and cakes? We are always very happy to have new helpers. Or perhaps you would like to make a cake for us once in a while?

For more details, contact Theresa on 01747 829188, or come along between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm on most Mondays. We will be taking a break over the whole of August 2019, restarting on Monday 9th September.  The dates for the period until September are as follows:

June 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th
July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th
September 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th

Do drop in and say hello even if it is only for a few minutes or so. See you there!

If you are new to the area and wondering where this event takes place, it is in St John’s Church, Charlton, which is just north of the A30 (before it goes down the hill to Ludwell) in Coronation Close. Click here to see a map showing the location of the church.

Christmas Eve 2019 Crib Service - St John's Church, Charlton

A Crib Service

will be held at

St John's Church, Charlton


Christmas Eve (Tuesday 24th December 2019) at 3.00 pm


'The Christmas story told for everyone who is still a child at heart.'

Tea & refreshments will be served after the service.

You are very warmly invited to join us for this service.
Children might like to come dressed as shepherds, kings, animals or angels.
We will also have some simple costume bits and pieces to lend.

Collection for the Children's Society

Christmas Fair, Charlton - 30th November 2019

christmas decorationsmince piesChristmas Fair

Kick off the Festive Season!

Raising money for Home-Start North Dorset

Saturday 30th November 2019
10.00 am till 12.00 noon

at St John’s Church, Charlton, SP7 9LZ

Christmas Decorations - Children’s Gifts
General Gifts - Cake Stall
Coffees and Teas with Mince Pies

Home Start LogoHome-Start North Dorset is an independent registered charity that supports struggling families living in the former North Dorset District Council area and where there is at least one child under five.


The Donheads, Charlton & Ludwell Harvest Festival - 15th September 2019

Harvestharvest s

Harvest Festival has always been a time for the whole community to celebrate together. The churches in the Donheads and Charlton invite you to join them for their traditional Harvest Service followed by a light lunch..

The Donheads Harvest Festival Family Service

St John's Church, Charlton

Sunday 15th September 2019

at 11.00 am

Celebrant and Preacher: The Venerable Alan Jeans, Archdeacon of Sarum
The service will be followed by a light buffet lunch to which all are invited. 


Ways in which you could contribute:

On Saturday 14th September from 10.00 am to 12 noon:

• Gifts of flowers and garden produce to decorate the church would be most welcome.

On the day:

• There will be a cash collection in aid of the Trussell Trust.
• Bring tins and dry goods for the Food Bank.
• Provide a plate of finger food, either savoury or sweet, for lunch.

Baptism Welcome !

baptism genSometimes it is easy to forget that when we Baptise anyone we are welcoming them into our Church Family. On 16 June 2019, at St. John's Church, we did just that. A young Portuguese family live near to the church and some weeks ago they came to a service there and afterwards they asked if their new son could be Baptised in the church. After talks and visits, surmounting the language barrier and getting to know them, the Baptism of William Ulisses Marques Solipa was duly arranged.

From our visits, we really expected just a small gathering of family as their relatives seemed scattered to various parts of the UK. However, and to our joyful surprise, a much larger group of the family arrived, complete with the most splendiferous cake for all to enjoy with our tea or coffee. Within minutes the church was full of happily mingling English and Portuguese voices as the welcoming tea, coffee and cake was consumed.

The Family had chosen two hymns as part of the Service - a Family Eucharist - and they all took part, many of their youngish children already being full communicants of the Church. A young member of the congregation presented William with the Baptismal Candle whilst William's older sister presented him with a Candle which the family had obtained especially from Portugal. The Churchwarden also presented William with a Bible which had been bought by the congregation of St. John's. During the final hymn, the Candle bearers led William and his immediate family through the congregation to the back of the Church.

Our Tea and Coffee Team of the day volunteered to make coffee again at the end of the Service as the beautiful, and very large, cake, had not been half consumed. Again the whole Baptismal Family stayed to share in the Fellowship.

It was an occasion of total joy and love so that at the end everyone left feeling positive and happy. Despite the fact that I had started the day feeling tired and the fact that we were in church for almost three hours in total, I left feeling so happy and full of the love and joy of Our Lord. I just want to say a public ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped to make it such a wonderful occasion.

June Lane

Palm Sunday at St John's Church, Charlton - 14th April 2019

hossanahossana 1

The churches in the Benefice will be coming together on 14th April 2019 at St John's Church, Charlton, to celebrate Palm Sunday, Once again, we are marking the occasion by walking from Ludwell Primary School to St John's Church with a donkey. The procession and telling of the Palm Sunday story will start on the school field, and our outdoor singing will be accompanied by folk musicians. The celebration will begin at Ludwell School at 9.30 am.

Children (of any age) are invited to dress up for the occasion. We will have a small supply of costume bits and pieces to lend if needed. Something to wave would be good, perhaps streamers or a flag, and children are welcome to bring percussion instruments. Anything that can be banged or shaken in time with the music would be great, and 'home made' is encouraged. It should be fun!

The procession will be followed by a Family Service in the church. After the service, there will be refreshments (coffee, tea, juice and biscuits) and time for a chat in the church.

Extra parking will be available at the New Remembrance Hall on the other side of the A30 from the church.

All are very welcome - please do come and join us !

palm sunday