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.

** Important **  the last service in the church was on Sunday 10th December 2017 in order to allow time to prepare the building for the planned re-ordering works which began in early 2018.

How to Find the Church

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

St Andrew's Church Development Appeal - December 2018 Update

Update on the Building Work

The replacement of the roof is now complete. Cracked and eroded roof tiles have been replaced and the gutters and downpipes repaired. New insulation has been fitted to replace the faulty insulation, which was holding moisture against the roof timbers. Inside the church, the discovery of widespread asbestos has been dealt with and a new sub-tloor laid. The cabling for the new heating. lighting and sound systems is being fitted at the moment. The faulty interior wall plaster, which held moisture against the stonework. has been removed and the builders are at work re-plastering the interior of the church with breathable lime plaster. The asbestos in the old boiler house flue has been removed and the building then demolished. The Vestry has been taken down. and all the stone conserved for reuse in building the new extension.All of that is good progress.

Now for the bad news. A chamber has been discovered beneath the floor of the Vestry and boiler house site. it contains an older boiler. which is riddled with highly toxic blue asbestos.This will be dealt with by the specialists as soon as possible so that work can start on building the new extension.

We are, at the time of going to press, waiting for a final quotation for the work but the sum involved could be £20,000. In total, the cost of dealing with the asbestos found in the church and associated costs is heading towards £50,000. But, of course, there is no question that the work has to be done.

Update on the Development Appeal

As a result of the extra costs involved in dealing with the asbestos, we are re-doubling our fundraising efforts.

Funds for the Appeal have grown by over £5,000 since the middle of the year. The magnificent sum of £1,160 came from the Village Produce Stall, run by Chris York, with help from Ian Robertson, from March to October of this year. Our thanks to them both for running this and to the many villagers who supplied and bought the good things on the stall.

The very good news is that we have just received a second grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund; this time for £32,000. This takes the total raised this year up to 16th November 2018 to £85,193.

But, we still need more, so any further contributions would be much appreciated.

‘Give a Chair’ Appeal

Fifty-four are already funded within the Development Project budget. The plan is to buy a further seventy chairs. The ‘Give A Chair’ Appeal was launched in October 2018. So far, eighteen chairs have been funded by locals In Memoriam, to mark a birth, baptism, wedding or ‘wedding anniversary or just as a contribution. Further details about the new chairs and how to give one are to be found on the church website.

Future Activities and Events

Quiz Supper - Saturday 1st December 2018

There will be a report on the Quiz Supper, masterminded by Michael York, in due course.

Service of Nine Lessons with Carols - Sunday 23rd December 2018

Click here for more details about this service.

Call My Wine Blufl"- Saturday 9th March 2019

Alistair and Juliet Stoker are running this event in the New Remembrance Hall, Charlton. For those of us who may not be familiar with the idea, it is basically a replay of the very popular TV programme ‘Call My Bluff’; the difference is it’s wine

A group of friends book a table for four or six. To begin with, three white wines are served, one at a time. Three so-called experts try to persuade you what the wine is that you are drinking. You decide. Then the truth is revealed. You get points if you are correct. The same happens later with three red wines.

There will be an interval for supper and a Fine Wine Raffle.

Tickets are going to go on sale in January 2019. T here will be more details on the church Website, on posters and fliers and in the February issue of The Donhead Digest and on this website.

Those of us who have been to one of these evenings before will know just what fun it is. Knowledge of wine is absolutely not required and may even be a disadvantage!

Friends of St Andrews Church Annual General Meeting - Saturday 16th March 2019

This is to be held at Donhead St Mary Village Hall on Saturday 16th. March 2019 at 10.00 am. It is open to all members of the Friends and is an opportunity for new Friends to join.

For more information about the Development Project, the Appeal and what else is going on at Sf Andrew’s Church, visit our website:


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.